About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts. is a Private college. Located in California, which is a city setting in California, the campus itself is Urban. The campus is home to 1,528 full time undergraduate students, and 455 full time graduate students.

The California College of the Arts Academic calendar runs on a Semester basis. In the school year the student to faculty ratio was 11:1. There are 98 full time instructional teachers. Degrees awarded at California College of the Arts include: Bachelor's Degree, Masters Degree, Post-master's certificate, Doctor's degree.

Quick Facts

Acceptance Rate64%
Application Deadline
Application Fee60
SAT Range
ACT Range

Admissions at CCA are considered Selective, with ,4% of all applicants being admitted.

In the school year, of the students who applied to the school, only 11 of those who were admitted eventually ended up enrolling.

0% of incoming freshmen are in the top half of their high school class. 0% were in the top quarter, and 0% were in the top tenth. You can apply online.


We asked, and students answered these important questions about student life at California College of the Arts.

California College of the Arts REVIEWS

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  • How would you rate on-campus housing?

    20 Students rated on-campus housing 3.4 stars. 15 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate off-campus housing?

    22 Students rated off-campus housing 3 stars. 0 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus food?

    24 Students rated campus food 2.8 stars. 4 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus facilities?

    25 Students rated campus facilities 4.2 stars. 48 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate class size?

    25 Students rated class size 4.8 stars. 76 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate school activities?

    25 Students rated school activities 3 stars. 16 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate local services?

    25 Students rated local services 4.5 stars. 64 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate academics?

    25 Students rated academics 3.9 stars. 36 % gave the school a 5.0.

What's your overall opinion of California College of the Arts?

13 Students rated California College of the Arts


I think it is a good college if you want to go into art but are not sure exactly what area of art. You get what you make out of the classes and professors but smaller/lesser specializations in majors often do not get classes or many classes. (example: 3D animation and modeling have many classes but classes for lighting, story, and stop motion are few in comparison). The college is in the middle of transferring its Oakland campus to the San Francisco campus, which has caused a lot of headaches for students and faculty. Overall the facilities on each campus are ok, at this point, you can tell which campus they are putting more priority into. I think something all current students can agree on is that the public safety staff needs to be increased, as well as the shuttle services to the school's current off-campus housing apartments. CCA is a good art college and I would suggest it to anyone that wanted to get a taste of what the art career field is like or get a head start for a stronger art program that you're interested in, but I would not recommend CCA if you are looking for a 4-year college.


It seem like a wonderful college


California College of the Arts is an extremely encouraging and all-encompassing school that is open to any state of mind or personality. We are all wierdos here, and embrace that mindset to diversify our art. All our teachers are working professionals who love what they do and know how to do it.


Receiving my admission packet was an unforgettable moment, it signified my hard work and dedication to my craft. Finally my achievements were encompassed in a sleek folder showcasing the design potential of my future school. At that moment, I wouldn't have imagined or expected to experience the things that I did during my first year at CCA. The first day was exciting, moving into dorms and meeting a bunch of faculty and student RA's who all were eager to help. If only that same enthusiasm rang throughout the year. Sure, CCA offered a multitude of resources but overall the school lacked in a lot of important areas. Housing for students were ridiculously subpar with many plumbing issues, insect/rodent problems, mold, and poor fix-ups. To pay over $9,000 a year for housing that could barely support the students, it was ridiculous. Many students couldn't even use the wifi provided in their dorms. We always had to leave our housing and do our work elsewhere. The lack of availability and dorms for second year students is even worse. Many students are forced to live off campus and very little choose to stay on campus due to the lack of space and information on dorms. They throw you in and expect you to accept what's given to you. A total scam! CCA as a school was tremendously insightful with faculty that really care about their students. The problem is that CCA doesn't have many full time professors. Many of the incredible and amazing professors work part time and split their time with another college. To be such a progressive school and still fail to pay and appreciate the professors for their hard work and dedication, it's truly disappointing. I support the professors and their dedication to their craft and their student but I don't support the higher officials and people like Stephen Beal who refuse to acknowledge the real problems at our school.

California College of the Arts FAQS

  1. What is the Acceptance Rate at California College of the Arts?

    The fall 2020 acceptance rate for California College of the Arts is 64%. That means, out of _____ applications received in 2020 , _____ students were offered admission. The number of males who applied was _____ vs the number of females which was _____.

