Two academic warnings are issued each semester. Students in danger of not passing a course may receive a warning from the appropriate faculty member. Students are advised to seek assistance from their faculty advisor and/or the director of advising. However, students who do not receive an academic warning are not assured of a passing grade.
Each student enrolled at Massachusetts College of Art and Design is subject to the rules and regulations published on the MassArt web site. These rules and regulations are updated as necessary.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
A student may receive up to six (6) non-course credits from CLEP exams toward general education electives. The CLEP exam score must be at least the score recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE).
Commencement Participation Policy
Students need to complete a minimum of 120 credits and to meet departmental/ concentration requirements for the BFA degree. At least 60 credits must be earned at the college or its exchange and cross-registration partners.
Only students who have met all requirements for graduation, or who have an approved exception, may participate in the commencement ceremonies.
Diplomas are typically mailed from the Registrar’s Office by the end of the summer or when final degree requirements are met.
A student receiving a failing grade in a Spring semester course required for graduation must fulfill that requirement before receiving a diploma.
Exceptions to graduation requirements for the purpose of participating in commencement are granted on a very limited basis.
A student seeking an exception must:
- Be missing no major requirements.
- Be missing no more than six (6) credits for completion of their degree.
- Complete a Commencement Participation Agreement through the Office of the Registrar.
- Receive approval from their major department chair, their advisor, the chair of the department(s) from which credit is pending, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs (who may grant any additional exceptions)
Most students complete a program of 120 credits to earn the BFA degree. With some variation for each area of concentration, these credits are distributed among first-year Studio Foundation courses, major concentrations, liberal arts, history of art, and studio electives. All concentrations except Art Education and Art History include the following distribution of courses: 18 credits in Studio Foundation, 42 credits in liberal arts/history of art, 36 credits in the concentration, and 24 credits in studio electives. Electives for Design, Art History, and Art Education programs must be studio courses; electives for Fine Arts and Media and Performing Arts programs can be studio electives and up to 9 credits of liberal arts/history of art. To graduate in 8 semesters (4 years), undergraduate students must pass a normal full-time load of 30 credits per academic year. Full-time students take at least 12 credits per semester; part-time students take fewer than 12 credits per semester. Students who want to take more than 18 credits in one semester must obtain permission from their Department Chair and the Director of Advising.
***Please be advised: Tuition and Fees and Financial Aid have specific enrollment definitions that differ from the Acadmic Credit Load detailed above. Please contact the Bursar’s Office and/or The Office of Student Financial Assistance if you have any questions on how tution bills and financial aid are affected by credit load.***
Students are required to register each semester until all degree requirements are fulfilled. Unless granted an official leave of absence, a student who does not officially register for a semester is considered to have withdrawn from the college.
Advising and Registration
In all situations, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to satisfactory progress through a program and fulfill all degree requirements.
MassArt expects all 3-credit classes to carry a workload of 9 hours per week, on average, divided between in-class and out-of-class work. Courses have class meeting times of varying lengths, depending on the designation of the class: lectures and seminars meet for 3 hours per week; critiques meet for 4 hours per week; and, studio/critiques meet for 5-6 hours.
Two grading systems are used at the college:
- Letter grades (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, F, Incomplete, W) are given in the following courses:
Fashion Design, Communication Design, Industrial Design, Animation, Illustration, and Architectural Design
History of Art
- Pass/ No Credit / Incomplete/ W grades are given in the following courses:
First year studio courses (Studio Foundation - SFDN)
Film/Video, Photography, Studio for Interrelated Media
Fine Arts 2D - Painting, Printmaking
Fine Arts 3D - Ceramics, Fibers, Glass, Jewelry/Metalsmithing, Sculpture
Massachusetts College of Art and Design uses a dual grading system: Letter Grades and Pass/No Credit grades. A grade of P (pass) is assigned as a measure of a student gaining knowledge and competencies. The pass grade is qualitative, not quantitative. As such, the P (pass) grade may be considered a C or better when evaluated for transfer purposes.
||Exceptional work in all respects.
||Above average work, distinguished in certain but not all respects.
||Lowest passing grade; individual departments may set standards for the application of “D” grades toward progress in the major.
||Failing work. No credit is given.
||Work meeting all expectations for successful completion of the course.
||Massachusetts College of Art and Design uses a dual grading system: Letter Grades and Pass/No Credit grades. A grade of P (pass) is assigned as a measure of a student gaining knowledge and competencies. The pass grade is qualitative, not quantitative. As such, the P (pass) grade may be considered a C or better when evaluated for transfer purposes.
||No Credit. Work that does not meet the expectations of the course.
