MFA

3-Year Program

In the MFA Experimental Animation Program, students are provided with a comprehensive foundational background and are encouraged to seek out poetic, lyrical, structural and other modes of experimentation with the materials and forms of the moving image. Students are trained to not only become makers—but also critically minded contributors to the advancement of animation history and theory.

In addition to coursework in technique and theory, the EA curriculum includes training in professionalization. Students are expected to become familiar with film festivals and submission processes, attend professional gatherings and events, and become members of related organizations. Accordingly, graduates become creative leaders in the field, establishing careers in studio production, teaching and personal practice, often forming creative partnerships with fellow CalArts students.

All MFA Experimental Animation students are required to complete a first-year project, complete a thesis proposal in the second year and finally pass a Thesis Review in order to complete the Program.

2-Year Program

Applicants with a BFA in animation degree or comparable experience are eligible to request the option of a two-year residency. This MFA degree is meant to supplement the BFA experience by allowing time for the development of an additional, more complex animation project and more study of both interdisciplinary and historical/theoretical frameworks. An applicant's eligibility for the two-year residency will be determined by the faculty at the time of admission.

Full Curriculum

Detailed curriculum and academic requirements can be found in the online course catalog.

View Curriculum Requirements


Interdisciplinary Opportunities

In addition to CalArts' rich and diverse community and naturally collaborative atmosphere, the Institute provides several programs of study that can be pursued concurrently with a student's chosen metier.

Integrated Media

The Integrated Media concentration is designed specifically for MFA students whose creative use of technology—in particular digital media—goes beyond their primary areas of study.

Integrated Media

Interschool Degree

This option is available to a small number of graduates and advanced third- and fourth-year undergraduates whose skills and artistic interests warrant pursuing a degree in more than one School.

Interschool Degree


Ready to Begin?