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.
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 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.
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.
Getting to campus
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 aboput CCA's programs and application process.
Other portfolio resources
Find your way around our two campuses united by one bay.
San Francisco campus
Visit the Parking page for information on paid lots, neighborhood street parking, and ADA permits.