Our community of makers and innovators work together and inspire each other to tap into the true potential of art and design.

An environment designed to inspire artists

CCA students are exposed to hands-on learning in a professional environment where award-winning faculty guide them to create their best work. We extend this support system beyond the classroom by organizing events and exhibitions that foster meaningful dialogue among visiting artists, students, faculty, and the local community through more than 150 events each year.

CCA values family

We value the essential role parents, guardians, and families play in supporting a student’s journey at CCA, and we encourage you to continue to play a role in the education and development of your student over the next few years.

Life at CCA

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July 14, 2020

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard the painful experiences of discrimination that members of our community have faced and we’re focused on what we can do to make our campus safe and actively anti-racist. Improving the process for reporting, acknowledging, and responding to student concerns is one of our top priorities, and these testimonials will inform this process. As we develop next steps and take action, we will continue to keep the community informed. 

For those who are struggling, we want you to know that we see you and we hear you. If you would like to consult with a counselor or are seeking mental health resources during this time, below are services that are available to both students and non-students.

For current CCA students, the ‪24/7‬ mental health crisis hotline is ‪510.594.5099‬. Tele-health appointments are also available ‪through July 31‬ for enrolled students in California:

The national suicide hotline is a resource available to all: or 1.800.273.TALK (8255). For California residents, the state offers a peer-to-peer mental health line that is available ‪24/7‬, with the caveat that the folks who are on the line are well trained but not mental health professionals: or ‪1.855.845.7415‬. CCA’s counseling office also offers referrals to mental health professionals in the Bay Area for non-urgent support. The office’s main voicemail is ‪510.594.3670‬ to request a referral.

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July 13, 2020

Last week, Harvard and MIT filed a lawsuit to reverse the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the US Department of Homeland Security guidelines on international students. We’ve joined the legal fight by signing an amicus brief that includes other members of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design.⁠

Our international students are an essential part of the CCA community and we will do everything possible to support them.

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July 9, 2020

The misguided and capricious U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy for international students on F-1 visas has created undue anxiety for our students, their families, and our entire community at a time when we are already facing extraordinary challenges. We find ICE’s actions to be alarming, cruel, and counter to the values we hold as an institution that derives immeasurable benefit from the creativity, innovation, and diversity of ideas, skills, and experiences that our international students—more than one third of our student body—bring to our campus.⁠

International Student Affairs and Programs (ISAP) staff has contacted all affected students and is working closely with them to address their concerns and ensure they are able to maintain their non-immigrant status. Any international student who wants to be in the U.S. in the fall 2020 semester will have the option of at least one in-person/hybrid class as the newly announced policy requires. For current information on maintaining F-1 status at CCA, visit @ccaisap Portal page at

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July 3, 2020

Starting today, July 3, 80 artists are joining together to launch @inplainsightmap, a stunning effort to make visible the injustices of the largest immigration detention system in the world.

In Plain Sight’s collective of artists, including #CCArts Dean @tt_takemoto and alum @hankwillisthomas, represent an array of ages, gender presentations and subjective lived experiences that have come together in solidarity to help abolish immigrant detention. ICE detention is the practice of incarcerating immigrants–from those who have just arrived to those who’ve lived in the U.S. for years–while they await a determination of their status or potential deportation. Various reports detail horrifying conditions. The federal government wastes more than $25 billion each year on ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to profile, detain and deport immigrants.

*Join* the movement #FreeThemAll Campaign + #AbolishIce.
*Donate* to these local bond funds: (link in bio)
*Get to know* organizations that serve the immigrant community including:
@migrantfreedom @detentionwatch @aclu_socal @haitianbridge @conmijente @familiatqlm @the_ilrc @maketheroadnj @raicestexas @carecen_la @culturestrike @the_ilrc @clinica_romero @laresistencianw @daylaborernetwork @elrescate_org @_sale
#XMap #InPlainSight #FreeThemAll #AbolishICE #lookup #DefundHate #HomeisHere #HeretoStay #WithDACA #sisepuede #prisonindustrialcomplex
#resist #closethecamps
Video credits: Editor: @grahamkolbeins + Music: @dorianwoodmusic

Students laughing during a lecture in the Curatorial Research Bureau

CCA students during class at the Curatorial Research Bureau.

