Academic Credit and Limitations

Since the fall semester 1983, academic/artistic credit for work completed at CalArts has been awarded in terms of semester units. CalArts adheres to the standard definition of “semester unit” as described by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. For undergraduate students, one semester unit is assigned on the basis of 3 hours of work each week of a semester with a semester considered to be 15 weeks for a total of 30 weeks of instruction. Using this formula, 45 hours of study in one semester is equal to one semester unit.

Examples of the ways in which one undergraduate semester unit may be earned are as follows: 

  • Lecture Course: One contact hour plus two hours of out of class preparation. 
  • Studio Course: Two contact hours plus one hour of out of class preparation.
  • Individual Lessons: One hour of contact with at least two hours of practice.
  • Independent Study: At least three hours of work per week.

For students pursuing an MFA degree, MA degree, Advanced Certificate, or DMA degree, one semester unit is assigned on the basis of 4 hours of work each week of a semester with a semester considered to be 15 weeks for a total of 30 weeks of instruction. Using this formula, 60 hours of study in one semester is equal to one semester unit. More out–of–class preparation time is generally expected at the graduate level than at the undergraduate level.

The number of units established for any one class is based on minimum expectations. Quality is recognized by the awarding, not of units, but of grades (high pass, pass, low pass, etc.).

A full–time undergraduate student program is normally 14 to 16 units and not less than 12 units. At CalArts, a full–time MFA, MA or Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts student program is not less than 9 or 12 units depending on the program of study. A full–time DMA student program comprises not less than 10 units.

A 14 to 16 unit course load requires at least 42 to 48 hours of class related work per week while a 20 unit course load would require at least 60 hours of course related work per week. Considering this commitment of time, energy and resources, we limit student course loads to no more than 20 units per semester (excluding any Winter Session units).

We recognize that on occasion, a student may wish to exceed the 20 units per semester limitation due to unusual circumstances. In that case, the student will complete the Unit Overload Petition, which must be approved and signed in the following order by:

  • the student’s mentor; 
  • the dean of the student’s School; 
  • the Provost or his/her designee; and
  • the Registrar.

Only students who have not received an NC grade in the two semesters preceding the petition are eligible to request a unit overload. BFA–1 students may not petition for more than 20 units (excluding any Winter Session units).

Note: Financial aid is calculated on the minimum full–time course load (12 units for undergraduate students / nine units for graduate students). Units beyond the prescribed minimum are not calculated for additional financial aid.

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
Nov 2011

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, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Registrar, Director of Financial Aid and the Vice President for Student Experience.

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 Experience 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)

Accelerated Graduation

Accelerated graduation is an honor conferred, on rare occasions, when a student has demonstrated extraordinary artistic development and achievement. It is an honor conferred by the faculty and dean of a school; it is not an option for which a student may apply. Not more than one year’s advancement may be granted for an accelerated graduation. MA in Aesthetics and Politics and DMA students are not eligible for accelerated graduation.

  1. Required Conditions 
    1. Demonstration by the student of excellence and achievement far beyond that which is required for graduation. 
    2. Completion by the student of all school requirements and Critical Studies requirements (BFA and Critical Studies programs only).
  2. The Process: 
    1. The nomination for accelerated graduation must be supported, in writing, by the program head, the dean of the school and at least two faculty members. 
    2. The recommendation for accelerated graduation must be submitted to the Registrar no later than the last class day of the 3rd week of classes of the semester of anticipated graduation. The recommendation delineates the reasons for an accelerated graduation and describes the student’s outstanding accomplishments. 
    3. The Registrar will forward the recommendation to the Provost or his/her designee who will schedule presentation of the recommendation to the Deans Council. 
    4. At the time of the presentation to the Deans Council, the Dean of the school will provide the letters of support from the school, as well as evidence of the student’s excellence and achievement, such as a resume and/or portfolio. 
    5. Upon approval of these terms, the student’s school will schedule an official graduation review. 
    6. Final approval for graduation rests with the school.
Policy Category:

Add/Drop

Add/Drop is a grace period during which students may sign up for classes, add classes to their schedule or drop classes from their schedule. There is no fee for this service, though students must have registered (paid tuition and completed forms) in order to sign up for
classes.

From the end of late registration to the close of the add/drop period, class changes will require the approval of the mentor and the permission of the instructor of the class.

Policy Category:

Admissions Policies

Admission to the Institute

California Institute of the Arts is committed to the principle of equal opportunity. The Institute does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, veteran status, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, or other characteristics or classifications protected by the law in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, employment policies, scholarships and loan programs, and other Institute administered programs and activities, but may favor U.S. citizens or residents in admission and financial aid.

Inquiries concerning CalArts’ equal opportunity policies, compliance with applicable laws, statutes and regulations (such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973), and complaint procedures should be directed to the Dean of Students, Academic Administration Building, Room A207, 661 253-7891. To the extent that such inquiries and complaints pertain to employment-related matters, they should be sent to the Director of Human Resources, Academic Administration Building, Room F201A, 661 253-7837.
The decision to admit students for degrees and certificates is primarily the responsibility of the school faculties and the Office of Admissions acting through procedures established by the faculty, deans and administration, which are consistent with established Institute policies. These procedures place strong emphasis upon the student’s potential to benefit from admission to one of the Institute’s schools as demonstrated by portfolio, audition and other evidence of achievement and creative ability. Application procedures and portfolio and audition requirements are described on the CalArts website and in other official publications.
Note: International applicants must meet special standards described in this policy and in the Admissions Bulletin. The Admissions Committee may choose to conditionally accept students whose ability to maintain satisfactory progress in our Critical Studies curriculum is in question. Conditionally accepted students will be required to meet with the Institute Academic Advisor twice a year prior to class-sign up. The Institute Academic Advisor will develop an ongoing plan individual to the student’s needs which may include tutoring, counseling, or special workshops.

Admission Prerequisite

Undergraduate applicants to the Institute must provide a secondary (high) school transcript from a regionally accredited high school or must be working toward graduation or its equivalent at the time of application. Applicants will also be considered for admission on the basis of testing rather than secondary school graduation under the following circumstances:

  1. Upon presentation of an official General Education Development Exam (GED) report with a total score of at least 300 with no individual score below 55; or
  2. Upon presentation of a transcript from a regionally accredited college or university verifying at least 24 semester units of transferable college-level course work. The transfer credit must be in academic courses suitable for transfer toward Critical Studies or of a critical or analytic nature based in the student’s métier.

Applicants to MFA and MA programs must have earned an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants to the DMA program must have a Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field from a regionally accredited college or university, or a Master’s degree in another field with skills and knowledge demonstrably commensurate with a Master’s degree in music.

International Students: Credentials, diplomas and certificates of secondary school and college-level work must be presented in official English translation, with notations as to the numbers of hours attended per week and the total of weeks completed.

High School or Secondary School transcripts verifying graduation, transcripts from all colleges or universities previously attended, and college or university transcripts verifying previous degrees must be received no later than the end of the student’s first semester of attendance. Students with transcripts outstanding at the end of the first semester of attendance will not be eligible to enroll for subsequent semesters.

Application Fee

In accord with policies approved by the Board of Trustees and the President, a non-refundable application fee is charged. The amount is set annually and is subject to review by the President.

The Director of Admissions may consider exception for payment of the application fee under special conditions:

  1. When a guidance counselor or financial aid officer at the applicant’s current school writes a letter on behalf of the applicant providing financial hardship information;
  2. When a College Board fee waiver is submitted;
  3. When the applicant is a spouse or child of a CalArts faculty or staff member;
  4. When the applicant is a former CalArts student;
  5. When the applicant has already been accepted and received a deferment of enrollment to the next year, or when the applicant has been placed on an official waiting list and reapplies for the next year.

All exceptions must be in writing. Any applicant who failed to complete the application process, or who was rejected for any academic year, must reapply and pay the non-refundable fee.

Admission Deposit

All students admitted to the Institute are required to submit an enrollment deposit. Deposit deadlines are indicated in the student’s offer of admission. This deposit assures the student of a place in school and is applied toward their tuition account when the student registers. The deposit is non-refundable, even if the student does not register. The amount of the deposit is set annually by the President. An additional housing deposit is required for students requesting on-campus housing.

Provisional admission may be granted when:

  • The dean and faculty have reservations about a student's preparedness to meet the artistic standards of admission established by the Schools; but the student is seen by them to have the potential which merits an opportunity to develop.
  • A student has not completely fulfilled Institute requirements for admission, such as providing transcripts to substantiate high school or previous college work or such as obtaining an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score.

Provisional Admissions

Provisional admission may be granted when:

  • The dean and faculty have reservations about a student's preparedness to meet the artistic standards of admission established by the Schools; but the student is seen by them to have the potential which merits an opportunity to develop.
  • A student has not completely fulfilled Institute requirements for admission, such as providing transcripts to substantiate high school or previous college work or such as obtaining an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score. 

Whenever provisional admission is granted

The student will receive written notification that admission is provisional, the reasons for that status, what is required to gain admission to regular good standing, the time allowed to fulfill those requirements, and the consequences of not meeting. them.

When provisional admission relates to an artistic/academic decision made within one of the Schools

  • BFA students must complete the requirements for termination of the provisional status within the first two semesters of residence; MFA students must comply within the first semester of residence.
  • A regular review of the student's work will be held within the BFA student's second semester of residence or the MFA student's first semester of residence. The review will be conducted by the mentor with a regular review committee. A decision shall be made either to terminate the provisional status and grant regular enrollment status, or to terminate the student's enrollment at CalArts. 
  • A written report of the decision of the review committee will be prepared and sent to the student, the Registrar, the Director of Financial Aid, and the Dean no later than one week before the last class day of the designated semester in residence.

When the provisional status relates to transcripts or administrative requirements:

  • Both BFA and MFA students will be given one semester to fulfill requirements for termination of the provisional status.
  • At the end of the first semester of residence, the Registrar will review the student's status and records. If the requirements to achieve regular statudent status have not been fulfilled, the student will receive written notification that their CalArts enrollment is in jeopardy of termination. Copies of the notice will be sent to the school dean, mentor, and Financial Aid Office. Students will have until the last day of late registration of the following semester to fulfill requirements or enrollment will be terminated. 
  • Non-English speaking students who fail to achieve the TOEFL or IELTS score required for CalArts admission may not be admitted to the BFA program.

Dated: May 15, 1998

English Language Proficiency

There is no intensive English language program offered at CalArts. Applicants are expected to be proficient in the English language before applying for admission. Applicants from non–English speaking countries must present evidence of proficiency in the English language at a level that will permit undertaking and completing the course of study:
 
1. Applicants must take the Internet based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL ibt), or the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Students attending U.S. accredited high schools abroad or in the U.S. may submit a SAT Critical Reading and Writing score of 500 or above in lieu of TOEFL/IELTS

2. Minimum scores for admission are 80 TOEFL ibt or 6.5 IELTS for undergraduates and 100 TOEFL ibt or 7 IELTS for graduates.

3. Any exceptions to the minimum standard requires special approval from the Provost, the Dean of the school, the Program Director, the Director of Admissions and the International Student Advisor or other designated officials.  In some cases a student may be conditionally accepted. Students who have not taken the TOEFL or IELTS are not eligible for conditional acceptance. Students conditionally accepted for low test scores will be required to: 

a. Complete an intensive English Language program prior to their enrollment.

b. Retake the TOEFL/IELTS and submit an updated score.

c. Meet with an Academic Advisor.

d. Take the English placement exam during Orientation.

4. CalArts reserves the right to require the TOEFL, IELTS, or SAT at any point during the application process of any applicant whose English proficiency is in question.

5. All students for whom English is a second language, whether they have met the TOEFL/IELTS requirements or not, will be required to take a writing placement test during orientation week at CalArts. Non-native speakers will not be allowed to sign-up for critical Studies course work until they have taken the test. CalArts reserves the right to require English as a Second Language, or Supplemental English for Artists (both two semester courses) of any student who demonstrates insufficient English proficiency on the writing placement test.

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
May 2012

Alcohol and Drugs Policy

Both federal and state laws prohibit the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol. In the state of California, anyone under the age of 21 cannot be served or be in possession of alcohol. CalArts also has standards that prohibit the unlawful possession, use, transport, manufacture or distribution of illict drugs, drug paraphernalia or simulated drugs and alcohol by students, staff and faculty on Institute property or as part of the Institute’s activities. Alcohol may not be sold anywhere on the CalArts campus. Violations of the Institutes alcohol and drug policy will be addressed as disciplinary actions.

Reference to alcohol includes any beverage, mixture or preparation containing ethyl alcohol such as beer, wine and all forms of distilled liquor. Drugs are any substance that have known mind or function altering effects on a human subject, specifically including psychoactive substances and including but not limited to substances controlled, regulated or prohibited by state and federal laws.

CalArts permits the lawful serving of alcoholic beverages at parties and receptions that have been approved by the Vice President and CFO. Students, faculty and staff who wish to host receptions in connection with approved events should fill out the appropriate application with the Institute Schedulers in the Service Center/Mailroom at least one week prior to the proposed event. In the public areas of campus, the only permitted alcohol is alcohol served at approved receptions or parties. Alcohol is generally not approved for events before 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. The Vice President and CFO makes the final decision on any issues regarding the date, time or nature of an event. After approval from the relevant offices, the host of the reception must discuss the event with the Activities Coordinator in the Student Experience Office in order to schedule a trained bartender to serve the alcohol to those of legal drinking age.


Responsible Action: CalArts is concerned that in a medical emergency involving alcohol or drugs, students may refrain from calling for help because of fear that doing so might subject them to disciplinary action. Therefore, in order to encourage responsible actions, students for whom medical assistance is sought or those who seek medical assistance for themselves or others, will not be disciplined by CalArts for violating the Alcohol and Drug Policy. This Responsible Action policy applies only to alcohol and drug-related emergencies. Students granted amnesty will not be exempt from disciplinary sanctions resulting from other policies that they violate while under the influence. The use of alcohol and drugs can adversely affect one’s health and may negatively impede the learning process and creative art making. In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, CalArts is informing you of the Institute’s policies of drugs and alcohol and the health risks associated with use.

Drug                                                                                                                           Known Possible Effects
Alcohol Hangover, psychosis, ulcers, malnutrition, liver damage
Amphetamines Nervousness, paranoia, hallucinations, dizziness, tremors, decreased mental ability, delusions, seizures, death
Cannabis (Marijuana, Hashish) Increased heart rate, blood-shot eyes, dry mouth & throat,increased appetite, short term memory loss, reduced coordination, long term effects: chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer
Cocaine/Crack Tremors, nasal bleeding & inflammation, toxic psychosis, convulsions, death
Hallucinogens (LSD, mescaline & psilocybin) Dilated pupils, increased heart rate & blood pressure, & psilocybin) hallucinations, Violent episodes may result in self-inflicted injuries, paranoid & violent behavior
Heroin (opiate drug) Slowing of heart-rate so that coma or death may occur
Inhalants, Nitrates Headaches, dizziness, accelerated heart rate, hallucinations
Narcotics Respiratory & circulatory depression, dizziness, vomiting, withdrawal, stupor, death
Psychedelics Impaired driving ability, depression, paranoia, psychosis
Tranquilizers Hangover, jaundice, coma, death

Referrals

Office of Student Experience (661) 253-7873 or (661) 253-7871 calarts.edu/student-services/health/counseling/ The Office of Student Experience offers three counselors, who are licensed Marriage and Family Therapists for current students to talk with in a confidential setting.

Off-campus referral information about Alcoholics Anonymous can be obtained by visiting www.alcoholics-anonymous.org. Other treatment options (such as SMART Recovery) may also be available.

