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Last updated on Feb 11, 2021

Stage of Development

CCA Sparks is focusing on supporting students' co-curricular education in pre-seed and early stage business ventures. The emphasis of this program is for participants to submit new and original, self-initiated ideas.

Eligibility / Status

CCA Sparks is for undergraduate and graduate students attending California College of the Arts, as well as CCA alumni up to 3 years out. Students must be actively enrolled, degree seeking students at CCA at the time of the competition. Alumni must have graduated within 3 years of the competition. Non-degree seeking students, exchange students, AICAD mobility students, and cross-registered students whose home institutions are not CCA will not be eligible to compete. Students must be sophomore level or above, enrolled full-time or part-time, and be in good academic standing (undergraduates must maintain a G.P.A. of 2.0 or above, and graduate students must maintain a G.P.A. of 2.66 and above).

Eligible Programs

The following programs are eligible to participate in CCA Sparks: Undergraduate: BFA Animation, BArch Architecture, BFA Ceramics, BFA Community Arts, BFA Fashion Design, BFA Film, BFA Furniture, BFA Glass, BFA Graphic Design, BFA Illustration, BFA Industrial Design, BFA Interaction Design, BFA Interior Design, BFA Jewelry + Metal Arts, BFA Painting + Drawing, BFA Photography, BFA Printmedia, BFA Sculpture, BFA Textiles, BA Visual Studies, BA Writing + Literature Graduate: DMBA, MFA Comics, MA Curatorial Practice, MFA Design, MFA Film, MFA Fine Arts, MDes Interaction Design, MAAD Advanced Architectural Design, MArch Master of Architecture, MA Visual + Critical Studies, MFA Writing

Competing as an Individual or as a Team

Participants may compete as individuals, but are encouraged to develop teams (maximum of 5 per team) with a well-rounded set of skills and strengths. Individuals and Teams are eligible to enter the competition. Individuals and Teams will be competing against one another. Students may not participate on more than one team, or as both an individual or part of a team.

Individual Applicant(s)

Each Individual must meet enrollment eligibility requirements and be a founding member of the project. Only CCA undergraduate and graduate students or alumni meeting the enrollment requirements described above may submit an application, present a project/product, and answer questions from the judges.

Team Applicants

Teams of no more than five members are allowed. Interdisciplinary teams are especially welcome and encouraged. Every team member must meet the enrollment requirements described above, and be a founding member of the project/product.

Additional Eligibility Requirements:

  • California College of the Arts (CCA) undergraduate students must have taken a full year of courses at CCA as a currently enrolled student in order to participate (transferred credits do not apply).
  • Previous CCA Sparks participants are eligible to reapply, provided they are not former winners, and are eligible to participate for up to 3 years.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

The following are NOT Eligible to Apply:

  • Individual students, student teams, or student run companies or ventures that have raised more than the equivalent of $25,000 US dollars or international funds from investors
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Individuals, Teams, or organizations cannot enter the competition more than 3 times, within 4 years, as individuals or part of a team
  • Previous CCA Sparks competition winners are not eligible to compete

Final Decision on Eligibility

Career Development Office (CDO) reserves all rights and will have final say in determining which Individuals and Teams are eligible to compete in CCA Sparks, and reserves the right to exclude any individual/team for any reason.

Questions? Contact Nicole Mueller in the Office of Career Development at for questions about CCA Sparks.