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Graduate applications are taken on a rolling basis and reviewed by faculty once submitted through the online form.

For general questions about the program, email

Application Requirements

  • Application (nonrefundable $70 application fee required)
  • Résumé / Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • Exhibition critique
  • Exhibition proposal
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • College transcripts
  • Interview


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.

Résumé / Curriculum Vitae

Outline your educational and professional background and relevant experience and activities.

Personal Statement

A personal essay of 500 to 1,000 words must accompany the application. The essay should be a clear statement of your work within the context of contemporary curatorial practice and why mastery level exploration is desired. While personal statements can range in content, it is often best to focus your statement to relevant previous experience (i.e., curatorial projects, writings, research, and organizational roles), your particular areas of interest in contemporary art, and any critical influences on your work.

Written Materials

Applicants should submit their written materials online as a PDF by registering for a SlideRoom account specifically for CCA applicants. Once an account is registered, instructions on how to create the portfolio will be provided.

Exhibition Critique
This 1,000-word essay should critique a recent contemporary art exhibition, evaluating its contents, order, ideas, and presentation.

Exhibition Proposal
In 1,000 words, provide a basic thesis and outline for a proposed exhibition, and include a list of artists and works, a possible site/venue, and a minimum of five visuals.

Two Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required from an academic or professional source. No personal recommendations please. We use an electronic recommendation process, which ensures that we receive your recommendations in a timely fashion and it is convenient for your recommenders.

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 electronically to CCA.

Official College Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts are used for review purposes. Applicants are required to upload their unofficial transcript as a PDF document with the online application form.

Accepted and enrolled applicants will submit the official sealed transcript of their undergraduate coursework to Graduate Admission by August 1, 2016.

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, 2016.

Mail your official transcript to:

California College of the Arts
Enrollment Services Office—Graduate Admissions
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107-2247


Applicants will be contacted to arrange an interview with the graduate program manager or a faculty member.

Applicants chosen for interviews will have the option of either participating in an on-campus interview in February (2014 date has yet to be determined) or to be interviewed via Skype.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

English proficiency exams must be completed prior to submitting the application. Official English proficiency exam scores (TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE) must be sent to the college directly from the testing agency. International applications will be considered incomplete, and not reviewed until proof of English proficiency has been received.
Detailed requirements for international applicants.


Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice Merit Scholarships: The admissions committee selects a limited number of outstanding students each year for these prestigious scholarships. This year merit recipients received $22,000 in renewable awards.

Diversity Scholarships
The graduate division awards special scholarships to entering students who bring diverse experiences, ideas, and creative work to the CCA community. These renewable awards range from $11,000 to $24,000.

Chair’s Award
A discretionary and renewable award up to $1,000 toward the purchase of books.

Koc Scholarship for Emerging Curators from Turkey
To support promising young curators in Turkey, California College of the Arts and Vehbi Koc Foundation are delighted to announce the Koc Scholarship in the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice.

Facilitated through a partnership between CCA and the Koc Foundation, this new scholarship encompasses full tuition as well as a contribution toward living expenses and will be offered annually to one student from Turkey beginning with the 2013-14 academic year.