California Institute of Arts

California Institute of the Arts was founded in 1961, by Roy and Walt Disney, by fusing the Chouinard Art Institute together with the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. The institute is located in the Valencia neighborhood of Clarita in Southern California.



California Institute of Arts was the first institution in the US to offer both visual and performing arts degrees for undergraduate and graduate students. California Institute of the Arts has a 500,000-square foot building that hosts classrooms, theaters, galleries, shops, studios, laboratories, a library, editing suites, and a cafeteria. The campus also features a swimming pool, more laboratories, tennis courts, studios facilities, and some accommodation complexes. California Institute of the Arts offers student exhibitions, performances, and unique southern California events throughout the year, to the public. The principle requirement to get into California Institute of Arts is talent. Applicants are required to submit a portfolio or video reel, as well as, an artist’s statement.

Academics at California Institute of the Arts

California Institute of the Arts is comprised of six major schools:

  • School of Film
  • School of Art
  • School of Film and Video
  • School of Theatre
  • School of Music
  • School of Dance

California Institute of the Arts is geared towards students of both visual and performing arts, offering degree programs in: music, dance, art, animation, puppetry theatre, film and video, and writing. It also offers:

  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Musical Arts

As of 2017, California Institute of the Arts was ranked 9th Best Fine Arts Program, in the United States, by News and World Report. The institute features a computer animation laboratory and the school of music includes a studio. California Institute of the Arts further extends its commitment to the Arts through nationally emulated Community Art Partnership, Youth Arts Program, and The Roy and Edna Disney California Arts Theater.

Fun fact: California Institute of the Abnormal arts is a nightclub that showcases the freakiest ‘art’ on earth. The nightclub is stuffed from the floor to the ceiling with zombie clowns and dead fairies. The acts shown here are equally eclectic and range from circus performers to pirates.

Alumni at California Institute of the Arts

California Institute of the Arts encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community. The link between California Institute of the Arts and Disney have assisted many graduates in becoming professional actors, leading directors, and animators whose work is now world famous:

  • Director Tim Burton who worked on films like Sweeney Todd, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Edward Scissorhands
  • John Masseter who directed the Toy Story films
  • Glen Kean animator and illustrator who worked on Disney’s the Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast.

Other Alumni include:

  • Dustin Hoffman: Television producer, Actor
  • Michael Richards: comedian, Screenwriter, Television producer
  • David Hassel Hoff: Television producer, film producer, businessman
  • Ed Harris: film producer, Screenwriter, Actor

Tuition at California Institute of the Arts

Annual tuition is $45,646. Incoming students may apply for the California Institute of the Arts scholarships. Third-year students are also, eligible to apply for the Beutner family award. The school offers school funded loans for students that demonstrate financial need, in addition to federal and state loans and grants.

Location of California Institute of Arts: Los Angeles

California Institute of the Arts occupies a 60-acre residential campus, 35 miles Northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The NoHo Arts District is an electric area of theaters, coffee shops, and bars that offer most of the sociall activities in North Hollywood.

Beautiful Sites to Visit Near California Institute of the Arts

  • Six Flag Magic Mountain features more than 100 thrilling roller coaster and water rides for every age.
  • The Nethercutt Collection showcases cars of the 1910s to 1930s. There are also unique collections of timepieces, furniture, and dolls.
  • Cryptic Escape Rooms are the first in the Santa Clarita Valley. They offer interactive, engaging puzzles, immersive environments and thrilling entertainment for a broad range of ages. Their rooms are meticulously designed and constructed to provide the best possible experience for the player.
  • William S. Hart Museum and Ranch was established in the former home and ranch of silent film star and director William S. Hart. The ranch also features a beautiful park with old growth trees and animal barnyard.
  • Westfield Valencia Town Center is traditional mall with outdoor pathways over ponds filled with fish and turtles.

California Institute of the Arts at a Glance

  • Location: Valencia
  • Private Art Institution
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees
  • Student enrollment: 1,489
  • Annual tuition: $45,646
  • Ranked: 9th Best Fine Art Program in the USA
  • For more information, visit: calarts.edu

California College Bound Program, Visit California Institute of the Arts