Pursue purposeful work
From hands-on studio work to a supportive critique culture, undergraduate programs at CCA provide you with the inspiration and structure you need to pursue a career in the arts. Learn in state-of-the-art facilities alongside renowned faculty as you develop and fine-tune your creative potential. You’ll also have access to a community of artists, makers, and entrepreneurs, thanks to CCA’s central location in the San Francisco Bay Area.
For questions about each undergraduate program and its application process, reach out anytime to our admissions counselors via email or phone; you can also set up an in-person, Skype, or phone appointment using our virtual calendar for campus visits. As you prepare to apply, you’ll want to become familiar with the key dates below, as well as our general undergraduate admissions timeline:
Fall 2024 application deadlines
- August 1, 2023 – Application becomes available
- November 15, 2023 – Early action application deadline for first-year applicants
- February 1, 2024 – Priority application deadline for first-year applicants for merit scholarship consideration
- March 1, 2024 – Priority application deadline for transfer applicants for merit scholarship consideration
- March 2, 2024 – Deadline for California residents to submit FAFSA for CalGrant
Spring 2024 application deadlines
- August 1, 2023 – Application becomes available
- October 1, 2023– Priority application deadline for first-year and transfer applicants for merit scholarship consideration
The redesigned FAFSA is expected to launch in December 2023 for the 2024-2025 academic year — a delay from the typical October 1 release date.
To apply for admission to CCA, undergraduate 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 (log in to SlideRoom)
- Proof of English proficiency (international applicants only)
CCA does not require SAT or ACT as part of the application review process. We understand many high schools and colleges have shifted their grading standard for online coursework to credit/no-credit or an equivalent system during 2020. We will accept these marks as grades on students’ transcripts and it will in no way negatively impact the application review.
If you have questions about the application process, please email us at [email protected].
Application fee and application fee waiver
A $70 nonrefundable application fee is required as part of the application process. Applicants can submit payment for the application fee online. When submitting payment, they will need to reference their student ID number, which can be found in the application receipt confirmation email.
Application fee waivers are accepted for domestic students with limited financial resources who meet any of the NACAC application fee waiver guidelines. Students who meet one of these criteria should request the fee waiver on their CCA or Common App application form, and are not required to submit the NACAC fee waiver form.
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Requirements vary based on enrollment type
Are you an international or transfer student? Are you undocumented or a veteran? Based on your enrollment type, your application requirements and deadlines will differ. Some applicants will need to submit additional materials, such as language test scores. Select your status below to learn more:
Plan ahead for your application
CCA practices rolling admissions, which means you can submit an application for review after the priority deadlines. Applications submitted after the priority deadlines may still be considered for merit scholarships. Need-based scholarships will continue to be awarded to qualified applicants who submit a late application.
When to apply for federal loans
One of the many ways to fund your education is to apply for a federal loan. You can submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA, every year you enroll in college. FAFSA can also determine if you qualify for on-campus federal work-study jobs. Please note that international students do not qualify for federal loan money, but they do have other options for funding.
Navigating the college application process
We’re here to answer your questions and support you every step of the way, whether you’re in the early stages of applying to art school or have a specific question about requirements. You can reach us by email or phone.
Schedule an appointment with a counselor
Contact your regional counselor
If your region isn’t listed, please email [email protected] to be connected with your counselor. International students should email [email protected] and transfer students should email [email protected].
States: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island
California counties: Butte, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Orange, Placer, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus, and Ventura
States: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia
California counties: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lassen, Madera, Modoc, Mono, Plumas, Sierra, Siskiyou, Trinity, Tulare, and Tuolumne
States: Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin
California counties: Nevada, San Benito, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sonoma, Sutter, and Tehama
States: New Jersey and New York
States: Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming
California counties: Del Norte, Marin, Mariposa, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Yolo, and Yuba
CCA supports talented undergraduates
We’re committed to helping you make the best use of all available financial aid resources. The average amount of combined scholarships and grants a CCA undergraduate receives is $25,896. All undergraduates who apply by the priority deadline are considered for merit, Visionary Practice, need-based, and CCA scholarships. We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding scholarships or additional financial aid resources.
Recognizing academic merit and financial need
We provide five types of institutional scholarships you may be eligible for:
- Merit scholarships, which can range up to $24,000, are awarded based on academic achievement and creative ability
- The Visionary Practice Scholarship is awarded to o students who have a perspective, a point of view, and are making a significant impact through their art, work, and life experiences.
- Need-based scholarships, based on academic achievement, are awarded to those with demonstrated financial need
- Named and emeritus scholarships, which include some awards exclusively for students working in particular disciplines, are based on demonstrated financial need and academic achievement
- All-college honors are merit prizes awarded each fall semester to select students with exceptional portfolio submissions
Additional financial aid resources
While the amount varies based on individual circumstances, nearly 84 percent of students receive some form of financial aid each year. Take a look at our list of additional resources, including grants, loans, and work-study, for funding your education.
Grants are the most beneficial form of financial aid because they don’t have to be repaid. There are three types of grants you may be eligible for:
- Federal Pell Grants, which can range up to $7,395, are awarded based on financial need and enrollment status
- Cal Grants, solely for California residents, are awarded based on your cumulative GPA and financial need
- U.S. Department of Education grants include discretionary grants, formula grants, and additional student loan or grant opportunities
Federal loans are one of the many ways to fund your education and potentially qualify for on-campus work-study. To apply, you’ll need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Our Financial Aid office can provide you with loan counseling to help you create an attainable repayment plan once you’re no longer enrolled in college. Please note that federal educational loan programs are only available for U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens.
You can also apply for a private educational loan. Because these can be more expensive, we recommend maximizing any eligibility under FAFSA first. You can find a private loan lender that’s the best fit for you with the right student loan guidance.
Work-study opportunities are a great way to earn money while attending college. Based on financial need, there are two different types:
- Federal work-study, which is based on your FAFSA submission, awards you priority status for securing a part-time job on campus
- Institutional work-study is awarded to undergraduates who may or may not have financial need and don’t qualify for federal work-study
In addition to work-study programs, undergraduate students can get professional experience and network with professionals through on- and off-campus employment.
We’re thrilled that you have begun your journey to join the California College of the Arts community. You’re probably wondering what comes next. You should start by reviewing our Undergraduate Admitted Student page for everything you need to know. You’ll find information on how to review your financial aid, view any transfer credits, schedule your Admitted Student Appointment to go over your offer with an admissions counselor, and explore your campus housing options.
If you already know you’d like to accept your offer and attend CCA, awesome! You can submit your enrollment deposit now and get started with the next steps.