How to Apply

Apply now for spring and fall 2019!

Note: Information on this page applies to domestic as well as international undergraduate applicants. (See also undocumented students.)

If you have questions about the application process, email:

If you have unofficial documents necessary for your application process, you can email the documents to

All the necessary components to complete your undergraduate application are listed below.

  • Application
  • Personal essay / writing sample
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Portfolio
  • English language proficiency (International applicants only)


Spring and fall 2019 undergraduate applicants can apply online using either application method:

Common application
CCA’s application

A $70 nonrefundable fee is required. (Fee waivers are accepted for domestic students with limited financial resources who meet the NACAC guidelines.)

You will be asked to identify yourself as a first-year applicant (no post-secondary coursework completed after high school graduation), a transfer applicant (some post-secondary coursework without bachelor's degree awarded), or at second-degree applicant (recipient of a bachelor's degree or equivalent). 

Transfer and second-degree applicants are encouraged to work with an Admissions Counselor to plan for the greatest number of transferable units and to enroll in courses that best prepare you for entry into CCA.

Personal essay/writing sample

A personal essay/writing sample of at least 250 words.


All students must submit their academic records (transcripts) for all institutions where they were enrolled, regardless of degree completion.

First-year applicants: submit high school transcripts

Transfer / Second Degree applicants must submit all postsecondary transcripts. Transfer credit will be evaluated upon admission.

CCA requires applicants who plan to transfer academic credits earned at non-US institutions to submit a translated evaluation of their postsecondary (college) transcript(s).

We recommend you use World Education Services (WES) or another evaluation agency recommended by the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES) to prepare such an evaluation.

See Transfer Credit for more details on transferable units.

Letters of recommendation

One letter of recommendation is required. The letter of recommendation must be an academic recommendation, while additional letters submitted may either be academic, artistic, work, or volunteer related.


Submit your portfolio through Slideroom. First-year applicants are encouraged to submit 10-15 images, while transfer and second-degree portfolios may exceed 15 pieces. See portfolio guidelines for more details. 

English language proficiency

International applicants whose country’s official language is one other than English, are required to provide verification of English language proficiency through submission of official test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE).

Admissions Notification

You should receive an admissions decision within approximately three weeks of submitting all required admissions materials.


California College of the Arts
Office of Admissions
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107