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.

Blog Feature

San Francisco | College Locations

Graduate School: Why Location Matters

By: Noel Dahl
April 4th, 2018

Industry connections, career opportunities, and inspiring landscapes all play a crucial role when it comes to choosing the right graduate school for you. How does the Bay Area measure up?

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Graduate Programs | MFA in Writing

3 Writing Tips from the U.S. Poet Laureate

By: Noel Dahl
January 30th, 2018

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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Choosing A College | San Francisco | College Locations | For Undergraduates

Top 3 Reasons Why San Francisco Is the Best City for Art Students

By: Noel Dahl
December 13th, 2017

When you choose an art school, you’re not just choosing a school — faculty, curriculum, campus housing, and all the rest — you’re choosing a scene. More than almost any other discipline, the study of art requires immersing yourself in art, surrounding yourself with people who are making art, at every level and in every form, to cultivate inspiration and opportunity. For that, nothing beats a big city. And in the U.S., nothing beats San Francisco. San Francisco has been called, among other things, one of the most inspiring cities for young artists, one of the world’s top cities for designers, and the top North American city for an animation career. Now add this superlative to the list: America’s best city for art students. Here are three reasons why:

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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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Blog Feature

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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