Additional off-campus referrals and resources can be obtained by contacting: Santa Clarita Valley Central Office of Alcoholics Anonymous 24 Hour Phone: (661) 250-9922 26951 Ruether Ave. Suite B-6 Santa Clarita, CA 91351 www.aascv.org

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Newhall/Saugus Santa Clarita (661) 299-5599
Known Possible Effects
Known Possible Effects
Nervousness, paranoia, hallucinations, dizziness, tremors, decreased mental ability, delusions, seizures, death
Nervousness, paranoia, hallucinations, dizziness, tremors, decreased mental ability, delusions, seizures, death
Nervousness, paranoia, hallucinations, dizziness, tremors, decreased mental ability, delusions, seizures, death

Hangover, psychosis, ulcers, malnutrition, liver damage
Hangover, psychosis, ulcers, malnutrition, liver damage

Hangover, psychosis, ulcers, malnutrition, liver damage

Hangover, psychosis, ulcers, malnutrition, liver damage

Censorship

There is to be no censorship of any work of art, design, performance or publication on the campus. Members of the Institute, including staff, faculty and students, are instructed to avoid any act that might be regarded as censorship in any official sense. Student publications shall not be subject to faculty or administrative restraint on the content, except to assure reasonable access to publication for students whose views differ from those of the editor, and to prevent infractions of the law in respect to libel, slander, discrimination or similar matters. A student publication is a non–commissioned work by students, even if supported by Institute materials and funds.

Change of School

When students wish to change enrollment from one school to another within the Institute, the procedure is as follows: 1. Students must complete an admission application and follow the regular admission procedure for the new school of enrollment as outlined in the Admissions Viewbook, obtainable through the Office of Admissions. 2. A change of school must be requested and the process completed prior to the last day of late registration for the semester in which the change is to take effect.

Policy Category:

Credit Hour Designation and Review Policy

Credit Hour Definition

Each unit of undergraduate course credit at CalArts requires a minimum of three hours of student work per week, for each week over the duration of a given semester.  For example, each two-unit course represents 6 hours of involvement per week throughout the 15-week semester.  Each unit of graduate course credit requires a minimum of four hours of student work per week, for each week throughout the 15-week semester.  Faculty might also require, or students might choose, to spend more hours than the minimum requirement.

Using this formula, 45 hours of study in one semester is the minimum requirement for one unit of credit, and this definition holds for all types of courses (lecture, seminar, studio, independent study, lab, practicum, interim, etc.) regardless of the amount of credit offered.  Student involvement may include class time and time spent in direct interaction with faculty, as well as time spent preparing for classes through art making, participating in rehearsals, completing assignments, conducting research, reading, participating in group study or discussing class topics with others, attending relevant lectures or cultural events, or any activity that will assist the student in achieving course objectives.  

Assignment of Course Credit

Units of credit are assigned by the Provost in response to requests submitted through the Course Proposal Form, received and processed by the Associate Provost of Institutional Research & Effectiveness. The form asks for detailed information about the anticipated learning outcomes, specific expectations for work outside of the classroom, and whether it fulfills a requirement for Critical Studies (general education), as well as the number of hours that students will be expected to engage both inside and outside of class. Once approved, the Provost notifies the registrar, and the registrar updates the academic catalog.

Review of Course Credit

Reviews of course credit are conducted as part of CalArts academic program review and the Council of Arts Accrediting Associations reviews.  Four of CalArts’ six schools are active members in the council, including Art (National Association of Schools of Art and Design), Dance (National Association of Schools of Dance), Music (National Association of Schools of Music), and Theater (National Association of Schools of Theater).  These schools have long histories of adhering to and maintaining currency with the credit-hour standards of these associations.  Programs within the schools of Critical Studies and Film & Video undergo a local program review process that asks programs to demonstrate (and reviewers to evaluate) the accurate application of the credit hour definition.  

Policy Category:
Review Date:
Reviewed by Deans Council: October 16, 2012
Reviewed by Academic Council: December 6, 2012

Degree Conferral

Upon completion of overall unit requirements, Institute residency requirements, and all final program requirements, including all coursework, reviews, performances, and any other non-course requirements specified by the School, the Registrar's Office will post the degree or certificate to the academic transcript and order a diploma. Neither the transcript nor the diploma will be released to students who have not fulfilled all obligations to the Institute.

CalArts has three conferral dates each year: the final date of the spring and fall semesters as determined by the academic calendar, and August 31 for students completing their degree requirements during the summer months. Students will be assigned the conferral date most closely following the completion of all degree requirements. The date that degree requirements are completed may be the final day of the term, or it may be determined by the date of completion of the thesis project or dissertation, completion of an outstanding incomplete grade, or completion of approved transfer coursework. The completion date will be reflected on the transcript, and the conferral date will be reflected on the diploma. 

Policy Category:
Adopted Date:
Mar 2015

Disciplinary Policy

All members of the CalArts community are expected to observe commonly accepted standards of conduct. Violations of these standards can result in the imposition of discipline. Generally, discipline will be imposed only when violations of standard conduct occur on CalArts premises or at CalArts functions. However, a student whose misconduct has a direct and/or distinct adverse impact on the CalArts community, its members, and/or its educational objectives will be subject to discipline regardless of where or when the conduct occurred. Discipline may be imposed for violation of CalArts standards of conduct, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • All forms of academic misconduct (including but not limited to, cheating, fabrication and plagiarism) and facilitating such misconduct.
  • Dishonesty, including but not limited to fabricating information or knowingly furnishing false information or reporting a false emergency.
  • Forgery, unauthorized alteration or unauthorized use of any official CalArts document, record or instrument of identification.
  • Theft or the attempted theft of CalArts property or services or the property of others on CalArts premises or at CalArts functions, or knowingly possessing stolen property.
  • Intentionally or recklessly mutilating, defacing, damaging or destroying CalArts property or the property of others (including works of art) on CalArts premises or at CalArts functions.
  • Abuse or misuse of CalArts computer equipment, system, services, program, data or communications networks.
  • Unauthorized entry to, possession of, receipt of, duplication of, or use of, any CalArts property (including CalArts name, logo or symbols), equipment, resources, or services.
  • Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, hazing, harassment (including but not limited to sexual harassment), sexual contact without permission, stalking, coercion, and any other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of a student, faculty member, administrative officer, staff member or guest of CalArts.
  • Intentionally or recklessly interfering with normal CalArts or CalArts-sponsored activities, including but not limited to classes, instructional sessions, performances, exhibitions, and meetings.
  • Willfully failing to comply with the directions of CalArts officials, including security officers or housing staff members, acting in accordance of their duties, or failing to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
  • The possession, use of or threat to use explosive, incendiary materials, dangerous or noxious chemicals, or other dangerous materials, instruments, ammunition or weapons, including but not limited to real or facsimile or toy weapons, functioning or non-functioning weapons, loaded or unloaded weapons, and gas or spring loaded guns, on CalArts premises or at CalArts functions. Students who wish to use weapons or instruments described above in their performances or as part of an art piece are directed to consult with the Risk Management Administrator in Facilities Management regarding Institute procedures for such uses. This consultation and approval must occur before any weapon or dangerous instrument is brought on campus.
  • Violation of the CalArts Alcohol and Drugs Policy.
  • Entry, attempt to enter, or remaining without authority or permission in any CalArts office, residence hall room, studio, classroom, facility or event.
  • Violation of other established CalArts policies, regulations or rules, including but not limited to residence hall rules, parking and traffic regulations, policy on scheduling events
    and receptions, and computer policy.
  • Inducing, coercing, or assisting another to do any act that violates CalArts standards of conduct.
  • An act or omission that constitutes a violation of federal, state, or local laws.
  • Violations of the terms of any disciplinary sanction imposed in accordance with this policy.

Procedures for Handling Misconduct Cases/Policy Violations

  • All cases of academic misconduct shall be referred to the Associate Provost or designee, who in consultation with the appropriate School Dean, shall determine what disciplinary sanctions, if any, shall be imposed. The sanctions of suspension and dismissal shall not be imposed unless the Provost concurs.
  • All cases of nonacademic misconduct shall be referred to the Dean of Students, or in the case of violation of housing rules, to the Director of Housing, who shall determine what disciplinary sanctions, if any, are appropriate. In a case involving a violation of housing rules, the Director of Housing will determine the appropriate disciplinary sanctions in accordance with the terms of this policy and the Housing License Agreement. In certain cases, the Dean of Students may exercise discretion and delegate responsibility to the Schools for determining what disciplinary sanction(s), if any, are appropriate. The sanctions of Disciplinary Probation, Suspension and Dismissal shall not be imposed unless the student’s School Dean and the Associate Provost or designee concurs.
  • The disciplinary sanction(s) shall not begin until either the time for appeal as set forth below has expired without an appeal, or until the appeal process is exhausted. Nothing contained herein, however, shall preclude the Vice President/CFO or designee from suspending a student from CalArts for an interim period pending disciplinary, appeal, or criminal proceedings or medical evaluation relevant to such proceedings. The interim suspension will be effective immediately without prior notice whenever, in the judgment of the Vice President/CFO or designee, the continued presence of the student at CalArts poses a substantial and immediate threat to others, or the stability and continuance of normal CalArts’ functions. Interim suspension may, in the discretion of the Vice President/CFO or designee, be limited to exclusion from CalArts residence halls. Interim suspension excludes a student from CalArts premises and other privileges or activities. A student suspended on an interim basis will be given a prompt opportunity to appear personally before the Vice President/CFO or designee in order to discuss the following issues only:(a) the reliability of the information concerning the student’s conduct; and (b)whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the student on CalArts premises poses a substantial and immediate threat to others, or to the stability and continuance of normal CalArts functions.

Consequences of Violating CalArts Standards of Conduct

When a student is found to have violated a CalArts standard of conduct, any of the following types of disciplinary action may be imposed. Any discipline imposed should be appropriate to the violation, taking into consideration the context and seriousness of the violation and the past disciplinary record of the student.

Warning
Written notice to the student that a violation of a CalArts standard of conduct has occurred and that continued or repeated violations of CalArts standards of conduct may be cause for further disciplinary action, normally in the form of disciplinary probation, loss of privileges and exclusion from activities, suspension, or dismissal.

Disciplinary Probation
A status imposed for a specific period of time in which a student must demonstrate conduct that conforms to CalArts standards of conduct. Conditions restricting the student’s privileges or eligibility for activities may be imposed. Misconduct during the probationary period or violation of any conditions of the probation may result in further disciplinary action, normally in the form of suspension or dismissal.

Loss of Privileges and Exclusion from Activities
Exclusion from participation in designated privileges and/or activities for a specified period of time. Failure to adhere to the limitations imposed on privileges in activities or violation of CalArts policies during the period of the sanction may be cause for further disciplinary action, normally in the form of suspension or dismissal.

Suspension

Termination of student status at CalArts for a specified academic term or terms with reinstatement thereafter certain, provided that the student has complied with any conditions imposed as part of the suspension. Violation of the conditions of suspension or of CalArts policies during the period of suspension may be cause for further disciplinary action, normally in the form of dismissal.

Dismissal
Termination of student status for an indefinite period. Readmission to CalArts shall require the specific approval of the student’s School Dean and the Provost. Readmission after dismissal may be granted only under exceptional circumstances.

Restitution
Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of CalArts property or the property of others may be imposed either exclusively or in combination with other disciplinary action. Such reimbursement may take the form of monetary payment or appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for damages.

Other
Other disciplinary actions may be imposed instead of or in addition to those specified above, including but not limited to community service, holds on requests for transcripts, diplomas, or other student records to be sent to third parties.

Proceedings Disclosure

Upon written request to the Dean of Students, CalArts will disclose to the alleged victim of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, or to the alleged victim’s next of kin if appropriate, the final results of any disciplinary proceedings dealing with that crime or offense.

Appeal Process for Disciplinary Sanctions

  • The student may appeal a disciplinary sanction. To do so, the student must submit, in writing, a notice of appeal. In the case of a notice to vacate housing based on a violation of the Housing License Agreement, the student must use the appeal procedures described in the Housing Brochure. In the case of sanctions imposed for academic misconduct, the notice shall be submitted to the Provost. In the case of sanctions imposed for non–academic misconduct, the notice shall be submitted to the Dean of Students. The notice of appeal should provide a brief statement of the basis for the appeal and must be submitted within ten calendar days of the date on which the disciplinary sanction is imposed.
  • Upon receipt of a notice of appeal, an Appeals Committee shall be formed as soon as is practical. Persons eligible to serve on the Appeals Committee shall be current members of the faculty, staff and student body. One member of the Appeals Committee shall be appointed by the Associate Provost or designee, one by the Dean of Students, and one member by the student. Together, these members of the Appeals Committee shall decide who from among them shall serve as Chairperson. No person shall participate as a member of the Appeals Committee who has been involved in the events upon which the disciplinary sanction has been imposed or who is biased.
  • The Director of Human Resources or designee will provide administrative support to the Appeals Committee, including but not limited to supplying copies of pertinent documents, scheduling meetings, arranging for a scribe to take and prepare minutes, and the preparation of the final report.
  • Within ten calendar days of the date the Appeals Committee is formed, or as soon thereafter as practical, the Appeals Committee shall meet in closed session to consider the appeal. The members of the Appeals Committee shall respect the confidentiality of the proceedings. The student and the CalArts official(s) who imposed/recommended the disciplinary sanctions shall be provided with an opportunity to meet with the Appeals Committee, but shall otherwise be present at a meeting of the Appeals Committee only at the request or with the permission of the Appeals Committee. As it deems appropriate, the Appeals Committee shall interview other persons and shall consider written materials and other items pertinent to the appeal. When the student appears before the Appeals Committee, he or she may only be accompanied and advised by any current member of the CalArts community, (i.e. student, staff member, or faculty member) who is not an attorney, but such person may not address the Appeals Committee unless requested by it to do so.
  • At the completion of its review, the Appeals Committee shall prepare a written advisory report consisting of findings, conclusions and recommendations, and shall submit it to the Provost. A determination by the Appeals Committee that a student has engaged in conduct that violates CalArts standards of conduct shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the student engaged in such conduct. Copies of the report should also be furnished to the student and to the CalArts official(s) who imposed/recommended the disciplinary sanctions. Under separate cover, the Appeals Committee shall also forward to the Provost copies of any written material or items that it considered in connection with the appeal process. The Provost or designee shall consider the report and at his or her discretion take whatever action he or she deems appropriate. Prior to taking such action, the Provost or designee may discuss the report with the members of the Appeals Committee, the student or any other person. The Provost or designee shall transmit his or her decision in writing to the student, the CalArts official(s) who imposed/recommended the disciplinary sanctions, and the members of the Appeals Committee. The decision of the Provost shall be final.
Policy Category:

Exhibitions/Presentations Policy

Initial Policy:

  1. Outdoor space is available for Institute purposes for the use of students, faculty or staff at the discretion of the President or designee. Allocations may not be made on a permanent basis nor may so much space be allocated to one project that other projects have less than adequate space.
  2. In allocating space, all possible latitude will be allowed for use of CalArts grounds, spaces, interior and exterior wall decoration, provided that there is no glue on glass windows, painting or other markings directly on the wall, or any alterations to Institute property without specific permission of the deans and the Institute Scheduler. The dean of each school will be responsible for authorizing use of that school’s allocated space. The Institute Scheduler is responsible for approving the use of all other space except for outdoors and office space noted in paragraph 1 and 3. Space is allocated on a first–come, first served basis. All posters are to have either the date of the event or must be dated. Posters may not be removed before the event. Posters advertising an event are considered artwork and may not be vandalized, damaged or stolen. Posters are to be removed after the event or after 30 days, whichever comes first.
  3. The use of office space is at the discretion of the dean or department head. The use of the administrative foyer and hallway (F–block, 3rd floor) and the main entry lobby (west wall and south walls) are at the discretion of the President.
  4. Posters are not to be placed on glass or wooden doors due to safety codes and/or fire regulations.

Institute Exhibit Review Committee
In order to implement and maintain exhibit policies, there shall be an ad hoc review committee structured as follows:

The Institute Exhibit Review Committee shall consist of the following:

  1. One representative from each School appointed by the deans
  2. The Vice President/CFO
  3. The Institute Scheduler

The following are the responsibilities of this committee:

  1. The review of policy to govern the use of exterior space.
  2. The allocation of space or the adjudication of any difference of opinion concerning an exhibit or presentation.

