As a California College of the Arts graduate student, you’ll grow your skills in a region with worldwide influence, at a college renowned for its ingenuity and originality. CCA is a one-of-a-kind place that will foster your artistic and academic excellence as you deepen your practice.
We proudly extend to you an invitation to join us in our evolving urban laboratory. You’ll explore emerging domains of practice that both master and move beyond traditional notions. You’ll refine your work through rigorous critical study of your discipline. You’ll absorb and connect to adjacent disciplinary practices, unfolding and intersecting ideas in profound new ways.
A diverse community grounded in a culture of critique
CCA is a sanctuary for risk-taking and personal expression, deeply engaged in the dynamic culture and radical thinking emblematic of the Bay Area. At every turn, our graduate students are empowered to positively impact people’s lives and the world in which they live. Moreover, art college rankings position CCA as one of the best art and design schools in California, the United States, and the world. From greatest salary potential to most sustainable to overall best value, our accolades are bolstered by innovative facilities, interdisciplinary programs, and expert faculty that have made CCA a top-tier college.
Our graduate programs’ distinguished faculty are internationally renowned artists, critics, curators, and scholars. Their extensive work with institutions, industries, and communities across myriad disciplines gives graduate students a wide collective pool of expertise from which to draw as they formulate and refine their own individuated practices and positions. With nearly 400 graduate students, CCA’s average number of graduate students per class is 10—a fact that underlines our strong mentorship culture.
The range of ideas, people, and creative practices on campus will also give your work intelligence and depth. CCA was ranked in the top 15 on Niche’s 2021 list of the most diverse colleges in the U.S., and 49 countries are represented among our entire student body. Our Career Development team will provide access to tools, events, networking opportunities, and a CCA job board beginning as soon as you get to campus. Of recent graduate alumni, 85% reported their CCA education was relevant to their first work experience and 81% obtained work within 12 months of graduating.
Our graduates are highly sought-after by companies such as Pixar/Disney, Apple, Intel, Facebook, Gensler, Google, IDEO, Autodesk, Mattel, and Nike, and many have launched their own successful businesses. Alumni and faculty are often recognized with the highest honors in their fields, including Academy Awards, AIGA Medals, Fulbright Scholarships, Guggenheim Fellowships, MacArthur Fellowships, National Medals of Art, Rome Prizes, and more.
Most notably, our interdisciplinary community strives everyday to solve social, cultural, ecological, and economic problems. Join this inclusive and collaborative environment and pursue work that makes a difference for all.
The CCA experience
The future is happening here
CCA is an institution with a growing presence in the Bay Area, and we're expanding the San Francisco campus to unite all our academic programs in one location. The campus expansion includes a brand-new dining hall, Makers Cafe, and residence, Founders Hall, which has rooms designed just for graduate students. On the horizon are hybrid making spaces that will enable our interdisciplinary mission like never before. You’re about to join a college that’s thriving and a community that’s transforming what a socially engaged, sustainable art and design practice looks like.
The CCA difference
Due to the COVID–19 pandemic, all Graduate Admitted Student events will now be hosted virtually and by program, so you can meet others in your cohort, talk to program leadership, learn more about the college, and ask questions before you decide to enroll. Mark your calendar for the following events, and stay tuned for email invitations with more information.
Graduate student events
- Admitted Graduate Student Welcome
March 31, 2021
6 pm PT
- Graduate Student Housing Information Session
April 6, 2021
6 pm PT
Program-specific welcome events
- MFA Fine Arts
March 24, 2021
3 pm PT
- MA Visual & Critical Studies
March 24, 2021
6:30 pm PT
- MFA Writing
March 25, 2021
11 am PT
- MA Curatorial Practice
March 25, 2021
5:15 pm PT
- MFA Comics
March 25, 2021
6 pm PT
- MFA Design
March 25, 2021
5:30 pm PT
- MArch Master of Architecture and MAAD Advanced Architectural Design: Graduate Architecture
April 2, 2021
11 am PT
- MDes Interaction Design
April 5, 2021
6 pm PT
- MBA Design Strategy
April 7, 2021
5 pm PT
- MFA Film
April 8, 2021
6 pm PT
Take a virtual tour of CCA
Featuring in-depth views and descriptions of both campuses, including graduate spaces, this tour is designed so you can click around and explore at your own pace.
