A place to express your artistic passions!

College focus – The California Institute of the Arts



This school is full of creative touches in and out of the classroom.

Dulce Bernal Ortiz, People editor

Do you have a passion for drawing people, animals, or characters of your own? Would you love to come to life digitally? Then this might be the place for you!

The California Institute of the Arts is a private art university located in Santa Clara, California, which is our home state. It was established in 1961, founded by very diverse group, including big names such as Walt Disney, Nelbert Chouinard, Lulu Von Hagen, and Thornton Lad.

The California Institute of the Arts focuses on the visual and performing arts, and offers Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees throughout six schools. Additionally, more than 70 degree programs at the graduate and undergraduate level, are offered, which vary from art and technology to stage management throughout the same six schools which include: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater. All of this information can be found in more detail here: http://calarts.edu/.

We’re talking in a very general scope in terms of what programs and careers this college has to offer, but you’re in luck, as the California Institute of Arts offers a program in character animation, which falls under the school of film/video and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. According to the website, “The Program provides comprehensive artistic and technical training to help each student develop as a fully-fledged animation artist within both the traditional and computer graphic (CG) animation environments. The Program features a faculty of experienced professionals who work at the forefront of traditional, CG and independent animation.”

The character animation program is a four-year curriculum, where students learn the basics of drawing, color, design, storytelling and animation. In their fourth and last year, students will take advanced versions of their core classes, and customize their curriculum according to their areas of interest.

According to US News, the acceptance rate for the California Institute of Arts is 25%, which is more selective than the average university. A student’s GPA is something very important, considered by admission officials, as well as letters of recommendation. However, high school class rank is not taken into account. The application fee is $70.

Tuition at the California Institute of Arts is over $53,000, which is more expensive compared to the average cost of about $40,000. Keep in mind the cost of tuition and fees, as well as the cost of room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses, which increases the total. Financial aid is available for students, however, and that can come in the form of student grants, loans, and scholarships. You can also fill out the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which is recommended by many experts, as every year, thousands of dollars are being unclaimed by students.

Some of the most notable alumni from the California Institute of Arts include film director and animator Brad Bird, actor and television personality David Hasselhoff, actress and writer Alison Brie, and film director, producer, and writer Tim Burton.