School Responsibilities

  1. Each School is responsible for choosing a representative to the committee.
  2. Each School is responsible for establishing procedures for governing the hanging/exhibiting of objects and/or presentations within the space assigned to the School.
  3. Exhibits/presentations must meet all applicable city, county, state and federal laws.

Censorship

  1. CalArts does not censor any work on the basis of content, nor is any work at the Institute subject to prior censorship.
  2. If any person objects to any exhibit or presentation, that person should convey the objection in writing to the student’s dean. The person will receive a written answer to the objection within 48 hours of its receipt. If the person is dissatisfied with the decision, he/she may appeal the decision to the Institute Exhibit Review Committee. The decision of the Committee is final.
Policy Category:

Exhibitions/Presentations: Safety

The primary responsibility for determining that an exhibit or presentation is physically unsafe or hazardous belongs to the Dean of the School and the Associate Vice President of Facilities or the Associate Vice President’s delegate. Exhibits/presentations must meet all city, county, state and federal safety rules and regulations. If these two officials do not agree, the Committee will review the matter. The chairperson will advise each member of the Committee that a question of safety has been raised and will request the opinion of each member. If the majority of the Committee believes that the exhibit or presentation is unsafe, the person responsible will be requested to modify or remove the exhibit or presentation. If it is not removed or corrected immediately, the chairperson will make a report to the dean and the Provost, who will take immediate action.

Policy Category:

Extension of Degree

BFA students who, at graduation, have not completed all degree requirements beyond course credits, e.g., recitals, etc., must petition their school for up to one year of extension in order to complete these degree requirements.

MA students are not eligible for an extension of degree.

MFA students who are unable to complete degree requirements other than course credits, e.g., thesis projects, recitals, etc., must petition the appropriate school each year, by letter, to request an extension for a maximum of five years. These annual requests for extension should include a statement of the student’s progress toward the completion and an explanation of the reason for the extension. After five years, petitions for extension for completion of MFA degree requirements must be submitted to the Deans Council for approval.

DMA students who are unable to complete the Doctoral Project or Final (Summative) Portfolio Review must petition the School of Music each year, by letter, to request an extension for a maximum of two years. These annual requests for extension should include a statement of the student’s progress toward the completion and an explanation of the reason for the extension. After two years, petitions for extension for completion of DMA degree requirements must be submitted to the Deans Council for approval.

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
Sep 2017

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records.  An eligible student is an individual for whom California Institute of the Arts (“CalArts”) maintains education records, and who is or has been enrolled in and attended CalArts, the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, or the Chouinard Art Institute. 

These rights include:

The right to inspect and review education records, with certain exceptions. 
Education records are defined as records maintained by CalArts, or persons acting for CalArts, that contain information directly related to the student. 

Students who wish to review their education records must submit a written request to the Office of the Registrar identifying the specific records they wish to review; as a general rule, a request to review “all records” is not sufficiently specific.  CalArts will make the education records available for inspection by the student within forty-five days of receiving the written request, and the Office of the Registrar will notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.  A student will not typically be provided with copies of any part of their record other than the transcript.

FERPA does not provide students with the right to access certain records, including but not limited to financial records of a parent, and confidential letters or statements of recommendation for admission, employment, or honorary recognition.  In addition, where a record contains information that concerns more than one student, a student requesting inspection will be informed about the information only insofar as it pertains to that student.

The right to seek to amend education records. 
Students who believe that specific items contained in their education records are inaccurate, misleading, or an invasion of privacy may seek to have their records amended. 

Requests to amend education records must be submitted in writing to the Office of the Registrar, clearly identifying the record(s) that the student seeks to have amended and specifying the reasons they believe the record(s) to be inaccurate, misleading, or an invasion of privacy.  If CalArts declines to amend the records as requested, the Registrar will notify the student in writing of the decision and advise the student of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.  If, after the hearing, CalArts determines that no amendment will be made to the record(s), the student has the right to place in their records a statement commenting upon the information and/or setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of CalArts.  This statement will be maintained and released with future requests for information regarding the student.

The right to seek to amend an education record under this procedure may not be used to question substantive educational judgments that have been correctly recorded, or to contest a final grade or other written evaluations that reflect institutional judgment of the quality of a student's academic and artistic performance.  For example, FERPA does not give a student the right to contest a grade given in a course, but does give the student the right to seek to correct an improperly recorded grade. 

The right to exercise certain control over the disclosure of information contained in the student’s education records. 
Personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records may not be disclosed without the student’s prior written consent, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

CalArts has designated the following student information as directory information:  name; address; telephone number; email address; date and place of birth; dates (terms) of attendance; enrollment status (full-time/part-time status and class level); degrees and awards received; program of study; photographs; most recent previous school attended; and participation in officially recognized activities. Directory information does not include social security number, student ID number, race, ethnicity, nationality, or gender. 

FERPA does not require consent for the disclosure of “directory information,” which may be disclosed for any purpose, at the discretion of CalArts.  Students who wish to restrict the release of their directory information must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing. Upon receipt of this request, a hold will be placed to prevent further disclosure of directory information. This hold will then remain in effect until the student files a written request to remove it. 

Additionally, FERPA does not require consent for disclosure of information to “school officials” with “legitimate educational interest.” A “school official” is any person employed by CalArts in any administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; any person or company with whom CalArts has contracted to provide a service to or on behalf of CalArts (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agency); any person serving on CalArts’ Board of Trustees; or any student serving on an official committee.  A school official has a “legitimate educational interest” if the official needs to review specific information in an education record in order to fulfill the official’s professional responsibility.

FERPA identifies other exceptions in which CalArts is permitted, and sometimes required, to make disclosures of personally identifiable information from student records without the student's prior written consent.  Some of these exceptions are (i) to schools where the student plans to enroll or transfer; (ii) in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received; (iii) to authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities; (iv) in connection with studies conducted for the purpose of development and validation of predictive tests, administration of student aid programs, or improvement of instruction; (v) to accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions; (vi) to parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes; (vii) to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; (viii) to appropriate parties including, but not limited to, parents of an eligible student, whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or another individual; (ix) to the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding if CalArts determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her; (x) to the victim of a crime of violence or non forcible sexual offense, who will be provided with the results of a disciplinary hearing conducted by CalArts against the alleged perpetrator; and (xi) to parents of a student regarding the student's violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of CalArts, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the student is under the age of 21. Information concerning these and other exceptions is available through the Registrar’s Office.

A student may not use the withholding of directory information to prevent CalArts from disclosing or requiring the student to disclose their name, identifier, or e-mail address in a class in which the student is enrolled, or to prevent disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests, or to prevent disclosure otherwise required or permitted by law.

The right to file a complaint for alleged violations of their FERPA rights.
Students who have questions about their FERPA rights should be directed to the Registrar. Official complaints are submitted in writing within 180 days of the alleged violation to the US Department of Education at the following address:

The Family Policy Compliance Office
US Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington DC 20202-5920

Revised Date:
Jul 2016

Grade Appeals

When a student wishes to appeal a grade: the student must first appeal to the instructor who assigned the grade in question. Where there is no satisfactory remedy through appeal to the instructor, the student may file written appeal to the dean of the school in which the course is offered. The decision of the dean is final.

“NC” grades may not be changed to a grade except by means of a petition to the dean of the School involved. Such changes must be initiated by the instructor of the class or, in the instructor’s absence, the dean of the school offering the course and submitted to the Registrar. Such a petition must include a written explanation from the instructor of the class explaining the reasons for changing the grade and a signature of support from the dean of the school offering the course. Petitions for the change of an NC grade must be submitted during the student’s term of residency at the Institute and are considered only under exceptional, extenuating circumstances.

Complaint Procedure

An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint. The bureau may be contacted at 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, http://www.bppe.ca.gov/, Tel: 916.431.6924, Fax: 916.263.1897.

Policy Category:

Grading Policy

Standard Grading Options

  • High Pass (HP): Passing with Excellence
  • Pass (P): Passing with Quality 
  • Low Pass (LP): Passing
  • No Credit (NC): Work did not meet the criteria for credit.

Other Grading Options

  • Incomplete (I):  

    A temporary Incomplete grade may be given to a student who has maintained satisfactory attendance and completed passing work throughout most of a course, but as a result of extenuating circumstances is unable to complete the course requirements by the end of the semester.   Incomplete grades are not assigned for Summer, Interim, Practicum, or Winter Session courses.

    Incomplete grades are assigned through submission of an Incomplete Contract to the Registrar’s Office.  The Incomplete Contract is an explicit agreement between student and faculty of the work remaining to be completed, and the date by which the work must be submitted for final review.  The contract must also be approved by the school or program responsible for the course.

    Incomplete grades assigned for fall semester courses must be resolved no later than the end of the following spring semester.  Incomplete grades assigned for spring courses must be resolved no later than the end of the following fall semester.  Earlier deadlines for completion may be set at the discretion of the faculty and must be specified on the Incomplete Contract.  Incomplete grades not replaced by final LP, P, or HP grades by the stated deadline will revert to NC (No Credit) grades on the transcript.

  • No Grade Recorded (NG): Placeholder grade entered by the Registrar's Office at the close of the grading period which indicates that no grade has yet been assigned by the faculty of record. "NG" grades not changed to a final evaluation by the end of the following semester will convert to "NC" on the transcript. 
  • Withdrawn (W): Grade assigned by the Registrar to indicate withdrawal from a course after the end of the add/drop period. Students may withdraw from a course without academic penalty through the 10th week of the semester. The course remains on the student’s record with a “W” grade. "W" grades have no impact on semester or cumulative grading calculations, and do not count toward a student's residency or full-time status. 

Auditing

Auditing a class is an arrangement made between the student and the instructor. No official record will be kept and no credit will be given.

GPA Equivalencies

On the official academic transcript, CalArts calculates student progress by indicated attempted units and the completed units, but does not use a Grade Point Average (GPA) as part of its marking system. However, when a GPA is required for external purposes, the following formula may be used: HP=4.00, P=3.00, LP=2.00, NC=0.00.

Grading Procedures

All grades are to be submitted by the faculty of record online through the Hub or WebAdvisor. Online grading opens on Monday of the final week of the semester and remains open for two weeks, until 5pm on the second Monday following the last day of the semester. The grading deadline will be published on the academic calendar for referance by faculty and students.

Grades not entered through the secure online system must be submitted through individual grade change forms that are signed by the faculty of record. This may be done either through a hard copy form, or through a digital form, both of which are available from the Office of the Registrar. The same process is followed to change a grade that was entered incorrectly online, or to replace temporary "I" or "NG" grades with a final evaluation.

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
Sep 2017

Graduation Process: General Statement

General Statement

The Board of Trustees confers all degrees and certificates awarded by the California Institute of the Arts. The President on recommendation of the Academic Council with the approval of the Provost or his/her designee and the faculties of the Institute presents candidates to the Board. Graduates are honored at an annual commencement.

Qualifications for Graduation

The faculty of the school in which the student is enrolled is responsible for determining whether the student is qualified to receive the CalArts degree or certificate. This decision requires the faculty to determine that the student has demonstrated a significant measure of artistic achievement, as well as the satisfactory completion of all residence, units and course requirements. Ordinarily, the BFA degree program and Certificate of Fine Arts program require a minimum of four years of study and 120 units of credit; the MFA degree program and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts program require 2 to 3 years of study, or the equivalent; the MA degree is a one year full–time program of study and one year of low-residency study; the DMA degree program requires 3 years of study in residence. The certificate requires completion of the equivalent of BFA study and additional study in the metier, while excluding the Critical Studies courses needed for the BFA degree.

Process

  1. Student’s responsibility: In preparation for graduation, the student must: 
    1. Consult with the mentor and the faculty of the school in which he or she is enrolled about the expected time for completing the program of studies for the degree or certificate. 
    2. Pay the Student Experience’ Graduation fee of $25 to the Accounting Office. 
    3. Present an application for graduation and the fee receipt to the Registrar. 
    4. Complete settlement of outstanding obligations in records, accounts and property commitments with Institute offices. 
    5. Complete all loan exit interviews with the Financial Aid Office and/or the Accounting Office. 
    6. Complete the Graduation Exit Survey sent to each graduating student via email.
  2. Registrar’s Office: 
    1. Sets deadline by which graduation reviews must be completed each semester. This date is set each semester in consultation with the Provost and the President. 
    2. Prepares a tentative list of candidates for graduation to be reviewed by the schools. 
    3. Notifies students of obligations to be met for the degree or certificate. 
    4. Sends a list of candidates for degrees and certificates to Academic Council and deans for final action, and forwards final recommendations to the President and the Board of Trustees. 
    5. Reviews all eligible students for degree completion at the close of each semester, and follows through with any pending graduates not yet completed
  3. Deans and faculty: The faculty and dean of each school recommend action on each candidate for graduation and inform the Registrar’s Office within the established procedures and deadlines.

Commencement Participation

CalArts celebrates degree conferrals through a yearly commencement ceremony held at the end of each spring semester. Students will be cleared to participate in the commencement ceremony following their final term in residency. In order to qualify to participate in commencement, students must be enrolled in all final course requirements, including transfer work or courses to be completed during the summer following commencement. Students will be cleared to participate in only one commencement ceremony for each degree program that they complete at CalArts.

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
Sep 2017
Revision History:
Previously revised March 2015

Graduation Process: Post-Residence (Delayed) Graduation

Post–Residence graduation is a process initiated by the student’s graduation review committee and is typically available only to MFA or DMA candidates who have completed all course and residency requirements and who have been before a Graduation Review Committee. MA students may be eligible for this option only under special circumstances. This option will be considered only when the Graduation Review Committee:

  1. Is not completely satisfied with the work presented; 
  2. Believes the student is committed, talented and capable of achieving degree level work; 
  3. Does not believe that additional time spent at CalArts will contribute to the student’s preparedness for the degree; and 
  4. Is convinced that a period of independent work may bring about the maturity lacking in the student’s work.

In all cases, the review committee and the student must comply with the following conditions: 

  1. This provision is available to degree candidates only;
  2. Students who have at any time been advanced in year–level will be eligible only under exceptional circumstances;
  3. Time between the regularly scheduled review and the post–residence review shall ordinarily not exceed one calendar year. Students who are unable to complete work during the first year must petition for additional time directly to their school dean. After five years, petitions for extension for completion of MFA degree requirements must be submitted to the Deans Council. After two years, petitions for extension for completion of DMA degree requirements must be submitted to the Deans Council.
  4. The graduation review committee must prepare a written statement detailing: 
    1. What the student must achieve to receive the degree; 
    2. How and where the post–residence review will be conducted; 
    3. A proposal as to which faculty members will participate in that review, including space and facilities to be used.
    A copy of the statement will be given to the student and a copy will be placed in the student’s permanent academic record. The latter will be removed from the permanent record when the student passes a post–residence review and is awarded a degree.
  5. Where special demands are made on CalArts resources such as the use of studios and/or equipment, the Vice President and CFO shall assess the student for appropriate fees. Individual schools may place restrictions on time and access.
Policy Category:
Revised Date:
Sep 2017

Grievance Procedures - Student

CalArts students are given an opportunity to seek an internal resolution of conflicts and complaints. This procedure may also be used by students who believe that they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex or any other classification or characteristic protected by law, and is designed to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Complaints dealing with sexual and other forms of unlawful harassment are addressed under Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy. Students who seek to grieve the imposition of disciplinary sanctions are directed to review the Disciplinary Policy.

Students who seek to grieve matters pertaining to academic warning, probation, suspension, and/or dismissal are directed to Metier Standing and Academic Standing policies.

The Financial Aid Appeals Committee handles grievances concerning financial aid.

Any student who believes that a practice, policy, or rule has been applied incorrectly as it relates to the student, or that he or she has been unlawfully discriminated against, is encouraged to informally discuss the problem with the Dean of Students. If the student is not able to satisfactorily resolve the problem informally, the student may initiate a formal grievance by submitting a signed grievance statement to the Dean of Students.

The grievance statement must describe the nature of the grievance; the practice, policy, rule or law that the student claims has been violated; and the remedy or relief requested. The Dean of Students or designee shall investigate the grievance and provide a written response within ten days of receipt of the grievance unless additional time is required to complete the investigation. If not satisfied with the response to the grievance, the student may, within ten days of the date of the response, file a written request for review with the Dean of Students. As soon thereafter as practical, an Appeals Committee shall be formed consisting of three current members from the faculty, staff, or student body. One member of the Committee shall be appointed by the student, one member by the Associate Provost or designee, and one member by the Dean of Students. Together these members of the Committee shall decide who from among them shall serve as chairperson. No person shall participate as a member of the Appeals Committee who has been involved in the event(s) upon which the grievance is based or who is biased.

The Director of Human Resources or designee shall provide administrative services to the Appeals Committee, including but not limited to supplying copies of pertinent documents, scheduling meetings, arranging for a scribe to take and prepare minutes, and the preparation of the final report. A student may be assisted at any stage of this procedure by a current member of the CalArts community (i.e., staff member, faculty member, or student) who is not an attorney, but such person may not address the Appeals Committee unless requested by it to do so.

Within ten days of the date the Appeals Committee is formed or as soon thereafter as practical, the Appeals Committee shall meet in closed session to consider the grievance. The members of the Appeals Committee shall respect the confidentiality of the proceedings. The student shall be provided with an opportunity to meet with the Appeals Committee, but shall otherwise be present at a meeting of the Appeals Committee only at the request or with the permission of the Appeals Committee. As it deems appropriate, the Appeals Committee shall interview other persons and shall consider written materials and other items pertinent to the grievance.

At the completion of its review, the Appeals Committee shall prepare a written advisory report consisting of findings, conclusions, and recommendations and submit it to the Provost with copies to the student and the Dean of Students. Under separate cover, the Appeals Committee shall also forward to the Provost copies of any written material or items that it considered in connection with the appeal process.

The Provost or his or her designee shall consider the report and, at his or her discretion, take whatever action he or she deems appropriate. Prior to taking such action, the Provost or designee may discuss the report with the members of the Appeals Committee, the student or any other person. The Provost or designee shall transmit his or her decision in writing to the student, Dean of Students and members of the Appeals Committee. The decision of the Provost shall be final.

Title IX Coordinators
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual exploitation. CalArts' Title IX Coordinator is Eva Graham, Institute Diversity Officer, and Deputy Title IX Coordinator as Charmagne Shearrill, the Chief Human Resources Officer (661-253-7838, cshearrill@calarts.edu, Room A210). The Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator are available to receive reports of sex discrimination at CalArts, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation, to discuss questions or concerns relating to the investigation of complaints received, reporting and complaint procedures, and education and training opportunities across campus. Information concerning Title IX can also be obtained from the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education (415-486-5555, ocr.sanfrancisco@ed.gov, 50 Beale Street, Suite 7200, San Francisco, CA 94105-1813).

Complaint Procedure
An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint. The bureau may be contacted at 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, http://www.bppe.ca.gov/, Tel: 916.431.6924, Fax: 916.263.1897. 

Policy Category:

Independent Study

CalArts approves of Independent Project/Private Directed Study for credit in the artistic disciplines and the School of Critical Studies when the study or project undertaken represents an opportunity of unique value to the student in his or her area of study.

The Institute defines Independent Project/Private Directed Study as on–campus studio or academic work undertaken outside of Institute–scheduled lecture or studio class time and under the direct supervision of a faculty member of the Institute.

Independent Project/Private Directed Study may be undertaken in any area of valid artistic/academic interest to the student, with any faculty whose education and expertise qualify them in that area and whose teaching and mentoring schedule allows time for the supervision of the project/study.

Independent Project/Private Directed Study may be undertaken as an adjunct to the student’s coursework in a program; it may satisfy specific divisional or programmatic requirements; or it may constitute the student’s entire program of study during a given semester.

Details: 

  1. The student and the chosen faculty supervisor complete an Independent Project/Private Directed Study Contract, clearly defining what is to be accomplished during the period of study. The contract must be approved and signed by the student, the faculty supervisor, the metier dean and the dean of the faculty supervisor’s school.
  2. The credit value of the independent study will be determined and assigned by the faculty supervisor at the time the contract is written and signed as follows: 
    Lecture Course: One contact hour plus two hours of out of class preparation.
    Studio Course: Two contact hours plus one hour of out of class preparation.
    Individual Lessons: 
    One hour of contact with at least two hours of practice.
    Independent Study:
     At least three hours of work per week.
  3. The approved and signed contract indicating the Independent Project/Private Directed Study’s credit value must be presented at the time the student registers for the course. The original will be kept in the Registrar’s Office and a copy will be sent to the faculty supervisor with the class roster.
Policy Category:

Institute Degree and Certificate Requirements: Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts

CalArts has developed the following minimum standards for receiving a degree or certificate from the Institute. Schools may develop additional requirements on approval of the President and Provost.

The schools may admit candidates at the graduate level for an Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts when an undergraduate degree has not been earned but where evidence of achievement and capability would otherwise justify admission for regular MFA study. The work completed for this program must be on the same level as that required for the MFA degree. The time to be spent in the program is the same as that for the MFA degree. Admission, units completion and review procedures, including the requirements for meeting the TOEFL standards in the case of international applicants, are the same as those for the MFA degree.

Policy Category:

Institute Degree and Certificate Requirements: Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

CalArts has developed the following minimum standards for receiving a degree or certificate from the Institute. Schools may develop additional requirements on approval of the President and Provost.

I. Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (BFA) Residency Requirement 

The CalArts Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is a minimum 120 unit, 8 full–time semesters program. A minimum of one year in residence must be completed and of this minimum at least the final semester before graduation must be in residence. Schools may establish slightly different criteria for the residency requirements under exceptional circumstances and on approval of the Provost or his/her designee.

Curriculum Requirements 

1. Each student must complete the curriculum set forth by the school in which the student is enrolled. 
2. BFA candidates must complete 46 semester units in Critical Studies course work. First year BFA candidates will generally take two Critical Studies courses each semester, for a total of five semester units per semester. In subsequent years students take two to three courses or six units each semester until the requirement is completed. For the required distribution of these courses consult the Critical Studies section of this Course Catalog. Critical Studies courses may not be repeated for purposes of satisfying this requirement unless otherwise stated in the course description.

Transfer Credit 

Transfer credit is accepted only from other regionally accredited postsecondary institutions. Transfer credit is granted only for courses that are relevant to study at CalArts and for which an equivalent grade of “A”, “B”, “C”, or “P” was received. The final semester of any CalArts degree or certificate program must be completed in residence i.e., as a registered student. Under specific circumstances a student who has fulfilled all residence requirements, and has passed a faculty graduation review but who falls short on units or course requirements by no more than one course, not to exceed three units, may take advantage of the following policy.

The student may petition through:

  • The School Dean in the case of a Metier requirement or, 
  • The Dean of the School of Critical Studies in the case of a BFA Critical Studies requirement to: 
    1. Complete coursework, as approved in writing, at another regionally accredited college to serve as transfer credit in fulfilling the outstanding course. This coursework must be completed with a “C” or better or “P”. Students tentatively scheduled to graduate in May can make up the course during the summer after graduation or during the following fall semester only. Students tentatively scheduled to graduate in December can make up the course during the following spring semester or summer following graduation only. Approval of the appropriate Dean must be obtained prior to enrollment for the coursework. Upon completion of the coursework an official transcript must be sent to the CalArts Registrar for transfer toward the CalArts degree. 
    2. Return to CalArts during the following fall semester for tentative May graduates or the following spring semester for December tentative graduates. Tuition will be charged on a per–unit basis, calculated at the current annual tuition divided by 40 (the annual number of allowable units). Approval for return to complete the course must be presented to the CalArts Registrar no later than the last day of late registration of the semester of intended enrollment. Forms for approval of either of these options may be obtained in the Registrar’s Office.

Post–Residence Transfer Credit

This policy defines the number and conditions under which students may transfer external credits to CalArts as pending graduates. All proposed transfer credits must be approved in advance and in writing by the dean (metier or Critical Studies) in consultation with the student's mentor, and by the Registrar. Please note that prior to receiving pre-approval from the Dean and Registrar, the following conditions must be met:

  • The student must have fulfilled all metier and Critical Studies residency requirements. (Please see the policy titled "Institute Degree and Certificate Requirements: Residency Requirement.) 
  • The student must have advanced to the final semester of residence for his/her program (e.g., BFA4-2). 
  • The student has successfully passed his/her graduation review or recital. If s/he has not done so, formal, written arrangements for completing this requirement, approved by the mentor, Program Director and Dean, must have been made (as articulated in the Special Conditions section of the Transfer Credit Approval Form). 

The student must receive the Dean's and Registrar's permission prior to enrolling in any coursework at another regionally accredited institution. If the above conditions are met and the student has received pre-approval from both the appropriate dean and the Registrar, then the student may transfer to CalArts a maximum of five (5) units of credit from another regionally accredited institution. As stated in the policy titled "Institute Degree and Certificate Requirements: Transfer Credit,"coursework must be completed with a grade of "C" or better or a grade of "Pass."

These additional units will be accepted without incurring additional fees, if they are completed within two (2) years after the final semester of residency. If more than two years have elapsed since the end of the final semester of residency, then the student must apply for readmission in order to complete the required units at CalArts.

A student can also complete his/her remaining units at CalArts, either during the academic year at a per-unit cost or during Summer Session. Students who need six or more units to graduate must enroll in the Institute (half-time or more, based on the remaining requirements).

Transfer Credit (BFA), For Purposes of Admission

Students with previous bachelors degrees who are entering the BFA program will be required to complete at least 8 semester units of CalArts Critical Studies credit in order to obtain a BFA degree from CalArts. All other students will be required to complete at least 8 of the required 46 semester units of Critical Studies credit at CalArts. When transfer students seek credit toward the Critical Studies requirement, this credit will be measured against the CalArts component–46 semester units in approved Critical Studies course work to a maximum of 38 semester units. (See School of Critical Studies section for specific requirements.) All transfer credit will be evaluated by the Registrar’s Office in accord with guidelines developed by the School of Critical Studies and consistent with the Institute’s standards.

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
May 2014

Institute Degree and Certificate Requirements: Certificate of Fine Arts

CalArts has developed the following minimum standards for receiving a degree or certificate from the Institute. Schools may develop additional requirements on approval of the President and Provost.

Definition

The Institute offers a four year (eight full-time semesters), minimum 120 unit Certificate of Fine Arts program which is representative of achievement in a school for students who do not wish to pursue the BFA degree. Following are the standards:

  1. Admission requirements, residency, units completion and other Institute standards relating to advancement, review and graduation are the same as for BFA candidates.
  2. The student must satisfactorily complete all metier work required for the BFA degree in the school in which the student is enrolled, plus additional metier studies as determined by the mentor and dean.
  3. Critical Studies course work is not required and is replaced by additional work in the metier. 
  4. Tuition and related fees are the same as those for the BFA degree. 
  5. Financial aid may be available for a period up to six years (12 semesters).

Transfer from Certificate Program to BFA Degree:

Certificate students may transfer to BFA study under the following conditions:

  1. After one or more semesters in residence; 
  2. Upon a favorable recommendation from the school review committee;

Process: The student must complete a Change of Status form. This form requires approval of the mentor, the dean, the Dean of Critical Studies, the Director of Financial Aid and the Registrar. A student who has graduated from CalArts with a Certificate and who later wishes to apply that Certificate to the BFA degree from the same school must go through the admission process and be formally accepted for BFA study and must complete all requirements remaining, both in the metier and Critical Studies. If the time away from CalArts exceeds five years, the student will be subject to the academic requirements of their program and the Institute in effect at the time of return.

Transfer (Voluntary) from BFA to Certificate Program: 

A BFA student may transfer to the Certificate program provided the student has been in residence one or more semesters and has the written approval of the dean and mentor.

Process: The student must complete a Change of Status form. This form requires the signature of the mentor, the dean, the Dean of the School of Critical Studies, the Director of Financial Aid and the Registrar.

Policy Category:

Institute Degree and Certificate Requirements: Doctor of Musical Arts Degree (DMA)

CalArts has developed the following minimum standards for receiving a degree or certificate from the Institute. Schools may develop additional requirements on approval of the President and Provost.

Admission Prerequisites

Applicants to the DMA program will be required to have attained a MM, MFA, MA or equivalent in a relevant field before admittance, or to have a Master’s degree in an alternate subject along with skills and knowledge that are commensurate with a Master’s degree in a music field. Students will be required to have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.0 in previous graduate study. As part of the admission process, applicants’ knowledge of music theory, analysis and history will be assessed through portfolio review and interview. Additional subject areas may be assessed depending on each applicant’s proposed research focus. In order to ameliorate any deficiencies thus identified, admitted students may be required to take courses for which credit will not be awarded in addition to those required for the DMA degree.

Residence Requirements and Length of Program

The DMA program requires at least 6 semesters of full-time residence, which is also its expected duration.

Curriculum Requirements

The DMA program is a 60 semester-unit program. A complete description of the requirements of the DMA program can be found in the School of Music section of this Course Catalog. Candidates for the DMA degree are required to complete all of the work defined by the DMA program and the School of Music.

Transfer Credit

Due to the unique nature of the DMA program, transfer credit is not awarded.

Policy Category:

Institute Degree and Certificate Requirements: MA in Aesthetics and Politics

CalArts has developed the following minimum standards for receiving a degree or certificate from the Institute. Schools may develop additional requirements on approval of the President and Provost.

Admission Prerequisite

An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution or a government approved foreign institution is required for admission to the MA in Aesthetics and Politics program.

Residence Requirements

The MA in Aesthetics and Politics Program requires two semesters of full-time residency and two semesters of low-residency enrollment.

Curriculum Requirements

Candidates for the MA in Aesthetics and Politics are called upon to complete all of the work defined by the program. These requirements are described annually in the Course Catalog.

Thesis Completion

The thesis for MA in Aesthetics and Politics candidates will be due by September 1st of the fall semester following the final semester of enrollment, i.e., students completing coursework in spring 2017 will have a thesis due date of September 1, 2017. Students who do not complete the thesis by September 1st will be required to pay a matriculation fee in order to maintain status as a candidate for graduation up to a maximum of two additional semesters as set by the Program Director. Students who do not complete their thesis within the maximum two additional semesters will not be eligible for graduation and will be required to reapply to the program and complete course work and a thesis as arranged with the Program Director.

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
Oct 2017

Institute Degree and Certificate Requirements: Master of Fine Arts Degree (MFA)

CalArts has developed the following minimum standards for receiving a degree or certificate from the Institute. Schools may develop additional requirements on approval of the President and Provost.

Admission Prerequisite

An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution or a government approved foreign institution is required for admission to the MFA degree programs.

Length of Program 

The MFA degree program requires from two to three years to complete, depending upon the requirements of the individual disciplines. The requirements of the individual disciplines are found in the individual school degree requirements sections of this Course Catalog and in the Admissions Viewbook.

Residence Requirements

Depending on the program of study, a minimum of one year to three years in residence is required and, regardless of the minimum requirement, the final semester before graduation must be in residence i.e., as a registered student. Schools may establish slightly different criteria for the residency requirements under exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the Provost.

Curriculum Requirements 

Candidates for the MFA degree are called upon to complete all of the work defined by the program and school in which the student is enrolled. These requirements are described annually in the Course Catalog and may be clarified in the school handbooks.

Transfer Credit (MFA) 

Up to one year of graduate credit may be granted for work completed at a regionally accredited postsecondary institution prior to admission to CalArts’ MFA study. Such transfer of credit is at the discretion of the dean of the student’s school. Full documentation, including official transcripts, will be required.

