December 2, 2008

Visual and Critical Studies master’s degree program at CCA, San Francisco

California College of the Arts (CCA)
Visual and Critical Studies

415.703.9523 or 800.447.1ART
[email protected]

To schedule a campus visit or for answers to program-specific questions:
Kate Moore, program manager: [email protected]
Tirza True Latimer, program chair: [email protected]

Critical Interrogation of Visual Culture
The Graduate Program in Visual and Critical Studies at California College of the Arts in San Francisco trains students to write professionally about the visual arts and visual culture.

Our program is designed for students interested in the scholarly and creative investigation of the production, circulation, and impact of visual images, objects, events, artifacts, and practices. Students employ a range of methods to analyze and contextualize the visual registers of social subjectivity and collectivity. Using interdisciplinary and culturally diverse frameworks, they bring historical, social, and political analysis, as well as formal analysis, to bear on the interrogation of visual culture.

Degree Options
In addition to an MA in Visual and Critical Studies, we offer dual degrees in coordination with CCA’s graduate programs in Fine Arts, Design, Writing, and Curatorial Practice; there is also a concentration in the Master of Architecture Program option. We welcome highly motivated applicants from a broad spectrum of cultural, professional, and academic backgrounds who believe that criticism can effect positive change on our sociopolitical, as well as visual, environment.

Through core courses, electives, forums, workshops, and guest lectures, students explore the complexities of the contemporary visual landscape. Our distinguished faculty members, drawn from departments across the college, are trained in fine arts, art history, architecture, design, design theory, curatorial practice, creative writing, philosophy, cultural studies, and critical studies.

Additional Components of the Educational Experience
Students interact with a wide variety of visiting artists, scholars, critics, curators, art activists, and community organizers from around the world. CCA’s Graduate Studies Lecture Series brings several distinguished artists, scholars, and other arts professionals to campus each semester. Our department also hosts biweekly seminar-like forums, roundtables and colloquia on pertinent topics, and professional-development workshops. Recent guest speakers have included Judith Butler, Peggy Phelan, José Esteban Munoz, Teresa de Lauretis, Anne Wagner, and Simon Leung.

Career Trajectories
Our alumni follow a range of professional trajectories. They are enrolled in prestigious doctoral programs; curating exhibitions; entering arts administration and journalism; teaching; and engaging in studio and social practice.

Application Deadline
The deadline to apply for the fall 2009 semester is January 15, 2009. Read more at

Scholarships and Financial Aid
CCA awards a range of competitive merit and diversity scholarships as well as substantial need-based financial aid. For more information about financial aid at CCA, visit

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