International Graduate Applicants

Fall 2014 application opens November 1, 2013, and will have a priority submission deadline of January 5, 2014.

Students needing an F-1 visa receive immigration information upon paying the graduate enrollment deposit.

Application Procedures by Graduate Program

Requirements for International Graduate Applicants

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.

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), 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.

PTE Academic
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.

Student Visa and I-20 Process

International students who require a student visa to study in the United States (following official admittance to CCA and having paid the enrollment deposit) must complete the following steps:

Step 1: 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 of the financial resources for your studies, a letter of support must accompany the official bank statement. A letter of support that your sponsor(s) can complete is included in the I-20 Request form.

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.

All financial documents are completely confidential.

Step 2: You also must complete an I-20 Request form. CCA will not issue an I-20 until you have been admitted, paid the enrollment deposit, and have 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 express mailed to you at the address you provide on the I-20 Request form and you will be notified with the tracking number.

Step 3: Bring 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

If you are currently studying in the United States in F-1 status, you must submit both an I-20 Request form and the Request for Release of SEVIS Record form (PDF).

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.

If you are on a different visa status in the United States (A, B-1/2, F-2, H-1B, L, R, etc.), please know it may take longer to change your visa status to F-1 while in the United States; therefore, we encourage you to inform us early on about your current immigration status, and advise completing the admissions process as quickly as possible.

In order to maintain F-1 status, all graduate international students at CCA must be registered as full-time students each semester (minimum 12 units for all graduate programs; 9 units for the Graduate Program in Visual and Critical Studies).

For an overview of maintaining your F-1 status, please see Maintaining F-1 Status.

Mailing Instructions

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

CCA is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the National Association for Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), and the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER).