Photo by Nicholas Lea Bruno/CCA

Tour our campuses and discover why California College of the Arts is the right place for you.

Welcome

A creative community unlike anywhere else

Image of Gregory Hurcomb installation in the nave 'These Marks'

One college, two dynamic campuses

There are two CCA campuses in the Bay Area, and as a student you’ll spend time at both. The First Year Program spans both campuses, and first-year students have the opportunity to live in residence halls at either location. Our undergraduate programs are spread throughout both campuses as well, while most of our graduate programs are based in San Francisco.

  • San Francisco campus (1111 Eighth Street) is located in the urban Potrero Hill neighborhood. Here, you’ll find the Nave, a sunlit corridor surrounded by student studios in our main building that’s the hub of CCA’s critique culture. Nearby is the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts and Hubbell Street Galleries. Student housing in Blattner Hall is just two blocks away.
  • Oakland campus (5212 Broadway) is located on four beautifully landscaped acres in the Rockridge district at Broadway and College Avenue. It’s home to student galleries, classrooms, work spaces, and residence halls. CCA’s founder Frederick Meyer, a skilled horticulturist, purchased this site in 1922, and much of his landscaping work is still evident today.

View inside our studios, student center, makerspaces, and more.

Find the freedom to explore

The confluence of our prime location, our diverse creative community, and our interdisciplinary curriculum focused on socially engaged projects is what makes life at CCA so unique.

In San Francisco, we’re connected to the contemporary art scene, as well as industry partners who we work with to build design-led technological solutions. In Oakland, we have spaces dedicated to using art and design to support social activism and rethink ecological resilience.

International students working in a classroom at the San Francisco Campus

Each campus offers state-of-the art facilities and a stimulating environment to inspire students’ creativity. Come see for yourself. Experiencing CCA first-hand is the best way to determine why you belong at the top art and design school in the country.

You can register for undergraduate and graduate campus tours, take a virtual tour, make a one-on-one appointment with an admissions advisor, or attend an upcoming admissions event on campus or near you.

Campus Tours

We’d love to show you around

Take a virtual tour with an admissions counselor as your guide

Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the current coronavirus (COVID–19) situation worldwide, and in accordance with the recommendations by the San Francisco and Alameda County departments of public health, we unfortunately will not be convening any campus tours for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. We believe this is in the best interest of the wellbeing of both our local community and visitors to campus. We’ll assess and announce when tours will reopen at a later date.

Though we’re sorry we won’t able to greet you on campus and show you around in person, you can still connect with CCA from wherever you are. We’ll do all we can to help you make an informed decision about your application or admissions decision despite these unique circumstances. We recommend taking our virtual tour to view campus up close and get 360-degree experiences of inside our studios, buildings, classrooms, and labs. You can even schedule some time to meet virtually with an admissions counselor via Zoom, Skype, or phone to answer any questions you have or take you through the virtual tour one-on-one.

Chimera Student Leaders giving campus tours

What to expect on a campus tour

Make the most of your visit

Even though one campus might end up being your “home campus” as a student, we strongly recommend you plan to tour both. This will give you a deeper understanding of the range of artmaking made possible by CCA’s uniquely interdisciplinary ethos.

All tours—undergraduate and graduate, San Francisco and Oakland—include a session with an admissions counselor that covers additional information about our programs, financial aid opportunities, portfolio requirements, and application process.

Students on the Oakland Campus.

Undergraduate tours

If it’s not possible to attend both campus tours, we recommend prospective undergraduate students visit whichever location is home to their program of interest.

On an undergraduate Oakland campus tour, you’ll explore First Year Program classrooms, current students’ favorite hangout spots, our edible and dye garden, and residence halls exclusively for first-year students, as well as studios, labs, and workshops for all Oakland-based undergraduate academic programs (view below).

Architecture critique in the San Francisco Nave.

On an undergraduate San Francisco campus tour, you’ll walk the Nave and tour classrooms, programmatic studios, our sound stage, production spaces, labs, and more places where our students’ hybrid, experimental practices take shape. You’ll also check out our new student residence, Blattner Hall, designed for continuing students, which is only two blocks from the workspaces of undergraduate academic programs that call San Francisco campus home (view below).

Note: Sophomore- and junior-level Painting and Drawing courses are offered on both campuses, while senior-level courses and students’ individual senior studios are offered at the San Francisco campus. Students interested in this program would benefit from touring both campuses.

Graduate tours

Rather than stick to one siloed path of study, we tend to work across multiple disciplines, pulling inspiration from the Bay Area. You’ll see these hybridity principles and creative adjacencies on full display during your tour of the San Francisco campus.

You’ll explore the main building, where graduate students often work as teaching assistants; graduate student housing in the new, nearby Blattner Hall; individual graduate program studios, including the graduate design studio and the graduate architecture studio; the writers’ studio and its Japanese-inspired garden, idyllic for writing; and the Graduate Center, home to the graduate computer lab, VCS program spaces, exhibitions catalogs, library, and more. At the end of your tour, we recommend you visit the prestigious CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, where graduate students go for visiting artist exhibitions and participate in gallery events.

We strongly recommend that prospective MFA in Fine Arts students interested in the disciplines of glass, ceramics, jewelry and metal arts, photography, printmedia, or textiles also attend an undergraduate tour of the Oakland campus, where many of these programs’ studios are located.

Graduate students during class in CCA's Curatorial Research Bureau

Graduate students during class in the Curatorial Research Bureau at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Exploring off-campus graduate spaces

There are two off-campus graduate spaces not featured on the standard graduate tour. Request a graduate appointment and we can schedule a time to show you around either space.

  • Our MA in Curatorial Practice (CURP) program is located in the prestigious Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, allowing students to take advantage of the rich cultural context of the Bay Area and work with leading practitioners in the field
  • Our MFA in Fine Arts program offers studio spaces in the American Industrial Center in the heart of San Francisco’s thriving Dogpatch neighborhood, where each candidate works on their MFA thesis exhibitions in large individual studios

Group tours

Our tours of San Francisco and Oakland campuses (excluding residence hall visits) can also accommodate your group of 10 to 40 students. These tours are for groups of high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors or college transfer students only.

To request a group tour, please submit a request form with information about your group size and interests. We require three weeks advance notice for all group tours. We'll contact you via email upon receipt of your request to further assist in scheduling your group tour.

Weekend events

Throughout the year, the Office of Admissions hosts events on select Saturdays and Sundays, including Fall Preview Days for prospective students and Spring Admitted Student Open Houses. Regularly scheduled tours of our campuses are not available on weekends at this time.

Virtual Tour

Look inside labs, studios, and more

Tour our home without leaving yours

Featuring in-depth views and descriptions of both campuses, this tour is designed so you can click around and explore at your own pace.

Portfolio Reviews

Get advice before you apply

A portfolio should make a big impression

Our admissions counselors can help

When you apply for admission to CCA, whether you’re enrolling as an undergraduate student or a graduate candidate, you’ll have to submit a portfolio of work that demonstrates your creative achievement and potential.

This portfolio helps us make admissions decisions, as well as decisions regarding scholarship recipients, award amounts, financial aid, course placement, and more. In short, you want your portfolio to rise to the top of the stack. We’re happy to help you refine your portfolio so that it shows the best of your abilities, while also providing everything we need to see.

Contact CCA to schedule an appointment or portfolio review, or to receive general admissions information. To request an appointment, use the appropriate link below to put something on our calendars, call +1 800-447-1ART, text +1 415-610-7004, or email [email protected].

National Portfolio Day

Meet CCA at an online NPD event

Connect with CCA representatives and admissions counselors by attending a virtual undergraduate or graduate National Portfolio Day (NPD). Attend NPD for insights on your application portfolio from CCA’s admissions team and learn about CCA's programs and application process.

