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 anytime 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:
- October 1 – First day to submit your FAFSA application to be considered for federal financial aid and some institutional scholarships
- November 1 – 2020 application becomes available
- January 10 – Priority application deadline for all graduate programs and to be considered for institutional graduate scholarships (applications received after January 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 award notices are mailed to qualifying admitted applicants
- April – Admitted graduate students are invited to campus for various spring events
- May 1 – Admitted graduate students must confirm attendance and submit the $500 enrollment deposit for the fall semester by this date*
*Note: Admitted MFA in Comics students must confirm attendance and submit the enrollment deposit by April 15.
Apply early for scholarship consideration
CCA practices rolling admissions, which means applications can be submitted for review after the January 10 priority deadline; however, those applications are excluded from merit and diversity 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].
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 $45.6 million in combined scholarships and nearly 75% of our students receive some form of financial aid. Learn more about scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans.
To apply for admission to CCA, graduate students must fulfill several core requirements:
- An online application and nonrefundable application fee of $70
- Unofficial college transcripts
- Two letters of recommendation
- Portfolio (log in to SlideRoom and pay a nonrefundable fee of $15)
- Personal essay
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- GRE scores (optional)
- Interview (varies by program)
- Proof of English proficiency (international applicants only)
Please note that portfolio, personal essay, and interview requirements are tailored to each master’s program. You’ll need to review your program of interest for specific instructions.
View your program’s specific essay and portfolio requirements
Applying for a dual-degree program
Core requirements for dual-degree options are the same as other graduate programs, but you should familiarize yourself with the application process before beginning the online form. You can apply for any one of our dual-degree options with a single application. However, you must submit portfolio and personal essay requirements for both programs.
Pursue two degrees over a three-year period
- MA in Visual and Critical Studies + MA in Curatorial Practice
- MA in Visual and Critical Studies + MFA in Fine Arts
- MA in Visual and Critical Studies + MFA in Writing
- MBA in Design Strategy + MFA in Design
Speak with a counselor
Schedule an appointment with a graduate admissions advisor in San Francisco.
San Francisco office
80 Carolina Street, first floor
San Francisco, CA 94107 USA
Hours: M–F, 8 am–4:30 pm
Office of Graduate Admissions
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107-2247 USA
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 $21.2 million in college-funded scholarships. There are five types you may be eligible for: merit, diversity, named and emeritus, all-college honors, and need-based CCA scholarships. They’re highly competitive, so we recommend researching and gathering supplemental materials early.
Graduate scholarships range from $10,000 to $42,000. 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 10 deadline. Please note that CCA cannot offer financial aid to international students in the form of federal loans or federal work-study.
Swedish graduate applicants
If you’re a Swedish student entering CCA in fall 2019 and are pursuing an MFA in Fine Arts or Design, you can apply to be considered for the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation Scholarship. CCA offers this merit scholarship of $25,000 to one student each academic year, and it’s renewable for one additional year of study.
Diversity scholarships, up to $26,000, are awarded to qualified graduate applicants who bring diverse experiences, ideas, and creative work to the CCA community. They can be renewed for four years of full-time enrollment as long as the recipient retains good academic standing. Issued by the Admissions office, awards are based on a thorough review of application materials, essay(s), portfolio, and the following criteria:
- Students from educationally disadvantaged families
- Academic and artistic achievement
- Leadership in service to a community
- Work that focuses on cultural or social issues
If you’d like to be considered for a diversity scholarship, please apply for admission by the January 10 deadline.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Confirm your attendance
- Set up your new CCA email
- Review your financial aid offer
- Apply for CCA housing
- Register for courses and review transfer credit
- Make your payments
- Sign up for health insurance
- Add emergency contacts
- Obtain your I-20 and F-1 visa (international students)
- 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.