Policy Category:

Internships

All students interested in pursuing an internship opportunity must schedule an appointment with the Center for Life & Work in the Office of Student Experience. Although the Center for Life & Work maintains an extensive bank of internship opportunities, students may also find internships through their own research or through faculty contacts. However, regardless of the internship’s origin, all internships must be approved by theCenter for Life & Work. No credit will be awarded for internships not approved in advance of their start date, except by special petition of the School dean.

To be eligible for an internship, BFA candidates must have spent at least two semesters on campus, as a registered student. MFA, and DMA candidates must have been enrolled for at least one semester. On occasion, exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the School dean. Credit for undergraduate internships may not exceed six semester units or twenty hours of work per week. Please note that an off–campus internship may augment, but may not replace, the CalArts residency requirement.

Generally, an internship experience at a particular site can only be done for credit one time. If the duties and responsibilities of the internship change significantly, then the student may apply to the Center for Life & Work to receive credit at the same site a second time. The maximum number of academic credits for internships each semester is 6.

At no time can an internship count towards fulfilling Critical Studies course requirements.

The Center for Life & Work will supply the student with a copy of the internship contract. The contract must be completed in its entirety before the beginning of the internship and must be signed by the internship company, the CalArts faculty member supervising the internship, the Center for Life & Work, and the Registrar’s Office. International students must have written approval of the Office of International Students and Programs prior to beginning an internship. 

A member of the faculty must supervise all internships. If the host company requires a separate contract to be signed by the intern, or, if the host wishes to acquire original material created by the student, the student should seek independent legal advice prior to entering into any agreement with the company. Although a student interning for credit can also be paid by the host organization, the position must meet the criteria of an intern/trainee and not an employee. See the Center for Life & Work for more information.

The faculty supervisor is responsible for the following:

  • Reviewing the value of the internship in the context of the student’s overall academic/artistic program (including any academic warnings) before approving the internship, and ensuring that there are defined learning outcomes for the internship experience; 
  • Ensuring that credit awarded is consistent with semester credit hour standards (three hours per week per unit for undergraduate students and four hours of work per week per unit for graduate students based on a 15–week semester);  
  • Reviewing the evaluations, provided by the student and by the work site, in preparation for issuing a grade based on performance to be submitted to the Registrar’s Office; and 
  •  Reporting any problems or feedback to the Center for Life & Work.
Students are responsible for the following: 

  • Meeting with the Center for Life & Work and understanding the procedure for securing an internship;  
  • Making sure that a completed and signed internship contract is submitted to the Center for Life & Work prior to starting the internship; 
  • Fulfilling all requirements of the internship;  
  • Keeping the faculty supervisor apprised of any problems that arise in the course of the internship, as well as periodically reporting on progress at the work site; and 
  • Submitting, to the Center for Life & Work, complete reports on evaluation forms (provided by the Center for Life & Work) by both the intern and the internship site supervisor before the end of the semester. Grades are based, in part, on these completed reports.

Internships at CalArts that are awarded academic credit are treated with the same rigor as coursework. Students are expected to commit the same amount of time and energy to an internship as they would to a class. In turn, the Center for Life & Work and the supervising faculty member will help ensure that the student’s investment is matched by a valuable educational experience. Regular communication among the Center for Life & Work, the faculty member and the student is crucial to this process.

Policy Category:

InterSchool Policy

Overview

InterSchool Degree Programs provide students with the opportunity to pursue one joint degree from two different CalArts Schools (e.g., a BFA degree jointly awarded by the Schools of Art and Film/Video).

Structure: CalArts’ InterSchool option is structurally similar to a “double-major”; however, InterSchool students are expected to use and explore the integration of both artistic disciplines in their practice and final projects. InterSchool Degree Programs are possible only between programs within the same degree level and type (for example, both are MFA programs). 

Eligibility: Applicants to an InterSchool Degree Program must (1) meet admission criteria for both courses of study; (2) show that their artistic work would benefit substantially from two areas of study; and (3) demonstrate that they have the artistic and academic capacity to complete two programs. InterSchool Degree Programs are not available with the Master of Arts in Aesthetics in Politics or the Doctor in Musical Arts Program in Performer/Composer.  

Length: Acceptance and enrollment into most InterSchool Programs will increase by at least one semester the degree time to completion. Time to completion will be estimated during the application process, through the proposal of a specific combination of curricula. For InterSchool Degree Programs, the minimum residency is the length of the longest Program. For example, if a student is enrolled in a three-year Theater MFA, and becomes an InterSchool student with a two-year MFA Program in Writing, the minimum residency requirement will be three years, although students may anticipate adding time-to-degree beyond this minimum. 

Requirements: InterSchool Degree Programs’ requirements vary based on the participating Programs’ curricula and degree type. National and regional accreditation standards for each Program must be fulfilled in their entirety. InterSchool students, regardless of degree type, must demonstrate all skills and competencies for graduation in both Programs and make good progress in all coursework and review processes, as determined by the faculty.  

Requirements for Undergraduate Students: All undergraduate students enrolled in InterSchool Programs must complete – at minimum – all required third and fourth year courses as listed in the Course Catalog (minus any electives that may be taken in the other Program) and any additional coursework deemed necessary by the Program Directors and mentors to meet graduation requirements. Curricula for the Schools of Art and Dance are designed in compliance with national accreditation standards and must be completed in their entirety, as listed in the Course Catalog. Some of the first and second-year requirements may be waived during the admissions process, when students have regionally accredited transfer credits that qualify them for admission at a higher year-level and demonstrate the level of artistic accomplishment commensurate with that year-level. InterSchool undergraduates students must successfully complete all Critical Studies requirements (46 units) and are expected at all times to maintain good progress in Critical Studies and all coursework for both artistic programs. 

Requirements for Graduate Students: Graduate students enrolled in MFA InterSchool Programs must complete all core curricula for both programs, minus any electives or graduate transfer credit considered during the admissions process for the purpose of year-level placement.


Application Process: New Students

New Undergraduate Students: New BFA students are not eligible to apply for an InterSchool Program. Faculty wish to see the quality and direction of students’ work prior to considering them for InterSchool study.

New Graduate Students: Potential MFA students may apply for admission to the InterSchool Program. Successful applicants will exhibit extraordinary strength and ability in the two disciplines of choice, with portfolio/performance work that demonstrates the ability to successfully pursue a rigorous interdisciplinary arts study. New MFA students applying for InterSchool must meet all established Institute application deadlines for both Programs and be admitted into both Programs.

Application Process

  1. Admissions Counselors Consultation: Before being admitted, students should discuss ideas for combining MFA programs with the Admissions Counselors from both disciplines.
  2. Associate Provost Consultation: After speaking with student’s Admissions Counselors and receiving admission to both programs, the student should make an appointment with the Associate Provost to obtain and discuss the InterSchool Approval Form and InterSchool Proposal process. 
  3. InterSchool Proposal: The student will develop an InterSchool Proposal (2-3 pages) that contains the following elements:
    1. A description of why it is important to the student’s development as an artist to pursue the InterSchool Degree option. 
    2. A detailed description of the course of study to be followed, developed in consultation with the student’s mentors and the Associate Provost. This should include a semester-by-semester list of courses-to-be-taken (including independent studies courses), and must include all required courses for both Programs. Proposed course-loads may not exceed 20-units per semester. For most Programs, an average course-load of 15-units per semester is recommended. The proposed course of study must be approved by the Directors and Deans of both Programs and must conform to all national and regionally accreditation standards. 
    3. A list of requested facilities and equipment necessary for the student’s work from each School, including personal studio, exhibition and performance spaces, as applicable. 
    4. A description of the final thesis project(s) to be completed. If the student anticipates completing one thesis project for both Programs, s/he should describe this plan in detail. 
    5. A time frame in which all the work is to be completed, including a target graduation date that is to be aligned with the courses to be taken. 
    6. The name of the requested mentors (if known) within each of the involved Schools.
  4. School Reviews: The Provost Office will present the InterSchool Proposal, along with the InterSchool Approval Form, to the Program Directors of both Schools, who will review the InterSchool Proposal with the student’s requested mentors and deans. 
    1. If the InterSchool Proposal is approved, the InterSchool Approval Form is signed by both mentors, Program Directors and Deans.
    2. Each InterSchool Approval Form must have all six signatures (two Deans, two Program Directors and two mentors) for the application to move forward.
  5. Provost Review:The InterSchool Approval Form, along with the student’s InterSchool Proposal, will then be submitted to the Office of the Provost for final signature. 
    1. Students are encouraged to keep a copy of the InterSchool Proposal and the fully signed InterSchool Approval Form for their records.
  6. Decision: The Office of Admissions will issue an official decision letter on behalf of the Institute.


Application Process: Continuing Students

Admission to InterSchool Degree Programs is highly competitive. Each Program generally accepts a maximum of two InterSchool students per year. Applicants must be students in good academic standing, with the demonstrated ability to complete an intense course of interdisciplinary study. Due to the rigors of completing core requirements in two distinct Programs, applicants must also have ability and previous training in both of the disciplines.


Timeline:
InterSchool applications must be completed by the institutional deadline for admission (usually early January, please see the CalArts website for the current deadline). The application process, from initial discussion with the current mentor/Program Director, to the issuance of a final letter of decision, takes four to six weeks. Therefore, it is highly recommended that students begin the InterSchool application process no later than November 1 of the academic year prior to when the InterSchool Degree Program would begin. It is the applicant’s responsibility to begin the process early and to track the progress of his/her forms and proposals to ensure timely submission of all materials by the established deadlines.

Timeline for Continuing Undergraduate Students: BFA applicants generally begin the application process for InterSchool during the fall of their second year (BFA-2). Those accepted will begin their InterSchool Program in the fall semester of their third year (BFA-3).

Timeline for Continuing Graduate Students
: MFA applicants should apply for InterSchool during the fall of their first year (MFA-1). Those accepted will begin their InterSchool Program in the following fall semester at the MFA-2 year level.

Application Process:

  1. Current Program Consultation: Students should first meet with their current mentor and Program Director, who will advise the student, informally, on the feasibility of an InterSchool course of study, based on the student’s current curriculum, preliminary plan for InterSchool study, and current performance in his/her existing program. 
  2. Associate Provost Consultation: After this preliminary consultation and with the approval of their mentor and Program Director, students should make an appointment with the Associate Provost to obtain and discuss the InterSchool Application Form and application process. Current and Second Program Consultation: After consultation with the Associate Provost, the Provost’s Office will schedule an initial meeting with both Program Directors, the student’s mentor and the student. 
  3. Current and Second Program Consultation: After consultation with the Associate Provost, the Provost’s Office will schedule an initial meeting with both Program Directors, the student’s mentor and the student.
  4. InterSchool Proposal: Based on this meeting and with the conditional encouragement of the Programs, the student will develop an InterSchool Proposal (2-3 pages) that contains the following elements: 
    1. A description of why it is important to the student’s development as an artist to pursue the InterSchool Degree option.
    2. A detailed description of the course of study to be followed, developed in consultation with the Program Directors of each Program. This should include a semester-by-semester list of courses-to-be-taken (including independent studies courses), and must include all required courses for both Programs. Proposed course-loads may not exceed 20-units per semester. For most Programs, an average course-load of 15-units per semester is recommended. The proposed course of study must be approved by the Directors and Deans of both Programs and must conform to all national and regionally accreditation standards. 
    3. A list of requested facilities and equipment necessary for the student’s work from each School, including personal studio, exhibition and performance spaces, as applicable. 
    4. A description of the final thesis project(s) to be completed. If the student anticipates completing one thesis project for both Programs, s/he should describe this plan in detail. 
    5. A time frame in which all the work is to be completed, including a target graduation date that is to be aligned with the courses to be taken.
    6. The name of the requested mentors (if known) within each of the involved Schools. 
  5. Current School Review: The student presents the InterSchool Proposal, along with the InterSchool Application Form, to the Program Director of the student’s current School, who will review the InterSchool Proposal with the student’s mentor and dean. 
    1. The current School may request a portfolio or audition from the applicant to determine his/her readiness to pursue InterSchool study or decline the InterSchool Proposal on the basis of the student’s artistic/academic progress. 
    2. If the InterSchool Proposal is approved, the InterSchool Application Form is signed by the mentor, Program Director and Dean. 
  6. Second School Review: Once approved by the current School, the InterSchool Proposal and InterSchool Application Form will be forwarded to the Program Director of the second School for consideration. 
    1. At this stage of the process, the Program Director of the second School, in consultation with the Dean and the School Admissions Counselor, may waive or require an admissions portfolio or audition.
    2. If the student is accepted for InterSchool study, the InterSchool Application Form is then signed by the second School’s mentor, Program Director and Dean. 
    3. Each InterSchool Application Form must have all six signatures (two Deans, two Program Directors and two mentors) for the application to move forward
  7. Provost Review: The InterSchool Application Form, along with the student’s InterSchool Proposal, will then be submitted to the Office of the Provost for final signature. 
    1. Students are encouraged to keep a copy of the InterSchool Proposal and the fully signed InterSchool Application Form for their records. 
  8. Decision: The Office of Admissions will issue an official decision letter on behalf of the Institute.


Financial Aid: Continuing Students

CalArts makes every effort to maintain a student’s financial aid funding throughout their time here. In order to maintain consistent funding, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress and meet Institute deadlines, including FAFSA deadlines, and remain financially eligible for aid. If all deadlines and criteria are met and academic progress is satisfactory, students may assume that InterSchool status will not alter their overall financial aid package. Students should also note that their current level of aid will generally not increase with the addition of the second Program, even though the time to degree will likely increase. As a result of, Students should note that, due to the extra semester(s) required to complete coursework for both Programs, the total cost of tuition to degree generally will be more than the cost of a single-focus degree Program.

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
Oct 2011

Late Registration

Registration means the payment of tuition and completion of registration forms. Late registration is a grace period of several days in which these forms may be filled out and tuition paid. An additional fee is charged for this service.

Leave of Absence

Students who wish to temporarily discontinue their enrollment at CalArts must request a leave of absence through the Office of the Registrar or through the Office of Student Experience, depending on the circumstances of the leave.  Students who receive financial aid must also meet with the Office of Financial Aid to learn whether there are consequences of a leave on their financial aid eligibility or loan repayment, and international students must meet with the Office of International Students and Programs to ensure compliance with their visa status.  Tuition refunds for a semester in progress are granted according to the Withdrawal from the Institute and Dormitory – Refunds policy in the CalArts Catalog.

Students placed on academic or métier warning or probation are eligible to apply for a leave of absence, but their academic status will remain in effect upon their resumption of studies at the Institute.

CalArts allows for leaves of absence in the following categories:  Personal Leaves, Medical Leaves, and Institute-Initiated Leaves.

Personal Leave

A personal leave of absence enables students to work, to travel, to pursue an interest not involving formal studies, or to handle personal or family issues.  Depending on School policy, students may request a personal leave for either one semester or one academic year.  Students who are approved for a one semester leave may request to extend the leave to a full academic year; these requests must be received prior to the start of the second semester of the leave. 

To request a personal leave of absence, students must submit a completed Leave of Absence form to the Office of the Registrar.  Approval of any personal leave of absence is at the discretion of students’ Dean and faculty.

At the end of a personal leave, students may reenroll for the semester indicated on the Leave of Absence form without being required to complete any reenrollment or readmission paperwork.  Students who do not return as expected will be withdrawn from the Institute and subject to the terms of the Withdrawal from the Institute policy.

Students approved for personal leaves of absence during the Add/Drop period will have all in progress courses dropped from their transcript.  Students approved for personal leaves during the Withdrawal period will be assigned “W” notations for all in progress courses.  A personal leave of absence will not be approved after the Withdrawal period has ended.

Medical Leave

Students may be granted a medical leave of absence from the Institute in those instances in which the student’s health is impeding normal academic or artistic progress.  A medical leave may be approved for up to one full academic year.  If medically necessary, students may request to extend a medical leave for up to one additional academic year.  Approval of requests to extend medical leaves beyond one year is made at the discretion of the school, in consultation with the Director of Student Care & Wellbeing and in consideration of the physical demands of the student’s program.