FAQ

How to get around both campuses

Common two-campus questions

Do I have to commute back and forth on a daily basis?

Most students plan their schedule to minimize the commute between campuses.

How long is the commute between campuses?

It can take as short as half an hour or as long as an hour or more, depending on traffic. Taking the free intercampus shuttle reduces the commute time.

Note: The Intercampus shuttle service is temporarily suspended for fall 2020. More information

Do I have enough time to commute between campuses?

Yes, CCA gives students an hour between most classes.

How do I transport my projects between campuses?

The free intercampus shuttle has ample space to store large work in the luggage bay. (Available on a first-come, first-served basis.) Find additional transportation options

Note: The Intercampus shuttle service is temporarily suspended for fall 2020. More information

May I take my bicycle on the shuttle?

Yes, the free intercampus shuttle can accommodate bicycles in the luggage bay. (Available on a first-come, first-served basis.)

Note: The Intercampus shuttle service is temporarily suspended for fall 2020. More information

Are similar services available on each campus?

Yes, both campuses support a library, computer labs, a cafe, student support, and administrative services.

Where are the humanities and sciences courses taught?

We offer humanities and sciences courses on both campuses.

Maps + Directions

Get the quickest routes to campus

Find your way around our two campuses united by one bay.

San Francisco campus

The San Francisco campus is located at 1111 Eighth Street, between Hooper and Irwin. Download the San Francisco map

Oakland campus

The Oakland campus is located at 5212 Broadway, at the intersection of Broadway and College Avenue. Download the Oakland map

Traveling to San Francisco

By car from the East Bay

Cross the Bay Bridge (80 West)

Take the 9th Street exit, turn left on Eighth Street, and get into the lane second from the left

Turn left on Brannon, right on 7th Street, right on Irwin Street, and right on Eighth Street

By car from the Peninsula (South)

  • Take Highway 101 North
  • Exit at Vermont Street and turn right on 16th Street, then left on Wisconsin

By car from Marin (North)

  • Cross the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Take the Lombard Street exit, turn right on Van Ness Avenue, cross Market Street, and continue on South Van Ness
  • Turn left on 16th Street and left again on Wisconsin

By BART and bus

  • Exit Montgomery Street station at Sansome and Sutter
  • Take Muni bus 10 to 15th Street and Rhode Island and walk east two blocks to campus

OR

  • Exit at Civic Center station (Eighth and Market)
  • Take Muni bus 19 south to 15th Street and Rhode Island
  • Walk two blocks east to campus

OR

  • Exit 16th Street station (16th and Mission)
  • Take Muni bus 22 east to 17th Street and Wisconsin
  • Walk one block north to campus

OR

  • Take Muni bus 55 east to 16th Street and Missouri
  • Walk one block west to Eighth Street

Traveling to Oakland

By car from San Francisco (West)

  • Cross the Bay Bridge
  • Take I-580 to Highway 24 East
  • Exit at Broadway, turn right, and proceed south

By car from Marin (North)

  • Cross the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge
  • Take I-580 East to Highway 24 East, exit at Broadway, turn right, and proceed south

By car from Walnut Creek (East)

Take Highway 24 West, exit at Broadway, and proceed south

By car from San Jose (South)

  • Take I-880 North to the junction of I-980 to Highway 24 (Walnut Creek)
  • Take Highway 24 East, exit at Broadway, turn right, and proceed south

By BART

  • Take BART Pittsburg/Bay Point line and exit at Rockridge station
  • On College Avenue, take AC Transit bus 51A south toward downtown Oakland

OR

  • Walk seven blocks to the intersection of Broadway and College Avenue

Parking

Visit the Parking page for information on paid lots, neighborhood street parking, and ADA permits.

CCA’s creative culture is rooted in our vibrant and inclusive community

Discover your future home