Graduate applications are taken on a rolling basis and reviewed by faculty once submitted through the online form.
Applicants can be considered for one of our two application categories (listed below) depending on professional background and undergraduate experience.
Applicants who qualify for advanced standing should review the following descriptions to determine to which category of Architecture they should submit their application.
Master of Architecture (MArch 3*)
Master of Architecture with Advanced Standing (MArch 2*)
* Note: MArch 3 and MArch 2 are designations used for our admissions purposes only that will appear on the application. These are not separate architecture degrees.
For general questions about CCA’s graduate programs or the application process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Application ($70 nonrefundable fee required)
- Portfolio ($10 SlideRoom nonrefundable fee required)
- Personal essay
- Résumé / Curriculum vitae
- Two letters of recommendation
- College transcripts
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.)
Applicants should submit a portfolio online by registering for a SlideRoom account specifically for CCA applicants with up to 16 slides permissible for upload. Once an account is registered, instructions on how to create the online portfolio will be provided. The portfolio should demonstrate creative achievements and should be treated as a design opportunity.
Candidates without an architectural background should use the portfolio to present their potentials in one or more of the following areas: visual and spatial sensibilities, visual and material explorations, and synthetic/conceptual thinking.
Candidates for advanced standing should demonstrate clear evidence of their architectural education and level of ability. In addition to academic and professional work, applicants are encouraged to include examples of personal work, too. CCA faculty reviews all submitted portfolios.
Please keep in mind once your portfolio has been uploaded and submitted to the college no further changes may be made.
For technical issues with the online portfolio, please contact for assistance.
A personal essay of 500 to 1,000 words must accompany the application. Describe what motivates you to pursue a degree in architecture and how this motivation overlaps with one or more of our program's particular strengths:
- the integration of critical, artistic, and material approaches to architecture
- alternative models of practice and fabrication
- current investigations into culture, media, and technology and their relationship to architectural production
- our location in a multidisciplinary art school in vibrant San Francisco
Résumé / Curriculum Vitae
Please outline your educational and professional background and relevant experiences and activities, including community work.
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.
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 may be contacted to arrange an interview with the graduate architecture coordinator or a faculty member.
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
CCA does not require the GRE test for consideration to its Master in Architecture Program. However, you may include GRE scores with your application, as additional support materials are welcomed for the review process.
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.