How to Apply
APPLY NOW for fall 2013
Applications are now being reviewed for fall 2013.
Please contact Noel Dahl, Director of Graduate Admission at email@example.com for further information about submitting a late application.
Applicants can be considered for one of our two application categories (listed below) depending on professional background and undergraduate experience. Applicants who qualify for advanced standing should review the following descriptions to determine to which category of Architecture they should submit their application.
Master of Architecture (MArch 3*)
Master of Architecture with Advanced Standing (MArch 2*)
* Note: MArch 3 and MArch 2 are designations used for our admissions purposes only that will appear on the application. These are not separate architecture degrees.
- Application ($70 nonrefundable fee required)
- Personal essay
- Résumé / Curriculum vitae
- Two letters of recommendation
- Official college transcripts
Applicants must complete and submit the application online. (Note: Due to the volume of applications received, CCA is unable to return any materials; please do not submit any original artworks or writings.) Apply online now.
Applicants should submit a portfolio online by registering for a SlideRoom account specifically for CCA applicants. Once an account is registered, instructions on how to create the online portfolio will be provided. The portfolio should demonstrate creative achievements and should be treated as a design opportunity.
Candidates without an architectural background should use the portfolio to present their potentials in one or more of the following areas: visual and spatial sensibilities, visual and material explorations, and synthetic/conceptual thinking.
Candidates for advanced standing should demonstrate clear evidence of their architectural education and level of ability. In addition to academic and professional work, applicants are encouraged to include examples of personal work, too. CCA faculty reviews all submitted portfolios. (Note: Supplemental portfolio materials sent separately to the Admissions Office are reviewed at faculty discretion.)
Please keep in mind once your portfolio has been uploaded and submitted to the college no further changes may be made. Portfolios are due January 5, 2013. (Note: A $10 administrative fee is charged at the time you submit your portfolio with SlideRoom.)
For technical issues with the online portfolio, please contact for assistance.
A personal essay of 500 to 1,000 words must accompany the application. Describe what motivates you to pursue a degree in architecture and how this motivation overlaps with one or more of our program's particular strengths:
- the integration of critical, artistic, and material approaches to architecture
- alternative models of practice and fabrication
- current investigations into culture, media, and technology and their relationship to architectural production
- our location in a multidisciplinary art school in vibrant San Francisco
Résumé / Curriculum Vitae
Please outline your educational and professional background and relevant experiences and activities, including community work.
Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation are required from academic or professional sources. No personal recommendations please. We highly recommend that you take advantage of our electronic recommendation process. This will ensure we receive your recommendations in a timely fashion and it is convenient for your recommenders.
When submitting your electronic application, please provide the email addresses for your recommenders. Your recommenders will receive the recommendation form electronically, which should be returned similarly.
Official college transcripts are best to use for the application, however, unofficial transcripts are acceptable for review purposes only. These should be scanned, front and back, and uploaded with your other application documents. Should you be accepted and choose to enroll with CCA, the official, sealed transcript of your undergraduate coursework must be sent to Graduate Admission by August 1, 2013. Applicants who have taken graduate coursework are welcome to also send transcripts in support of their graduate application.
For international applicants, all transcripts must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation of the original.
All admitted students who were still in the process of completing a bachelor's degree at the time of applying must send the final transcript before enrolling to verify completion of the bachelor’s degree, including official notation of date of graduation, no later than August 1, 2013.
Mail your official transcript to:
California College of the Arts
Enrollment Services Office—Graduate Admissions
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107-2247
Applicants may be contacted to arrange an interview with the graduate architecture coordinator or a faculty member.
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
CCA does not require the GRE test for consideration to its Master in Architecture Program. However, you may include GRE scores with your application, as additional support materials are welcomed for the review process.
International applicants must submit additional requirements in support of their application to the graduate program.
Graduate Architecture Merit Scholarships
The graduate architecture admissions committee selects a number of outstanding students for the prestigious graduate merit scholarships. Last year these renewable awards range from $10,000 to $18,000 per year.
The graduate division awards several entering students special diversity scholarships. For the 2011–12 academic year the renewable award was $11,000 to $24,000 per year.
MArch students accepted to CCA's Master of Architecture Program will be required to begin course studies with the three-week summer intensive Studio 0. This intensive summer studio is specifically designed for incoming CCA MArch students to introduce them to issues, ideas, and methods of making and thinking that will be pursued throughout their studies at CCA and beyond.
The course explores architecture through a variety of representational techniques, including digital, manual, formal, analytical, and theoretical modes. (Applicants who are granted advanced standing to the Master of Architecture Program are not required to take the summer Studio 0 course.)
Teaching assistantships are based on merit and are awarded by the graduate chairs in conjunction with graduate faculty in the second year.