Transfer Student Admissions

Nearly half of our undergraduates transfer from a community college or other accredited four-year institution. Learn which credits are transferable and start the transfer process to CCA today.


CCA makes transferring colleges simple

MFA Grad Studios with Artist Christine Lyon and other students

MFA in Fine Arts studios with artist Christine Lyon and other students.

Rise to your creative potential

Here at CCA, we have 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 our community. While at CCA, you’ll discover cross-disciplinary opportunities, innovative courses with real-world applications, outstanding faculty, successful alumni, and a world-class campus environment.

How to Apply

How to transfer college credits to CCA

Application requirements

To apply for admission to CCA, students must create, gather, and submit the following:

  • An online application and nonrefundable application fee of $70
  • Personal essay
  • High school and/or university transcripts
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Portfolio of 15–20 pieces (log in to SlideRoom)
  • Proof of English proficiency (international applicants only)

If you have questions about the application process, please email us at [email protected]. Transfer students can also apply to CCA using the Common Application.

Tools for transfer students

Explore CCA’s program curriculums to find the right one for your creative interests. You’ll find the Course Chart on every program’s curriculum page under the Curriculum or Concentration section.

California community college students can use the following resources to help with Humanities and Sciences course requirements:

Maximize college credit transfer

We consider transfer credit from colleges that have been accredited by their regional associations. A little bit of planning can help you maximize your number of transferable units and ensure you enroll in courses that best prepare you for acceptance to CCA.

In general, transfer credit is considered only for courses that satisfy CCA graduation requirements, have been passed with a letter grade of C or better, and have been completed within the past 10 years. CCA’s transfer policy differs for each program. For more information on transfer credits, see CCA’s Student Handbook.

Suggested first-year courses

We recommend students consider transferring to CCA after successfully completing a minimum of 12 studio units at their home institutions and, whenever possible, the 12 units of first-year Humanities and Sciences requirements (listed below).

Core Studio courses

  • Drawing
  • 2D Design
  • 3D Design
  • 4D (Introduction to Digital Media and Film)

Humanities and Sciences courses

  • English Composition
  • Introduction to Art History (Prehistoric–1700s)
  • Introduction to Modern Art History (1800s–present)
  • Foundations in Critical Studies

After you receive an acceptance letter from CCA, you’ll have access to an online evaluation of your transfer credits to date.

Transferring credits from high school

Pre-college credits may be transferred to college credits at CCA. A score of 4 or higher on the International Baccalaureate (IB) exam means transfer credit is applicable (up to a maximum of 30 units). A score of 3 or better on Advanced Placement (AP) exams means transfer credit may be received.


Created to benefit transfer students

City College of San Francisco partnership

Starting in 2018, California College of the Arts and City College of San Francisco (CCSF) began working together to support students who wish to study at CCA and ensure direct transfer of credits earned at CCSF. This partnership with CCSF, called an articulation agreement, officially documents the transfer policy for a specific plan of courses.

While we have articulation agreements with many colleges, CCA + CCSF is special because our faculty have already audited CCSF courses to guarantee that your credits will transfer and count toward required courses at CCA. We’ll help you map out the entire pathway, so you can focus on your studies, knowing exactly what you need to accomplish in order to cross the finish line and earn a prestigious CCA degree.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Meet with an admissions counselor to map your journey and ensure you take the correct courses to qualify
  2. Take required undergraduate coursework at CCSF
  3. Transfer seamlessly to CCA, where you’ll dig into your discipline’s rigorous coursework right away
  4. Earn a CCA degree while enjoying streamlined CCA attendance length and tuition costs

This opportunity is available for the following programs:

Thanks to the City of San Francisco’s recently approved free tuition program, it’s now possible to earn a CCA degree while reducing your total tuition costs.

Additional agreements

We have a wide range of special agreements with California colleges and beyond. These relationships were created to help make transferring colleges easier. The articulation agreements below document specific transfer policies that can help you prepare for continuing your education at CCA.

Note: If your school is not in the list above, you can still apply to transfer to CCA. Learn more about how in our Student Handbook, or contact [email protected].

Transfer credits for international students

If you plan to transfer academic credits earned at non-U.S. institutions, you must submit a translated evaluation of your postsecondary (college) transcript(s). We recommend you use World Education Services (WES) or another evaluation agency recommended by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) to prepare such an evaluation. This is a requirement before transfer credit can be applied to any degree program offered at CCA.

View CCA articulation guidelines for China Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Financial Aid

Options to fund your CCA education

Making CCA more accessible

CCA funds a wide array of scholarship opportunities. Here’s who can be considered:

  • All transfer students who apply for fall admissions by March 1 or for spring admissions by Oct. 1 are considered for institutional scholarships

Scholarships created for transfer students

CCA’s Faculty Honors awards are based on outstanding creative ability and academic achievement of transfer applicants. With a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, you could receive a minimum $10,000.


You should complete all admission application requirements by March 1 for fall admission or Oct. 1 for spring admission. No separate scholarship application is required.


Grants are one of the most beneficial forms of financial aid because they don’t need to be repaid after attendance. When you combine CCA scholarships with Cal Grants and federal grants you may receive up to 85% of your tuition covered each year depending on your (and your family’s) financial circumstances.

Work-study opportunities

With both on-campus and off-campus student employment programs at CCA, transfer students have more options to help fund their education.


We have a wide range of loan options available that can help fund your education at CCA. Our financial aid team is here to support you in choosing the right loan and provide you with repayment counseling after attendance or graduation.

Key Dates

Bookmark in your calendar

Important student deadlines

CCA practices rolling admissions, which means you can submit an application for review after the priority deadlines. Please note, however, that applications submitted after the priority deadlines are excluded from merit and diversity scholarship consideration. Need-based scholarships will continue to be awarded to qualified applicants who submit a late application.

Nov 15

Undergraduate fall priority deadline: Early action

Deadline to submit application for an early response from CCA.

Mar 01

Undergraduate fall priority deadline: Transfer scholarships

Transfer applicants must submit application by this deadline to be considered for all undergraduate institutional scholarships, including diversity, merit, named, and all-college honors.

May 01

Undergraduate deadline to confirm attendance and submit deposit

Admitted undergraduate students must confirm attendance and submit the $300 enrollment deposit for the fall semester by this date.

Oct 01

Undergraduate spring priority deadline for first-year and transfer students

Deadline for first-year and transfer applicants to submit applications for spring semester.


Dedicated to helping transfer students

Transfer counselors are standing by

We’re here to answer your questions and support you every step of the way as you consider transferring college to CCA.


Carrie Dhillon

Assistant Director of Transfer Admissions

+1 415-529-4802 (call, text)

[email protected]

Admitted Students

Preparing to transfer college to CCA

View looking out from the Nave front entrance space

Transferring to CCA means you’ll develop your artistic skills while growing your network in one of the most creative places in the world, the San Francisco Bay Area. Here, you’ll find a talented, collaborative community waiting to inspire and support your creative journey.

Did you get your offer of admission?

The 10 steps at a glance

  1. Confirm your attendance
  2. Set up your new CCA email
  3. Review your financial aid offer
  4. Apply for CCA housing
  5. Register for courses and review transfer credit
  6. Make your payments
  7. Sign up for health insurance
  8. Add emergency contacts
  9. Obtain your I-20 and F-1 visa (international students)
  10. Attend an orientation
CCA Student orientation 2015

Transfer student orientation

Transfer student orientation introduces students to their new communities and helps them get back into the swing of college life. All transferring and second-degree students must attend their orientation.

Take charge of your creative future at CCA

Apply now