MFA in Fine Arts

Discover an Interdisciplinary Artist Community

CCA’s Graduate Program in Fine Arts - Studio challenges you to take your work to a higher level through rigorous practice and a robust exchange of ideas with an engaged and diverse artistic community.

As your work evolves, you will gain a deeper understanding of the dynamic relationships among art, culture, and society.

Find Your Place in Contemporary Art Practice

Immerse yourself in a single medium or work across multiple disciplines, including ceramics, glass, media arts, painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and textiles.

Expand Your Critical Thinking & Creative Practice

Through in-depth investigations of material and theory, you’ll explore current artistic practices and cultural issues with some of the nation’s leading artists and critical thinkers.

Our Fine Arts faculty -- professionals who have exhibited and curated in public and private venues as well as international biennials -- will give you the necessary conceptual context in which to create and sustain your art practice. Social practice and public forms workshops – pioneered by CCA faculty – offer opportunities to engage in site-specific projects, community collaborations, public interventions, and activist art practices. 

Our Graduate Studies Lecture Series brings to campus speakers who represent diverse viewpoints and exemplify the vast array of discourse and modes of production available to you.

Another vital resource is the acclaimed CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, which presents groundbreaking international exhibitions.

Build a Lasting Career in the Arts

The diverse and dynamic San Francisco Bay Area is home to an extraordinary number of alternative, municipal, and artist-run exhibition spaces as well as distinguished regional and national museums.

Whether you’re collaborating with one of the many Bay Area arts organizations, exhibiting at a local alternative space, or working as a mentored teaching assistant, you’ll be acquiring the relevant experience and building strong networks to prepare for life beyond graduate school.

Social Practice at CCA

Inaugurated by Ted Purves in 2005, the Social Practice Workshop at California College of the Arts (CCA) was the first Master’s level curriculum of its kind in the United States. Since then, the field of socially engaged art has continued to change and expand, and with that evolution, new questions about academic and professional preparation of practitioners in this creative realm have developed.

The Social Practice curriculum embedded in CCA’s Graduate Fine Arts program engages creative practitioners in the theory and practice of public and socially-engaged art.

Offered each semester, the Social Practice Workshop immerses students in the discourse of socially engaged practices, providing opportunities to work contextually in a variety of public spaces, including urban environments and specific regional communities, as well as online social spaces and institutional structures. The Workshop is taught by core faculty Amy Balkin, Susanne Cockrell, Ranu Mukherjee, and offers opportunities to work directly with an international group of visiting artists and partners in an intimate workshop setting. Visitors have included Bik Van der Pol, Torolab, Tania Bruguera, Ben Kinmont, Amy Franceschini, Bureau of Linguistical Reality, Ana Teresa Fernandez, Leslie Dreyer, and Christopher Cozier.

Students who wish to focus on social practice can take a range of rotating courses adjacent to the Workshop, such as; Resistance, Art and the November Election 2018 (Kim Anno), Ecodomics (Ignacio Valero), Social Bodies (Jay Carter), the Art Benefit Auction class for Critical Resistance (Christine Wang), as well as course offerings in adjacent graduate programs Visual Criticism and Visual Studies (VCS) and Curatorial Practice (CURP).

Fine Arts at California College of the Arts (CCA)