How to Apply

Note: Information on this page applies to domestic as well as international undergraduate applicants.

Undocumented students can review this help information.

If you have questions about the application process, email:

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)


Apply online (Note: A $60 nonrefundable fee is required).

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 bachelors degree awarded), or at second-degree applicant (recipient of a bachelors degree or equivalent). 

Transfer and second-degree applicants are encouraged to work with an Enrollment 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. 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.


A digital portfolio made using Slideroom is required. First-year applicants are encouraged to submit 10-20 images, while transfer and second-degree applicants are encouraged to submit 15-20 images.

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).

Send all materials to:

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