Academic Policies

Academic Standing Policy

Academic Standing Review

Academic Standing is administered by the Registrar's Office. Incomplete and missing grades will be treated as NC or W grades for the purposes of established Academic Standing. However, if all Incomplete or NC grades are successfully resolved by the end of the subsequent semester, the warning or probation status may be cancelled.

Certificate of Fine Arts

Students will be placed on warning/probation/suspension when they do not successfully complete a minimum of 12 units each semester. Part-time students must complete 75% of their enrolled units each semester. 

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Students will be placed on warning/probation/suspension when they do not successfully complete a minimum of 12 units each semester and/or make satisfactory progress in Critical Studies requirements as indicated in the chart below. Part-time students must complete 75% of their enrolled units each semester. 

     Minimum Units for
Satisfactory Academic
Progress
 Minimum Units to
Graduate in
Four Years
Year Level      Semester   Critical Studies           Total Units             Critical Studies              Total Units      
     BFA-1 Semester 1 2 12  5  15
Semester 2
6
  24
 10  30
     BFA-2 Semester 1 12  36  16  45
Semester 2
18
 48
 22  60
     BFA-3 Semester 1  24  60  28  75
Semester 2
 30
 72
 34  90
     BFA-4 Semester 1  36  84  40  105
Semester 2  42  96  46  120

These standards are minimum standards. An undergraduate student completing only 12 units each semester will not graduate in 4 years (8 semesters).

Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts Degree & Advanced Certificate of Fine Art

Students will be placed on warning/probation/suspension when they do not successfully complete a minimum of 9 units each semester in Schools of Critical Studies, Film/Video, Theater or a minimum of 12 units each semester in the Schools of Art, Dance, Music. MA students must complete a minimum of 9 units per semester in their first year, and 6 units per semester in their second year. Part-time students must complete 75% of their enrolled units each semester.

Doctor of Musical Arts

Students will be placed on probation/suspension when they do not successfully complete a minimum of 10 units each semester.


Notifications

Students will receive notice that they have been placed on warning, probation, extended probation or suspension at the end of the semester. Notifications will be sent to the students' CalArts e-mail. Copies of the notice are sent to the mentor, Program Director, school dean, Dean of Critical Studies, Provost, Registrar, Director of Financial Aid and the Dean of Students.

Placing Students on Warning, Probation, Extended Probation or Suspension

Students placed on warning, probation, extended probation or suspension shall be notified in writing explaining the reasons for the action, the requirements the students must satisfy in order to be removed from warning/probation/extended probation/suspension, and the consequences of not satisfying those requirements.

Removing Students on Warning, Probation or Suspension

When students are removed from warning/probation/extended probation/suspension, the Registrar's Office will send written notice to the students.

Dismissal

The Provost (or designee) must approve the dismissal. Once approval is granted, the Registrar sends students a dismissal letter, which includes reasons for the action and information about appeal procedures.

Deadlines for Notification

Notification Deadline
Warning/Probation

End of Fall Semester - Issued after the end of the semester and no later than two weeks into the next semester.

End of Spring Semester - Issued within two weeks of grades being issued and no later than 1 month before the start of the next semester.

Extended Probation/Suspension/Dismissal

End of Fall Semester - Issued after the end of the semester and no later than 7 calendar days before the start of the next semester.

End of Spring Semester - Issued within two weeks of grades being issued and no later than 1 month before the start of the next semester.

Removal from Warning/Probation/Suspension Issued within two weeks after the end of the semester.


Definition of Academic Standing Stages

Warning - Students in good standing are first placed on warning as an indicator that they have failed to meet the minimum unit requirements in a given semester. Students will be required to meet with the Institute Academic Advisor, mentor and/or program director prior to registering for the following semester. 

Probation - Students on warning who fail to meet the minimum unit requirements in the following semester of enrollment will be placed on probation. Students on probation may be limited to enrolling in no more than 15 units, and may not participate in study abroad or internship programs until removed from probation status. Students may be required to meet with the Institute Academic Advisor, mentor and/or program director twice during their semester of probation.

Extended Probation & Suspension - Students on probation who fail to meet the minimum unit requirements in the following semester of enrollment will be reviewed by the Academic Appeals Committee* for possible suspension. Students may submit an Academic Suspension Petition form discussing why they experienced academic difficulties, what they have done to address those difficulties, and why they can make academic improvement in the following semester. The students' School and Office of Student Affairs may submit written information to the committee for consideration. The Academic Appeals Committee* will review all information, including the student's academic record, and determine if the student will be placed on suspension for either a semester or year (depending on program requirements) or granted one semester to improve their academic status.

Students granted one semester to improve their academic status must meet with their school dean (or designee) prior to registering for the following semester. All restrictions notated in probation will continue. Students who fail to meet the minimum unit requirement in the following semester of enrollment will automatically be placed on suspension for either a semester or year (depending on program requirements).

Students placed on suspension will be required to meet with the Institute Academic Advisor and a school representative to determine the conditions for returning to CalArts; these conditions will be articulated in a letter, and will be monitored by the Registrar's Office.

Dismissal - Students who return to CalArts following a suspension may be dismissed from the Institute due to units and/or Critical Studies (applicable to BFA students) deficiency following any subsequent semester of unsatisfactory work. 

* Academic Appeals Committee - Academic Council Chair (or designee), one Academic Council Representative (or designee), Provost Office representative, Registrar Office representative. 


Progression Through Stages of Academic Standing

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Art Degrees & Advanced Certificates

  1. Warning
  2. Probation
  3. Suspension
  4. Dismissal

 

Master of Fine Arts, Master of Art Degrees & Advanced Certificates

  1. Probation
  2. Suspension
  3. Dismissal
Doctor of Musical Arts Degree

  1. Probation
  2. Dismissal


Student Records

The internal student records of the Institute will contain all notices of action taken in accordance with the policies on Metier and Academic Standing. However, students' official transcripts will not reflect a Metier or Academic standing history if all requirements are fulfilled and the Metier or Academic Standing is removed. The internal permanent record will reflect the following actions: warning, probation, suspension, dismissal and reinstatement.

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
May 2019
Revision History:
Approved May 2016; May 2018 (financial aid eligibility); January 2019 (remove financial aid eligibility); May 2019 (updates BFA chart)