Graduate Admissions

CCA is a distinguished leader in graduate-level education, and our support for students starts early in the application process. Dedicated graduate admissions advisors can connect you to answers, aid, and more.


Admissions timeline

Intellectual promise and creative achievement

Our graduate programs at CCA provide professional education in a highly creative environment. Graduate students at one of the world’s top art schools learn in state-of-the-art facilities and regularly connect to the Bay Area’s brightest.

For questions about each graduate program and its application process, reach out to our admissions team via email or phone; you can also set up an appointment using our virtual calendar. As you prepare to apply, you’ll want to become familiar with the key dates below, as well as our general graduate admissions timeline:

  • September 1 – 2025 application becomes available
  • January: Submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for federal financial aid and some institutional scholarships
  • January 15 – Priority application deadline for all graduate programs and to be considered for institutional graduate scholarships (applications received after January 15 will be reviewed individually on a rolling basis)
  • February 1 – Graduate application review begins
  • March 15 – Notification of graduate admissions decisions and scholarships begin to roll out, and financial aid offer letters are mailed to qualifying admitted applicants
  • April – Admitted graduate students are invited to campus for various spring events
  • April 15 – MFA Comics admitted graduate students must confirm attendance and submit the $500 enrollment deposit for the summer semester by this date
  • May 1 – Admitted graduate students must confirm attendance and submit the $500 enrollment deposit for the fall semester by this date

Key Dates

Important graduate student deadlines

Apply early for scholarship consideration

CCA practices rolling admissions, which means applications can be submitted for review after the January 15 priority deadline; however, those applications may be excluded from merit and the Visionary Practice Scholarship consideration. Need-based scholarships will continue to be awarded to qualified applicants who submit an application after February 1. For additional information or assistance, please contact [email protected].

Jan 15

Graduate application priority deadline

Deadline to submit an application for institutional scholarship consideration and admission for the following academic year. Applications received after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Mar 15

Admissions notifications begin

Admissions and scholarship decisions begin to roll out. Financial aid offer letters will also be sent to qualifying admitted students.

May 01

Graduate deadline to confirm attendance and submit deposit

Admitted graduate students must confirm attendance and submit the $500 enrollment deposit for the fall semester by this date.

Funding options

Our Financial Aid office is dedicated to helping you discover and connect with the right resources to make your education dreams a reality. Every year, we award more than $63 million in combined scholarships and over 78% of our students receive some form of financial aid. Learn more about scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans.


Applying to a CCA graduate program

Application requirements vary for each master’s degree program, including dual-degree programs; you’ll need to review your program of interest below for specific instructions.

The process to apply, however, is the same for all. Applicants will submit their online application through SlideRoom. Applications for the fall semester open September 1, and the priority deadline is January 15. There is no separate scholarship application.

If you have questions about submitting your application, please email us at [email protected].

Students in MFA writing studios.

Applying to multiple CCA graduate programs

Dual-degree applicants should not submit separate applications to each of the programs comprising their desired dual degree, instead use the dual-degree application for the program of their choice. These applicants will automatically be considered for each program individually in the event they are not fully admitted into the dual-degree pathway, based on the recommendation of the reviewing faculty.

If you want to apply to more than one graduate program at CCA that is not a combination of programs represented in our dual-degree options, you’ll need to complete a separate application for each program, using the same SlideRoom login credentials for each.


We’re here to answer your graduate admissions questions

Front of the San Francisco campus at night.

Graduate Admissions

+1 415-548-2271 (call, text)

[email protected]

Speak with a counselor

Schedule an appointment with a graduate admissions advisor.

80 Carolina Street, first floor
San Francisco, CA 94107 USA
Hours: M–F, 8 am–4:30 pm
View map and directions

Mailing address

Office of Graduate Admissions
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107-2247 USA

Portrait of David Murray.

David Murray (he/him)

Director of Graduate Admissions

+1 415-548-2271 (call, text)

[email protected]
Portrait of Jeff Johnston.

