Apply: MFA in Fine Arts

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 ($70 nonrefundable fee required)

  • Portfolio ($10 SlideRoom nonrefundable fee required)

  • Personal essay

  • Résumé / Curriculum vitae

  • Two letters of recommendation

  • College transcripts

  • Interview



Applicants must complete and submit the application online. 

Personal Essay

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 artistic practice and why mastery level exploration is desired.

While personal statements can range in content, it is often best to focus your statement to your particular area of interest and any critical influences on your work. Please note 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.

In addition to academic and professional work, applicants are encouraged to include examples of personal work. CCA faculty review portfolios submitted through SlideRoom. (Note: Supplemental portfolio materials sent separately to the Admissions Office are not accepted.)

The portfolio can include up to 15 still images (not to exceed 5 MB each), video, time-based, or interactive media (not to exceed 60 MB each).

Note: Applicants who wish to submit a video or time-based media must submit a five-minute sample reel that the review committee will watch in its entirety in SlideRoom. The five-minute sample reel should be labeled clearly with the title, date, running time, and description of the piece, or pieces, it contains.

Please keep in mind that once your portfolio has been uploaded and submitted to the college no further changes can be made.

For technical issues with your portfolio, email for assistance.

Résumé / Curriculum Vitae

Please outline your educational and professional background and relevant experiences and activities, including community work. Please note resumes must be in PDF document format.

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

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.