Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,504 undergraduate students
95% of undergrad students are full time
38% male 62% female
39% of students are from out of state
2015-2016 Academic Year
99 full-time faculty
400 part-time faculty
7 to 1 student/faculty ratio
84% of first year students live on campus
29% of all students live on campus
San Francisco and Oakland, California
|First-Year Seminars and Experiences||x|
|Common Intellectual Experiences||x|
|Collaborative Assignments and Projects||x|
|Service Learning, Community-Based Learning||x|
|Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience||x|
Retention Fall 2015
82% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)
ENROLLMENT BY RACIAL/ETHNIC CATEGORY - FALL 2015
|Black or African American||6%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||0%|
|Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander||0%|
|Two or more races||0%|
|Race and/or ethnicity unknown||5%|
Inspired by Greek Mythology, The college’s mascot is a Chimera, a creature that is part lion, goat, and snake.
California College of the Arts offers a robust internship program and professional practice coursework. The Career Development Office brings over 200 employers to campus every year.
U.S. News & World Report named CCA’s Graduate Program in Fine Arts as one of the top graduate MFA programs
PayScale ranked CCA the #1 U.S. art school for return on investment
DesignIntelligence magazine named CCA’s Industrial Design Program as among the top programs in the U.S., and third best on the west coast
Red Dot Institute named CCA as a top-ranked educational institution in the world for design innovation
Business Insider named CCA among the world’s best design schools.
Education for a Positive Community
CCA’s distinctive approach to education—holistic learning through immersive, interdisciplinary exposure that champions purposeful work—means that important issues such as sustainability, social justice, and entrepreneurship are integrated throughout the curriculum. The college’s founders believed that connecting the arts to economic, political, and social life would deepen the power of creative work while making a positive contribution to the community.
Students have numerous opportunities to engage with local and global communities. The college is committed to project-based learning, which is built on the idea that people learn best in the context of real-world problems and situations.
ENGAGE at CCA, one of the college’s signature initiatives, is a family of courses open to students in any major. The students in each ENGAGE class work with a faculty leader, outside experts, and established firms and community organizations to seek solutions to particular, identified issues.
Another initiative is the IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards. Multiple $10,000 awards are given each year to interdisciplinary teams of students, enabling them to undertake a major project over the summer, anywhere in the world.
The college also offers Kinetic Micro Grants of up to $500 to students who wish to launch small-scale creative projects with members of a local community.
Study Abroad Opportunities
Study abroad and exchange opportunities expand students’ worldviews and cultural understanding. Participants in the International Exchange Program spend a semester at one of 15 colleges of art and design around the globe. The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) Exchange Program gives students the opportunity to spend a semester at one of 32 other art schools in the United States. And during the summers, there are numerous study abroad courses for undergraduate and graduate students.
|International Student Organization||X|
|Student-run film society||X|
Faculty Members Are Practicing Professionals
CCA’s faculty includes nearly 500 nationally and internationally recognized artists, architects, designers, and writers. All of them are actively working in the region’s flourishing professional communities in architecture, the arts, design, business, consulting, animation, film, writing, and beyond.
Many of the faculty work for leading Bay Area companies such as Apple, Facebook, Gensler, Google, LucasArts, and Pixar, or are principals of their own firms. Many of them have won major awards and accolades: Academy Awards, Fulbright fellowships, the Rome Prize, the MacArthur Fellowship awards (also known as “Genius Grants”), Emmys, Guggenheim fellowships, AIGA medals, and more.
Students Know Their Teachers
With an average class size of approximately 13 students (and a 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio), students get to know their teachers well. Together, they create a supportive community of friends, colleagues, and mentors. Faculty members help students discover their creative passions and individual points of view. They encourage students to take risks, clarify and deepen their processes of inquiry and, above all else, experiment across disciplines. Students are able to take advantage of their teachers’ networks of professional connections, which can lead directly to opportunities after graduation.
