We welcome all undergraduate applicants who will enhance our diverse community. If you demonstrate creative promise and are intellectually curious, we encourage you to apply.

Individualized Approach

We take an individualized approach to the admissions process. Your application will be reviewed on the basis of a balanced picture that includes academic achievement, creative ability, artistic and professional goals, individual achievements, and activities.

We strongly recommend that first-year applicants follow a college preparatory program in high school, including courses in studio art, and art history whenever possible.

Candidates for the bachelor of architecture should have completed three years of high school math (including algebra and trigonometry) and one year of science (preferably physics). Studio drawing or other courses that develop the student's visual and design skills are recommended.

Spanish Translation
For the benefit of applicants who are U.S. citizens, but whose primary language is Spanish, please download the Spanish-language translation (PDF) of CCA's admission process and requirements.

When to Apply

For undergraduates, there are two priority application deadlines for fall 2013 admission: February 1 and March 1. The priority deadline for spring undergraduate applicants is October 1.

We accept applications for the fall semester as early as September, but will not begin reviewing applications until November 1 of the year preceding anticipated enrollment. We will accept applications as early as October 1 for spring applicants, and will begin reviewing spring applications as they are completed. We recommend that you submit your completed application as early as possible.

Priority Dates

Applicants interested in applying for the college's merit scholarships should complete their admissions application by February 1. The priority deadline for all other undergraduate applicants applying for fall admission is March 1.

Students meeting the February 1 or March 1 deadlines will have priority consideration for admission, housing, and financial aid.

We review undergraduate applications on a rolling admission basis; that is, we review applications in the order in which we receive them, and we continue to accept applications, admit students, award financial aid, and offer housing after the priority dates.


Students interested in on-campus housing should indicate so on the admission application. Housing offers are sent to all interested students once they have returned their Intent to Enroll form and paid the tuition deposit. See Housing for how to apply.

The priority deadline for on-campus housing for the fall is May 15. Housing contracts for the fall semester are for the full academic year.

The application deadline for spring semester is November 1. If you are applying for housing for the spring semester, housing contracts are offered for one semester on a space-available basis.

Students are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Once initial housing offers are made, new applicants will be offered housing as space becomes available. We continue to offer housing after the priority dates until we have reached full capacity in the residence halls. Students applying for housing after the priority deadline are encouraged to contact the Residential Life Office at 510.420.2000 to inquire about current housing availability.

Financial Aid

The college accepts undergraduate financial aid applications on a rolling basis throughout the year and awards students in the order in which the applications are completed.

Applications received by our priority deadlines of March 2 for fall and October 1 for spring are given first consideration for CCA scholarships.

Notification of Admissions Decision

Upon receipt of all required documents, the admissions committee will review your application and notify you of our decision within approximately three weeks. Students who meet the February 1 or March 1 priority deadlines for the fall semester will be notified of the admission decision by April 1. Spring applicants who meet the October 1 priority deadline will be notified by November 1.

Notification of Transfer Credit

Admitted Transfer and second-degree students will be be able to view an evaluation of transfer credit using WebAdvisor following an offer of admission.

This will include all academic credit (providing you have supplied us with official copies of transcripts from your previous college experience) and studio credit (providing you have submitted a portfolio).

Notification of Financial Aid

A financial aid offer will be made after your offer of admission. We do not consider financial need in the admissions process. First-year students who meet the priority admissions deadline for fall and have applied for financial aid will be notified of their eligibility by April 1.

Transfer and second-degree applicants will be notified of eligibility by April 15.

Notification of Housing

A housing offer will be made after you have returned your Intent to Enroll form and tuition deposit. Housing notification will be sent beginning April 6 for the fall semester.

Submitting a Tuition Deposit

Accepted students who plan to enroll at the college for the fall term are required to make a nonrefundable tuition deposit of $265 ($150 tuition deposit and $115 registration fee) on May 1, Candidate Reply Date*, or the date specified on your acceptance letter, whichever is later.

Spring applicants are required to submit the tuition deposit by November 15 or the date specified on your acceptance letter, whichever is later.

The full amount of the deposit is credited to your first semester tuition.

* CCA is a NACAC member and has endorsed the Statement of Principles of Good Practice.

Mailing Instructions

Mail your undergraduate application materials to:

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

Phone: 415.703.9523 or 800.447.1ART
Fax: 415.703.9539

Meet three CCA undergrad alumni from Fashion Design, Illustration, and Photography: