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Transfer Credit Policy for Undergraduates

Last updated on Feb 29, 2024

General Undergraduate Transfer Policies

CCA welcomes transfer credit for eligible courses taken at an accredited college, university, or community college. Transfer credit may also be considered for courses taken at institutions outside the United States that are authorized by their national governments. Please see the transfer credit policy for international institutions.

Transfer credit is considered for courses that meet each requirement:

  • Courses that have been completed with a grade of C or better, P grade, or any equivalent grade.
  • Transfer credits are evaluated on a course-by-course basis as long as they meet CCA’s degree requirements; students may be asked to provide a course description or syllabus to determine transferability to CCA.
  • Courses older than 10 years may require additional review by the Student Records Office.

Incoming students can transfer credit up to the Senior Residency Requirement.

Converting Quarter Credit to Semester Credit

All CCA undergraduate requirements are 3 semester units, unless otherwise noted. If transferred courses are less than 3 semester units, students must take multiple eligible courses to fulfill one of CCA’s requirements













Official Transcripts

CCA requires official transcripts for all coursework taken prior to admission. An initial evaluation can be done with unofficial transcripts or official transcripts with courses still in progress, however credit will not be awarded until official transcripts showing final grades are received. Official transcripts must be submitted to the Admissions Office by August 1 (fall transfers) or January 8 (spring transfers) to receive transfer credit.

Transcripts are considered official if they meet the following criteria:

  • Electronic official transcripts should be sent from the host institution via Parchment Exchange or another third party provider directly to
  • Physical transcripts are sealed in an envelope with appropriate stamp or seal from the institution and with the Registrar’s signature.

Physical transcripts should be mailed to the following address:

California College of the Arts
Office of Admissions
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Transfer Credit Policy for International Institutions

CCA welcomes transfer credit from international institutions. Students attempting to transfer in credits earned at institutions outside of the United States must have their academic transcripts evaluated/translated by an appropriate evaluation agency. A transfer credit evaluation will not be completed unless an evaluation is received.

We recommend one of the following evaluation agencies:

Applicants have the right to waive transfer credit if they do not provide an international transcript evaluation from one of the above agencies. This requires an email confirmation from the student to the Admissions Office requesting to waive a transfer credit evaluation. If admitted, this decision is final and students cannot request transfer credit evaluation after matriculation. All applicants are still required to submit original transcripts with their application.

Transfer Credit Policy for Second-Degree Students

Students with a Bachelor’s degree or higher from a US institution who are applying for an undergraduate degree program at CCA are considered a Second-Degree student. Second-Degree students will also automatically receive credit for their non-studio general education requirements excluding History of Art and Visual Culture, Writing 1 and Writing 2, which requires individual evaluation.

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams

Specific AP and IB exams are eligible for transfer credit. Contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Preliminary Transcript Evaluations

Prospective students can request a preliminary transcript evaluation by contacting the Admissions Office. This evaluation may determine transferable courses for the First Year Core (FYCST) and Humanities & Sciences (H&S) requirements. A final evaluation will be determined once accepted at CCA.

2+2 Agreements

CCA has educational partnerships that make transferring credits easier. A 2+2 Agreement details all of the courses that you should take in your first 2 years in college in order to transfer seamlessly into the third year at CCA.

View our list of articulation agreements, organized by geographic region, for specific transfer policies.

Transfer Credit for Studio Requirements

A studio course is one focused on acquisition, reinforcement and/or mastery of skills, techniques and concepts through the direct creation and critique of student work. Studios generally involve demonstrations and in-class application of the skills, techniques and concepts.

Major specific studio courses will be determined by the program chair during the transcript evaluation after admission. Program Chairs may decide to waive a major specific studio requirement based on a portfolio review. If a major specific studio requirement is waived, then the student is required to make up the units under the studio electives requirement.

Each program requires a range of studio electives along with the First Year Core (FYCST) and major studio requirements.

Transfer Credit Policy for First Year Core Studio (FYCST) Requirements

Students transferring in 12 units (or more) of studio coursework are understood to have fulfilled the CCA First Year Core Studio requirements.

Transfer students who have 12 units of non-major studio coursework will have those units awarded to fulfill the First Year Core (FYCST) requirements.

Transfer students who have 12 units of major-specific studio coursework will be waived from the FYCST requirements and the units from the waived FYCST requirements will be replaced with studio electives.

Transfer students with a mixture of 12 units of non-major and major specific studio coursework are understood to have fulfilled the CCA First Year Core Studio requirements. The waived FYCST requirements will be replaced with studio electives. For example, if a student transfers in 6 units of major-specific studio coursework, the 6 non-major units will count towards 6 units of the FYCST requirements. The remaining 6 units of the FYCST requirements will be replaced with 6 units of studio electives.

Transfer students who have less than 12 units of studio coursework will have those units individually evaluated based on CCA’s course requirements and will be required to take one or all of the requirements of the First Year Core Studios.

