To prepare for your transfer to California College of the Arts, we recommend you first review CCA's Transfer Guide and then speak with an enrollment services counselor.
Planning allows you to maximize your number of transferable units and enroll in courses that best prepare you for entry into CCA. Our enrollment staff will help you navigate the transfer process.
While we do not have transfer course requirements, we do recommend transfer students take a balanced load of beginning-level academic and studio courses such as the following:
- English Composition
- Introduction to Art History or Modern Art History
- Beginning Drawing
- 2D Design
- 3D Design or Sculpture
- Introduction to Digital Media and Film
Careful planning can help you complete entry-level academic and studio courses prior to transferring to CCA.
Community College Articulation Guidelines
CCA has developed articulation guidelines for the transfer of coursework from more than 40 community colleges. The guidelines provide CCA course equivalents that are offered at many community colleges.
If we have an agreement with your local community college, the community college should also have this information on file.
Prepare to Transfer: Four Steps
Step 1: Know Your Academic Standing
Familiarize yourself with your academic standing by looking over your transcripts from the college(s) you have attended. CCA will consider both the individual courses and cumulative grade point average (GPA) when reviewing an application for admission. (Note: CCA is on the semester system and will calculate a GPA as semester units.)
How to determine your GPA:
- Add the total number of grade points from each transcript
- Add the total number of units earned from each transcript
- Divide the total grade points by the total units earned
Note: If you’ve earned quarter units, you will need to convert them to semester units (4 quarter units = 2.7 semester units; 3 quarter units = 2 semester units; 5 quarter units = 3.3 semester units).
Step 2: Prepare for Transfer Credits
See Transfer Credits.
- California community college students can use the ASSIST website in conjunction with the CSU Breadth Chart or the Inter-segmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) for humanities and science course equivalences.
- See CCA articulation to discern whether an agreement with your community college exists. If your college is not listed, use the CSU Breadth chart for guidance.
Step 3: Prepare for Major
CCA offers 21 undergraduate programs in the areas or architecture, art, design, and writing. Prospective transfer students may view details about each program as well as view each major’s course requirements (listed under Curriculum in the main menu of each program) at CCA's Academic Programs page.
Step 4: Apply to CCA
For more detailed application instruction, see Application Requirements.
- Application ($60 application fee required)
- Personal essay
- Transcripts (the high school transcript requirement is waived for applicants who have completed 30 units or more of college credit)
- Two letters of recommendation
Students with 12 or more studio units that meet the grade and portfolio requirements may also receive waivers for the Core entry requirements. Portfolios should include images that reflect competency in drawing, 2D and 3D organizational principles, and other work that covers digital technologies or film.
Download CCA's undergraduate viewbook
Graphic Design Alumni
Watch Graphic Design alums Andre Andreev and G. Dan Covert discuss their post-CCA successes—founding Dress Code in New York and writing a design book together!
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