Los Angeles is an international hub for the visual and performing arts, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) provides premier arts education and programming to the Los Angeles community and beyond. At the university’s founding in 1919, three of the twelve original majors were in the arts—Graphic Arts, Music, and Theater Arts—and the school continued in strong artistic tradition. In the 1960s, the College of Fine Arts was formed in order to professionalize the visual and performing arts programs, and in the 1980s the College of Fine Arts was split into two professional schools: the School of the Arts and Architecture, and the School of Theater, Film and Television. Today, UCLA offers directed study in the following areas:
SCHOOL OF THE ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE (SOAA)
HERB ALPERT SCHOOL OF MUSIC (HASOM)
SCHOOL OF THEATER, FILM & TELEVISION (TFT)
Admission to the undergraduate arts programs UCLA is quite different than applying to general campus because all of the professional arts programs require an audition or portfolio supplemental application. Students must file a general UC application and list an SOAA, HASOM, or TFT major as their first choice major to UCLA in order to participate in the supplemental review. The department faculty reviews the auditions/portfolios, and makes the first admission recommendation based primarily on the student’s creative material. As long as the student meets the minimum academic requirements for the UC system, they can be admitted to UCLA through the arts and begin their coursework immediately.
For students who want it all—a strong liberal arts education at a world-class research institution along with an intimate professional studio program in the arts—UCLA provides the best of both worlds. While UCLA’s undergraduate population was 28,476 last year, the undergraduate population in SOAA, HASOM, and TFT (combined) was 1,191. Arts students are ensured priority registration in all of their major classes, which are never overenrolled. The majority of studio classes have only 15-25 students beginning freshman year, with the smallest classes in the music programs where students have one-on-one lessons with their instrument faculty once a week, all of which is included in the tuition.
All of UCLA’s art programs are BA degrees, as the faculty believe that a well-rounded education in a wide variety of disciplines contributes not only to a student’s artistry, but develops their overall understanding of humanity. Approximately half of the student’s required coursework will be in the liberal arts, so students may choose their coursework from UCLA’s full roster of offerings. Students may also double major or minor in a non-arts area.
UCLA arts graduates have gone on to become musicians, designers, architects, actors, filmmakers, choreographers, and artists. They have also gone on to work just as successfully as attorneys, doctors, venture capitalists, scientific researchers, patent reviewers, professors, administrators, and account executives. As long as a young person finds value in arts practice as a discipline and vocation, UCLA can help prepare students for any path, even the ones they haven’t even imagined they would walk.
SCHOOL OF THE ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE (SOAA):
ARCHITECTURE & URBAN DESIGN (building design, urban landscape, technology)
ART (drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, new genres)
DANCE (choreography and composition; modern/postmodern/world dance)
DESIGN|MEDIA ARTS (graphic/web design, game/character design, motion graphics/animation, layout/typography, visual communications)
WORLD ARTS AND CULTURES (cross-cultural arts ethnographies, critical investigations of art through anthropology, sociology, and folklore)
Minor: Visual and Performing Arts Education
HERB ALPERT SCHOOL OF MUSIC (HASOM):
ETHNOMUSICOLOGY (world music, jazz studies, contemporary/popular music)
MUSIC (performance, education, composition)
Minor: Music Industry
SCHOOL OF THEATER, FILM & TELEVISION (TFT):
FILM, TELEVISION, & DIGITAL MEDIA (screenwriting, producing, directing, animation, cinematography)
THEATER (acting, musical theater, technical theater – design/production, playwriting, directing)
Minors: Film and Theater
By: Laura Young
Director, Enrollment Management
UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture