California College of the Arts Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?


It's an amazing institution, and the program I am attending (Design Strategy) is excellent. However, it's a little expensive.


The best thing about CCA is that the teachers are all working artists. Many of them are well known, they really know what they are talking about. It is also great to be surrounded by students that have the same interests as myself. We feel off of each others energy. It is also a great place to make connections for the future. If I could change something about CCA, it would be its lack of activities and community out of the class room. Although there are student gallery shows weekly and Artist lectures frequently, there are not many clubs or groups. It is hard to make friends and bond with people, unless you met them in the dorms freshman year or they have the same major. When I first started school here I thought it was much too small, but that is only because I had always thought of college as this huge place with tons of people and giant parties every weekend. That is not the case here, but thats not a bad thing. We all know exactly what we want to do, and we are very focused on learning. People do like to have fun but there is not a huge party scene. There is plenty of nightlife in San Francisco and Oakland though, you just have to wait until you're 21. When I tell people I go here almost everyone sounds interested, but you can tell that people do not understand fully what it means to go to an art school vs. liberal arts college. It's just as challenging, but in my opinion more fulfilling, because we are forced to find out who we are in order to create interesting art. Also the classes are small, which allows students to learn everything our teachers have to offer. This is not a college town. There are two campuses, one in San Francisco and one in Oakland. Although UC Berkeley is located on the opposite end of College Ave. Where the Oakland campus is located. If you take the bus 10 minutes, you will be in a college town. All of the Frats you could ever want.


I really enjoy my time at CCA. We have a small supportive community of like minded people. It's comforting. The faculty here are really supportive and helpful. The work load can be insanely stressful at times but in the end your learning and gaining a lot from it.


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.


I like the overall values that CCA has, and the community of the school is strong.


My overall opinion of CCA is that it is a great school to be at if you are interested in any of the programs they offer. The best thing about CCA is that it is a tight community that encourages interdisciplinary study within different programs and will challenge you to get the most out of your abilities. One thing I would change about CCA is the scheduling. As a college student I'd like to have more flexibility in my schedule. I believe the school is just the right size, the breakdown of the classes really allow a close student-instructor working relationship. People react positively when I tell them about CCA and suggest that it may be the right school for them to attend. I spend most of my time on campus in the studio. CCA has a excellent administration that is there to help the students in any way possible along their way. They are great at communicating with their students as well as with each other. The biggest controversy on campus this semester has been the Occupy movement in which students were encouraged to strike from school. CCA has a lot of school pride, although there are no sports programs or anything (it's an art school!) they have a highly respected reputation and encourage their students to be outstanding citizens. The only unusual thing I would say about CCA is the students, but it's great because most of us are artists and designers so it's our nature to seem unusual! One experience about CCA I will always remember is just the long nights of working on a project and how it made me and my classmates closer. The most frequent student complaints would have to be the workload, but I must say the work is not overbearing if you manage your time well and is structured in a way to prepare you for life after college.


There is a great close knit community that is very encouraging and helpful.


Coming to CCA as a graduate student, I have probably a very different perspective than many first time freshmen who have not attended another institution. I often find myself drawing comparisons to my undergraduate school. It bothers me that there is no school store for books or supplies on campus. I also think the media center should be open on the weekends for students to have access to checking out equipment. The communication between the graduate offices and students is a little scattered at times which often leads to confusion. Despite these inconveniences, I am very satisfied with the program. My classes are small and intimate. I do wish there were fewer photography based students in the fine arts graduate program, as I think the overall shift that creates in group critique dynamics is something that difficult for artists working in other mediums to access and discuss. That said, the sense of community and camaraderie are excellent and something I'm glad to be a part of.


CCA has great facilities for artistically inclined people. The classes are small, so each student gets one-on-one time with their teacher. The thing I enjoy the most is that all the teachers are working artists, so they know what the current industry is like and offer a great amount of practical career knowledge. The area around the Oakland campus is fun and homey while the San Francisco campus offers an entirely different experience in Potrero Hill. On both campuses, the school helps students get involved with the surrounding community artistically, politically, and socially.


I think the best thing about CCA is the diversity that exists within the CCA community - diversity of different types of artists, diversity in backgrounds, diversity in ideas, diversity in goals and ambitions, diversity in thought. CCA is made of a colorful spectrum of students and faculty which makes it a really exciting place to be. I also really love that we get very close individual attention in our studio classes and that our professors are never trying to push everyone in one direction but rather help cultivate and further enhance our individual thought processes and ideas. We are encouraged to be different, to stand out, to be our own person and to be the artist that we want to be. In that, we are also exposed to many many different ways of art making. CCA also gives great emphasis to the ideas of interdisciplinary study. Regardless of what our major is, we are encouraged to experiment in taking electives in other fields of artistic study. What we learn in other fields of study enhance our learning experience and make us better artists and designers because we learn not only to think in one way, but to think in so many different ways. My typography teacher said one thing this semester that I'll never forget and that is, you may have one idea and it may be a great idea, but you can approach that idea in a thousand ways and make it a thousand great ideas. Like I said earlier, they really try to help us cultivate and enhance our own individual ideas, but through different processes and ways, we learn to manifest one idea into many different things. In the end, we may like only one or two, but the learning experience is so much more valuable.