The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), is a private university located in Valencia, California. CalArts was incorporated in 1961 as the first degree-granting institution of higher learning in the United States created specifically for students of both the visual and performing arts. It offers Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees among six schools: Art; Critical Studies; Dance; Film/Video; Music; and Theater.
The school was first envisioned by many benefactors in the early 1960s, staffed by a diverse array of professionals (including Nelbert Murphy Chouinard, a founder of Chouinard Art Institute, Walt Disney, Lulu Von Hagen, Thornton Ladd and others). CalArts students develop their own work, over which they retain control and copyright, in a workshop atmosphere.
As of 2017, the school has a 27.5% acceptance rate. As of 2016, US News & World Report has CalArts ranked #9 of "Best Graduate Fine Arts Programs."