MFA

2-Year Program

The MFA Program in Music is designed to enable students to acquire the multiple skillsets that will empower them to stake out their own, unique, career pathways to success. The program of study is designed to be a stimulating and challenging, collaborative learning environment, in which music and sound artists can refine and perfect their already distinctive voices to reach the highest levels of professional practice, while simultaneously exploring new and inspiring, creative territories.

About the Specialization

MFA Performer-Composer studies is designed for advanced students who are already accomplished composers and expert players, and who have identified a creative direction that demands the thoroughgoing integration of composition and performance in their work.

This course of study is structured to meet the needs of each individual practice as students immerse themselves intensively along the entire continuum of creative music-making. The MFA curriculum offers resources to help performer-composers develop the means to express their ideas in musical, spoken, written, recorded and various media forms; contextualize their own work and that of others in the light of current directions, historical antecedents and a wide range of aesthetic perspectives; and develop strategic plans and career pathways for sustaining their individual directions in creative music-making.

MFA performer-composers are required to pass a Mid-Residency Recital, a Graduation Jury and Recital and a Graduation Composition Portfolio Review in order to obtain the degree.

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


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