Explore the past and present of visual culture by dedicating two years to topic-driven research and critical writing. Your classroom extends into San Francisco’s rich cultural scene and publishing industry, where you’ll gain professional experience as you pursue your creative and scholarly interests.
📍195 De Haro St.
VCS Field Trip @ City Archive
About MA Visual and Critical Studies
Campus resources for research
▪️ About MA Visual and Critical Studies
The world needs more cultural critics who can communicate to diverse audiences in a range of formats. The Visual and Critical Studies (VCS) program will train you to write professionally about the visual arts and visual culture, and to innovate through creative practices. For example, Kristen Wawruck (MA VCS 2022) researched artist Dara Birnbaum’s intervention at MTV in the 1980s and 90s to probe the idea of corporate patronage. In addition to taking part in public talks and symposia, you’ll research a topic of your choosing for your final thesis and presentation.
Study in a creative hub
The San Francisco Bay Area is a locus for emerging artists, entrepreneurs, innovators, and social activists. Campus events foster scholarly inquiry and professional development, including the VCS Forum, Queer Conversations in Culture and the Arts, and Social Impact Fair (a collegewide professional event to connect with nonprofit and community organizations).
Pair your MA in VCS with a degree in Curatorial Practice, Fine Arts, or Writing. The skills you build during a dual degree give you a competitive edge, enabling you to discuss and write about creative work more powerfully.
▪️ Campus resources for research
In our dynamic art school setting, you’ll engage directly with the creative practices you’re analyzing. There are opportunities to exchange ideas with architects, curators, designers, fine artists, and writers—or get hands-on with materials in our studios.
Access one-of-a-kind digital and physical objects in CCA’s Meyer Library, which go beyond the typical books and journals you’d expect in an academic setting. Our holdings are designed to support learning at CCA and its archives are meant to preserve the history of the college and its related creative practices.
Located on the second floor of our main building, the FlatLab houses several different types of professional-grade printers. It features two Risograph printers, a Xerox color phaser, and a 24-inch-wide Epson P7000 inkjet printer.