Course Description

Extended Studies on-campus programming will resume in Summer 2022.

Offered in Summer for high school students. 

For more information on the Discover Animation 2-Week program, click here


Discover Animation is an intensive experience that gives young artists from around the world an opportunity to explore the fundamentals of animation by participating in this one-week immersive program on the legendary CalArts campus. Students age 14-17 take part in presentations & skill building workshops led by CalArts faculty and alumni, attend artist talks, screenings and open drawing sessions, and generate work suitable for college application portfolios.

Students will thrive on our beautiful Santa Clarita Valley campus located just north of Los Angeles. In addition to working closely with engaging artists and exploring the art of animation, students will have the opportunity to make friends and connect with other artists in the program by participating in a variety of on-campus social activities. Residential students will live in Chouinard Hall, CalArts’ BFA dorms, and both residential and commuter students will be able to participate in daily activities such as film screenings, games in the recreation hall or open swim in the CalArts pool. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a field trip to Disneyland for an additional fee.

Program fee includes instruction, materials and meals. Housing is available for an additional fee.

Recent Faculty/Staff

  • John Mahoney
  • Nicholas D'Agostino

Past Guest Artists

Application Instructions

Enrollment in Discover Animation is based on submission of the online application form and the instructors' review of:

  • a short video statement (1-2 minutes in length), in which you introduce yourself and discuss one of your artistic goals and how you hope participating in this program will help you accomplish your goal
  • 4-5 digital images of your artwork, which must include at least 2 life drawings of people or animals (drawn from real life, not from photographs), 1 self portrait (drawn from looking in a mirror, not from a photograph) and 1 character design
  • one letter of recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor (written on school letterhead)

All application components should be uploaded and submitted through the online portal. If it is your school's policy to send recommendation letters directly to the receiving party, they should either email or mail it to Extended Studies at CalArts. Please be advised that applications will not be reviewed until all components are received. 

Applications must be accompanied by a $25 fee.

Program Prerequisites

  • Open to high school students age 14-17. Students must remain in that age range while program is in session. If you will turn 18 prior to the program start, check out the Summer Animation Residency

This course is not available for enrollment at this time. Click "Request Information" to be notified when enrollment for the next section opens.