Accreditation + Assessment

CCA is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ WSCUC (WASC), the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), formerly Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER).


Meeting exemplary professional standards

2018 Commencement Ceremony  at the Oakland Theatre.

2018 Commencement Ceremony at the Sydney Goldstein Theatre in San Francisco

Multi-discipline accreditation

CCA believes in fostering the artistic and academic excellence of our students and faculty. By seeking national accreditation and assessment, we ensure all a learning environment defined by its evolving, contemporary curriculum and powerfully effective pedagogy.


Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission

Recognized for several areas of achievement

CCA undergoes periodic reaffirmation of accreditation review by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), our regional accreditation body and primary accreditor.

In February 2017 the college completed the final phase of its current reaffirmation of accreditation process. This most recent review was successful and quite fruitful, inspiring important collegewide conversations.

The WSCUC review team commended the college in the following areas:

  • Financial viability and successful targeted enrollment growth, particularly in technologically oriented academic areas
  • Rising retention and graduation rates
  • Data-driven decision making and support for quality assurance
  • Learning assessment processes and the use of findings for
    continuous improvement
  • Building a strong foundation of studio-based instruction and
    culture of critique
  • Enhancing co-curricular support through a vital Student Affairs
    division and its partnership with Academic Affairs
  • A comprehensive and inclusive campus planning process
  • A strong, positive, and constructive relationship between the
    Board of Trustees and the college's administration

The reports and commission letters are available below:


National Association of Schools of Art and Design

Compliant with established national credentials

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) is an association of approximately 248 schools of art and design, primarily at the collegiate level, but also including pre-collegiate and community schools for the visual arts disciplines. It’s the national accrediting agency for art and design and art- and design-related disciplines.

The association also provides information to the public. It produces statistical research, provides professional development for leaders of art and design schools, and engages in policy analysis.

In spring 2009, CCA underwent a successful periodic re-accreditation review by NASAD. The reports and commission letters are available in the link below, and our next review will take place in 2018.


National Architectural Accrediting Board

The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture in the United States.

Since most state registration boards in the United States require any applicant for licensure to have graduated from a NAAB-accredited program, obtaining such a degree is an essential aspect of preparing for the professional practice of architecture.

The accrediting process is intended to verify that each accredited program substantially meets those standards that, as a whole, comprise an appropriate education for an architect.

Standards and procedures for the accreditation of professional programs in the United States were developed in consultation with professional schools, academic institutions, professional societies, state registration boards, members of the profession, representatives of related professions, students, and the public.

California College of the Arts offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Architecture (159 undergraduate units)
  • Master of Architecture (undergraduate degree + 90 units)


Council for Interior Design Accreditation

Interior Design alumni facts and figures

CCA’s Interior Design program leading to the BFA in Interior Design degree is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).

Student achievement data job placement

  • 82% of the 2011 graduating Interior Design students were employed within one year of graduation in California.*
  • 91% of the Interior Design class of 2011 are currently employed in fields related to interior design. The remaining 9% are enrolled in graduate programs in architecture.

Based on the graduating classes of 2006 to 2011, of those working in

  • 58% were employed by professional, scientific, and technical skills industry
  • 8% in wholesale trade
  • 8% in retail trade
  • 8% in accommodation and food service
  • 4% in information
  • 17% in other industries*

Results from a CCA-initiated survey indicate 80% of the Interior Design program's graduating class of May 2016 are currently employed in fields related to interior design. The remaining 20% are enrolled in graduate programs in architecture.

Acceptance into graduate programs

  • 100% of the Interior Design class of 2016 that applied to graduate school was accepted

Graduation rates

  • 75% of new first-year students majoring in Interior Design in fall 2012 graduated within four years; 71% of transfer or second-degree enrollees graduated within four years**
  • The four-year graduation rate for any Interior Design major (first-year, transfer, or second-degree student) entering in fall 2012 was 73%


  • 100% of new first-year Interior Design students in fall 2012 returned the next fall, for zero attrition

* Includes all 2011 graduates of the Interior Design program. Data on employment is provided by California Employment Development Department. The authorized release of workforce summary data by the California Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division, should not be construed as an endorsement of any analyses, interpretations, or conclusions reached by the author(s).

Percentages reflect students who graduated and worked in California within one year of graduation. Figures do not include employment outside of California.

Percentage employed reflects the number of graduates who were reported to the state base-wage reporting system by employers in California as of one year post-graduation. Data is not self-reported.

** Regarding transfer students who do not graduate within four years: 14% of 2012 entering transfer students completed all class credit requirements within four years and will graduate pending completion of non-credit internship. An additional 14% dropped out of the program due to personal reasons.

Questions about CIDA accreditation?

CIDA provides the foundation for future excellence in the interior design profession by setting standards for education and accrediting academic programs that meet those standards.

For more information about CIDA accreditation, the processes, and its results, contact Interior Design Chair Amy Campos at [email protected].

Accreditor history

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), previously named Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER), was established in 1970.

The founding organizations were the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC), the American Institute of Interior Designers (AID), and the National Society of Interior Designers (NSID).

AID and NSID merged in 1975 to form the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The intent of the founders was to promote excellence by developing standards for interior design education and to acknowledge the increasing demands of an emerging profession.