Apply: MA in Curatorial Practice

The 2019 graduate application will open November 1, 2018.

Applications submitted by January 10, 2019, will be given priority processing for application reviews with faculty. The first round of application reviews will begin February 1. 


Application Requirements

  • Application (nonrefundable $70 application fee required)

  • Résumé / Curriculum vitae

  • Personal statement

  • Portfolio - Exhibition critique and Exhibition proposal​ ($5 SlideRoom nonrefundable fee required) 

  • Two letters of recommendation

  • College transcripts

  • Interview



Applicants must complete and submit the application online. 

Résumé / Curriculum Vitae

Outline your educational and professional background and relevant experience and activities. Please note resumes must be in PDF document format.

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 on 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. 

Please note personal essays must be in PDF document format.


Applicants must submit their portfolio online 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. (Please Note: Supplemental portfolio materials sent separately to the Admissions Office are not accepted.)

1. Exhibition Critique

This 500-word essay should critique a recent contemporary art exhibition, evaluating its contents, order, ideas, and presentation. Please note the exhibition critique must be in PDF document format.

2. Exhibition Proposal

In 500 to 750 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. Please note exhibition proposal must be in PDF document format.

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. Please note letters must be in PDF document format.

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, 2018.

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, 2018.

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 (2017 date has yet to be determined) or to be interviewed via Skype.

Dual-Degree Opportunities

Applicants who wish to apply for the dual-degree option will have the ability to submit a single application. However, applicants must submit portfolios that meet requirements for each program.

You will find the various dual-degree options under the Visual and Critical Studies category under the enrollment plans section of the electronic application.

Be sure to first select Visual and Critical Studies for your initial graduate program in order to choose the dual-degree option under the discipline area.

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.