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@cacollegeofarts
April 19, 2019
📍ups in the Nave. How is it already almost finals??!? 🤯 #californiacollegeofthearts
April 17, 2019
The lighting in the Nave presentation space is 👏always 👏on 👏point 👏#californiacollegeofthearts #ccarts #ccapainting @ccapainting
April 15, 2019
You’re lookin’ at one of the best writing programs in California right here! 👆👆🙌👏🏆If you need more proof on why this group of people are the best, check the link in our bio. 😎@ccamfawriting #ccamfawriting
April 8, 2019
Industrial Design students in our Glass Product Design course, led by Corey Jones, investigate glass and its unique material characteristics to find ways to design to its strengths. #californiacollegeofthearts #ccarts #ccaixd #ccaglass
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.
Explore our dynamic community
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.
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.
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.
CCA welcomes international students
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
Thi Bui, MFA in Comics adjunct professor, illustrates the Oakland teachers' strike
Queer California: Untold Stories, an exhibition curated by CCA's Christina Linden, features work by CCA faculty and staff
Solo exhibition at di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art celebrates the expansive career of Viola Frey
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.
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
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.
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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
- Design Within Reach
- FOR-SITE Foundation
- Institute for the Future
- Port of Oakland
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.
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.
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.
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.
Making more space for creativity
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.