School of Art
Undergraduate General Studies
A CalArts education is based on both artistic and intellectual rigor. To ensure that each undergraduate has the broad knowledge and cultural sophistication needed for successful arts careers in today's world, all candidates for the BFA degree must complete the Critical Studies undergraduate requirements in addition to coursework in their individual programs.
Designed to broaden vision and encourage well-informed, innovative artmaking, the Critical Studies undergraduate requirements help students develop analytical, writing, quantitative, computing and research skills and learn about aesthetics, history, philosophy, social sciences, cultural studies, science, technology and special topics related to the arts.
BFA candidates are expected to take either three or four Critical Studies classes (6-8 units) per semester as part of the total 48 units required for graduation. Typically, this amounts to 40 percent of each student's overall course load.
Liberal arts/general education credits from other colleges can also count as Critical Studies units. Students with previous bachelor's degrees and those seeking an undergraduate Certificate of Fine Arts only are exempt from the Critical Studies undergraduate requirements.