School of Critical Studies
The School of Critical Studies brings together internationally recognized writers, poets, scholars and thinkers working in both new and traditional forms across a wide variety of disciplines, extending from narrative fiction, performance and multimedia to cultural criticism and political theory.
The School of Critical Studies offers two graduate programs: the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Creative Writing Program and the Master of Arts (MA) Aesthetics and Politics Program. In both programs, the expertise of our faculty is complemented with an extensive series of readings, lectures, workshops and longer-term residencies by a diverse range of visiting writers, theorists and artists. Our graduate students also benefit greatly from the dynamic, highly multidisciplinary creative environment of CalArts, where different branches of the arts freely commingle.
In addition, the School of Critical Studies provides a robust liberal arts education for Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) candidates.
General Studies Requirements (Undergraduates Only)
Critical Studies is also responsible for the general BFA education of CalArts students registered in the five other Schools: Art, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater. The school comprises 20 core faculty and four staff, and employs at least a dozen Adjunct Faculty annually to teach across its broad curriculum.
In addition to the two master's level programs mentioned above, the School of Critical Studies faculty teach analytical, writing, quantitative, computing and research skills of CalArts' undergraduates. BFA candidates are expected to take either three or four Critical Studies classes (6-8 units) per semester as part of the total 46 units required for graduation in addition to the coursework required by individual programs.
The yearly Critical Studies Course Fair enables students to find out more about the courses that are offered for the next academic year, to chat directly with faculty and to help students make key decisions about their learning choices.
The event welcomes students from all schools, but it is not a sign-up day. It is an open space where students can ask questions about classes.