Transfer & Second-Degree Students

Welcome to California College of the Arts

CCA has an established tradition of serving transfer and second-degree students. You bring rich scholastic and life experiences to your education, and that in turn contributes much to the CCA community.

The beginning of your journey as a CCA student is approaching quickly. With great anticipation, your families, friends, and campus community are preparing to support and welcome you as you begin your journey.

Use this checklist to ensure you start orientation on the right foot.

Save the Date: 2018 Fall Orientation

Steps to Ensure a Successful Orientation

Step 1: Review CCA's 10 Easy Steps to Enrollment

The 10 Easy Steps to Enrollment contains important deadlines, plus information regarding financial aid, health insurance, and more. It also contains a new student checklist that provides instructions leading up to new student orientation.


Step 2: Get Registered

The early registration process takes place in June for fall semester and in December for spring semester.

For fall enrollment, you may participate in early registration if you submit a tuition deposit by June 1. You will then be contacted via your CCA email address by the first week of June with instructions for the early registration process.

For spring enrollment, you may participate in early registration once you have submit a tuition payment by December 1 (see "Make Your Payments" for details and payment deadlines). You will then be contacted via your CCA email address by the first week of December with instructions for early registration.

All incoming students are encouraged to participate in early registration. If you are unable to do so, you will register at the session during New Student Orientation. 


Step 3: Determine Writing Course and Core Studio Placement

Writing Course Placement

All undergraduate students are required to be placed in or waived from writing courses prior to starting their first semester at CCA. Students who do no have appropriate transfer credit, test scores, or exam scores are required to take the Writing Placement Exam. (See Writing Course Placement for details). 


Use WebAdvisor, an online tool that allows you to review your academic and financial information, search for courses, and update emergency contacts and address, to see if your credit has been transferred by either completing the equivalent of CCA's English 1 or providing the college with official standardized test results. 

If you have questions about your current English placement, please contact Student Records Office at 415.703.9579 (SF) and 510.594.3651 (Oakland).

Core Portfolio Review

If you wish to seek additional course substitutions or course waivers for Core Studio Requirements (Drawing 1, 2D, 3D, 4D), you will need to submit your portfolio in a digital format through Vault

Note: Students must submit their official AP scores to Enrollment Services. Students who have completed AP Drawing and received a score of three or higher will receive 3 credits for Drawing 1. These students do not need a portfolio review, and should bypass enrolling in Core Studio: Drawing 1.


Step 4: Read CCA Laptop Initiative & Recommendations

Student Computing Recommendations and Requirements outlines the Educational Technology Services department’s computing recommendations for all incoming students.

Note: Graphic Design and Architecture students are required to comply with the CCA Laptop Initiative. Retail and discount opportunities are also available online at CCA Computer Store.

CCA Laptop Initiative
CCA Computer Store


Step 5: Determine Health Insurance Eligibility

All students who are registered in 12 or more units per semester (9 units per semester for all graduate students) are considered full-time students and therefore required to have health insurance coverage.

The college has secured a group health insurance policy (an Aetna PPO plan) that provides year-round coverage.

Part-time students are ineligible for CCA student health insurance.

Learn more: Health Insurance and Health Insurance Eligibility

Important: You may waive CCA's coverage by submitting an online health insurance waiver application before the end of the add/drop period.

A student's own health insurance must meet minimum coverage requirement to qualify for an approved waiver.

For more information and for the direct link to the waiver application please refer to the online waiver FAQ.

Health Insurance Waiver Application & FAQ


Step 6: Login to Workday for On-Campus Jobs & Sign-in to Handshake for Off-Campus Jobs and Internships

For on-campus work-study positions, login to Workday using your CCA user ID and password to search for and apply for jobs on-campus. The Work-Study Program affords students the opportunity for part-time employment to help defray educational costs.

For off-campus opportunities, sign-in to Handshake using your CCA email address in order to access and customize your account. Handshake contains internships and part-time positions for students and full time positions for alumni. As a CCA student, you have lifetime access to the Handshake job board. 

Workday (on-campus jobs)
Hanshake (off-campus jobs and internships)


Step 7: Read the Student Handbook

The Student Handbook serves as a guide to the programs, policies, procedures, requirements, and resources of CCA. Students are expected to read the entire handbook.


Step 8: Like Chimera Council on Facebook

Chimera leaders are fellow students who play an integral role in helping students transition to college life.

Add Chimera Council to your Facebook page and get connected with other current CCA students.


Step 9: Take the Pre-Orientation Survey

Share what you know about CCA, so we can improve orientation!

Students who complete both the pre- and post-surveys will receive a gift and an opportunity enter into a drawing!

Pre-Orientation Survey

Fall New Student Orientation Only

These additional steps take place during fall new student orientation.

Graphic Design Software Skills Test

All Graphic Design majors entering the program are eligible to take the skills test in order to determine if their competency in Adobe Suite is sufficient to wave the GD Tools course requirement.

You will be tested on your on your knowledge and proficiency with Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign and the test will be comprised of two parts; a written and practical section. Please keep in mind that tools test is optional and only for students who believe they already have advanced skills to test out of Photoshop, Illustrators, and InDesign. If you pass the exam, you are allowed to waive the course Graphic Design Tools (GRAPH-108). 

For specific information about the test, email GD Tools instructor, Sara Raffo at To sign up for the test, RSVP by adding your name and contact information here. Plase bring a pencil or pen.