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Undergraduate degree requirements

Last updated on Sep 01, 2023

Students are eligible to receive bachelor's degrees from CCA when they have completed all major and other curricular requirements, completed the appropriate number of semester units for the degree they are seeking (120 units for the BA and the BFA, 159 units for the BArch), and met the GPA and residency requirements.

Degrees are posted on the student's transcript once all the final semester grades are received and the Student Records Office has conducted a final graduation check. Students who do not pass this final check will be notified by mail of any outstanding requirements.

Students are responsible for keeping track of their progress toward graduation, including units completed and fulfillment of major requirements. In order to graduate, students must satisfy the degree requirements in effect at the time of their matriculation at CCA.

Undergraduate Class Level

The number of semester units completed determines undergraduate class level:

  • First year: 0–29 units
  • Second year: 30–59 units
  • Third year: 60–89 units
  • Fourth year: 90–120 units
  • Fifth year (BArch only): 121–159 units

Academic Progress Report

Students can access the Academic Progress Report by logging in to Workday. This allows students to track their progress toward graduation by listing all applicable course requirements according to the categories of the curriculum (first-year Core, major, Humanities and Science, and elective). It also indicates whether each requirement is completed, in progress, or outstanding.

The Academic Progress Report reflects all units the student has earned at CCA or transferred from a different institution. The audits are updated after the grades are posted each term.

Because each major has different curricular requirements, Academic Progress Reports may be altered significantly whenever students select or change their major. Students are advised to have a copy of their Academic Progress Report with them whenever they meet with their advisor.

Senior Residency Requirement

All undergraduate students enter their senior residency period when they have 30 credits remaining to complete their degree.

According to CCA's senior residency requirement, students must take 24 of these last 30 units of course work at the college, including all remaining requirements in the major. Seniors intending to take courses elsewhere must adhere to all transfer credit policies and procedures, including confirming preapproval.

Undergraduate Internships

A college-sponsored internship is required for the completion of programs in Architecture (BArch), Interior Design, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, and Interaction Design. Other programs strongly encourage their students to complete an internship, recognizing that the experience enhances students' prospects of successful employment after graduation; students without a required internship may take an elective internship course for 3-units.

Internships must be approved by an Internship Coordinator or a Program Chair before starting the internship process. Students must complete the internship process, per their major, to receive credit toward the internship class or requirement. Additionally, international students must receive work authorization by completing the CPT process BEFORE starting their internship. Failure to obtain work authorization for practical training, prior to employment as an intern, jeopardizes an international student's immigration status.

Undergraduate Independent Study

Independent study is an unscheduled 3-unit course of study. To qualify for an independent study in studio, a student must be an upper-division, matriculated undergraduate in good academic standing and must have completed a minimum of 45 studio units. To qualify for an independent study in Humanities and Science, the student must be in good academic standing.

Independent study must be approved by an instructor, the student's advisor, and an assistant director of the program sponsoring the independent study. Independent study application forms are available on the Student Records Forms page.

Normally, students are limited to 3 units of independent study per semester. Students who wish to take additional units of independent study must submit a petition to the Policy Review Committee. CCA allows students to take up to 12 units of independent study units.