  2. What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

    I have learned many things since beggining college in 2007. One thing I have learned the most is to attend class and participate. I realized that when I was in high school i never did either of these things. It hindered me when i first began college but i am beggining to grasp it as i hopefully head on to a 4 year university next fall. It has been valuable to attend because if i wasnt in school, i would be completely unhappy. It has given me many more oppurtunities already and will continue to do so.

    Read all  20 answers
  3. Describe the students at your school.

    Everyone there eats, sleeps and breathes their art.

    Read all  12 answers
  4. What are the most popular student activities/groups?

    All of the students here share a passion for art. Students go to local gallery shows, and theaters. Students who enjoy some partying go up to Berkeley or other students' homes. A lot hop on BART and head over (under) the bay into SF and enjoy what it has to offer too.

    Read all  12 answers
  5. What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

    I attend an art school and there are two stereotypes that come to mind, the design students and the artsy-fartsy students. Design students are thought of as up-tight, rigid, and elitist. While artsy-fartsy students are flaky, pseudo intellectuals, and also elitist. These two stereotypes can be subdivided by majors or departments as well but those are just more refined versions of the two branches of art students.

    Read all  10 answers
  6. What is your overall opinion of this school?

    Coming to CCA has been the best thing to happen to me so fat in my life. It feels great to be around people that are like you and to be in a creative environment. We are a smaller college and we benefit with smaller class sizes and a close community. The faculty as well is nothing less than fantastic. I have a lot of pride in CCA, especially the Illustration department.

    Read all  10 answers
  7. What are the academics like at your school?

    What's great here is that all the teachers are working professionals. You know that you are being taught by people who are successful in the industry. As an Illustration student and I find the faculty to be incredible. They know their stuff and really help you develop technical and conceptual skills. You really develop a relationship with your teachers and it feels good to know that they still care about you after having them as instructors.

    Read all  9 answers
  8. What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

    I love to brag about how small our classes are and how easy it is to connect with our professors. Eventhough it may seem weird the professors here are easy to befriend and in a way it's a great connection in the future. I also brag about how awesome the people are here, everyone is unique in their own way. Many of them were outcasts back at their school and yet they were given this amazing talent! 100 words can not discribe how amazing my first year was at this school! Too much to brag about!

    Read all  6 answers
  9. What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

    California College of the Arts is far too expensive. The cost of tuition may scare away true artistic souls. It certainly scared me away initially.

    Read all  5 answers
  10. What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

    I wish i had taken required classes such as math and science at a community college so that i could take classes at CCA that focus on my major

    Read all  5 answers
  11. What's unique about your campus?

    The art studios, which are equpiied with all sorts of different types of supplies and high tech equiptment for whatever specefic type of art you are interested in.

    Read all  5 answers
  12. Describe your favorite campus traditions.

    My favorite campus tradition is probably the annual mascot design competition! Our school has a really unique mascot – a chimera (a mythological creature with the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and a snake for a tail). Every year, students are given the opportunity to redesign the face of the mascot! The winner of the competition has their design on all the school merchandise for a whole year! It's pretty great! Being an art school, I think it's great to be able to allow the student community to harness their creativity in all kinds of different ways! This is a pretty fun & unique tradition the school has! Another tradition that I quite enjoy is the annual Chimeratopia fair, where there's just a bunch of great people, food and fun! There's also a taco truck that comes by every year and we get free tacos at Chimeratopia which is so great!

    Read all  4 answers
  13. What are your classes like?

    Most of my classes are pretty small - especially my studio classes. There are 15-20 students in each of my classes. It's really great cos' we get lots of one-on-one time with the professors to review our work and give us individual critiques. It's also nice, cos' in each class, we become like a mini family, and it's always nice working with other students and bouncing ideas of of each other. It's a really great environment to be a part of since we all support and help pull each other through, which in turn makes us all individually stronger designers.

    Read all  3 answers
  14. What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

    the cost. it's highly unrealistic to attend without rich parents.

    Read all  2 answers
  15. Tell us about your professors.

    The instructors are knowledgable, supportive, and approachable. They really know what they are talking about and you really develop a bond with them.

