California College of the Arts:
California College of the Arts (CCA), founded in 1907, is the largest regionally accredited, independent school of art and design in the western United States. California College of the Arts is noted for the interdisciplinarity and breadth of its programs. We offer studies in 22 undergraduate and 11 graduate majors in the areas of Fine arts, Architecture, Design, Writing, and more. CCA has two campuses in the San Francisco Bay Area, a global hub for technological and cultural innovation.
Undergraduate Degree Programs
We welcome all undergraduate applicants who will enhance our diverse community. If you demonstrate creative promise and are intellectually curious, we encourage you to apply.
The Animation Program curriculum explores time-based motion and form, combining traditional character animation with a more experimental, interdisciplinary approach. Students begin the program by studying shifting weight, locomotion, characterization, timing, and emotional expression through traditional drawing and filmmaking courses.
The Architecture Program integrates critical, artistic, and material approaches to the study and practice of architecture. The five-year, NAAB-accredited program is committed to experiments in alternative models of practice, design, and fabrication. The curriculum accordingly brings developments in culture, media, and technology to bear on the process of architectural production, allowing students to capitalize on new opportunities in a rapidly changing profession.
- Fashion Design
The Fashion Design Program is an idea-driven, craft-based course of study that emphasizes design concepts and skill development. The goal is to produce designers of daring originality who are willing to explore across disciplines and contribute to fashion as an aspect of modern art and culture.
- Interior Design
CCA's Interior Design Program provides an interdisciplinary design education where critical, artistic, historical, and material approaches to the practice of interior and environmental design integrate theory with art and technology. We prepare our students to be innovative leaders in the area of spatial design, which in turn educates them to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.
- Media Arts
The Media Arts Program has three areas of focus: experimental film and video, narrative film and video, and new digital media. The coursework emphasizes both theory and practice: the conceptual framework of contemporary media art and technical skills applicable to the time-based arts.
The Photography Program takes a broad-based approach, engaging students in the most contemporary practices, as well as in the traditions and historical structures from which those practices have evolved. The curriculum provides a technical foundation in analog and digital imaging alike and introduces the critical skills and theoretical insights necessary for students to manifest their creative visions.
- Writing and Literature
Students in the Writing and Literature Program make a rigorous investigation of literary traditions and explore the challenging, subtle craft of writing. The program benefits greatly from the Bay Area's rich literary history and dynamic writing culture, and its students become part of CCA's diverse community of artists working in a broad range of media.
Other undergraduate programs include:
- Community Arts
- Graphic Design
- Individualized Major
- Industrial Design
- Interaction Design
- Jewelry / Metal Arts
- Visual Studies
Graduate Degree Programs
The graduate programs at California College of the Arts offer concentrated study against a stimulating background of interdisciplinary exchange. Each master's program features its own distinctive curriculum as well as a rich menu of graduate elective seminars.
- Architecture MA Degree
The Master of Architecture Program focuses on material innovation, research, application, and resourcefulness within a larger social and cultural context. While providing a well-rounded architectural education, the program engages physically and digitally with old, new, and emerging building materials and systems to explore architecture as a critical and evolving practice. Digital craft, design research, interdisciplinary engagement, alternative models, and global involvement and exchange are emphasized.
- Curatorial Practice MA Degree
As contemporary art practice evolves, the role of the curator is shifting. Ideas about the relationships among art, exhibition spaces, and audiences are changing, and the way that art institutions are structured and administered is becoming more complex. The first of its kind on the West Coast, the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice offers an expanded perspective on curating contemporary art and culture.
- Design MFA
The program offers concentrations in communication design, industrial design, and interaction design. All students earning their MFA Design degree take core courses in design history, theory and criticism, research, materials and processes, and strategy and entrepreneurship.
- Design Strategy MBA Degree
The MBA Program in Design Strategy equips students to lead organizations from the unique perspective of design thinking. By uniting the studies of design, finance, strategy, and sustainability, we provide the tools to manage in today's interconnected markets with a vision of business as sustainable, meaningful, ethical, profitable, and truly innovative.
- Visual and Critical Studies MA Degree
The MA Visual and Critical Studies degree encompasses core courses, electives, forums, workshops, and lectures, students encounter professionals from around the world who explore the complexities of the contemporary visual landscape. Our distinguished faculty members, drawn from departments and programs across the college, have been trained in disciplines that include fine arts, art history, architecture, architectural history, design, design history, fine arts, curatorial practice, creative writing, philosophy, cultural studies, and critical studies.
- Writing MFA Degree
The MFA Program in Writing at California College of the Arts is a two-year course of study. Our program offers workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, cross-genre writing, playwriting, and screenwriting. Rather than require you to declare a specific genre, we instead leave open the option to take workshops in various genres.
Other undergraduate programs include:
- Curatorial Practice
- Fine Arts
- Master of Advanced Architectural Design
- Master of Architecture in Urban Design and Landscape (MAUDL)
- MBA in Design Strategy
- MFA in Comics
- MFA in Film
Professional Programs of Study
- Critical Studies Program
The Critical Studies Program is part of a substantial curriculum in the humanities and sciences, based on the belief that the visual arts are guided as much by the mind as by the hand. The college offers a broad, integrated curriculum that seeks to produce informed citizens and artists who will engage both critically and imaginatively with the world around them. In addition to creative practice, students acquire oral and written communication skills and the tools of critical thinking and argumentation. The Critical Studies program includes courses in cultural history, social science, philosophy, mathematics, and science, as well as interdisciplinary methods of knowledge.
- Diversity Studies Program
CCA’s Diversity Studies Program offers an intensive exploration of cultural diversity in America and in other world cultures that have impacted American society. A commitment to social change and social justice informs the program’s investigations into the processes and constructions of racial/ethnic, gender/sexual, and socioeconomic inequalities.
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