The four year Bachelor of Fine Arts and Certificate of Fine Arts programs and the Master of Fine Arts and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts programs require a minimum of two years full-time study with the final semester being in residence.
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The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is conferred when a student successfully completes a minimum of 120 units and fulfills all curriculum, performance, choreographic, and production requirements of The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance, and those of the School of Critical Studies. Certificate of Fine Arts candidates do not complete Critical Studies requirements; the remainder of their program is identical to that of BFA candidates. Critical Studies requirements are detailed and course descriptions are provided in the Critical Studies section of this Course Catalog. The entire faculty of The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance makes all judgments about eligibility for a degree or certificate.
The curriculum is designed to ensure that all students gain mastery in four primary areas: technique/performance, composition/choreography, dance production, and contextual studies. The School of Dance maintains an active production schedule and students are consistently involved in rehearsal processes leading to performance. Concerts throughout the year present work by students, faculty, and guest artists. Auditions are held regularly and all students in good standing are eligible to audition throughout the school year.
Students are required to enroll in Contemporary Technique and Ballet Technique every semester. Students must also complete six semesters of Composition or Choreography. All choreographic work to be performed at CalArts must be shown to the faculty and student body for critique and guidance during the regularly scheduled Choreo/Performance Lab prior to performance. Students are required to complete a year-long course in the fundamental skills of theatrical production, such as basic principles of lighting design, sound design, costume construction, and video recording. In addition to the required coursework in design and technology, students must complete 6 semesters of crewing.
Within the métier, all dance students take courses in dance history, cultural studies, and anatomy of movement. Additionally, students take courses within the School of Critical Studies and other métiers in a broad range of courses designed to provide a breadth of exposure, critical thinking skills, and interdisciplinary collaborations.
In addition to the elective courses offered in the dance school, Balinese and African dance are offered through the music school. Students may also elect to design independent projects with faculty supervision at any time during the four years of undergraduate study.
Students accepted as transfer students are evaluated at the time of acceptance to ensure appropriate placement in the program. All decisions regarding leaves of absence must be approved by the full faculty. Each student works closely with his or her mentor who provides individualized support and guidance in maximizing the opportunities for personal and professional development through the four years of study.
All students participate in annual reviews with the full faculty. Students must successfully pass the mid-residency review in the spring of the BFA-2 year to continue within the program. Students must successfully pass the graduation review in the final semester to be eligible for conference of the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts. The BFA program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance and requires successful completion of a minimum of 120 units.
Over the course of study, the Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate will:
The following courses are required but do not constitute a student's entire program. Students are required to complete 6 semesters of Composition/Choreography (courses notated with an asterisk).
The MFA Program at CalArts is designed to serve as a laboratory for artistic development in the art of choreography. MFA students come to the program with a track record of professional experience and a desire to use the creative environment and rich resources to deepen and extend their choreographic vision and practice. The program challenges and supports dance artists in creating work, from conception to full production in various contexts. MFA students produce three original works in the first year and a Thesis Concert in the second year. There are also opportunities to cultivate their expertise in the art of teaching, with particular emphasis on preparation for being effective contributors to dance education in college and university contexts. Seminars focus on preparation for sustainability as working professional artists, and professional development in higher education. The curriculum is provided for the development of media literacy and competency, in audio, video, digital media technologies. An optional supplemental concentration in Integrated Media is available.
The program is a two-year, 60 credit terminal degree, and includes teaching opportunities and a variety of Assistantships. Proximity to the schools of visual art, music, theater and film/video provide rich opportunities for collaboration and interdisciplinary projects. The high technical and artistic standard of the BFA students enrich the choreographic processes for the MFA students, bringing their talent and generative enthusiasm to the creative process. MFA students regularly audition BFA students to cast their work. The curriculum complies with NASD standards and best practices for masters level programs and is accredited by both the National Association of Schools of Dance and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance MFA Program at the California Institute of the Arts is designed to support advanced choreographic development and individual cultivation as artists and artist/educators.
Over the course of study, the Master of Fine Art candidate will:
The following courses are required but do not constitute a student's entire program.