Incoming Students

We are excited to welcome new incoming students to California College of the Arts. We look forward to working with you upon your arrival.

Please bookmark this page, which offers specific information pertaining to the registration process. Your first introduction to academic advisor will be at New Student Orientation.

Until that time, first-year students and new incoming transfer and second-degree students should continue to direct questions to their enrollment counselor.

Planning Guide

Check out the Academic Advising Planning Guide for answers to all of your questions prior to arriving on campus.

Early Registration

Now that you have been accepted to CCA, we know that you are excited to prepare for the upcoming semester. CCA Academic Advising has a unique process in place to help get you registered for just the right courses.

Note: If you intend to study a major other than what you stated on your application, email to ensure no delay occurs in connecting you with the materials for your intended major.

Step 1: English Placement Exam

All incoming undergraduates must take the English Placement Exam (EPE) unless they are eligible to waive the exam requirements.

Take this quiz to find out if you can waive the EPE!

Step 2: Registration Intake Form

CCA Academic Advising will send you the Registration Intake Form via email. Complete this form to provide feedback and preferences regarding your selected courses for the upcoming semester.

Step 3: File Review

An advisor will review the feedback that you submit, along with all the documents (e.g., transcripts, grades, test scores, portfolio review) that CCA has on file for you as of June 1, for fall admits, and December 1, for spring admits. 

Step 4: Early Registration

The advisor determines the appropriate first-semester courses and registers you accordingly. You must register for a minimum of 12 units to ensure full-time status. (See slide 7 in the Planning Guide regarding part-time versus full-time status.)

Step 5: Registration Review

Once your registration is complete, the advisor will send a confirmation email with instructions on how to access your course schedule for the upcoming semester.

Step 6: Registration Confirmation

Once confirmed you have reviewed your course schedule, you have the opportunity, if desired, to schedule a phone appointment to ask questions.

Neither additional registration nor schedule changes can be made after initial registration. You may adjust your schedule during Orientation Week and during the first week of courses during the Add/Drop period.


During early registration, advisors will only register students based on the official transcripts on file.

At the portfolio review session during orientation, students meet with faculty for a final review of transcripts and portfolios as well as obtain recommendations for any additional schedule changes.

What to Take to Portfolio Review

Portfolio (CD, flash drive, or physical work)

Your initial portfolio, used in applying to CCA, has already been reviewed for course placement.

If you have completed additional work that displays increased proficiency related to your major, faculty members are available to review it at the portfolio review session during orientation.

Unofficial Transcripts

If by orientation you have yet to receive credit from previous college coursework, specifically due to missing or in-progress transcripts, unofficial transcripts can be helpful in obtaining temporary course schedule adjustments.  

While unofficial transcripts will not grant official credit for the courses in question, they might allow temporary prerequisite overrides.

To receive transfer credit for courses, students must have all official transcripts sent to CCA by the end of their first semester.