To apply for a medical leave, students must complete the Leave of Absence form and provide documentation of the need for medical leave from their treating licensed and relevant non-familial health care professional within 30 days of declaring a leave.  Approval of the leave is at the discretion of the Director of Student Care & Wellbeing (or designee).  In cases where a medical leave is denied, or appropriate documentation is not provided, the leave will be processed as a personal leave of absence and will be subject to the Personal Leave policy detailed above.

Upon receiving documentation for a medical leave, the Director of Student Care & Wellbeing (or designee) will provide a decision to approve or deny the medical leave in writing.  If the leave is approved, Student Experience will provide further written communication to the student documenting the reason for the leave, the conditions that must be met to return from medical leave, and the process by which the student will request to return.  Prior to reenrolling, all students on medical leaves will be required to submit medical clearance from their treating licensed and relevant non-familial health care professional stating that, in their professional opinion, the student is now capable of handling the academic and artistic demands of the Institute.  Student Experience will also communicate approved medical leave status to the Office of the Registrar.

Students approved for medical leaves taking effect during the Add/Drop period will have all in progress courses dropped from the transcript.  Students approved for medical leaves taking effect during the Withdrawal period will be assigned “W” notations for all in progress courses.  In rare cases, and at the discretion of the Director of Student Care & Wellbeing (or designee) in consultation with the Registrar, students may be approved for medical leaves taking effect after the end of the Withdrawal period.  Requests for late semester medical leaves will not be considered after the last day of the semester.

Students approved for medical leave will have an administrative hold placed on their registration record to prevent reenrollment without clearance from Student Experience.  Students intending to return from a medical leave must submit clearance documentation to the Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) no less than one month prior to the start of the semester in which the student intends to reenroll.  The Director of Student Care & Wellbeing (or designee) will consider students’ requests based on a review of the entire record, including any new information relevant to the matter, and may impose conditions on students’ reenrollment.


Institute-Initiated Leave

Students are subject to Institute-initiated leave if the Vice President of Student Experience (or designee), in consultation with the School Dean, is persuaded by the evidence that they exhibit behavior which substantially disrupts or impedes the educational process or proper activities or functions of the Institute.  Students may also be placed on institute-initiated leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation if the evidence indicates that they pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

In the case of Institute-initiated leave, the Vice President of Student Experience (or designee), in consultation with the School Dean, may state a specific date after which students may seek to reenroll, and may also stipulate conditions that must be met before students may reenroll, including but not limited to a requirement that students provide medical clearance from their treating licensed and relevant non-familial health care professional.  Student Experience will communicate this decision to the Office of the Registrar.

Unless otherwise specified by the Vice President of Student Experience (or designee), any decision to place a student on involuntarily leave will take immediate effect.  However, this decision is subject to automatic review within seven days by the Provost (or designee), including the Institute Diversity Officer.  Should students choose to challenge the institute-initiated medical leave decision, they may do so through the student Grievance Procedure, but the initiation of a grievance will not delay the effective date of the leave.

Absence without Leave

Students who discontinue enrollment for a single academic semester (fall or spring) at CalArts without following the leave of absence procedures described above will be withdrawn from the Institute and, in accordance with the Withdrawal from the Institute policy, will be required to reapply to the Institute if they wish to return.  Schools and programs are not required to approved readmission of withdrawn students, and all readmitted students will be subject to current policies governing degree requirements and catalog rights.

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
Jan 2017

Mentoring Policy

Each student entering the Institute is assigned a faculty mentor from the School in which the student enrolls. The mentor plays a key role in advising and guiding the student in achieving artistic and educational goals. The mentor monitors each mentee’s progress toward fulfillment of program requirements.

In carrying out these responsibilities:

  1. The mentor meets with the student at each class sign–up to approve a program of study, helping to ensure that the degree or certificate requirements and other standards of the Institute are being met in the métier. 
  2. The mentor attends and approves the outcome of all reviews of his/her mentees, evaluates student exchange participation, monitors internship experience, recommends and approves adjustments to year level and meets with the student, at the student’s request, during the semester. It is highly recommended that mentors make an effort to meet with mentees at least once each semester. 
  3. Toward the end of each spring semester, the mentor prepares the Mentor’s Report (Fall for December Graduates) for each mentee. These reports are done online and describes the student’s development and progress in the program and become part of the student’s electronic academic record.

These reports are available to the student online. The Mentor’s Report may include information about the student’s advancement in year level, Critical Studies maintenance of effort (BFA students), completion of the course work of each semester, as well as an overall assessment of the student’s activities in the metier. It is prepared online by the mentor each year, is subject to the dean’s review and is submitted online via the Faculty Academic Services website no later than the third Thursday after graduation day of the academic year.

Each school may develop other requirements and mentoring procedures supplementary to those listed above. Students may request a change of mentor by completing a Change of Status form, available in their School office or in the Office of the Registrar (requires the signature of the dean, prior mentor, requested mentor, and Registrar).

Policy Category:

Metier & Academic Standing Appeal Policy

Students may appeal a metier or academic warning, probation, suspension or dismissal. To appeal, students must submit a petition stating the grounds for appeal. The appeal must be received by the Registrar within 15 working days after the date of the notice of warning, probation, suspension or dismissal. If readmitted, students may be placed on probation with special requirements for one semester. If at the end of the semester, students have not met all the requirements of continued enrollment, they will be dismissed from the Institute. 

Upon receipt of a notice of appeal, the Registrar will convene the Academic Appeals Committee* to review the appeal. The committee’s decision should be made by the 15th working day after the date of the emailed petition or as soon thereafter as practical given the circumstances. Students may contact the Student Advocate in the Office of Student Experience for information and support during the appeal process. The decision of the Academic Appeals Committee* is final. If the Academic Appeals Committee* does not make a decision by its deadline, then the Provost (or designee) will make the final decision.  

The Academic Appeals Committee’s* decision will be sent by email and U.S. first class mail to students within 5 working days or as soon thereafter as practical given the circumstances after the decision. Copies of the decision are sent to the students’ mentor, program director, dean, Dean of Critical Studies (if academic standing appeal), Registrar, Director of Financial Aid, Vice President of Student Experience, Office of the Provost, and members of the review committee.  

Student Records
The internal student records of the Institute will contain all notices of action taken in accordance with the policy on Metier and Academic Standing. However, students’ official transcripts will not reflect an academic warning/probation/suspension history if all requirements are fulfilled and the academic warning/probation/suspension is removed. The internal permanent record will reflect the following actions: warning, probation, suspension, dismissal and reinstatement.

Complaint Procedure
An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint. The bureau may be contacted at 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, http://www.bppe.ca.gov/ [1], Tel: 916.431.6924, Fax: 916.263.1897.

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

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
May 2016

Metier Standing Policy

Metier Standing Review

Students' metier progress will be reviewed each semester by the students' mentor, program faculty and/or dean. Students whose performance includes two or more of the following criteria may be placed on metier warning, probation or suspension at the end of the semester and go into effect the following semester:

  • Insufficient progress in achieving published program learning goals as described in the Academic Requirements section of the course catalog at https://catalog.calarts.edu/requirements
  • Failure to participate in program curriculum, scheduled exhibitions, screenings, rehearsals, performances, and productions. 
  • Failure to participate in program expectations concerning attendance and engagement. 
  • Unsatisfactory mentor reviews, mid-residency review and/or graduation review. 
  • Inadequate and/or underdeveloped studio practice. 
  • Failure to uphold academic honesty (including but not limited to cheating, fabrication, and plagiarism) and facilitating such misconduct. 
  • Failure to perform at a minimum level of "P" in required metier course(s). 
  • Unsatisfactory first year review, advancement-to-candidacy examination and/or concomitant formative portfolio review (applicable to DMA only).

Notifications

Letter of Concern

The School and Program may opt at any point to issue a letter of concern to students whose performance is indicating they will not meet artistic progress by the end of the semester, consequences of not satisfying those requirements, and may also recommend those students meet with their mentor and/or program director for assistance.

Placing Students on Warning, Probation or Suspension

Students placed on metier warning, probation or suspension shall be notified in writing by the dean explaining the reasons for the action, the requirements the students must satisfy in order to be removed from warning/probation/suspension, and the consequences of not satisfying those requirements. Notifications will be sent to the students' CalArts e-mail. Copies of the notice are sent to the mentor, Program Director, Provost, Registrar, Director of Financial Aid, and the Vice President of Student Experience.

Removing Students on Warning, Probation or Suspension

When students are removed from metier warning/probation/suspension, the school must send the students, the mentor, Program Director, Provost, Registrar, Director of Financial Aid and the Vice President of Student Experience written notice.

Dismissal

Once the Provost (or designee) acknowledges receipt of the notification, the dean sends the students a dismissal letter, which includes reasons for the action and information about appeal procedures, Notifications will be sent to the students' CalArts e-mail. Copies of the notice are sent to the mentor, Program Director, Provost, Registrar, Director of Financial Aid, and the Vice President of Student Experience.

Deadlines for Notification

Notification Deadline
Letter of Concern
May be sent anytime during the semester.
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.
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.

Definitions of Metier Standing Stages

Metier Warning - Expectations for improvement and any restrictions on course choice, unit load and co-curricular activities associated with warning are defined by the School and Program in the notification letter, as are the required next steps to be removed from warning.

Metier Probation - Students on probation may not participate in study abroad or internship programs and are expected to focus fully on addressing the deficiencies that have led to probation. Additional expectations for improvement and restrictions on course choice, unit load and co-curricular activities may be defined by the School and Program in the notification letter, as are the required next steps to be removed from probation.

Metier Suspension - Suspension may be imposed for either a semester or a year (depending on program requirements). Students placed on suspension will be required to meet with the Institute Academic Advisor and their school dean (or designee) to determine the conditions for returning to CalArts; these conditions will be articulated in the notification letter, and will be monitored by the Registrar's Office.

Expedited Metier Suspension - The School must provide evidence from three criteria listed above; in the case of expedited suspension, criteria may include disorderly or disruptive conduct that interferes with the educational and artistic activities of others - including but not limited to studying, teaching, research, rehearsals, performances, and productions. The final determination regarding Expedited Suspension is made by the Provost (or designee). 

Dismissal - The dean submits written notification to the Provost (or designee) providing reasons and documentation in support of dismissal. The Provost (or designee) must approve the dismissal. Once approval has been granted, the dean will notify the students. The dismissal action will be noted on the students' permanent record.

Expedited Dismissal - The school must provide evidence from three criteria listed above. In the case of expedited dismissal, criteria may include disorderly or disruptive conduct that interferes with the educational and artistic activities of others - including but not limited to studying, teaching, research, rehearsals, performances, and productions. The final determination regarding Expedited Dismissal is made by the Provost (or designee).

Progression Through Stages of Metier Standing

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees & Certificates

  1. Warning - Students who fail to make metier progress in a given semester are placed on warning.
  2. Probation - Students on warning who fail to meet expectations in the following semester of enrollment will be placed on probation.
  3. Suspension - Students who are currently or who have been placed on probation may be placed on suspension following any subsequent semester of unsatisfactory work.
  4. Expedited Suspension - In some cases, Schools may determine that students' metier progress is so insufficient that suspension is necessary after a single semester of warning. 
  5. Dismissal - Students who return to CalArts following a suspension may be dismissed from the Institute following any semester of unsatisfactory work.
  6. Expedited Dismissal - In some cases, Schools may determine that students' metier progress is so insufficient that dismissal is necessary after a single semester of warning.
Master of Fine Arts Degrees & Master of Arts Degrees & Advanced Certificates

  1. Probation - Students who fail to make metier progress in a given semester are placed on probation.
  2. Suspension - Students who are currently or who have been placed on probation may be placed on suspension following any subsequent semester of unsatisfactory work.
  3. Dismissal - Students who return to CalArts following a suspension may be dismissed from the Institute following any semester of unsatisfactory work.
  4. Expedited Dismissal - In some cases, Schools may determine that students' metier progress is so insufficient that dismissal is necessary after a single semester of probation.

Doctor of Musical Arts

  1. Probation - Students who fail to make metier progress in a given semester are placed on probation.
  2. Dismissal - Students who are currently or who have been placed on probation may be dismissed following any subsequent semester of unsatisfactory work.

Student Records

The internal student records of the Institute will contain all notices of action taken in accordance with the policy on Metier Academic Standing. However, students' official transcripts will not reflect a metier warning/probation/suspension history if all requirements are fulfilled and the metier warning/probation/suspension, dismissal and reinstatement.

Financial Aid Eligibility

BFA or certificate students placed on academic warning will retain eligibility for financial aid for the one semester they are on academic warning. 

BFA or certificate students placed on probation will lose their eligibility for federal and state financial aid for the semester(s) on probation or extended probation. The student may appeal on the basis of injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances. A written appeal must be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid before the start of the semester on probation/extended probation and it must explain why the student failed to make satisfactory progress and what has changed in the situation to allow the student to make satisfactory progress at the end of the semester of probation or extended probation. The Financial Aid Committee will review the request and notify the student, in writing, of the Committee's decision. 

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
May 2018
Revision History:
Approved May 2016; May 2018 (financial aid eligibility)

Missing Persons Policy

Students living on–campus
A suspected missing student should be reported to the campus safety department immediately. In compliance with federal laws, if after investigation the student is determined to be a missing person, the appropriate law enforcement agencies and the student’s emergency contact will be notified within 24 hours. If a student is under the age of 18, California Institute of the Arts is required to contact a parent or guardian. If a student is over the age of 18, California Institutes of the Arts is required to contact the emergency contact identified by the student to the institute.

Students living off–campus
A suspected missing student should be reported to campus safety immediately. If after investigation the student is determined to be a missing person, the appropriate law enforcement agencies will be contacted within 24 hours.

Policy Category:

Part–Time Study

CalArts does not encourage part–time registration in general as all of the Institute’s programs are designed to be completed over the course of two to four years of full–time work. Under special circumstances, students who have completed at least one full–time semester in residence in the School of Art or the Design and Production program of the School of Theater may be approved for part–time registration by the dean of that school. The schools of Film & Video, Dance, and the Acting and Directing programs of the School of Theater do not accept part–time enrollment. The schools of Music and Critical Studies will consider applications for part–time registration on a case–by–case basis. DMA and MA students are not eligible for part–time study.

International students, by mandate of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services are not permitted to attend on a part–time basis except under very unusual circumstances.

Part–time enrollment will have a direct and proportional impact on a student’s anticipated graduation date. For example, a student attending a semester on a half–time basis will have completed one–half semester toward the 8 full–time semesters, minimum 120 unit undergraduate program.

Details

  1. Schools allowing part–time enrollment may have limitations in addition to those stated here with regard to part–time students. Consultation with the specific school is an initial requirement. The decision to enroll a student on part–time basis is made by the dean with approval of the Provost or his/her designee.
  2. The student must complete a Part–time Registration Request form for each semester that part–time status is desired, as part–time status lapses at the end of each semester.
  3. Tuition for part–time study is proportionate to the fraction of the student’s study, determined by the course load, as compared to full–time. Course load for part–time students will be based on the following:

    Undergraduates in all Schools, and Graduate Students in the Art, Dance, and Music Schools Minimal full–time study is determined to be 12 or more semester units. 
    3/4 part–time = 9 to 11.50 semester units 
    1/2 part–time = 6 to 8.50 semester units 
    1/4 part–time = 1 to 5.50 semester units

    Graduate Students in Schools of Critical Studies, Film, and Theater Minimal full–time study is determined to be 9 or more semester units. 
    3/4 part–time = 7 to 8.50 semester units 
    1/2 part–time = 4.50 to 6.50 semester units 
    1/4 part–time = 1 to 4 semester units

  4. Receipts for tuition payment by part–time students are handled in the same manner as those for full–time students. The Registrar will take particular care to compare the part– time student’s Course Request Card to the tuition receipt, so that the fraction of tuition paid and the fraction of part–time registration are identical.
  5. Access to facilities of the Institute, such as the library, tools, space, equipment and shops, by part–time students shall include those facilities pertaining to the specific program in which the student is enrolled. In unusual situations, exceptions to the above guidelines may be made at the discretion of the student’s dean in consultation with the Registrar and with approval by the Provost or his/her designee.
Policy Category:
Revised Date:
Sep 2017

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the use of ideas and/or quotations (from the Internet, books, films, television, newspapers, articles, the work of other students, works of art, media, etc.) without proper credit to the author/artist. While the argument in a paper can be enhanced by research, students are cautioned to delineate clearly their own original ideas from source material. Students should introduce source material (either quoted or paraphrased); note when the source material ends; and provide citations for source materials using standard documentation formats.  

