International Student FAQ

The following are frequently asked questions (FAQs) from student outside the United States who are interested in California College of the Arts.

Am I considered an international applicant?

You are considered an international applicant if you need a Visa in order to study or live in the United States. Individuals who are U.S. citizens, green card holders, or permanent residents of the United States, regardless of where they live or go to school, are not considered international applicants.

Other requirements for undergraduate international admissions?

Yes. In addition to the standard admission requirements to CCA, undergraduate international applicants must submit their proof of English language proficiency. (See International Applicants.)

When will I get an admissions decision?

Typically it takes three weeks upon completing your admissions application to receive an admissions decision.

Remember that we need all of your documents before a decision can be made: Your proof of English language proficiency, application, transcripts, essay, portfolio, and letters of recommendation.

For some international applicants we may require a telephone interview before making an admission decision.

We strongly suggest that you include your email address and fax number on your application to expedite communication.

What is the application deadline?

We strongly suggest that international applicants interested in starting at CCA for the fall semester, apply before the priority deadline of February 1 in order to be considered for merit scholarships.

Students interested in starting in spring should apply before the October 1 priority deadline.

CCA practices in rolling admissions, which means we continue to receive and review completed applications after the priority deadlines: February 1, March 1, and October 1.

Does CCA offer an intensive English-language program?

Yes, our Summer ESL and Studio Art Program provides international students an opportunity to further enhance their English-language skills and ease their transition to CCA and the broader Bay Area.

Undergraduate students who need to improve their English skills before entering the college have the option to attend a language center in several locations in the Bay Area. ELS Language Centers has been conducting intensive English training since 1961.

Students are able to satisfy our language-entry requirement by completing level 112 in the ELS program instead of meeting the TOEFL score requirement.

In addition, the college will issue conditional letters of acceptance to ELS students who have met all other CCA undergraduate admissions requirements.

Visit ELS Language Centers or contact the assistant director of international admissions, to learn more.

Is there on-campus housing for undergraduate international students?

Yes. We provide on-campus housing at CCA. Our housing facilities are located on the Oakland campus.

See also Housing.

How much does CCA cost?

Download CCA's estimated Cost of Attendance (PDF) report (revised annually).

Is financial aid available for international students?

International students are eligible for all merit scholarships only. Undergraduate scholarships range from $7,000 to $20,000. Scholarships are issued based on the strength of a student's portfolio and academic success.

All undergraduate students meeting the February 1 priority deadline for the start of fall semester are eligible.

International students are not eligible for need-based financial aid.

Additional sources of financial aid for international students can be found at

How do I obtain an F-1 Visa?

You must first apply to CCA and be accepted for admission. Then, after your enrollment deposit is paid, you may begin your I-20 application process:

  • mail in a completed I-20 form
  • provide bank documents that show you have sufficient funds to support your education at CCA
  • send a copy of your passport (first two pages only)

After the above materials have been received, reviewed, and approved, the new CCA I-20 will be created. We will send the new I-20 to the address provided on the I-20 Request form.

You will then take your new CCA I-20, the I-901 fee receipt, the original bank statement(s), and your CCA letter of acceptance to a US embassy or consulate to obtain a student visa (F-1) for entry into the United States.

To maintain F-1 student status, you must maintain full-time student status (a minimum of 12 units per semester).