A designation of an Incomplete in a course is a non-credit, temporary designation assigned when the student cannot, due to extenuating circumstances, complete the course obligations by the end of the semester.
||Withdrawn from the course. No credit earned. W grades do not appear on the student’s transcript.
||Completed (Only for Non-Credit workshops)
||Did Not Complete (Only for Non-Credit workshops)
If a failing grade is received in a required course, students must take the course again and pass it. This rule does not apply to a student who changed majors and who did not pass requirements for a previous concentration.
Spring 2020 Grade Statement
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, all spring 2020 classes went to a Pass/No Credit Grade System. Students were given the option to request an Equivalent Letter Grade for classes that usually carry letter grades (please see Grade System above). Equivalent Letter Grades are notated on a student’s transcript, but do not replace the official Pass or No Credit grade.
The only exception to this policy for the spring 2020 term are undergraduate classes offered through the Art Education department which students could officially earn Pass/No Credit or Letter grades.
To request a spring 2020 letter grade*, the student should contact the instructor in writing. This request must be made by the third week of the semester immediately following the semester in which the course was taken.
Change of Grade
A faculty member may change any grade until the mid-semester following the course. In exceptional situations, faculty (or the department chair in the absence of the faculty) may extend the period for completing requirements for an incomplete grade beyond the deadline.
Changes of grades, other than INC, are permitted after mid-semester only with the signatures of the faculty.
Grade Appeal Procedure
A student who wishes to appeal a course grade should follow the procedure detailed below.
1a. The student should contact the instructor in writing or by email explaining that s/he would like to appeal the grade and request a meeting to discuss the matter. This meeting must be initiated within the first three weeks of the semester immediately following the semester in which the course was taken.
1b. In response to the request for a meeting, the instructor should reply to the student in writing or by email within seven days. If there is no response or an unsatisfactory response from the instructor within seven days, the student should contact the department chair (see #2 below).
1c. In the absence of the instructor who gave the grade, the student should set up a meeting directly with the department chair (see #2 below).
1d. If after discussion with the instructor (or department chair) the student’s concerns remain unresolved, the student should submit a document to the instructor and the chair which includes the following:
- Student’s name and ID number
- Name of the department
- Name of the student’s academic advisor
- Course name, number, and section
- Name of the instructor
- Term in which the grade was received
- Grade received
- Grade expected
- A thorough explanation of the reason for appealing the grade
- Any relevant supporting materials (letters, emails, notes)
2. The student should set up a meeting with the department chair. The student must request this meeting within ten days of the written response following the initial meeting with the instructor. If the chair is the instructor of the disputed course, the student should go directly to the Vice-president of Academic Affairs. If appealing directly to the the vice-president, the deadlines and standards detailed in steps 1, 2, and 3 will apply.
3. If after discussion with the chair the matter remains unresolved, the student may schedule a meeting with the Vice-president of Academic Affairs. The vice-president will mediate a meeting between the student, instructor, and department chair. The vice-president is the final stop in the grade appeal process. The instructor of record has sole authority to change a grade.
Students may request course evaluations for any course taken at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The student must provide the faculty member with the evaluation form before the end of the Add/Drop period of the semester in which the class is taken. The faculty member submits Student Evaluation forms to the Registrar’s Office. Information the student provides on the Student Evaluation form is not added to his or her transcript; however, the evaluation form is kept in the student’s permanent file and copies of all Student Evaluations are sent with all official transcript requests. The Student Evaluation is intended to provide a description of the student’s achievement in the course. It addresses the student’s attendance, class participation, motivation, the work produced, and the student’s progress and technical expertise in the subject area. Letter grade equivalents are not given for pass/no credit courses.
Review Board Evaluation
Beginning in the sophomore year in some departments and the junior year in others, a student’s work is reviewed each semester by a board of faculty and visiting critics. For the faculty, review boards provide objective professional analysis of a student’s evolving body of work and bring a fresh point of view to the continuing evaluation of students. For the students, review boards are one of the key elements of education at the college because they enhance the student’s understanding of what he or she is creating. Perhaps more importantly, review boards at MassArt are intended to provide portfolio review and constructive criticism to the student. In courses that require them the review board may be one component of the grade for that class and must be clearly stated as such in the class’s syllabus.