    Read all  2 answers
  16. Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

    California College of The Arts was founded during the Arts and Crafts Movement; A movement where social issues influenced art. These ideals through anti-industrialized processes have remained unique and important aspects in CCA's development. Because of the individualized attention due to the small college size, each student is given the opportunity to flourish within their specified major. What is prevalent at CCA is that art studies are critical and will create the fabric of a successful and creative career.

    Read all  2 answers
  17. What kind of person should not attend this school?


    Read all  2 answers
  18. Where is the best place to get work done on campus?

    I find that the best place to get work done on the Oakland campus is on Macky Lawn, or at the library. They're both really quiet and good places to focus and concentrate and get stuff done. I prefer Macky lawn, cos' I like sitting in the grass and all the "green" around me feels really inspiring. On the San Francisco campus, the best places to get work done are either in one of the "N" classrooms in the Nave if they're not occupied, or in the lounge (living area) or library. I find that if the N classrooms aren't occupied, they're a great place to get work done because you can spread out all your stuff and really step back and look at your work.The other great place that I always like to work at is at the Graphic Design Studio workspace. It's a really great place to work where all the Graphic Design students generally work outside of class time. Since there are Graphic Design students from all levels working there, it's always a good place to get feedback from the upperclassmen, or talk about projects and receive peer feedback. I think it's nice to work alone, but it's also nice to work among people, because it's a lot less stressful, when there are many people doing the same thing and going through the same thing with you. Also, its nice to work with people because you can get tons of feedback and critique. Generally, upper class-men have normally done the same projects that you're currently doing or they have experience with similar things, and it's always good, because they have experienced it, their feedback is really valuable and helpful, and more often than not strengthens your work!

    Read all  1 answers
  19. Why did you decide to go to this school?

    I decided to go to CCA after attending the Pre-college program in 2009. I chose to go to this school, because of it's concern with sustainability and engagement with the community. I think a large part of what I want to do as a designer involves affecting positive change in society, be in environmental or community based. CCA's core values really tied in with the things that I wanted to do. I also chose CCA because I really enjoyed the pre-college program and the general culture of the school, when I was at pre-college.

    Read all  1 answers
  20. Describe your school to someone who's never heard of it.

    It's really just a great place to be! There's a diverse artistic culture and people around school and in school are really open to diverse opinions and always happy to engage in enjoyable conversations with you! CCA is the site of hustle and bustle of critiques and constant movement! People are always around and because the community isn't that large, it's a tight knit community that feels somewhat like a family. CCA is just one big very diverse but amazing family. It's an absolutely wonderful place to be and I've really enjoyed being a part of such a great school. It's been hard work but lots of fun and I've met some of the best people here!

    Read all  1 answers
  21. Describe a typical weekend.

    my typical weekend is normally a weekend of homework - lots and lots of homework! it can be tiring, but since I really enjoy the program and the work I'm doing, it's doesn't bother me that I get tied down with a lot of homework during the weekends. I actually quite enjoy doing homework during the weekends. Most of the homework I have, are normally studio projects. They're quite time consuming but they're really fun to do, and as long as you're enjoying what you're doing, why not do it during the weekends too? right? :)

    Read all  1 answers

Student Body







Total Undergrad Enrollment


Total Grad Students









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On-Campus Housing


of students living on campus

Student Diversity

% American Indian/Alaskan Native
% Asian/Pacific Islander
% Black or African-American
% Hispanic/Latino
% White or Caucasian


All students must apply yearly for financial aid. This process starts with the FAFSA. Though financial aid deadlines vary by school, it is a good idea to apply as soon as possible. For the upcoming school year, you can apply as early as October 1 for the FAFSA. Additional school aid will be dependent on the FAFSA results.

82% of students attending California College of the Arts receive some sort of financial aid. 30% were awarded federal grants. While 41% received federal loans. Many students do also need to apply for additional private student loans.

Cost Out of State


Tuition and fees(Out of state)


Books and Supplies


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Total On Campus

Actual Cost By Income Level(W/Financial Aid)

Family Income
$0 - $30K
$30 - $48K
$48 - $75K
$75 - $110K
$110K & UP

We use student reviews and the most current publicly available data on our school pages. As such, we don't typically remove or edit college information. Sources for school statistics and data include the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Portions of college data include copyrighted material, which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. © 2009-2016 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.


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