California Institute of the Arts Graduate Program Reviews

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of students recommend
(3.88 out of 5.0)
School rating based on 21 respondents

School Highlights

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School Ratings

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Quality of Instruction
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Satisfaction With Degree
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School Information

  • Website: Visit College Website
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC, + 3 more
  • Programmatic Accreditation: NASAD
  • Campus Setting: Suburb: Large
  • Student Population: 1,448 (949 undergrad)
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 7 to 1
  • Graduate Attendance Status: 1% part-time, 99% full-time
  • Annual Tuition: $43,986
Source: NCES

Student & Graduate Reviews

3.4 out of 5.0
Degree: Performing Arts
Graduation Year: 2011

CalArts changed my life. It was as crucial for me as anything I have ever done, especially as an artist, Of the bat I will say this, you get from CalArts, what you put into it. You can work from 7am-1am every day or you can go 9-5 and get away with it and pass and just cruise; it's all up to you. The doors are open and the things are there for the hungry and ready. I entered CalArts green, and came out tested and ready to act and be one of the strongest actor sin the machine that is Hollywood. All my teachers were exceptional in taking the time to know me and therefor push me in challenging and safe ways. CalArts was amazing for connections. The networking you get at CalArts is unbelievable. Everyone who goes there is a brilliant, talented actor/writer/artist/actor/dancer/etc.... If you go you will meet so many amazing people and rub shoulders with people who may become famous later, who knows? Some I knew did, and some still may have their moment. The CalArts rolodex is a good one. CalArt will hook you up, even if you are a socially awkward hot mess as I certainly was back then. It's nice to be in LA, but not be directly in LA. I repeat, you are in a suburb 30 minutes outside of LA called Valencia. This distance allows you to head into the city (if you have a car), but mainly stay around this small town and focus on the work. While you are there, try to live on campus the first year and enjoy all of the amazing avant-garde theatre, regular Thursday night art openings, dance concerts, varied music, and general free-spirited anything goes California atmosphere. There's installation art everywhere. There's even a pool! I repeat, the faculty are brilliant. My few critiques are small and thus: classroom signup was a total s***-show and needs to be updated, the graduate dorm rooms are tiny and ant-infested, and the administration is rather antiquated. My final caveat about CalArts is Holy Cow is it expensive. I'll leave it at that. if somehow you can get the grants and scholarships - it is way worth it. Know what you are getting yourself into if you go to CalArts. You will probably end up deeply in debt if you're not disabled or rich. But you will get super-well-networked, and learn about obscure and wonderful things that you never knew even existed. You will be abetter human because of it.
4.6 out of 5.0
Degree: Computer Animation
Graduation Year: 2019

Cal Arts is the best school for me Ive come across yet. Sounds like a strange thing to say, because your average student hasn't tried out as many universities as I have. This is my Third school. Now, that's not because I failed out or didn't finish or didn't just plain like a place. Its because I love education and education specifically through art practice. Ive been searching for a place like Cal Arts since day one and California. I don't know if my case is special, but I know I demand a very high level of talent and commitment from my education and Cal Arts is the only place that has given me that challenge. The challenge of my peers and their skills, and the challenge within myself to do better every day. For me, most schools coast by on simple projects and abstract practices like blowing into the air until your face is red (Seriously, that was an acting exercise I experienced in an earlier school.) Cal Arts gives me the tools I need to succeed and I couldn't be more in love.
4.08 out of 5.0
Degree: Performing Arts
Graduation Year: 2009

I went to Calarts a few years ago and it was fantastic. It's a very liberal school so if you're looking for something more traditional I would go elsewhere. However, the training I received there is fantastic and has truly helped me develop my voice in the professional world.
4.67 out of 5.0
Degree: Performing Arts
Graduation Year: 2018

The only real Con of our graduate program would be the cost. Tuition is steep and almost everyone is on loans in order to afford it, and being a 3 year program it leaves many students with large students loans to pay back after graduation. The faculty and training is phenomenal and I wouldn't trade it for any other training in the world.
4.33 out of 5.0
Degree: Fine Arts
Graduation Year: 2017

The program and faculty are exceptional. This school molds you as an artist, thinker and as a person. The courses stress real world skills and get students ready to enter the art workforce. The only negative things are the private art school price tag and the fact that the school is not as diverse as I would like.
4.83 out of 5.0
Degree: Visual Communications
Graduation Year: 2014

I haven't started the school yet but this review was about Orange Coast college.
3.0 out of 5.0
Degree: Creative Writing
Graduation Year: 2015

A diverse, eclectic environment with much to be desired as far as campus safety, affordability and career support are concerned.
3.92 out of 5.0
Degree: Performing Arts
Graduation Year: 2017

Cal Arts is worth the money! Connections are everything!
4.5 out of 5.0
Degree: Performing Arts
Graduation Year: 2015

CalArts is wonderful! But you have to be adventurous. There is opportunity absolutely oozing from the walls and you have to take advantage of it for the school to be worth it. Definitely a place for self-motivated, dedicated artists of all disciplines.
2.83 out of 5.0
Degree: Creative Writing
Graduation Year: 2015

Pros: Great faculty and classroom dynamic. I always feel like a valuable part of the classroom due to the low teacher:student ratio. Cons: Affordability, facilities (in my metier) and communication within programs.
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