Studio Foundation to Sophomore Year (Major)
- Students missing/failing one or two required courses must complete one course prior to second semester sophomore year and the second by the end of the summer following sophomore year.
- Required courses are defined as all first year courses with the exception of the studio elective and History of Art elective. There are 8 required first year classes (see catalog).
- First year students missing/failing three or more required courses may not enter their sophomore major.
Junior to Senior Year
- students may not register for senior-level studio courses until they have completed all first and second year required courses
Detailed Department Standing Policies
All departments have standards of performance within their majors. Each department provides a probationary period of at least one semester for students whose work does not meet departmental standards.
Students must earn a B- in each and every required Animation course. Students earning lower than a B- in a required Animation course are placed on Animation departmental probation. Students who complete a minimum of two subsequent semesters and six credits of required Animation courses, and earn a grade of B- or better in each required Animation course, will be then removed from probation. Students who are on Animation departmental probation and earn lower than a B- in a required Animation course are subject to dismissal from the department.
Students who do not maintain a minimum B- average in the major architectural requirements in a
semester are placed on probation.
Art Education students must earn a B- or better in each art education course. Students who fail to earn a B- in a course may repeat it once. Students who fail to earn B- or higher in the course a second time are subject to dismissal from the department.
History of Art
History of Art students must maintain a minimum B- average in History of Art courses. A student whose average in the major falls below B- is placed on probation. A student whose average continues to fall below B- for a second semester is subject to dismissal from the department.
Students must maintain a minimum C+ average in all major requirements. Any student whose major average falls below C+ is placed on probation. Within the Fashion Design Department, end-of-semester reviews are treated as final exams whose results are factored into course grades within identified courses. A student whose work remains poor after two end-of-semester reviews and whose average is below C+ in the major is subject to dismissal from the department.
Students must pass their required courses to progress in the major. Students must receive a “D” or better to pass.
A student whose average is below C+ in a semester’s required and elective Illustration courses is placed on departmental probation and subject to remediation. Such remedial work may include any or all of the following: a mid-semester review; repeating one or more classes; repeating a semester or an entire year’s requirements. A student whose average is below C+ in Illustration courses for a second semester is subject to dismissal from the department. A student who has repeated a year and whose semester average falls below C+ in Illustration courses will be dismissed from the department.
Students must earn a minimum of C+ in each required major course. Any student earning a grade below C+ in the major is placed on probation. A student on probation who earns below a C+ in a required course is subject to dismissal from the department.
A student who is judged by faculty to be continually working below the expected level over the course of a semester is placed on probation. A student on probation who continues to work below the expected level for a second semester is subject to dismissal.
Fine Arts 2D
Any student who receives more than one no credit in FA2D courses in any semester or two no-credits for the same course (fine arts requirement or elective that is repeated) is placed on probation. A student on probation who receives a no credit grade in a fine arts requirement or elective is subject to dismissal from the department.
Fine Arts 3D
Any Fine Arts 3D student who receives one no credit in a FA3D department required course in any semester, or two no-credit grades for the same FA3D department required course (repeated) is placed on probation in the department. A student who fails another required FA3D course while on probation is subject to dismissal from the department.
A student who receives a no credit grade in any major requirement is placed on probation. A student on probation who receives a no credit or incomplete grade is subject to dismissal from the department.
Studio for Interrelated Media
A student who earns a no credit in a major requirement or two no credits in major electives over two semesters is placed on probation. A student on probation who earns a no credit in a major requirement is subject to dismissal from the department.
Summary of Department Standing and Notification Policies
If a student’s performance within their department fits the criteria (see below) she or he is placed on departmental probation.
Students are informed of departmental probation in a letter from the department chair.
Students who do not improve their work and/or grades while on probation may be dismissed from their department (see dismissal criteria below). Students who are dismissed from a department have one full semester following the dismissal to choose a new major. A student who does not choose a major after this interim semester will be dismissed from the college. Students who have been dismissed from two departments are subject to dismissal from the college.
Students who are dismissed from the department are notified of the action in a letter from the chair. Students dismissed from a department have the right to appeal through the office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Animation: a grade lower than a C+ in any major requirement
Architecture: an average lower than B- for all major requirements
Art Education: a grade lower than B- in any Art Ed course
Fashion Design: an average lower than C+ for all major requirements
Fine Arts 2D: Two or more No Credit grades in FA2D courses in one semester. Alternatively, receiving a second No Credit grade for a repeated course in FA2D.