According to CalArts policy, students who misrepresent source material as their own original work and fail to credit it have committed plagiarism and are subject to disciplinary action, as determined by the faculty member, the dean of the student’s school and the Office of the Provost. If you have questions regarding plagiarism or would like direction on how to credit source material, there are reference guides on permanent reserve in the CalArts library.

Please contact one of the CalArts reference librarians for more information.

Policy Category:

Program-Level Adjustment

Policy: A student’s year–level in a degree program (e.g., BFA2-1) may be adjusted upward when both of the following conditions exist:

  1. The student’s level of achievement (both artistic and academic, as determined by the student’s mentor, program faculty, program director, and school dean) is compatible with the proposed adjustment; and
  2. The student has earned sufficient, documented transfer credit.

Definitions:

  1. Transfer credit is defined as coursework completed with grades of “C” or better at a regionally accredited postsecondary institution outside of CalArts.
  2. For purposes of program–level adjustment, 15 semester units of transfer credit is considered equivalent to one semester. These units may be completed prior to enrollment at CalArts, during summer sessions or concurrent with CalArts enrollment. Outside course work completed concurrent with CalArts enrollment will be given credit only with prior approval of the Registrar. CalArts Summer Session coursework completed with grades of “LP” or better may be applied toward program–level adjustment.
  3. Documentation of transfer credit consists of official transcripts evaluated by the Registrar.

Limitations:

  1. The request for program-level adjustment must be supported by and presented to the student’s program director by the mentor.
  2. A program–level adjustment will generally not exceed one year of advancement.
  3. Program–level adjustment will normally be considered at the student’s mid–residence review.
  4. Recommendations for program–level adjustment for BFA candidates must take the student’s Critical Studies requirements into consideration. The Dean of Critical Studies must approve all such requests.

Process:

  1. The student discusses the request for program-level adjustment with his/her mentor and Registrar or the Registrar’s designee.
    1. Program–level adjustments, when requested at the time of a student review, will be considered and discussed by the review committee. If the adjustment is recommended by the committee, it will be so noted on the review report.
  2. A Program–Level Adjustment Petition form must be completed by the petitioning mentor in consultation with the Registrar.
  3. Then, the following people must approve and sign the Program-Level Adjustment Petition (in this order):
    1. The student’s mentor
    2. The student’s program director
    3. The student’s school dean
    4. The Dean of Critical Students (for BFA candidates)
    5. The Registrar
    6. The Provost or his/her designee.
  4. Upon the Provost’s or his/her designee’s approval, the petition will be forwarded to the Registrar who will send copies to the student, the student’s school office and the Financial Aid Director, and will record the year–level adjustment in the student’s permanent record.
Policy Category:
Revised Date:
Nov 2011

Reports

Grade Reports

Online class rosters and grade reports certify the student’s official enrollment and provide the official grade for the course. At the end of each semester the instructor is responsible for entering grades online according to instructions and deadlines issued by the Registrar. The Registrar is responsible for recording all approved changes in grades on the student’s permanent record. At the end of each semester grades are available to students via the Hub, hub.calarts.edu.

Mentor’s Report

The Mentor’s Report serves as an indication of the student’s progress toward the degree or certificate. It is prepared online by the mentor each year and is subject to the dean’s review. All Mentor Reports will be entered online via the Hub no later than the third Thursday after the end of the Spring semester. Reports must be available for students to view online no later than the third Thursday after graduation day of the academic year. Mentor’s Reports are mandatory.

These reports are available to the student online as part of the student’s electronic record. The Mentor’s Report may include information about the student’s advancement in year level, Critical Studies maintenance of effort (BFA students), completion of the course work of each semester, as well as an overall assessment of the student’s activities in the metier.

Policy Category:

Reviews

(BFA, Certificate, MA, MFA, and Advanced Certificate students): Student reviews are part of the educational process at CalArts and provide an opportunity for student and faculty communication, aside from the on–going mentoring relationship and responsibility. All review reports will be submitted no later than the third Thursday after the end of the semester of the review. Each semester the Institute Academic Advisor in the Office of the Registrar will submit to each of the Schools, a list of students scheduled for review. The Schools will schedule their reviews and notify the students of their review time. In the case of reviews that involve acceptance to the Institute with a to–be–determined year level, provisional acceptance, year level adjustment or accelerated graduation, other policies apply and those policies should be consulted.

The minimum standards for reviewing students after admission to the Institute include the Mid–Residence Review and the Graduation Review:

Mid–Residence Review: The Mid–Residence Review is carried out by a faculty committee approved by the dean of the student’s school. This committee makes a detailed assessment of the student’s record and work in relation to the objectives of the program, the student’s goals, and the progress toward the degree or certificate. The review usually occurs by the end of the second year for those studying for the BFA or Certificate programs and at the end of the first year for those seeking the MA, MFA, or Advanced Certificate. MFA or Advanced Certificate students within the School of Film/Video must submit a thesis project proposal for review by the faculty review committee at the Mid–Residence Review during the third of fourth semester of residence. If a student does not pass the mid–residence or preliminary review, the committee gives the student reasons and the conditions that must be met in order to satisfy the review requirements. All Mid–Residence Review Reports become a part of the student permanent electronic record. All review reports will be submitted no later than the third Thursday after the end of the semester of the review. When the committee determines the student is not meeting artistic and educational standards, the student is notified in accord with the policies on Metier Standing and Academic Standing policies. Further details on the review process for each school may be obtained from the school offices.

Critical Studies Mid–Residence Review: BFA students will be reviewed by a Critical Studies faculty member at the end of their BFA2, 2nd semester. Through discussion, writing samples, and/or portfolio materials provided by the student, Critical Studies faculty, along with the student, will assess the student’s progress in the area of Critical Studies and evaluate the student’s advancement in terms of learning goals as established by the School of Critical Studies. All Review Reports become a part of the student permanent electronic record. All review reports will be submitted no later than the third Thursday after the end of the semester of the review.

Graduation Review: The Graduation Review is a final assessment by the dean and faculty to determine whether the student has demonstrated a significant measure of artistic achievement, as well as the satisfactory completion of all residency and program requirements described for the degree or certificate. Deadlines for the graduation review and graduation procedures are established annually by the Registrar, subject to review by the President and Provost. All Graduation Review Reports become a part of the student permanent electronic record. All review reports will be submitted no later than the third Thursday after the end of the semester of the review.

DMA Student Reviews: In the case of DMA students, artistic and academic process is evaluated during a First Year Review, a Formative Portfolio Review, and a Final (Summative) Portfolio Review. These usually take place in Semester II of first, second and third years respectively. They are scheduled by the School of Music, which apprises the students of their review times. The committee makes a detailed assessment of the student’s record and work in relation to the objectives of the program, the student’s goals, and the progress toward the degree. If the student does not pass a review, the committee gives the student reasons and the conditions that must be met in order to satisfy the review requirements.

Policy Category:

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility

To receive federal and state funds administered by the Financial Aid Office at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), students must be making measurable academic progress toward completion of an eligible degree program.   Accordingly, the following Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for students who receive financial aid is in place.  These standards require that a student make academic progress during all periods of enrollment, including periods when a student did not receive financial aid.  CalArts will be consistent in applying the SAP policies to full- and part-time, independent and dependent students.

Students enrolling at CalArts for the first time (including transfers) are initially considered to be meeting SAP.  The measurement of academic progress will be made at the conclusion of the first enrollment period and will include all acceptable transfer credits/units that the CalArts academic record contains.

Minimum Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

  • Maintain required cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) based on matrix below, or higher (qualitative measure) 
   Undergraduate Students       2.0 GPA for all coursework completed at CalArts based on equivalency.
   Graduate Students                     3.0 GPA for all coursework completed at CalArts based on equivalency.
   Doctoral Students                  3.0 GPA for all coursework completed at CalArts based on equivalency.


AND

  • Successfully complete at least 67% of the cumulative attempted units (a quantitative measure) and
  • Make positive progress toward a program of study within 150% of the average published program length (units needed to earn a degree). 

Financial Aid Eligibility Statuses

  • Eligible – Student is meeting the minimum academic standards or has no academic history. Fully eligible for financial aid.
  • Warning – Student did not meet minimum standards for cumulative GPA and/or 67% completion rate in the previous evaluation period. Student is still eligible for financial aid, but must reach all minimum standards by the end of the next evaluation period to maintain eligibility. 
  • Ineligible – Student has failed to meet minimum standards for cumulative GPA and/or 67% completion rate SAP at the end of the evaluation period. Student is ineligible for financial aid.
  • Timeframe – Student has attempted more than 150% of the published program length toward a Bachelor's Degree. For example, majors requiring 120 units will be allowed up to 180 attempted units (120 x 1.5 = 180). Graduate and Doctoral students must earn their degree within 150% of the timelines set by the Graduate or Doctoral School per their program. If a student exceeds these unit limits, they are not making progress toward a degree within 150% federal requirement. Student is ineligible for financial aid. 

How is the 67% completion rate calculated? The calculation is made as follows: earned units divided by attempted units = completion rate (result will be rounded to closest whole number). 

Successful completion of a class: Although CalArts does not follow a standard letter grading system, grades of High Pass, Pass, and Low Pass are assigned to reflect the quality of a students' work in each course. The equivalencies are calculated as follows: 

HP = 4.0
P = 3.0
LP = 2.0

AND 

  • Will be used to determine cumulative GPA, Completion Rate and Timeframe.

Incomplete Grades: An (I) grade is given if the student has been given approval to extend the amount of time needed to complete the course. This grade will be factored into the completion rate and maximum timeframe.

Non-Passing Grades: NC and NG=0.0.  A No Credit grade is assigned to students who do not meet the minimum course requirements, and a No Grade is given if the instructor does not submit a grade for the students and will be used in determining completion rate and timeframe. If the grade is submitted later by the instructor, the student will need to contact the Financial Aid Office and we will recalculate the SAP status for the student.

Withdrawals: All institutional withdrawals are factored into the completion rate and the maximum timeframe.

When is Academic Progress Evaluated?  A student’s satisfactory academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester (Fall and Spring).  Students will not be eligible for federal funding during this time if in an ineligible SAP status.

New Financial Aid Students with prior academic history:  CalArts students with prior academic history will be evaluated at the time they apply for financial aid. They will receive one of four financial aid statuses.

  • Eligible – Student is meeting the minimum academic standards or has no academic history.  Fully eligible for financial aid.
  • Warning – Student is below minimum standards in their prior semester.  Student is still eligible for financial aid, but must reach the minimum standards at the end of the next evaluation period to maintain eligibility.
  • Ineligible – If after evaluating all prior semesters, and it is determined that the student is not making SAP based on the standards outlined prior, the student is ineligible for financial Aid.
  • Timeframe – Student has attempted more than 150% of the published program length toward a Bachelor’s Degree.  For example, majors requiring 120 units will be allowed up to 180 attempted units (120 x 1.5 = 180). Graduate and Doctoral students must earn their degree within 150% of the timelines set by the Graduate or Doctoral School per their program.  If a student exceeds the unit limits, they are not making progress toward a degree within the 150% federal requirement. Student is ineligible for financial aid.
Transfer Students and Transfer units: Students transferring to CalArts are required to have all prior college transcripts evaluated for transfer units. All units accepted by CalArts will be used to determine 67% completion rate and maximum timeframe of 150%.
Repeat Courses: Students repeating courses, for the first time only, can receive aid for that repeated course.  All repeat courses will be used in determining completion rate and timeframe.  Actual equivalent grades are included in the cumulative GPA.

Audited Courses: Courses taken on an audit basis are not counted when determining the completion percentage or for purposes of determining your cumulative GPA.

Second Degree/Interschool Programs: Undergraduate students seeking second degrees and students with interschool programs (double majors) are monitored like any other student under this policy.  If the Financial Aid Office determines that the student will exceed maximum timeframe or when the students exceed the maximum timeframe allowed for their respective programs, the student will not be eligible for additional aid.  Students can appeal for additional time, please see appeal section.

Likewise, when determining eligibility for graduate and doctoral students who complete one graduate degree program at CalArts and begin another graduate degree program, hours from the prior degree are calculated toward maximum time frame.  If the Financial Aid Office determines that the student will exceed maximum timeframe or when the students exceed the maximum timeframe allowed for their respective programs, the student will not be eligible for additional aid.  Students can appeal for additional time, please see appeal section.  If the appeal is approved, the hours from the prior graduate degree will be removed from the maximum timeframe calculation.
 

How to Reestablish Eligibility: 

  • A student must bring their GPA completion rate up to the minimum standards of the required cumulative GPA, and 67% completion rate. A student is ineligible for financial aid and cannot be reimbursed during this time.
  • Mitigating Circumstances: If a student has experienced mitigating circumstances (illness, family illness, change of major) during the most recent evaluation period, they may submit an Appeal to reinstate financial aid eligibility. A deadline for appeal submission will be published each semester. Appeals received after the deadline will not be reviewed until the next semester.

    In the appeal, the student must explain what has changed that will now allow them to meet the SAP requirements.  The student must also submit supporting documentation with the appeal. The following may be considered acceptable documentation to support reason for appeal (examples):

    -Statement from physician or health professional reflecting condition, dates of occurrence, treatment and resolution.
    -Copy of death certificate, obituary or statement from physician.
    -Other documentation that support circumstances and resolution.

    Appeals that are incomplete, and/or lack supporting documentation are not reviewed and the student is notified. If the request is granted, the student will be placed on one of two Financial Aid Eligibility Statuses: 

    • Probation – The student is expected to improve to minimum standards by the end of the next evaluation period. The student is eligible for financial aid, but must meet minimum standards by the next evaluation period. A student cannot be on probation for two consecutive semester. 
    • Academic Plan – The student cannot be expected to improve to minimum standards by the next evaluation period.  The student and CalArts have agreed to an academic plan to allow the student to meet minimum standards within a fixed number of evaluation periods.  The student is fully eligible for financial aid as long as they are strictly following the academic plan.  If at any time the student stops following the plan and they are not meeting minimum standards they will become ineligible for financial aid.  If a student meets minimum standards at any time while on an academic plan their Financial Aid Eligibility Status will be updated to eligible.

    If the request is not granted, the student will remain ineligible for financial aid until they meet all minimum standards.

  • Timeframe Mitigating Circumstances: If a student has not completed their program of study within the 150% timeframe and there are mitigating circumstances (illness, job related, family illness, change of major), they may submit an Appeal to reinstate financial aid eligibility. If this application is granted, the student will be placed on the following Academic Eligibility Status:

    • Timeframe Academic Plan – The student and CalArts have agreed to an academic plan. The student is fully eligible for financial aid, as long as they are strictly following the success plan. If at any time the student stops following the academic plan, they will become permanently ineligible for financial aid.

    If the request is not granted, the student will be Ineligible for financial aid.  All students are limited to one Timeframe Academic Plan.

  • All appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid SAP Appeals Review Group. All decisions of this group are final. 

​Availability of SAP Policy: The SAP policy is available to students on the CalArts Financial Aid website. Office staff may also print copies of the policy in the office if a request is made. The policy is updated as needed or whenever changes in federal regulations occur.