Jeff Johnston (he/him)

Senior Graduate Admissions Counselor

+1 415-548-2271

[email protected]


Plan to apply early

Fund your graduate experience

MFA in Fine Arts student Alex Lee in her studio.

Fund your graduate experience and future

We have a dedicated Financial Aid office to help you discover and learn how to apply for scholarships. Each year, we award more than $29 million in college-funded scholarships. There are five types you may be eligible for: merit, Visionary Practice, named and emeritus, all-college honors, and need-based CCA scholarships. They’re highly competitive, so we recommend researching and gathering supplemental materials early.

Merit scholarships

Graduate scholarships range from $12,000 to $49,000. Scholarships are highly selective and are issued by the graduate programs based on the strength of the student’s application. If you’d like to be considered for a merit scholarship, please apply by the January 15 deadline. Please note that CCA cannot offer financial aid to international students in the form of federal loans or federal work-study.

Visionary Practice Scholarship

CCA's Visionary Practice Scholarship is an institutional scholarship awarded to qualified graduate applicants who are enrolling full time at CCA. Graduate Visionary Practice Scholarship recipients are eligible to receive up to $28,000 per year for the duration of their program, provided the student remains enrolled full time.

Recipients are nominated based on their application for admission. Reviewers consider the student’s essay, letter of recommendation, and portfolio when nominating for this scholarship.


Graduate applicants who submit their application for admission by the January 15 deadline; who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, refugees/asylees, or DACA recipients; and who have completed a FAFSA or a California Dream Act Application (CADAA) are eligible.

There is no additional scholarship application; Graduate students who apply for admission to CCA by the priority deadline, are automatically considered for the Visionary Practice Scholarship.

CCA scholarships

CCA scholarships

CCA scholarships are awarded to graduate students with demonstrated financial need based on their academic achievement. Please note that you must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen to be eligible. Students whose enrollment status is part-time may receive prorated scholarships.

Named scholarships

Named scholarships

These are scholarships initiated in honor of a generous donor, alum, emeritus faculty, or friend of CCA. Recipients are full-time incoming or continuing graduate students who are either U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens and who demonstrate financial need and academic merit. Some of these scholarships, such as the Yozo Hamaguchi Printmaking Scholarship, are exclusively for students working in particular disciplines.

All-college honors scholarship

Each spring, CCA sponsors the All-College Honors Awards competition. Twenty-three scholarships are awarded, including those for students in the MA, MBA, MFA, and MArch graduate programs. Visual and written submissions are reviewed by an external jury.

Recipients must be in good academic standing and enrolled full-time for the fall semester following the competition. You’ll be notified by mail when the application is available in March of each spring semester. For more information, please contact your graduate program manager.

MArch students

If you’re enrolled in the Master of Architecture program, you’re eligible for the Architecture Award, which is juried during the MArch mid-review. All students who participate in this review will be considered for the award.

Admitted Students

Take the next step to enrollment

MFA Fine Art students in their SF Dogpatch Studio

We’re thrilled that you’re now part of the California College of the Arts community. Before you take the next step, please locate your official admissions letter, which will contain your new student ID number. You’ll need to refer to this as you begin enrollment and other important processes. Should you need help at any point, you can email [email protected].

Key enrollment dates and steps

Over the coming weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for housing in one of three residence halls, sign up for your first courses, and meet your future classmates and faculty. To hold your place in your program, you’ll need to declare your intent to enroll. You may be considering many options for your graduate experience, so please connect with [email protected] to learn more about our community and resources.

Next steps at a glance

  1. Confirm your attendance
  2. Set up your new CCA email
  3. Review your financial aid offer
  4. Apply for CCA housing
  5. Register for courses and review transfer credit
  6. Make your payments
  7. Sign up for health insurance
  8. Add emergency contacts
  9. Obtain your I-20 and F-1 visa (international students)
  10. Attend an orientation

Connect with a program advisor

To learn more about your graduate program of interest, go to the How to Apply section on the graduate program page and look for contact information for a Program Manager or Senior Manager of Academic Programs.

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