Fine Arts 3D: No Credit grade in one major requirement or two No Credit grades in either major requirements or major electives in two consecutive semesters
Film/Video: working below the expected level in one semester
Communication Design: an average lower than C+ for all major requirements
History of Art: an average lower than B- for all major requirements
Illustration: an average lower than C+ for all major requirements and major electives
Industrial Design: a grade lower than a C+ in any major requirement
Photo: No Credit grade in any major requirement
SIM: No credit in a major requirement or two No Credits in major electives over two consecutive semesters
Animation: a grade lower than a C+ in any major requirement while on probation
Architecture: an average lower than B- for all major requirements while on probation
Art Education: a grade lower than B- in a repeated attempt of any Art Ed course
Fashion Design: an average lower than C+ for all major requirements while on probation
Fine Arts 2D: No Credit grade for a major requirement while on probation
Fine Arts 3D: No Credit or Incomplete grade for a major requirement while on probation
Film/Video: working below the expected level while on probation
Communication Design: an average lower than C+ for all major requirements during a repeated semester
History of Art: an average lower than B- for all major requirements while on probation
Illustration: an average lower than C+ for all major requirements and major electives while on probation
Industrial Design: a grade lower than a C+ in any major requirement while on probation
Photo: No Credit or Incomplete grade for a major requirement while on probation
SIM: No Credit in a major requirement while on probation.
College-Wide Academic Standing
College-wide academic standing is based on overall academic performance each semester and in consecutive semesters. Each semester an undergraduate is enrolled in the BFA program he/she must complete and pass two-thirds of attempted credits. Attempted credits are those credits for which a student is registered at the close of add/drop. The criteria for college-wide standing are listed below.
Good Academic Standing
Students who have completed and passed two-thirds of attempted credits in the previous semester are considered to be in good academic standing.
Students who complete less than two-thirds of credits attempted in a semester are placed on academic notice and are advised of this status in a letter from the director of advising. Only courses in which the student receives a passing grade are considered completed. Courses with grades of Withdrawn, Incomplete, No Credit, and F are all considered not completed/passed. Students on academic notice can return to good standing if they successfully complete and pass two-thirds of the credits they attempt the following semester.
If students on academic notice fail to successfully complete two-thirds of the credits attempted in the next semester, they are placed on academic probation and advised of this status in a letter from the Registrar’s Office . Students should make an appointment with the Advising Office before registration to discuss the process for recovery from probationary status. Students on academic probation can return to good academic standing if they successfully complete and pass two-thirds of the credits they attempt in the following semester.
If students on probation fail to successfully complete two-thirds of the credits attempted in the next semester, they are subject to academic dismissal.
The academic records of students subject to dismissal will be reviewed by the Academic Standing group. They may decide to dismiss the student from the college. Alternatively, they may create a plan designed to give the student another chance at succeeding at the college. The plan may include changes in the student’s choice of major, the number of credits the student may attempt, and the courses the student may take. It may also include a required leave of absence from the college before studies resume. Any decision the panel makes prevails over any other published academic progress policy.
Students who have been dismissed may choose to meet with an academic advisor to discuss their academic options. A student who has been dismissed from the college for academic reasons may appeal the decision by presenting a well-reasoned letter to tthe Academic Affairs office within 30 days of receiving the dismissal letter.
Relationship of Departmental Standing to College-Wide Standing
Students who are dismissed from a department may have up to one semester following the department dismissal to choose a new major. A student who does not choose a major after this interim semester will be dismissed from the college.
Students who have been dismissed from two departments are subject to dismissal from the college. When students are subject to academic dismissal due to overall (college-wide) academic performance but are not dismissed, any remedial action by the college holds sway over all department policies. This is detailed above under “Academic Dismissal”.
Students have a responsibility to attend all scheduled class meetings.
Faculty are responsible for clearly stating their expectations for performance and attendance through the course syllabus, and during the first week of classes. This includes their manner of recording attendance and whether any portion of a student’s grade is based on attendance and/or class participation. Faculty are obligated to recognize legally protected activities, such as religious holidays, military service, and jury duty.
Students are responsible for making themselves aware of course attendance policies, and for meeting all course expectations as outlined in the course syllabus regardless of missed class time.
Students are responsible to communicate in a timely manner in written form (e.g. in an email) with their faculty regarding any missed class time and related class work.