The FYCST requirements consist of the following subject types:

CCA Courses

College Subjects

Key Words

Drawing 1
(FYCST 1000)

Art, Design

Introduction to Drawing, Perspective, Drawing from Observation, Traditional Drawing Skills, Drafting/Technical Drawing

2D Studio
(FYCST 1040)

Art, Design

Principles of Design, Form and Color, Elements of Art, Color Theory, Painting

3D Studio
(FYCST 1080)

Art, Design

Three Dimensional: Sculpture, Model Making, Ceramics, Glass, Furniture, Jewelry/Metal Arts, Any Tangible Object-Making

4D Studio
(FYCST 1120)

Art, Design

Time Based Projects: Web Design, Digital Literacy, Video Editing, Video Operating, Film, Software-Based, After-Effects, Animation

First Year Core Studio Portfolio (FYCST) Review

Incoming students may choose to go through a Portfolio Review to be waived from FYCST requirements. Students should submit samples of work to the First Year Core Program. If a student receives a waiver for any FYCST requirement, then they will be required to take additional studio electives instead.

Transfer Credit Policy for Humanities & Sciences Courses

Each program requires students to fulfill general education lower-division and upper-division Humanities & Sciences (H&S) courses. 2000-level courses are considered lower-division, and 3000-level courses are considered upper-division at CCA. The H&S requirement consists of the following subject types:

CCA Courses

College Subjects

Key Words

Writing 1
(WRLIT 1030)

English, Writing, Composition

Composition and Reading, College Writing, English/Writing 1

Writing 2
(WRLIT 2030)

English, Writing, Composition

Composition, Research, Writing about Literature, English/Writing 2

Intro to Arts
(HAAVC 1040)

Art History, Ancient

Introduction to Art History [Prehistory through the Renaissance]

Intro to Modern Arts
(HAAVC 1080)

Art History, Modern

History of Modern Art [18th Century through Present]

Foundations in Critical Studies
(CRTSD 1500)

Philosophy, Humanities, First-Year/Freshman Seminar

Intro to Philosophy, Intro Critical Thinking, Ethics, Logic

Critical Ethnic Studies Seminar
(ETHSM 2000)

Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, LGBTQ Studies

Social Inequalities, Race, Gender, Class, and How These Impact Art, History, Politics, Literature or Culture

Literary and Performing Arts
(LITPA 2000)

Literature, Music (non-studio), Dance (non-studio), Theater (non-studio)

History/Theory of Music, History/Theory of Theater, History/Theory of Dance, Writer Studies

Philosophy and Critical Thinking
(PHCRT 2000)


Intro/Specific Philosophy Topics, Advanced Critical Thinking, Religion Studies

(SCIMA 2000)

Science, Math

Biology, Geology, Physics, Physical Anthropology, Physical Geography, College Math, Environmental Science, Computer Science

Social Science and History
(SSHIS 2000)

Social Science, History

Psychology, Sociology, Cultural Geography, Cultural Anthropology, Political Science, Economics, Gender/Sexuality Studies, History/Survey or Intro to History

History of Art and Visual Culture
(HAAVC 2000)

Visual Art, Art History, Visual Culture Studies

Specialized Art History (Excluding Art Appreciation & Intro to Arts), Film History, Art History, Design History

Humanities and Science Elective
(GENED 795)

General Education

All of the Above, Language Courses, Communications, Business Administration, Art Education, Theory of Childhood Education

Community College Transfer Eligibility:

  • Courses from community colleges are considered eligible for a 2000-level Humanities & Sciences transfer.
  • Two (2) 2000-level Humanities & Sciences courses may be combined to create a 3-unit transfer to fulfill a 3000-level requirement as long as the 2000-level requirement is already fulfilled by another course.

Four-Year College Transfer Eligibility

  • Lower-division courses from a four-year college are considered eligible for a 2000-level transfer.
  • Upper-division courses from a four-year college are considered eligible for a 3000-level transfer.

Concurrent Enrollment Policy

Once enrolled at CCA, students are not allowed to take classes outside CCA during the fall and spring terms, including online courses offered at other institutions.

Transfer Credit During Summer/Winter Terms for Continuing Students

Once enrolled at CCA, students are able to take courses outside CCA during the summer and winter terms by receiving pre-approval from the Student Records office through the Transfer Credit Approval Request (TCAR) in Workday. Program Chairs must pre-approve credit for all major requirements (see Current Chairs and Deans for the current semester's program chairs).

Students who matriculate with fewer than 60 transfer units may apply a maximum of 12 additional transfer units toward their degree requirements; however, students who matriculate with 60 or more transfer units may apply a maximum of 6 additional transfer units toward their degree requirements.

All courses taken outside CCA during the summer and winter terms must be completed with a grade of C or better, P, or any equivalent. Students are required to submit official transcripts for these courses before the end of their first term back at the college directly to

Students intending to take classes at CCA and at another institution in the summer and winter terms cannot apply for aid for multiple schools during the same term.