Distinguished Visitors Come to Campus
An incredible array of distinguished artists, designers, architects, and critics have visited the college, such as film directors Laura Poitras and John Waters, architect Renzo Piano, artist Joan Jonas, philosopher Judith Butler, and writers Akhil Sharma and Tracy K. Smith. Their visits may involve public lectures, master classes, critiques of student work, and artist residencies lasting up to several months. These visitors offer access to the international art world, and students benefit greatly from this one-on-one exposure to prominent and successful practitioners in their chosen fields.
CCA Hosts Symposia
CCA also hosts symposia that are open to all students and the public. Recent symposia have included the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) Exploring Science in the Art + Design Studio, which examined the place, purpose, potential, and role of science in contemporary art and design education; the Data Clay Symposium, focused on the use of digital tools and ceramic materials; and the Queers & Comics conference, which brings U.S. and international LGBTQ cartoonists, comics writers, and artists together with scholars and fans in order to document the history and significance of queer comics.
|English (including composition)||X|
|Sciences (biological or physical)||X|
Class Size Breakdown
|Number of Classes||147||375||24||6||0||0||0||552|
First-year students at CCA are immediately immersed in a vibrant artistic community. They take a cross-disciplinary sequence of studio and academic courses in which they are exposed to a variety of media. They explore established areas of interest, discover new ones, and develop into self-motivated creators.
All incoming first-year students have their home base on CCA’s Oakland campus, a traditional college setting that occupies four acres in a residential neighborhood. The Oakland campus is home to the First Year Program and the first-year residence halls. About 80 percent of first-year students live in the residence halls, which host numerous social and educational programs throughout the year, from movie nights and barbecues to museum trips and professional lectures.
Proximity to Design and Tech Companies
Depending on their major, second-year students may stay in Oakland or move their base to the San Francisco campus, which is located in the city’s Design District, home to design firms, art galleries, tech startups, and companies such as Adobe, Twitter, fuseproject, and Zynga. It is also very close to the new biotech and medical research area anchored by UCSF’s Mission Bay campus.
Lectures and Exhibitions
CCA is a locus for important conversations about creative economies and the role of artists, architects, designers, and writers in today’s culture. Almost every evening during the semester there is a lecture or special event.
Exhibitions of international contemporary art and design are regularly presented by the CCA Wattis Institute. These are complemented by a full schedule of student and faculty exhibitions. Public exhibitions of student work rotate weekly in several galleries on both campuses. These shows allow students to connect with their peers and get feedback (beyond classroom critiques) while honing their presentation skills. During their senior year, all fine arts majors have the opportunity to showcase a cohesive body of work in a solo exhibition.
Pre-Professional Groups and Student Clubs
CCA students are active in numerous pre-professional groups such as the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), Ceramics Guild, Glass League, and International Interior Design Association (IIDA).
Students are encouraged to join existing clubs and organizations or to form new ones; clubs and activities range in focus from community building to politics to physical fitness. Students may also choose to get involved in student government. The Student Council sponsors a range of activities throughout the year, including all-college dinners, films, exhibition receptions, and shuttles to San Francisco galleries.
CAMPUS HOUSING OPTIONS FOR UNDERGRADUATES
|Apartments for married students|
|Apartments for single students||x|
|Special housing for disabled students||x|
|Special housing for international students|
|Other housing options|
Externships and Internships
CCA CONNECTS is a structured “externship” experience in which 40 students every year work at outside organizations such as design firms, schools, or architectural offices, making real, substantive contributions to ongoing projects.
CCA also offers all kinds of other internship programs that enable students to gain practical experience and make professional connections while earning academic credit. Internships are required by some majors, and they are encouraged by all of CCA’s programs.
CCA students graduate with the specific tools and knowledge to be successful in their chosen field as well as critical thinking skills that will be invaluable in any future pursuit. CCA’s particular emphasis on interdisciplinarity practice sets it apart from other art schools.
