CCA is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, near Silicon Valley and tech giants such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter. The region is known for creative and technological innovation, environmental leadership, and thriving art and design communities. It is home to first-rate museums and alternative gallery spaces as well as active scenes in theater, music, dance, film, and literature. Close by are beaches, hiking and biking trails, the Napa Valley, Mendocino, Monterey, Lake Tahoe, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and Yosemite National Park.
CCA's Oakland campus occupies four acres in the residential Rockridge neighborhood, three miles from UC Berkeley. The San Francisco campus spans a city block in Potrero Hill, near Mission Bay and the design district. Both campuses are easily accessible via bus and train. CCA also operates a free shuttle between its campuses.
Campus Facilities & Equipment
CCA offers outstanding facilities for making art, with over 20 instructional computer, classroom, and large-format color output labs. The labs have Mac computers and a complete range of software to support the creative arts, design, and architecture. Each campus is equipped with wireless access and media centers with equipment for checkout by students.
The Oakland campus is home to the First Year Program and the programs in Animation, Ceramics, Community Arts, Glass, Jewelry / Metal Arts, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Textiles, Visual Studies, and Writing and Literature. (Painting/Drawing courses are held on both campuses.)
Animation students have dedicated studios and equipment for digital video, film, and sound production. Ceramics facilities include numerous gas and electric kilns. Sculpture facilities include a bronze foundry, a wax-working area, a plaster and mold-making room, a metal fabrication studio, and a woodworking shop. Textiles facilities include a weaving studio with a digital Jacquard TC-1 loom, print studio, dye lab, fiber sculpture studio, and computer lab. For printmaking there are lithography presses, a 40 x 60 American French Tool etching press, a silkscreening and papermaking complex, and a letterpress lab with Vandercook presses and a polymer plate maker. The photography center supports both analog and digital processes.
San Francisco Campus
The San Francisco campus houses the programs in Architecture, Fashion Design, Film, Furniture, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interaction Design, and Interior Design as well as all of the graduate programs.
To support these programs, the San Francisco campus provides a diverse range of making spaces across design, craft, and technology. These areas include rapid prototyping, 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC studios; model-making and alternative material studios; woodworking studios; welding and metalworking studios; casting, spray painting, and airbrush studios; plaster, cement, and work studios, and a Hybrid lab that explores high-tech, robotics, physical computing, and programming in design. There is also a full digital production facility and stage. The MFA Program in Writing has its own building.
CCA's libraries specialize in art, architecture, and design. The two libraries (one on each campus) house collections that include 90,000 volumes representing 65,000 titles, more than 200 print periodical subscriptions, nearly 2,000 full-text online periodicals, more than 3,000 audiovisual titles, and nearly 10,000 digital resources in the institutional repository. Special collections include the Small Press Traffic collection, the Hamaguchi print collection, and an artists' book collection. A Materials Library, located on the San Francisco campus, contains hundreds of material samples and access to the Material Connexion database.
The college has several dedicated on-campus spaces for exhibitions of student work, and individual departments and courses frequently present off-campus shows of student work. Many of these exhibitions are organized by the students themselves, giving them valuable hands-on gallery experience. Student exhibitions on both campuses change weekly.
Artist talks, lectures, and other special events take place on both campuses almost every day.
Internships (required by some programs, and encouraged by all) allow students to gain practical experience and make professional connections while they earn academic credit.
CCA's Center for Art and Public Life organizes a wide range of programs that put students into direct contact with the diverse communities of the Bay Area and beyond.
Sponsored studio courses, offered throughout the year, enable students to work directly with professional practitioners from globally distinguished firms such as Gensler, Intel, and IDEO.
Through the International Exchange Program, students may spend a semester at one of more than 30 colleges of art and design around the globe. CCA also offers summer study-abroad courses.
Qualified upper-division students may spend a semester at one of 32 other art schools throughout the United States through the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). Students may cross-register at Mills College or Holy Names University, both in Oakland.
The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, housed near the San Francisco campus, presents several exhibitions every year featuring internationally prominent contemporary artists.
Student Organizations & Activities
At CCA, education takes place both inside and outside the classroom. About 80 percent of first-year students live on campus. Throughout the year, the residential-life staff hosts social and educational programs ranging from movie nights and barbecues to museum trips and professional lectures.
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 become involved in student government. The Student Council sponsors a variety of activities throughout the year, including dinners, films, and shuttles to San Francisco galleries.
Our students are active in many pre-professional groups that are affiliated with corresponding Bay Area professional chapters: American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), and International Interior Design Association (IIDA).
Student services include counseling, tutoring, advising, career development, health and wellness, disability and access services, fitness classes, stress relief, and safety workshops. There are many services specifically for international students, including dedicated staff, special workshops, social events, and exhibitions.