Student Handbook

Graduation Reviews

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BFA Graduation Review

Experimental Animation and Program in Film Video

The BFA Graduation Review will occur before the end of your last semester. Final approval for graduation is based on successful completion of program and Institute requirements and your faculty committee’s review of your work at CalArts. See your mentor for guidance on what to prepare and present at the review.

Character Animation

Character Animation graduation reviews occur in the fall semester of your BFA4 year. In your review, tell the story of your artistic journey at CalArts. Indicate what you have focused on during your time at CalArts (for example: animation, story, visual development, etc.), as well as what you hope to
do after you graduate. This isn’t about presenting a “perfect picture,” but rather – discussing your artistic evolution to date. Work completed for employment or internships is not applicable for this review.

A summary of your graduation review is uploaded to the Hub, and becomes part of your permanent record at CalArts.

Requirements

You can show your work digitally, or on paper (or a combination of the two). Organize your work. If you present your work digitally, have a backup prepared in case of computer error or malfunction.

Please present the following at your review:

  1. Artwork:
    • Two of your films
    • Several examples of 2D and/or CG animation assignments from your time at CalArts
    • 25-30 samples of your artwork (e.g. life drawing, visual development, storyboards, background design, character design, etc.)
    • One of your sketchbooks
    • Portfolio from last year’s Portfolio Day
  2. BFA4 film:
    • Verbally present the main concept for your BFA4 film, as well as any of the following:
      • Story beats for your BFA4 film
      • Concept art piece, to express the look of your film
      • Time frame for completion
      • Description of your pipeline

If the committee is not satisfied with your review, you may be required to have a re-review.

MFA Graduation Review

The MFA Graduation Review will occur before the end of your last semester. Final approval for graduation is granted by your Thesis Review Committee upon screening your completed thesis and agreeing as a Committee on its successful completion

For all programs, if your thesis is not complete at the scheduled graduation review, you cannot be granted approval for graduation. (A second review will not be possible until the thesis is complete and not before the beginning of the next semester).

Program guidelines are below.

Experimental Animation Program:

For an Experimental Animation thesis to be considered complete you must have created a finished output from your final edit and mixed soundtrack. In the case of a thesis finished on film, the term complete is defined as a final edit and mixed soundtrack. A silent thesis must be presented either as a film print or a finished output, as defined above. A complete installation or interactive piece is defined as a finished piece that has been exhibited in a gallery or other public setting.

Film Directing Program:

For a Film Directing Program thesis to be considered complete you must have created a finished output from your final edit with a mixed soundtrack. Graduate students are required to provide a copy of their thesis project for the CalArts archives.

Program in Film and Video:

For a Program in Film and Video thesis to be considered complete you must have created a finished output from your final edit and mixed soundtrack. In the case of a thesis finished on film, the term complete is defined as a final edit and mixed soundtrack. In cases of installation, complete is defined as a finished piece exhibited in a gallery or other public setting. Graduate students are required to leave a copy of their thesis project for the CalArts archives

Review Report

A note taker or the mentor will submit a summary report of both your preliminary
and graduation reviews. The report documents the discussions between you and your committee members and includes the committee’s recommendation / action. A copy of your Review Report will be available via Hub Helper no later than the end of the semester.