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

Strings MFA studies provides a challenging forum for accomplished students of violin, viola, cello and contrabass to explore advanced performance techniques and a greater range of stylistic directions, as they develop their individual artistic profiles, build creative versatility, and prepare for professional careers after graduation.

In addition to major lessons, string workshops, and advanced classes in music history, literature, theory and analysis, MFA candidates perform in a variety of chamber and large ensembles, including the School’s main conducted faculty-student group, The Ensemble at CalArts. Players further hone their skills in extended techniques, improvisation and interpretation through a number of more specialized groups, covering Baroque, jazz, electronic, improvisational and experimental music, as well as cross-genre work. As part of preparation for the professional world, the MFA curriculum also incorporates classes in pedagogy and career design.

All MFA candidates are required to pass a Mid-Residence Recital and a Graduation Jury and Recital 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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