Explore what’s possible as an international student

Find your home and develop your career in CCA’s vibrant community of international creative-scholars. The following primer for potential international students can help you picture yourself in a top-ranked, welcoming college on the U.S. West Coast.

Why CCA?

Study in a global hub of culture and innovation

A group of students in front of a projection-mapped installation

Student artists, architects, designers, and writers from 50 countries choose to study at CCA. Of our degree-seeking population, including both undergraduate and graduate students, 45% are international students. Inclusivity is a big goal at CCA, and it’s the same in the wider Bay Area community. Creative people from around the world have converged in this area of California for decades.

The tech innovations happening here have garnered the most recent spotlight, but influential art, design, and human rights movements have started in the Bay Area, too. Today, the region is packed with renowned cultural institutions, international media, architecture firms, scientific communities, tech events, design conferences, film fests, and more, offering a unique range of potential career opportunities and contacts.

A close-up of a 3D-printed fabric produced during Dr. Negar Kalantar's course residency at Autodesk

Extend your study with a STEM-designated degree

F-1 students who graduate with a qualifying degree in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) may qualify for extension of post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) and apply to extend their 12-month post-completion OPT for an additional 24 months.

CCA’s STEM-designated degrees are: BFA Animation, Bachelor of Architecture, BFA Graphic Design, BFA Interaction Design, MDes Interaction Design, Master of Architecture, and Master of Advanced Architectural Design.

What We Do

Gain the skills you need for success

CCA’s faculty of expert practitioners help prepare students for lifelong creative work. Our curriculum is designed to cultivate innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Graduates are highly sought after by the world’s most cutting-edge companies, architecture and design firms, cultural and arts organizations, and more. Here are just a few of our stories.


Personalized support throughout the application process

Connect one-on-one with a counselor

We're here to help. You can contact counselors through a number of channels, including email, ground mail, fax, and phone. Reach out anytime for help with your international student application or to learn more about CCA.

International students working in a classroom at the San Francisco Campus

International Admissions

+1 415-551-9200 (call only)

[email protected]


Username: cca.admission
Online hours: 8:30–10 am and 3–4:30 pm (PT)


Translated versions of CCA facts and the application process

Virtual Events

Learn with us before you even apply

SFMOMA Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture Nancy Lim lectures at the Curatorial Research Bureau in 2019.

At CCA, you’ll connect with a range of visiting artists, scholars, entrepreneurs, and others thanks to our access to the Bay Area’s influential art and design communities and business industries. Here are ways to follow along now and learn more about our undergraduate and graduate programs.

Admissions Events

Register now for valuable informational events for prospective undergraduate and graduate students, including Q+As with program chairs, current students, alumni, and faculty; discussions with admissions and financial aid counselors; and guided virtual tours of our campuses.

CCA Events

Many upcoming events in our virtual spaces are free and open to the public, including weekly chats with faculty from various divisions.

More to Explore

Learn about life as a CCA international student

Find funding for your international degree

Launch your career in a place of international prestige

Request more info