California College of the Arts
TypePrivate art school
Established1907; 116 years ago (1907)
Endowment$36.0 million (2019)[1]
PresidentStephen Beal
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
4 acres (1.6 ha)
ColorsNew teal, paper white, black

The California College of the Arts (CCA) is a private[2] art school in San Francisco, California. It was founded in Berkeley, California in 1907 and moved to a historic estate in Oakland, California in 1922. In 1996, it opened a second campus in San Francisco; in 2022, the Oakland campus was closed and merged into the San Francisco campus. CCA enrolls[when?] approximately 1,239 undergraduates and 380 graduate students.[3]


Treadwell Mansion (Oakland, CA)
The CCA campus in San Francisco's design district (in the foreground below)

CCA was founded in 1907 by Frederick Meyer in Berkeley as the School of the California Guild of Arts and Crafts during the height of the Arts and Crafts movement. The Arts and Crafts movement originated in Europe during the late 19th century as a response to the industrial aesthetics of the machine age. Followers of the movement advocated an integrated approach to art, design, and craft.[4]

In 1908 the school was renamed California School of Arts and Crafts, and in 1936 it became the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC).[5]

The college's Oakland campus location was acquired in 1922, when Meyer bought the four-acre James Treadwell estate at Broadway and College Avenue. Two of its buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.[6] After the San Francisco campus was opened, the Oakland campus continued to house the more traditional, craft based studios like the art glass, jewelry metal arts, printmaking, painting, sculpture and ceramic programs.

In 1940 a Master of Fine Arts program was established.[7]

In the 1980s, the college began renting various locations in San Francisco, and in 1996 it opened a campus in the city's Design District, converting a former Greyhound maintenance building.[8]

In 2003 the college changed its name to California College of the Arts.[5]

In 2016 it was decided to close the Oakland campus and consolidate all activities at the San Francisco campus. The final day of classes at Oakland was May 6, 2022. The college said it will "redevelop the campus with community gathering spaces, affordable housing, office space for arts nonprofits and bike parking while preserving the campus’s cluster of historic buildings and trees."[9]


Montgomery Building, San Francisco campus

CCA offers 22 undergraduate and 13 graduate majors.[10] In 2021, CCA unveiled a BFA in Comics.[11] CCA confers the bachelor of fine arts (BFA), bachelor of arts (BA), bachelor of architecture (BArch), master of fine arts (MFA), master of arts (MA), master of architecture (MArch), master of advanced architectural design (MAAD), masters of design (MDes)[10] and master of business administration (MBA) degrees.

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, located near the San Francisco campus in a facility on Kansas St., is a forum for contemporary culture. In 2013 the Wattis Institute recruited a new director, Anthony Huberman, formerly of Artist's Space in New York.[12]

In the U.S. News & World Report rankings for 2020, CCA ranked #10 in the country for graduate fine arts programs,[13] #4 in graphic design,[14] and #6 in ceramics.[15] PayScale lists[when?] CCA as the #1 art school in the United States for return on investment and #4 for average alumni salary (bachelor's degree).[16][17] As of 2022, Niche rated CCA with an overall grade of B- (with B- for academics, A+ for diversity, and B- for value), reporting an acceptance rate of 85%, graduation rate of 67%, and average alumni starting salary of $29,400.[2] The average class size is 13 for undergraduate programs and 12 for graduate.[18] The student to faculty ratio is 8:1.[18]


CCA is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).



  1. ^ As of June 30, 2019. "U.S. and Canadian 2019 NTSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2019 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY18 to FY19 (Revised)". National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Explore California College of the Arts". Niche. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  3. ^ "California College of the Arts (CCA) Overview". US News. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  4. ^ Edwards, Robert W. (2012). Jennie V. Cannon: The Untold History of the Carmel and Berkeley Art Colonies, Vol. 1. Oakland, Calif.: East Bay Heritage Project. pp. 79–86, 102, 688. ISBN 9781467545679. An online facsimile of the entire text of Vol. 1 is posted on the Traditional Fine Arts Organization website ("Jennie V. Cannon: The Untold History of the Carmel and Berkeley Art Colonies, vol. One, East Bay Heritage Project, Oakland, 2012; by Robert W. Edwards". Archived from the original on April 29, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2016.)
  5. ^ a b "College Milestones". California College of the Arts. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "Treadwell Mansion & Carriage House". Oakland Wiki. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  7. ^ Catalogue for 1942-1942 California College of Arts and Crafts. Oakland, California: California College of Arts and Crafts. 1942. p. 7.
  8. ^ Le, Anh-Minh (July 5, 2013). "CCA a seat of Calif. furniture design". SFGATE. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  9. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (May 6, 2022). "California College of the Arts bids farewell to Oakland". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Two new graduate programs, starting fall 2015". Art & Education. Archived from the original on May 13, 2016. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  11. ^ "Comics". CCA. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  12. ^ Bliss, Chris. "Anthony Huberman Appointed Director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts". Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  13. ^ "Best Art Schools - Best Fine Arts Programs". U.S. News & World Report.
  14. ^ "Best Art Schools - Best Graphic Design Programs". U.S. News & World Report.
  15. ^ "Best Art Schools - Best Ceramics Programs". U.S. News & World Report.
  16. ^ "Best Value Art Colleges". Payscale.
  17. ^ "Best Art Colleges". Payscale.
  18. ^ a b "Facts & Figures". CCA. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  19. ^ "Faculty - Robin Gianattassio-Malle". California College of the Arts. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2011.

37°50′09″N 122°15′01″W / 37.83593°N 122.25030°W / 37.83593; -122.25030