Let a current CCA graduate student be your guide
On Mondays at 1:30 pm PT and Fridays at 7 pm PT, graduate student ambassadors lead our virtual tours. Register now for a Virtual Tour and Info Session to see campus through the eyes of a current student and ask questions about their experiences at CCA.
Review all your information
We’re certain you belong at CCA, but we know attending graduate school is an important investment of time and financial resources. That’s why we ensure you can understand all aspects of your offer—information you’ll need as you make your decision to enroll at CCA.
The admissions offer you received indicates the semester you’ll start attending CCA. You can also review your financial aid and explore your housing options online. If you have any questions along the way, reach out to our teams for answers.
If you already know you’d like to accept your offer and attend CCA, you can submit your enrollment deposit now and get started with the next steps.
Economic diversity is integral to CCA
To view your financial aid offer online, log in to the CCA Graduate Applicant Page, click on View My Financial Aid Packages, and click on your program for the 2021–2022 aid year.
If you have any requirements to complete your financial aid application (for example, if you have been selected for verification), you can also view and upload documentation on the CCA Graduate Applicant Page by clicking on My Financial Aid Requirements.
Invest in your future
Enjoy the convenience of living on campus
Twelve-month campus housing contracts are available to incoming graduate students, which means you can stay in your fall and spring semester room assignment over the winter and summer periods as well. (This option is available to all incoming graduate students; however, it’s particularly relevant for MDes Interaction Design and MFA Comics students because both programs have required coursework over the summer semester.) Learn more about graduate housing options.
Here’s a look at housing accommodations available to you as a graduate student at CCA in Founders Hall or Blattner Hall. You can apply to live in one of these communities after you submit your enrollment deposit.
The college's newest residence, Founders Hall, opened in fall 2020 and is located next door to CCA’s main building and graduate classrooms. Founders Hall features private and shared units, spacious multi-use common areas, and a ground-floor dining facility, called Makers Cafe, which offers convenient meal plans for students.
The fifth floor of the building was designed with graduate students in mind, offering fully furnished private studio or suite-style residence options, both with kitchenettes. In addition to views of the iconic San Francisco skyline, this state-of-the-art building features laundry facilities, spacious multi-use common areas, and an outdoor terrace. Learn more about Founders Hall amenities and rates.
Located just three blocks away from our San Francisco campus, Blattner Hall offers an apartment-style community with spacious two- and four-bedroom units that are fully furnished, with full kitchens and modern amenities. This student residence, which opened in 2019, features ground-floor retail space, outdoor courtyards, a large community gathering space, and views of the San Francisco campus and skyline. Learn more about Blattner Hall amenities and rates.
Accept your offer by making an enrollment deposit
Your journey as a CCA graduate student starts with your intent to enroll. To confirm your attendance, sign in to your CCA applicant page to accept your offer of admission and pay the $500 enrollment deposit by April 15, 2021 (MFA Comics), May 1, 2021 (all other graduate programs), or within two weeks of receiving your admission offer, whichever occurs later.
To sign in, you’ll use the same email address you used to apply to CCA via Slideroom. If you have any trouble logging in, use the “reset password” feature.
Once you’re signed in, select your application and follow the instructions to accept the offer of admission and to complete the non-refundable deposit, which is used to cover registration fees and enrollment costs.
Select housing, prep your tech, and more
After you’ve made your enrollment deposit, it’s time to follow the Graduate Enrollment Checklist, which includes obtaining your I-20 and F-1 visa (if you’re an international student), applying for campus housing, reviewing technology requirements, and signing up for Student Health Insurance, among other tasks.
Our teams are here to help
With your admission to CCA, you’ve achieved the first step toward academic, artistic, and personal achievement. With our dedicated teams of counselors, you have someone who can answer your questions the rest of the way.
We can talk you through your admission offer, schedule a visit to campus, and more. Make an appointment.
For questions regarding graduate housing opportunities; residential hall security, amenities, and accessibility; or submitting your housing application, email [email protected].
Reach out to us with any financial aid or payment-related questions—from how to understand your award package to how to submit a payment. You can also email [email protected], call +1 415-703-9528, or view our Financial Aid team if you need additional support.