A campus immersed in local culture

CCA has innovative facilities for students to learn their craft in the Bay Area’s thriving art and design communities. From our fine arts studios in the up-and-coming Dogpatch neighborhood to our Curatorial Research Bureau embedded within the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), CCA offers a unique learning environment for all types of student artists.

Connect with people like you

Student organizations are a large part of what drives the culture and creativity at CCA. By working collaboratively toward a shared goal, we can achieve more while creating a vibrant campus environment. With over a dozen student organizations, there’s an opportunity for every kind of artist and designer to explore their interests and make new friends and connections.

Students pose at the holiday craft fair

Students at the 2018 MFA Thesis Exhibition.

Life on campus

Campus life means you’re never far from one of our exhibition spaces or campus events. From international potlucks to arts and crafts fairs, we host events all year long to keep you inspired and afford you opportunities to showcase your best work.

Plus, our wide selection of residence halls are located on or adjacent to our campuses, and they’re surrounded by everything a student needs. You’ll have easy access to world-renowned galleries and museums for inspiration as well as everything you need for your more basic needs, like Philz coffee, art and drafting supplies, and more.

Admissions associate helping potential students learn about the program

Admissions associate working with potential students to understand the programs offered at CCA.

Support in and out of the classroom

We have support systems in place to help students excel during their time at CCA and beyond. Our academic advisors can help you reach your academic, personal, and professional goals. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of all the resources our Career Development team has to offer, including job fairs, networking opportunities, portfolio and resume prep, interview coaching, and more.

Students performance work during MFA Open Studios

Students' performance art work during the 2017 MFA Open Studios.

Curriculum built on experience

Our team of faculty are prominent practitioners and scholars who create curricula based on real-world experience, with a track record of producing positive career outcomes for students.

And with a diverse faculty composition—including the highest percentage of full-time faculty of color and one of the higher percentages of women faculty than any school in our peer group—CCA can offer students a broader spectrum of experience and expertise.

CCA faculty awards and mentions

Join a network of creative peers

Alumnus Hoang and Anh Nguyen during a creative SketchingLab session.

Join a network of creative peers

CCA alumni play an essential role in maintaining strong community ties and building creative and professional networks. Our Alumni Association includes more than 20,000 active members engaged in the fields of art, architecture, design, writing, arts administration, nonprofit organizations, and more. In roles as leaders, contributors, ambassadors, and connectors, alumni help us maintain bridges to the past and reach wider audiences for greater social impact. By showing us what’s possible, you inspire our way forward.

Alumni members champion many collegewide initiatives and activities. From offering career and mentorship opportunities to new grads and fellow alumni, to opening meaningful pathways to engage at events, our alumni lend their leadership and financial resources to carry forward the important work of CCA’s community. We honor and appreciate the many ways alumni support the college and its students. Let us know how you’d like to participate by filling out this questionnaire.

CCA Student discounts on laptops and equipment

Photo: Christin Hume.

Access special alumni benefits

Are you a CCA alum? We offer many ways to connect with the college, former classmates, current students, faculty, and other members of CCA’s vibrant community. Joining CCA’s Alumni Association is free, and anyone who has completed at least two semesters is eligible. Update your contact information to take advantage of all alumni benefits, such as:

  • Vend your wares for free at our biannual CCA Arts and Crafts Fair
  • Show your work and sell it to the world from the Shop CCA store directory
  • Attend public programs, such as lectures, exhibitions, events, and more
  • A lifetime CCA email address
  • Our biannual alumni magazine Glance and triannual Alumni Notes publications
  • Access to the CCA Library collections and resources
  • Discounts at organizations and retailers, such as Kala Art Institute, Artist & Craftsman Supply, FLAX Art Supply, Sports Basement, and more
Stay in touch

Photo: Joshua Ness.

