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California College of the Arts

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The school totally exceeded my expectations.Quite BrightArchitecture
The school totally exceeded my expectations. The overall environment that is created by both students and faculty is remarkable. The work load however is intense but manageable. I would not recommend working while at school. Class sizes are small, leaving mote time to interact with the professor(s). By working in studio everyday (week ends included) students inconjuntion with the instructors help eachover with the workload. Overall I really love the school.
2nd Year Male -- Class 2014
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Social Life: C+
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Great school.Super BrilliantDesign Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Great school. Illustration departament is like it's own little world with unbelievably amazing faculty that are available anytime and great curriculum. Couldn't wish for more.
2nd Year Female -- Class 2012
Education Quality: A+, Extracurricular Activities: C+
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I started out at a small, private, cometitiveSuper BrilliantFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
I started out at a small, private, cometitive liberal arts college. I loved it - very academic, "easy" if you've managed to get in as it all follows a fomula: study. take test. write essay. make Dean's list. The only thing I could imagine studying for four years was art - so I transferred here for a proper BFA. (I majored in Photography)

I LOVED it. The school is small, the faculty attentive, the darkroom plush and well maintained. Even as a transfer I had room to take a few classes outside of my major. The kids who do well in art school are the same kids who'd do well anywhere - it's just as challenging as any other program, just in a different way. The "formula" for doing well doesn't work - you have to be self-directed, communicative, AND produce good work. There's no "just" doing the assignments. I had professors who'd worked under Ansel Adams, Noam Chomsky, and who belong to Magnum... I had one professor I really disliked, and they only lasted one semester as many students complained (and the dpt. listened!). I didn't get along with my dpt. advisor, which is a shame as there wasn't really an alternative I could go to w/o chaning my major.

There are *some* trust fund 18 yr olds, but they don't seem to last. Most of the people in my class were studious, hardworking, and a number were older or second degree students. There wasn't much "partying" because everyone was working or studying! I can't speak for other departments, but photography, graphic design, architecture etc... have reputations for being a bit more straight-laced. That said, you are in SF! and the whole city is there as a resource - great place, though a bit pricey. There are few traditional extracurriculars, but lots of kids are involved in non-profit or grass-roots/community art projects; I also studied abroad over the summer, which was excellent (year-long exchanges are available too).

I had trouble with financial aid off and on - I got enough funding, but the occasional administrative error (not always CCA's fault either - some govt./bank errors and typos) led to some stickiness. Be assertive, and stay on top of things!

I have never had trouble finding employment - and though it's not been "in my field", that's also been my choice. I currently work in finance (of all things!) and am using that to fund my work. I know several people who graduated at the time I did who ARE employed as artists, designers, etc...

The campus is urban, but I liked it - the Oakland campus is a hodge-podge of odd looking buildings (beautiful library!) surrounded by park-like redwoods and a cute neighborhood; the SF campus is in a beautifully rennovated, light-filled warehouse. Both campuses could use more parking. I skipped the dorms and lived in share-houses, usually with UC Berkeley students, which worked quite well and allowed a safer neighborhood than downtown Oakland!Keep in mind... it's one thing to get handed a graded paper or test that you can quietly fold and put in your bag. While there are a fair amount of tests/papers, you will have critiques for studio classes: you will stand up in front of the whole class while they tell you what you deserve + why and everyone will know if you did your work/homework/research or not!!!

3rd Year Female -- Class 2004
Education Quality: A, Perceived Campus Safety: C-
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