We encourage international undergraduate students to apply for admission as early as possible.
The undergraduate priority deadline for fall is February 1 and October 1 for spring.
All undergraduate international students are required to submit the following:
- An online application and application fee
- Personal essay
- High school and/or university transcripts
- One recommendation letter
- Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, CAE, CEFR, and PTE)
See Application Process for specific details about the admission requirements.
Applicants must request an official copy of any score(s) be sent directly from the testing service to the Enrollment Services Office.
Test scores are valid for two years from date the test was originally taken. If more than two years have passed since taking the test, the test must be retaken
CCA's ETS/CEEB code is 4031 for TOEFL, IELTS and SAT
Unless English is the official language of your country, you must submit an official exam score.
CCA accepts paper- and Internet-based versions of the (TOEFL) exam.
International undergraduate applicants must achieve a minimum score of 550 on the PBT, or 80 on the iBT.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum scores of 6.5 and higher.
Cambridge English: Advanced minimum score of Grade C
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages minimum score of C1
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) with a minimum score of 58 or greater.
CCA accepts certain conditions in place of the proof of English language proficiency requirement:
- SAT Critical Reading and Writing score of 490 and greater
- ACT English and Reading subsections scores of 20 and greater
- IB English score of four and greater
- AP English Language score of three and greater
- Minimum three years' attendance at an English-speaking secondary school or a four-year college or university (excluding extended-education coursework)
- Completion of U.S.-transferable coursework equivalent to English 1A (writing) and/or 1B (literature) with a grade of C or above
- Completion of ELS Center Level 112
- Completion of The Language Company - Berkeley, Level 9
Please speak with your international admission counselor if you believe you should be exempted from taking the proof of English language proficiency tests.
Some international undergraduate students may need to improve their English skills before entering CCA. They can do so at specified language centers in the United States.
Provided they have met all remaining CCA undergraduate admission requirements, CCA will issue conditional letters of acceptance to students enrolling in the language centers listed below.
Students can satisfy CCA’s English proficiency requirements at the following language centers by completing the necessary levels.
- ELS Language Center (Level 112)
- Converse International School of Languages (CISL), San Francisco & San Diego (EAP Certificate)
- The English Center (Level 5)
- The Language Company, Berkeley (Level 9)
United States citizens whose primary language is Spanish should review the Spanish-language translation (PDF) of CCA's admission process and requirements.
Students needing an F-1 visa receive immigration information upon paying the graduate enrollment deposit.
Application Procedures by Program
- Master of Architecture (MArch)
- Master of Advanced Architectural Design (MAAD)
- Curatorial Practice (MA)
- Design (MFA)
- Fine Arts (MFA)
- Interaction Design (MDes)
- MBA in Civic Innovation
- MBA in Design Strategy
- MBA in Strategic Foresight
- MFA in Comics (Important: Read first »)
- MFA in Film
- Visual and Critical Studies (MA)
- Writing (MFA)
All international graduate students are required to submit an online application, personal essay, resume, recommendations, transcripts, portfolio (portfolio is optional for the MBA in Design Strategy program) and proof of English language proficiency.
U.S. citizens whose primary language is Spanish should review the Spanish-language translation (PDF) of CCA's admission process and requirements.
Proof of English-Language Proficiency
Unless English is the official language of your country, you must submit:
- an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score,
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS),
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE),
- Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR), or
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)
Test scores are valid for two years from the test date. If more than two years have passed since taking the test, the test must be retaken. You must request an official copy of the scores be sent directly from the testing service to CCA's Enrollment Services Office.
CCA's ETS/CEEB code is 4031 for TOEFL and IELTS.
CCA accepts paper-based (PBT) and Internet-based (iBT) versions of the TOEFL exam. CCA international graduate applicants must achieve a minimum score of 100 on the iBT or 600 on the PBT.
CCA will accept a minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.5 or higher for graduate international applicants.
CCA will accept Cambridge English: Advance minimum score of Grade B or higher for graduate international applicants.
CCA will accept Common European Framework of Reference for Languages minimum score of C2 for graduate international applicants.
CCA will accept a minimum Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) score of 73 or higher for graduate international applicants.
English Proficiency Waiver
International applicant’s whose native language is not English but have studied and graduated from a college in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, or Australia within the last five years of submitting a graduate application, are eligible to have the English proficiency exam waived.
If more than five years have passed since graduating, the applicant must take an English-language proficiency exam.
You must submit financial documentation that demonstrates your ability to cover the cost of attending CCA for at least one academic year.
The Cost of Attendance provides an estimated total cost to attend CCA in the current academic year (revised annually).
If someone besides you (parents, relatives or other sponsors) will be providing some or all financial resource for your studies, the letter of support must accompany the official bank statement.
A letter of support that your sponsor(s) can fill out is included in the I-20 Request form (PDF). All financial documents are completely confidential.
Please send us original bank documents (translated to English) and the total amount must be indicated in U.S. currency.
You also must complete an I-20 Request form (PDF). CCA will not issue an I-20 until you have been admitted, paid the enrollment deposit, and submitted all of the following; a completed I-20 Request Form, original bank statement and a copy of the first two pages of your passport.
Mail the above documents to the Enrollment Services Office. Upon receipt and review, the International Student Affairs and Programs (ISAP) Office will provide an official CCA I-20.
Your I-20 will be expressed mailed to you at the address you provide on the I-20 Request form and you will be notified with the tracking number.
Take your new CCA I-20, the I-901 fee receipt, the original bank statement(s), and your CCA letter of acceptance to a U.S. embassy or consulate to obtain a student visa (F-1) for entry into the United States.
Note: Each U.S. embassy or consulate around the world may require additional documents to those listed above.
Check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you plan to apply for your F-1 visa.
A list of all U.S. embassies or consulates is available at www.usembassy.gov.
Your current international advisor will need to transfer your SEVIS record to CCA and complete part of the Request for Release of SEVIS Record form.
To maintain F-1 status, you must carry a full-time course load each semester (minimum 12 undergraduate units).
For an overview of maintaining your F-1 status, please see Maintaining F-1 Status.
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