School of Theater

BFA Program

Head of Lighting Design:
Anne Militello

In a program committed to both artistry and technology, students gain a firm understanding of the lighting design process, from the development and articulation of a conceptual approach, to plot making, to the creation of the realized work onstage. They broaden their experience with additional projects in film, video, dance, and art.

BFA Lighting Design Curriculum


Every student is assigned a faculty mentor who is responsible for guiding the student through the artistic and academic programs. CalArts emphasizes the creation of strong student-to-faculty relationships which enable students to draw from their instructors’ knowledge and creative spirit. Although students are initially assigned to a mentor, they have the freedom to change mentors at any point, and the student-mentor relationship continues throughout the student’s time at CalArts.

First-Year Students

First-Year BFA Students apply to our Design & Production program, and complete an Undergraduate Foundation Year.

Undergraduate studies in Design and Production offer students the opportunity to pursue an individualized course of study following the First Foundation Year.  The BFA 1 core foundation is a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental concepts and skills used by theater artists, which fosters a sustained dialogue between thinking and making. In keeping with the school’s commitment to trans-disciplinary study, the First Year core consists of four courses which are complemented by selected métier courses from each area of specialization.  In subsequent years, students focus on required métier curricula and fulfill their elective credits from courses throughout the institute.

BFA Transfer Students

Transfer applicants are welcomed by the BFA Lighting Design program in the School of Theater at CalArts.  Program-level placement is determined by a combination of your credits earned at a regionally accredited institution, and your portfolio review during the admissions process.

Apply to CalAarts

For application requirements, please visit

If you wish to speak to a counselor for useful information on assembling a portfolio for admission, more information about our program, or for general questions about the application process, please email, or call (661) 255-1050.

Last edited by cyang on Jan 25, 2017
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