CCA is also distinguished by its many connections with creative industries, thanks in part to its fortuitous location in the San Francisco Bay Area. Major corporations, arts organizations, and nonprofits sponsor academic courses, offer internships to students, and employ alumni.
Ready to Succeed
Students acquire knowledge of how to succeed in the field of their choice through personal contact with faculty members and coursework specifically designed to help in the transition to professional practice. They make further career connections through internships, sponsored studios, and the Alumni/Student Mentorship Program.
CCA’s Career Development Office hosts a Career Expo every year, bringing more than 80 outside firms and organizations to the college to talk to students and discuss their work and interests. Career Development also facilitates industry presentations, career treks, professional development workshops, and more.
CCA’s most recent survey of its alumni revealed that over 67 percent are actively working in fields related to art, architecture, design, or writing, 78 percent report job satisfaction, and 58 percent remain in the Bay Area to live and work. PayScale, a market leader in global compensation data, recently ranked CCA the top art and design school in the U.S. for return on investment.
CCA alumni have designed shoes for Nike, created characters for animated Pixar films, illustrated editorials for influential national magazines, and created Emmy award-winning motion graphics. They have exhibited their work at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals and at major museums around the world.
According to a 2011 study by the National Endowment for the Arts, jobs in the creative sector will increase by 11 percent by 2018, with some careers (e.g., curators, landscape architects, interior designers, architects, writers) projected to grow at an even higher rate. CCA alumni are already intensely active in all of these fields, and their influence and networks continue to expand.
Admissions Fall 2015
1,713 Total Applicants
1,364 Total Admissions
241 Total Freshmen Enrollment
79.63% of applicants admitted
Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission
Rolling Admission? Yes
Rigor of secondary school record
Standardized test scores
Level of applicant’s interest
Freshmen Profile Fall 2015
|25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
|SAT Critical Reading||470||598|
All students who demonstrate creative promise and intellectual curiosity are encouraged to apply to CCA.
CCA is committed to reflecting and serving diverse populations, and welcomes all undergraduate applicants who will enhance the college’s unique community. Making a CCA education accessible to the most talented and deserving students is a fundamental goal.
Applications are reviewed on an individualized basis, taking into account academic achievements, creative abilities, individual achievements and activities, a personal essay, recommendations, and a portfolio. Undergraduate applicants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. First-year applicants should follow a college preparatory program in high school, including courses in studio art and art history whenever possible.
TUITION AND COSTS
NET PRICE CALCULATOR
TUITION AND COSTS BEFORE FINANCIAL AID 2016-2017
|Estimated Total On Campus||$54,786|
Average Financial Aid Packages 2016-17 estimated
$29,868 First year students
$29,781 All undergrads
Financial Aid Breakdown 2016-17 estimated
60% on average, the percentage of need that was met
4% of financial need students that had need fully met
$24,678 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,968 Average need-based loan
Additional Financial Aid Information
CCA devotes more than $23.5 million each year—30 percent of its annual operating budget—in scholarship funding and grants to qualified students. 73 percent of CCA undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid, such as scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities. The college offers merit and diversity scholarships, need-based scholarships, and federal and state financial aid
Undergraduates interested in applying for merit scholarships should submit their application for admission by February 1. The priority deadline for all other undergraduate applicants is March 1. The priority deadline for spring undergraduate applicants is October 1. Students who meet the admissions priority deadlines receive first consideration for housing, financial aid, and course selection. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis; this means that applications are reviewed in the order they are received. There is a nonrefundable application fee of $60. It is possible to register for courses as a nondegree student (on a space-available basis).
Students applying for financial assistance should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1. CCA will continue to award aid to applicants after March 1 as funding permits. Students can apply for Federal Pell Grants and Federal Direct Loans throughout the year. CCA is approved for veterans who wish to attend under the Veterans Administration Educational Benefits Program. In addition to financial awards, CCA offers an interest-free payment plan.
Students can schedule a campus visit, request information, receive an estimate of their financial aid eligibility, and apply online at cca.edu/admissions.