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 firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about submitting a late application.
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 can have either a design or non-design background and work experience in traditional businesses or nonprofits/NGOs, or government.
A personal essay of 1,000 to 1,500 words addressing the following topics (you do not have to answer them explicitly, one after the other):
Describe your relevant design, business, or nonprofit organization experience and how it has shaped your current educational and career goals.
Describe the change you'd like to make in the world, as a result of the skills and experience you gain in this program, and/or how you are making change already?
Describe one positive and one negative example of your experience working on a team. Include the elements of who, what, when, where and how this came to be. What insights did you learn from these experiences?
What will the headline and story say when you are on the cover of Fast Company Magazine?
Teach us something in seven sentences.
What changes are you making in your life to prepare for this program?
While most recruiters advise people to reduce their résumé to one page we’re specifically looking for a two-to-four-page expanded résumé that detail specific challenges, contexts, responsibilities, achievements, and learning experiences resulting from the positions you've held and the projects on which you've worked.
For MBA in Design Strategy applicants, a portfolio is optional. DMBA applicants with a background in design or the arts that wish to provide a portfolio can do so by providing a URL on the application form and essay to their online portfolio. SlideRoom portfolio submissions are not permitted for the DMBA program.
The lack of a portfolio will not reduce chances of acceptance for nondesigners.
The purpose of the portfolio is to communicate your thinking, need-finding, and problem-solving processes. Showing finished work alone doesn’t illuminate these skills. More helpful to us is to show fewer projects, in more detail, that describe the challenge, context, learning, and iterations of prototypes during the project.
You can use any online location to post your portfolio: a profile at a site like Core77.com, a personal website, a PDF posted to a file-sharing site, etc. However, we suggest you do not password-protect the site
Online Video (optional)
Applicants may choose to post a 3-5 minute online video to a video site (like Youtube.com or Vimeo.com) and include the URL to the video with their essay. Videos are optional and can be used to supplement essays with a personal story, interview, or project highlight. The lack of an online video will not reduce chances of acceptance.
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.
Mail your official transcript to:
California College of the Arts
Enrollment Services Office—Graduate Admissions
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107-2247
Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation are required from academic or professional sources. No personal recommendations, please. All recommendations must be submitted electronically. When submitting your electronic application, you can provide the email address for your recommenders. Your recommenders will receive the recommendation form electronically and then return it to CCA in a similar manner.
Applicants may be contacted to arrange an interview with the program coordinator or a faculty member within DMBA graduate program.
International applicants must submit additional requirements in support of their application to the graduate program.
Applicants who wish to apply for the dual-degree program may submit a single application. Please note: a design portfolio must be submitted in order to meet application requirements for the dual-degree.
Second Student Annual
The 2009-2010 Student Annual catalogs the student work and experience of the MBA in Design Strategy program's second year.
DMBA In the News
Listen to the BusinessWeek podcast.
Read the Core 77 interview.
For questions about the MBA in Design Strategy program, please email us.
To be notified of public program events, sign up now.
To visit the program, including courses in session, please email us. In addition, guests visiting CCA can receive a discount on their lodgings just for being a part of the CCA community. Each of the SoMa Hotels (specifically the Good Hotel, the Carriage Inn, and the Americania Hotel) will honor a special discount rate for guests who mention "CCA" when making reservations. For complete hotel contact information, see Special-Rate Lodging.
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