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 students of jazz bass, guitar, keyboard, drums, brass, reeds, and in special cases for other instruments, jazz performance, anchor their individual studies with major lessons, jazz forums and classes in composition, harmonic improvisation, history, theory and analysis. Ensemble work is built around performing with both a student jazz ensemble and a faculty jazz ensemble.

MFA jazz students work closely with their mentors to chart an individualized program of study based on needs, interests and the professional aims of each students. MFA jazz artists also play with faculty as part of an apprenticeship model, as colleagues and collaborators, as they build practical experience as performers, improvisers, composers and bandleaders, at home on the concert stage and in the recording studio.

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

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.

Center for Integrated Media

The Center for 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.

Center for Integrated Media

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