California Institute of the Arts
Valencia, CA, USA

Reviews

California Institute of the Arts
3.78 Average Rating

Marvin from Norwalk, CA

a current student here
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Really awesome if you know what you want. This university is all about the business, you don't want to muck around waiting for someone to tell you what you're going to do.
Tips for prospective students
Be yourself. Recruiters are much more looking for unique voices than they are people who are trying to impress.
Academic Rigor
This is a tricky question, because it's entirely self-driven. The HP/P/LP/NP system seem to encourage students to not care about class, but the more effort you put into your classes the more you'll personally get out of them as artists. This is supported by the fact that most programs allow you to pick and choose most of your classes after your first year, or even within your first year.
Dorm Life
I've really enjoyed my on-campus apartment so far. My only complaint is that facilities are old, so things constantly need fixing.
Food and Dining
I personally really like the dining hall. It's good around 80% of the time, and when it's not it's a good excuse to vary up your meals anyway.
What to do for fun
There are lots of parties. But if you want any sort of city life at all, you'll find yourself heading to LA often.
Bang for the buck
Again, this depends on how much you're willing to put into it yourself. Personally, as a filmmaker, I've already made such huge leaps and bounds in terms of both personal growth as a filmmaker and understanding of how to navigate the film industry after graduation, so it's been really valuable.
Great for these types of students
Self-driven.
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NS from Los Angeles, CA

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
As an artist, you dream of going to a place where like minded individuals share your colorful visions- and CalARTS brings students like this together. The landscape is enriching and the talent is infinite. The school is small but the opportunities grand.
Tips for prospective students
Do your research. Try to connect with students that already go there, and also with ones that have been accepted. Be ready for intense, focused study- just because it's an art school doesn't mean it's easy, the professors (who are well respected, successful intellects) expect the very best.
Academic Rigor
It's demanding- if you expect to be the best.
Dorm Life
I live off-campus, so I would suggest checking with Student Services to find out more about on-campus housing.
Food and Dining
I usually bring my own lunch and snacks. However, I do munch at Tatum Coffee House occasionally..it's nice, and the view is awesome!
What to do for fun
Meeting up with friends on campus or at the Cafe to relieve stress or brainstorm about ideas is always delightful.
Bang for the buck
It's expensive and the buildings could use some maintenance. However, the programs and professors are incredible, so it's worth the higher price.
Clubs and Activities
There are lots of clubs and activities to join and opportunities to do so. People like to post flyers outside of Student Affairs and online at the CalARTS community board.
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Erin from Saugus, CA

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
CalArts is a wonderful choice for any student looking to stretch their artistic abilities. The faculty are very nurturing and helpful. The classes can be difficult, but it's worth the great education.
Tips for prospective students
Start early with applying for scholarships! This school is possible for anyone interested but you will need financial help if you're not from a wealthy family. I have almost no money at all to put toward college, but after scholarships, grants and loans, I've made it work!
Academic Rigor
Students are encouraged to be full-time, which can mean a heavy workload. Each class is different, but overall you can expect to be required to put in some effort. The classes aren't easy, but they are typically fun and interesting.
Dorm Life
Living in the dorms is a very popular decision at CalArts. Many students enjoy living in the dorms and act like a family of neighbors.
Food and Dining
Very good food for a school cafeteria and school cafe. The main cafeteria provides many options for vegetarians. Keep in mind that the school only accepts cash, so get used to that.
What to do for fun
There are many campus events on a regular basis. CalArts is an art conservatory, so you can expect to find concerts, performances, exhibits, and many other displays of student, faculty, and guest work every day.
Bang for the buck
It's a really expensive school, so look for scholarships and really take advantage of the classes, guest seminars, and performances the school has to offer. That said, the faculty, students, and guests are amazing and you are exposed to a lot of possibilities at CalArts that you would never see at other colleges.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Known for the best annual Halloween party in Los Angeles! No matter where I am in LA, I always here, Oh, you go to CalArts? That's the school with the crazy Halloween party!!!. I also hear a lot of, Didn't Tim Burton graduate from that school? which he did.
Great for these types of students
Perfect for driven, artistic, innovative people. CalArts offers the opportunity to grow as an artist and encourages the student to try new types of art. However, you have to make sure that you are self-motivated enough to get the work done because it can be easy to fall behind.
Clubs and Activities
There's a club for just about everything. On registration day you will find booths set up with tons of club options.
Greek Life
No Fraternities or Sororities here
Campus Safety
CalArts is a very small campus with security patrol 24/7. I have never felt unsafe at this school and appreciate the security.
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Tomas from Novato, CA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
this college is amazing. a lot of hard work, but plenty of friendly faces. i'm so glad i cam to this school
Tips for prospective students
apply yourself, but don't overwork yourself. try to set times to sleep, everyone needs sleep, and i can tell you from experience how much it sucks to go days with very little of it.
Academic Rigor
the teachers are supportive and love creativity when it comes to animation.
Dorm Life
great, an easy place to meet up with friends.
Food and Dining
nice, but can get old from time to time
What to do for fun
hiking, sleeping, talking with friends, sleeping, finding inspiration through other students works, sleeping...did i mention sleeping?
Bang for the buck
this school is very expensive, but a good way to look at it is a down payment on the rest of your life.
Campus Safety
great, and great to work with
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Mengna from Stevenson Ranch, CA

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
It is excellent for imaginative people who come from a strong technical trained background, to explore their creative sides of their artistic forms.
Tips for prospective students
be prepared to have very little sleep. Calarts gets very crazy with your own metier studies and critical studies.
Academic Rigor
A lot of paper writings.
Dorm Life
Best memories I have had. meeting new people, make a lot of friends. the RAs are very nice.
Food and Dining
food sucks at Calarts!
What to do for fun
Not much in the city of Valencia, but you own a car, it's only 30 minutes up north from LA.
Bang for the buck
School can be very unorganized. One thing very important is time management. it is one crucial key for surviving at this school
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Calarts has a clothing optional pool and a smoking hill.
Great for these types of students
fun, creative, imaginative, hard working.
Clubs and Activities
soccer, tennis, swimming, political, film, music,dance.
Campus Safety
It's getting better and more strict.
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Celeste

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Very challenging courses. Small student to teacher ratio which is excellent. Very expensive.
Tips for prospective students
Probably need a car.
What to do for fun
Not much going on in Valencia but lots of people have parties.
Greek Life
None
Campus Safety
Safe
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