Make art that matters on two dynamic campuses
As a student, you’ll spend time growing your skills and learning your craft on both of CCA’s campuses in the Bay Area. All first-year undergraduate students start on our San Francisco campus, living in our newest residence, Founders Hall, right next door to our First Year studios. In your second year and beyond, your “home campus” will depend on your major. Most of our graduate programs are based in San Francisco as well.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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 a student-led virtual tour, take a self-guided virtual tour, make a one-on-one appointment with an admissions advisor, or attend a virtual admissions event from wherever you’d like.
Take a virtual tour with a CCA student as your guide
Our campus is currently closed to guests in order to protect the health and safety of our staff and students who are living on campus, and in accordance with guidelines set by the San Francisco and Alameda County departments of public health. Unfortunately, this means we will not conduct any campus tours for the remainder of the spring 2021 semester. We’ll continue assessing the situation and announce when our campus will be open to visitors at a later date.
Though we’re sorry you won’t be able to visit in person, you can still take a guided virtual tour with a current CCA student; they will show you around via our virtual tour platform and share their personal experiences of life in the studios. You can also take the virtual tour on your own to get a self-guided 360-degree campus experience, or schedule time to meet virtually with an admissions counselor via Zoom, Skype, or phone to answer any questions you have. We’ll do all we can to help you make an informed decision about your application or admissions decision despite these unique circumstances.
What to expect on a campus tour
CCA’s campuses are currently closed to guests
Please note: Due to the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic, CCA is closed to guests. We are not offering in-person campus tours, and we can’t accommodate self-guided tours at this time. Instead, we encourage you to take advantage of guided virtual tours led by current CCA students. We’ll update this page as soon as tours resume on campus, as described below.
Even though one campus might end up being your “home campus” as a student (see list below), we strongly recommend you plan to tour both campuses after we safely reopen. 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.
Once we resume tours on campus, undergraduate students should plan to visit San Francisco campus to see where they will live and learn their first year, as well as Oakland campus to get a deeper understanding of the range of artmaking made possible by CCA’s uniquely interdisciplinary ethos.
On an undergraduate San Francisco campus tour, you’ll walk the Nave, tour classrooms, visit First Year Program spaces and studios, and check out our sound stage, production areas, labs, and other spots where our hybrid practices take shape. You’ll also check out our newest student residence, Founders Hall, designed for first-year student housing, and Makers Cafe, the convenient dining space where students use their CCA meal plans.
On an undergraduate Oakland campus tour, you’ll explore current students’ favorite hangout spots and our edible and dye garden, as well as studios, labs, and workshops for all Oakland-based undergraduate academic programs.
Please note: Due to the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic, CCA is closed to guests. We are not offering campus tours or in-person visits of graduate facilities at this time. Instead, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with admissions staff and take advantage of guided virtual tours led by current CCA students.
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, printmaking, or textiles also attend a tour of the Oakland campus, where many of these programs’ studios are located.
Explore off-campus graduate studios
There is one off-campus graduate space not featured on the standard graduate tour: Our MFA in Fine Arts program offers studio spaces in the American Industrial Center in San Francisco’s thriving Dogpatch neighborhood. Here, each candidate works on their MFA thesis exhibitions in large individual studios. Request an appointment with admissions staff to learn more about this space.
Please note: Due to the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic, we are not offering group tours at this time. The following information outlines our standard group tour policies so you know what to expect when we’re able to offer them again. Please check back for updates in fall 2021.
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.
Please note: Due to the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic, we are not hosting any in-person events at this time. Please use the link below to view our virtual event offerings, including guided virtual tours on Saturdays.
Once campus reopens, our Office of Admissions will host events on select Saturdays and Sundays, including Fall Preview Days for prospective students and Spring Admitted Student Open Houses.
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.
Get a 360-degree view
- San Francisco campus virtual tour
- Oakland campus virtual tour
- The Nave
- Campus Center Gallery
- Blattner Print Studio
- Carmen M. Christensen Production Stage
- Carriage House (drawing classroom)
- Digital Fine Art Studio
- MFA in Fine Arts Studios
- Glass Studio
- Graduate Architecture Studios
- Graduate Design Studios
- Graphic Design Studio
- Animation Homework Lab
- Hybrid Lab
- Knitting Studio
- Painting classroom
- Meyer Library
- Oliver Architecture Studios
- Senior Illustration Studio
- Student Affairs office
- Textiles Studio
- Treadwell Ceramic Arts Center
- Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
- Wornick Wood and Furniture Studios
- Writers' Studio
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.
Other portfolio resources
Visit the Parking page for information on paid lots, neighborhood street parking, and ADA permits.