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 educational and life experiences to your education, and that in turn contributes much to the CCA community.

With the beginning of your journey as a CCA student approaching quickly. With great anticipation, your families, friends, and campus community are preparing to welcome and support you with this milestone.

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

10 Steps to Ensure a Successful Orientation

Step 1: Read CCA's Enrollment Guide

The Enrollment Guide contains comprehensive information regarding financial aid, academic advising, health insurance, and more. It also contains a new student checklist that provides instructions leading up to new student orientation.

Step 2: Activate your CCA email and WebAdvisor account

Once you have made a deposit, you should set up your CCA email address. If you have any issues with your account, Educational Technology Services can assist you.

With your deposit made and your CCA email activated, you will now have full access to WebAdvisor, a web-based tool that allows you to review your academic and financial information, search for courses, emergency contact, and update your address.

Your emergency contacts must be filled out prior to attending orientation.

Visit WebAdvisor, use the “Students Menu” and select “User Account.” An “Emergency Contacts” link is located at the top left-hand corner of the page.

CCA email

Step 3: Take the English Placement Exam

All incoming undergraduate students must take the English Placement Exam, or confirm they are eligible to waive the exam requirement.

English Placement Exam will be held at orientation:

Monday, August 24th
2 p.m. - 4 p.m. (Timken Hall, San Francisco campus)

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

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

Step 4: Prepare for Advising Portfolio Review

Students who have completed extensive college-level studio coursework may be eligible to waive Core Studio and major courses. Faculty will be available to review portfolios for placement in advanced courses. Only students who can demonstrate proficiency in equivalent coursework may receive a waiver.

Please bring a copy of your portfolio and current work that may be equivalent to the required courses you wish to waive.

Accepted formats:

  • digital disks -- with images saved in a universal format (e.g., JPG, AIFF, MOV, PDF)
  • digital works on your personal laptop
  • original works (beyond sketchbooks)

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

Core Portfolio Review

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 5: 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 6: 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 (a Kaiser Permanente HMO) 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 7: Login to Workday for On-Campus Jobs & Register for CCA Works 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 local part-time positions and internships register for the CCA Works job board - exclusively for CCA students. 

he job board contains Work-Study and local area part-time positions and internships, exclusively for CCA students. The Federal Work-Study Program affords students the opportunity for part-time employment to help defray educational costs. Funds are awarded on a need basis to students applying for financial aid.

Workday (on-campus jobs)
CCA Works Job Board (off-campus jobs and internships)


Step 8: 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 9: Join 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 10: 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.

  • Exhibit in the Annual New Student Exhibition

All incoming undergraduates are invited to participate in the annual New Student Exhibition.

This exhibition is an opportunity to introduce yourself and your work to our talented and diverse community -- which includes other new and returning students as well as faculty and staff.

New Student Exhibition participation form »

  • Fashion Sewing & Graphic Design Skills Test

The following tests are offered for transfer students only:

Fashion Sewing Test
Transfer students with established sewing skills may waive the Garment Structures course by taking the Fashion sewing test.

Students who would like to take the sewing test must contact Ana Labastida to receive an instruction packet, which includes a pattern and fabric. Packet may be picked up or mailed.

Students will complete the three-hour test by sewing their precut pattern pieces of a shirt on an industrial sewing machine.

Contact Ana Labastida at for more information.

Graphic Design Software Skills Test

Transfer students who plan to enter Graphic Design Level 1 courses must pass this skills test.

Those who possess strong knowledge of Adobe software should bring examples of previous work in order to be waived from Graphic Design Tools (GRAPH-108).

Note: The skills test is conducted to examine existing software knowledge and application, so please select appropriate work.

You must have the Adobe Creative Suite of applications installed on your computer.

Additionally, you may be asked to produce work while onsite.

Contact Vicki Del Rosario at for more information.