STUDENTS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL, OF THEIR SAP STATUS, AT THE END OF EACH SEMESTER

NOTICE TO APPLICANTS
Student Financial Assistance Programs Disclosure of Social Security Account Number

Section 7(a) of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5U.S.C.552a) requires that when any federal, state, or local government agency requests an individual to disclose their Social Security Account Number, that individual must also be advised whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority the number is solicited, and what use will be made of it. Accordingly, applicants are advised that disclosure of the applicant’s Social Security Account Number (SSAN) is required as a condition for participation in student financial assistance programs sponsored by the federal government, state, or the local government, in view of the practical administrative difficulties that would be encountered in maintaining adequate program records without the continued use of the SSAN. The SSAN will be used to verify the identity of the applicant and as an account number (identifier) throughout the life of the loan or other type of assistance in order to report necessary data accurately. As an identifier, the SSAN is used in such program activities as determining program eligibility, certifying school attendance and student status, determining eligibility for deferment or repayment of student loans, and for tracing and collecting in cases of defaulted loans. Authority for requiring the disclosure of an applicant’s SSAN is grounded on Section 7(a)(2) of the Privacy Act, which provides that an agency may continue to require disclosure of an individual’s SSAN as a condition for the granting of a right, benefit, or privilege provided by law where the agency required this disclosure under statute or regulation prior to Jan. 1, 1975, in order to verify the identity of an individual.



Policy Category:
Adopted Date:
Jan 2019
Revised Date:
Jun 2019
Responsible Office:
Financial Aid

Smoking

In accordance with City Ordinance, smoking is only allowed in outside areas that are designated for smoking. The entire artistic/academic building and the other annex buildings have been designated as smoke-free buildings.

Smoke-Free Areas on Campus
The smoke-free area begisn at the curb leading from the parking lot at the front entrance of the main building and continue along the entire path to the front door as well as the area leading to the doors of the Music School. The entire area in front of our main building is also a smoke-free area. 

In addition to this area, CalArts currently prohibits smoking within 25 feet of any door to any building on campus or from any equipment supplying fresh air to a building. 

Definition of "Smoke-Free"
Smoke-free means that smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e.g. "e-cigarettes") will be strictly prohibited.

Enforcement
All members of our community should work together to enforce this policy. If you see someone smoking in this smoke-free zone, please say something to encourage this person to join us in this endeavor to improve the health of our community.

Designated Smoking Areas
A number of designated smoking areas have been established on campus and are marked as smoking areas. 

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
Aug 2013

Structure of Degrees and Certificates

California Institute of the Arts defines its degrees and certificates as Institute degrees and certificates given through the Schools of the Institute. 

The programs within the Schools are structured to allow for metiers, but the degrees or certificates granted are from the School and are not distinguished by sub-discipline. For example: Students concentrating in Acting would receive a degree or certificate from the School of Theater.

Dated: May 15, 1998

Policy Category:

Student Records

Each student has a Permanent Record maintained online or in the Registrar’s Office. In addition, the Office of Financial Aid maintains student financial aid records. Accounting maintains student ledgers records in the Accounting Office.

CalArts complies with student rights established under the law affecting student records (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974). Within the CalArts community, only those members, individually and collectively, acting in the students’ educational interests are allowed access to students’ records. A description of the process used for compliance with the Act is provided in this publication and includes the rights of student access to all records except where described. Questions should be discussed with the Registrar (academic records), the Controller (accounting records) or with the Director of Financial Aid (financial aid records).

 

Policy Category:

Transfer Credit and Credit by Examination: Credit by Examination

California Institute of the Arts grants credit toward the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree for successful completion of examinations in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board and for examinations for the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Students presenting scores of 3 or better on AP exams are granted 4 semester units toward the Critical Studies requirement for each examination in the Humanities or Sciences as they relate to Critical Studies requirements.

Students scoring 4 or better on International Baccalaureate Higher Level exams will be granted 4 semester units toward the Critical Studies requirement for each examination in the Humanities or Sciences as they relate to Critical Studies core curriculum requirements. A maximum of 38 semester units will be allowed for transfer toward the CalArts Critical Studies requirements.

CRITICAL STUDIES

Critical/Intellectual Skills credit

  • AP English Language and Composition 

Computing & Research Skills credit

  • AP Computer Science A 

Humanities credit

  • AP English Literature and Composition 

Social Science credit

  • AP Comparative Government and Politics
  • AP European History
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP Psychology
  • AP United States Government and Politics
  • AP United States History
  • AP World History 

Science & Math credit

  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Statistics
  •  AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP Physics B
  • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
  • AP Physics C: Mechanics
  • AP Physics 1
  • AP Physics 2

Metier Studies/Other Metier Studies credit

  •  AP Art History 

Critical Studies Elective credit

  • AP Macroeconomics
  • AP Microeconomics
  • AP Chinese Language and Culture
  • AP French Language and Culture
  • AP German Language and Culture
  • AP Italian Language and Culture
  • AP Japanese Language and Culture
  • AP Latin
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture
  • AP Spanish Literature and Culture

NON-CRITICAL STUDIES

Studio credit

  • AP Music Theory
  • AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
  • AP Studio Art: 3-D Design
  • AP Studio Art: Drawing
Policy Category:
Revised Date:
May 2014

Transfer Credit and Credit by Examination: Transfer Credit

General Policy

Transfer credit is considered for acceptance toward a CalArts degree only when:

  1. It was earned at a postsecondary institution accredited by a regional accrediting agency or a foreign postsecondary institution recognized by its national government.
  2. An equivalent grade of A, B, C or Pass was earned.

Credit toward the Major

The CalArts Registrar’s Office will conduct an evaluation of previous education and training and will grant appropriate credit in accordance with Institute policies. The decision on year level placement at the time of acceptance is made by a faculty committee in each of the Institute’s schools, based on portfolio or audition, and may not exceed a level that can be substantiated by acceptable transfer credit. The schools are not obligated to recognize transfer credit in the major area when determining year level of acceptance.

Transfer Credits and Critical Studies

CalArts accepts postsecondary transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities and will accept equivalent courses for curriculum requirements in Critical Studies. A maximum of 38 semester units will be allowed for transfer toward the CalArts Critical Studies requirement.

Students with previous bachelors degrees who are accepted at the BFA level will be required to complete at least 8 semester units of CalArts Critical Studies credit in order to obtain a BFA degree from CalArts. All other students will be required to complete at least 8 of the required 46 semester units of Critical Studies credit at CalArts. See the Critical Studies section of the Course Catalog for specific details.

Limitations on Units Accepted Toward Critical Studies

  1. Religious Studies: Critical Studies accepts for transfer credit historical, philosophical and literary studies of religion and the Bible. We do not accept courses in religious studies that represent interpretations of a particular church or sect.
  2. Business Courses: We will give credit for courses that combine business and the arts, as these are equivalent to our Survival in the Arts courses. 
  3. Foreign Languages: We will accept elective credit toward the Critical Studies requirements for foreign language courses. 
  4. Applied Sciences: Generally we proceed on a course-by-course basis in allotting transfer credit to the applied sciences such as courses in the areas of engineering, electronics and computer science. Through course descriptions and syllabi we wish to be assured that there is a significant scientific or quantitative component to the course for which credit is given.
  5. Speech/Oral Communication: Courses that highlight oral communication in conjunction with critical thinking and evidenced based reasoning are accepted. Through course descriptions and syllabi we wish to be assured that there is a significant and sustained critical thinking within the courses for which transfer credit is awarded. 

Credit for Summer Courses or Concurrent Enrollment

CalArts generally accepts credit earned by a currently enrolled student if the credit is earned at a regionally accredited postsecondary institution and otherwise meets transfer criteria. Students must consult with the Dean of the School of Critical Studies and/or the Registrar prior to enrollment in outside courses for which Critical Studies credit is expected. Consultation with the Dean and/or the Registrar will ensure that course choices of the student are consistent with our requirements and will serve the student in fulfilling those requirements. Transfer credit is not guaranteed unless prior approval of the Dean of Critical Studies and/or the Registrar has been obtained.

Leave of Absence

Credit for work done at a regionally accredited institution while the student is away on official leave of absence may be given under the following circumstances:

  1. When prior approval for proposed course work is granted by the Dean of the School of Critical Studies and/or by the Registrar; 
  2. When the student has submitted an approved Leave of Absence form to the Registrar’s Office; and 
  3. When an official transcript of course work completed is provided, certifying the credit earned.
Policy Category:
Revised Date:
May 2014

Understanding of CalArts Promotional Use of Student Name, Image, and Creative Work

I understand that the CalArts Office of Communications is responsible for initiatives promoting the Institute and its educational and artistic programs, and that, in the course of doing so, this office may engage in the following:

  • Use of my name.
  • Use of my photographic or video likeness. 
  • Reference to artistic, musical, literary, or any other student creative work produced in connection with my studies at CalArts.
  • Use of representation, reproduction, display, or performance of any such student work as listed above.

I further understand and acknowledge that:

  • Such uses by CalArts shall be limited to the development and promotion of the Institute's non-profit educational objectives.
  • All documentation made by CalArts of student work is the property of CalArts and may be used for promotional, informational, and instructional purposes, including reproduction or other representation in printed and electronic publications, websites, press kits, promotional presentations, and classroom instruction.
  • Any such uses shall comply with the United States Copyright Law of 1976.
  • CalArts has a non-exclusive right to the promotional, informational or instructional uses of my student creative work.
  • I will not receive any compensation for the uses of my student creative work by CalArts as cited above.The aforementioned non-exclusive right to the promotional use of work made as a CalArts student may continue after I graduate.

Students who do not wish CalArts to display their creative work for Institute promotional, informational or instructional purposes, or who do not wish their names and/or photographic or video likelinesses to appear in CalArts publications, websites, press kits, or any other promotional materials, must notify the CalArts Office of Communications to this effect. Students may also specify conditional uses, if any, of their names, likenesses, and representations of creative work. Notifications must be made via email, addressed to communications@calarts.edu.

Upon receiving such e-mail notifications, the Office of Communications will return to the student a confirmation of receipt, which the student should retain for their records. The date of the Communications e-mail confirmation constitutes the date after which CalArts will no longer use that student's name, likeness, or representation of their creative work for Institute promotional purposes. 

Policy Category:

Veterans Administration Yellow Ribbon Program

California Institute of the Arts is a proud participant in the Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program for the 2012-2013 academic year. The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans’ Educational Assistance Act of 2008. To obtain general information and eligibility requirements for the Yellow Ribbon Program, visit the Veterans Administration website at www.gibill.va.gov.

CalArts Yellow Ribbon Policy

CalArts has pledged to contribute a maximum of $9000 in scholarship/grant funds for tuition and fees to no more than 10 students each year, who qualify for the benefit. The CalArts contribution is first met by institute scholarship/grant funds from your program. If scholarship or grant funds do not meet the $9000 maximum, the institute will make up the difference in matching grant funds. This amount is then matched by the Veterans Administration.

How to Apply

  1. Apply for Financial Aid at CalArts
    Students who qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program must apply for financial aid with the CalArts Office of Financial Aid no later than March 2nd each year of attendance at http://calarts.edu/financial-aid/apply-financial-aid
  2. Submit Letter of Eligibility
    If approved by the VA for the Yellow Ribbon Program, the student will receive a Letter of Eligibility mailed directly from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The student must submit this document to the VA Advisor at CalArts (located in the Office of the Registrar) immediately upon receipt. Students who submit Letters of Eligibility after registration will not qualify for Yellow Ribbon benefits until the following semester. 
    http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/CH33/YRP/Yellow_ribbon.html

Please note that participation in the Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program is subject to annual approval by CalArts administration.

Policy Category:
Revised Date:
May 2012

Withdrawal from the Institute

Any non-graduating students who terminate their enrollment at CalArts during or at the end of any semester must complete a Withdrawal form in the Office of the Registrar.

Students who choose to formally withdraw during the Add/Drop period will have all in progress courses dropped from their transcript.  Students who formally withdraw during the Withdrawal period will be assigned “W” notations for all in progress courses.  Students who withdraw after the Withdrawal period or after the end of the semester will receive the grades assigned by their faculty.  Students who fail to enroll from one semester to the next, or who do not return from an approved leave as expected, will be automatically withdrawn from the Institute by the Office of the Registrar.

Students who have withdrawn from the Institute may request readmission by submitting a new application through the Admissions Office.  It is at the discretion of the School and Program to determine specific portfolio requirements for individual students requesting readmission; Schools are not required to readmit withdrawn students.  In order for transfer credit to be applied to the CalArts degree, transcripts for all work completed since leaving CalArts must be presented at the time of readmission.

All withdrawn students readmitted to the Institute will be subject to current policies governing degree requirements and catalog rights.  Students who withdraw while on academic warning or probation must meet the terms of their warning or probation, if readmitted.

Administrative Withdrawal

Students may be administratively withdrawn from the Institute in cases where their non-attendance has been confirmed by all currently assigned faculty. The decision to administratively withdraw a student is made by the Vice President of Student Experience (or designee), in collaboration with the student’s School.

Unless otherwise specified by the Vice President of Student Experience (or designee), any decision to administratively withdraw a student will take immediate effect. However, this decision is subject to automatic review within seven days by the Provost (or designee), including the Institute Diversity Officer.  Should students choose to challenge the administrative withdrawal decision, they may do so through the Student Grievance Procedure, but the initiation of a grievance will not delay the effective date of the withdrawal.

Students who are administratively withdrawn may pursue readmission under the same guidelines detailed above.

Policy Category:
Adopted Date:
Oct 2016
Revised Date:
Dec 2016
Revision History:
Revised 2016-2017

Withdrawal from the Institute and Dormitory – Refunds

Withdrawals and refunds are determined as follows:

Step 1. 
Determining the withdrawal date: The withdrawal date is the date the student begins the withdrawal process. A student begins the process by officially notifying the Registrar’s Office of their intent to withdraw. If the student does not give notice of intent to withdraw, the midpoint of the semester or the last faculty documented attendance at an academically related activity is used as the withdrawal date. An end of the semester audit will be conducted for any students who earned zero units. Students with zero units completed will be investigated to determine whether the student attended for the entire semester. Where it is discovered that a student discontinued attendance during the semester, the last day of attendance will be determined through course attendance records and information for the purpose of calculating any Title IV reductions as required by federal law.

Step 2. 
Calculating the refund percentage: The percentage will be calculated by taking the number of calendar days completed from the start of the semester up to the withdrawal date divided by the total calendar days in the semester (not counting spring break). No refund is made after the semester has been 60% completed.

Step 3.
Determining if there is a return of federal financial aid to the Title IV (federal) program: The amount of the return is based on the percentage of unearned aid (100% less the percentage of aid earned from Step 2, not more than 40%, times the amount of aid disbursed toward institutional charges).No refund is made after the semester has been 60% completed.

If the percentage earned is greater than the amount disbursed, a refund will be due to the student. If the percentage earned is less than the amount disbursed, then Title IV (federal) aid must be returned to the program by the student or the Institute within 30 days of the determination of the student's withdrawal. Funds will be returned to the Federal Student Aid programs in the following order: Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan, Subsidized Federal Direct Loan, Perkins Loan, Federal Direct PLUS/Graduate PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant. Federal Work Study funds are earned and are not subject to the Return of Title IV funds policy. 

When aid is returned, the student may owe a balance to the Institute. The student should contact the Accounting Office to make arrangements for payment.

The above policy will also be used for the return of non–Title IV funds.

Any tuition and dorm refunds must be resolved by June 30 of the current academic year. Refundable deposits, including the housing deposit, are returned to students upon graduation or withdrawal from the Institute (assuming no damage or outstanding charges). Additionally, refundable deposits will be held until all Institute keys are returned. Students with questions regarding the withdrawal process or their refund should contact the Registrar’s Office or the Accounting Office.

If a student is dismissed or suspended for a portion of a semester or more, the student will be responsible for tuition, housing, and other fees based on the tuition refund schedule listed above. The amount will be calculated for the period from the first day of classes through the day the student was suspended or dismissed.

Revised Date:
Sep 2016