California College of the Arts

Art School Insights

Useful tips for artists, makers, students, career changers, and anyone interested in pursuing a life in art, design and writing.

Noel Dahl

Noel Dahl is director of graduate admissions at California College of the Arts, where he oversees the recruitment, admissions, and enrollment functions of the school's graduate programs. He received his MFA in Fine Arts and has worked in higher education for the past 15 years.

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Graduate Programs | MFA in Writing

3 Writing Tips from the U.S. Poet Laureate

By: Noel Dahl
November 15th, 2017

Imagine if you could learn about literary form, research, and revision from masters of the craft. The chance to study with acclaimed writers and poets is one of the greatest benefits of an MFA in Creative Writing. From intimate writing workshops to incredible readings, their experiences and perspectives can help you fine-tune your craft as you work towards publication. Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate and winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, recently read from her forthcoming collection, Wade in the Water, and held a craft talk for our CCA MFA in Writing students and local community of writers and artists. She offered three fruitful tips to help jump-start your fall writing, and the first one might surprise you: 

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Portfolio | For Undergraduates

How to choose which examples to include in your art portfolio

By: Noel Dahl
June 27th, 2017

For most prospective art students, one of the hardest parts of applying to school is choosing portfolio selections. We've heard many applicants worry that they don't have enough samples because they didn't focus on art in high school, or they haven't decided on one specific field of art to study.

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Choosing A College

Can Art College Help You Make a Difference? One Grad’s Story

By: Noel Dahl
May 11th, 2017

What can an art college graduate possibly have to offer citizens of war-ravaged Sierra Leone, former child soldiers and child prostitutes, some homeless and some living with polio?

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For Undergraduates | Graphic Design | illustration

Illustration vs. Graphic Design: Which one is the best major for you?

By: Noel Dahl
April 20th, 2017

Every student comes to art school with different abilities, perspectives, and passions. No single course of study could be considered "the best" for everyone, but there are some popular programs that have common appeal to the artistically inclined. Two of the more popular art school concentrations are illustration and graphic design. While these majors have some similarities, they also have differences in their curriculum and job prospects. To help those trying to choose between these distinct art school programs, we've compared them in a few key areas to see how they stack up against each other.

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San Francisco | College Locations

3 best cities for art school graduates

By: Noel Dahl
March 16th, 2017

You've put in four or more years of work, walked the stage in your cap & gown, and celebrated with friends and family. College graduates have much to be proud of, but they also have long professional journeys ahead filled with tough decisions.

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