Socialize and stay in touch

You’ll find CCA alumni all over, influencing and making culture. Next time you’re in town, check out alumni-run spaces in the Bay Area, including galleries, project spaces, nonprofits, publishers, presses, and more. Looking for more ways to get involved? Learn about our Alumni Association’s leadership, attend CCA galas and events, and socialize with your creative peers in our 1907 Club for young alumni and Half-Century Club for those who graduated over 50 years ago.

We love hearing from you. Have an update to share or an idea to pitch? Get in touch by submitting an Alumni Note or emailing us at [email protected].

Postal address
Alumni Association
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107-2247

Lisa Jonas

Director of Alumni Engagement

+1 415-703-9595

[email protected]

Connecting students to industry and the arts

CCA helps students share their talents with some of the world’s most exciting companies and organizations through industry collaborations. From semester-long sponsored studios to three-day sprints, collaborations challenge students to find innovative solutions and create full-scale physical products. We also partner with cultural centers, contemporary arts institutions, museums, and nearby academic institutions to forge meaningful connections between theory and practice.

Sample of current industry partners

  • American Craft Council
  • Audi
  • Autodesk
  • Citrix
  • Design Within Reach
  • FOR-SITE Foundation
  • Institute for the Future
  • Port of Oakland
  • Visa
Students connecting with industry representatives at the career fair.

Student at the 2018 CCA Career Expo.

Collaborate with CCA

Whether it’s a one- to three-day sprint, a one- to three-week workshop, or a project lasting over three months, our engagement opportunities align with the varying resources of our partner companies and institutions. To learn more about how to engage with CCA, please contact Karen Weber.

Karen Weber

Senior Director of Engagement and Institutional Partnerships

+1 415-703-9555

[email protected]
Office of Center for Impact

Center for Impact at CCA

Concentrating on positive social and environmental change, the Center for Impact at CCA builds strong connections with the campus community and external partners, while expanding CCA’s positive social impact through projects, innovative resources, and technologies that serve to inspire creative thinking.

Each year, the Center organizes and presents the IMPACT Award, a collegewide competition that focuses on a specific concept. Open to students, alumni, faculty, and staff, the award recognizes projects that directly address a pressing social or environmental challenge through ingenious solutions.

Art Practical

Since 2014, CCA has published Art Practical, a visual arts platform for books, critical writings, events, interviews, podcasts, and more. Among their many initiatives is an educational program with CCA. Internship and assistantship opportunities offer students first-hand experience in arts publishing, and a graduate course—taught by the executive director of Art Practical—explores the critical strategies of writing as a profession.

Four dancers at CCA's Wattis Institute performing Adam Linder Full Service Leah Katz, Justin F. Kennedy, Noha Ramadan, and Stephen Thompson

Adam Linder, Full Service, 2018; installation view, Wattis Institute; "Choreographic Service No.5: Dare to Keep Kids Off Naturalism," 2017, Duration variable, Four dancers: Leah Katz, Justin F. Kennedy, Noha Ramadan, and Stephen Thompson; photo: Allie Foraker

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

Founded in 1998 and located within our urban campus footprint, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is a nonprofit exhibition venue and research institute dedicated to contemporary art and ideas. In addition to their exhibition program, the Wattis holds a year-long research “season” dedicated to the work of a single artist. Students benefit from related public programming, which can include film screenings, performances, and workshops, and learn from the field’s most prominent artists and thinkers.

Freshman at CCA Chimerapalooza

Students at the annual Chimerapalooza event.

Never miss a beat

Whether it’s a special solo exhibition, an annual art fair, or some breaking news on campus, CCA works hard to keep you in the loop so you can be more involved and have a stronger sense of connection and community.

Get a feel for your future art college experience at CCA

Explore the campus