A student who feels circumstances may warrant withdrawal from a single course should contact their Advisor and the Office of the Registrar. A student who wishes to request a medical leave of absence from the College should contact the Counseling and Wellness Center. Non-medical leaves of absence are coordinated through the Academic Resource Center.
A student who misses the first meeting of a class may be dropped from the roster by the instructor.
Concentrations and Majors
Massachusetts College of Art and Design offers Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in 22 majors: Animation, Architectural Design, Art Teacher Education, Ceramics, Community Education, Fashion Design, Fibers, Film/Video, Glass, Communication Design, History of Art, Illustration, Industrial Design, Jewelry and Metalsmithing, Museum Education, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Studio Education, Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM).
Students who choose a dual major complete the requirements of both majors. Typically, this requires an extra year of study.
Whether it is feasible to combine majors depends on the particular majors chosen. Students may need to speak with the chairs of both departments to understand if and how the requirements of both majors will fit together
Change of Major
The college permits one change of major during a student’s academic career. Students accepted as advanced transfers (sophomore or junior) must complete one semester in the major to which they were accepted before they can change majors. Students who want to change majors must complete a change of major form (available in the Registrar’s Office) and obtain the signature of their current faculty advisor, the department chair of the new major, and the director of advising. The student must file the form before pre-registration for the semester in which the change will take effect. A change of major may require additional semesters of work to complete; students are encouraged to mmet with an Acadeic Advisor to discuss how a change of major affects progress toward their degree.
Independent Studies are designed to provide students with an opportunity to pursue a specific project which cannot be done in the structure of an established class.
An Independent Study is generally considered to be the equivalent of a 3-credit course in terms of scope of project and amount of contact between a student and faculty member. Exceptions to this are considered on a case by case basis by the department in which Independent Study credit is sought. For instance, some projects needing formal Independent Study support may be compact enough to earn 1 or 2 credits rather than 3. (Some combination of independent work and contact with faculty should amount to 45 hours per credit.)
It is expected that a student enrolled in an Independent Study course will confer with their Grading Faculty Member as often as may be appropriate to the project and the number of Independent Study credits sought. Generally, for a 3-credit Independent Study course, the student and faculty member would meet a minimum of 6 hours over a semester (prorated for other credit values).
An Independent Study Request Form must be filed with the Office of the Registrar by the Add/Drop Deadline.
The Form must be accompanied by a Project Description which itself must include:
- Project Narrative
- Proposed Learning Outcomes and Objectives
- Number of credits sought
- Number and timing of meetings between the student and faculty
- Method of assessment
Course assistantships allow qualified sophomores, juniors, and seniors to assist a faculty member with whom they have studied previously. Duties may include set up, assisting with demonstrations and critiques during class meetings. Course assistants may not grade students. Students may register for only one 3-credit course assistantship each semester, and no more than two such assistantships may count toward degree requirements.
Students selected by faculty to be course assistants submit a Course Assistantship form with the faculty and chair’s signatures to the registrar during registration and no later than the end of the Add/Drop period. Students who are performing a Teaching Assistantship should follow Independent Study procedures.
Internships Through Career Services
Internships prepare students to participate in the creative economy as a fine artist, designer, and art educator by allowing them to develop knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application, experience, and skill development in a professional setting. Internships also give students the opportunity to make connections, develop their portfolios, and explore fields they are considering as a career path.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design offers students matriculated in a degree program the opportunity to register and receive 3 Studio Elective Credits towards their degree for up to 2 internship experiences (6 credits total). Students complete internships during the summer after their sophomore year, in their junior year (fall, spring or summer) or during the first semester of their senior year. Requests to complete a credit bearing internship that falls outside of that timeframe should be referred to the Career Services Internship Manager, Rebekah Wright.
To qualify for credit, the internship must meet the basic guidelines and be approved for credit by the Faculty Internship Advisor selected by the student. Internships must be supervised onsite at an organization by a qualifying Company Internship Supervisor and students must complete 135 hours of internship related work within 15 consecutive weeks. Internships can be completed during the fall, spring or summer. MassArt Career Services manages the 3 studio elective credit program.
To register an internship to be reviewed and approved for 3 studio elective credits, students must submit a completed internship registration form online through their Career Services account at MassArt.edu/careerservices. Click “Register My Internship” in the left hand menu in their home page, and follow the prompts to complete the form.
Students need to complete 120 credits (except for certain Art Education tracks) and to meet departmental/concentration requirements for the BFA degree. At least 60 credits must be earned at the college or its exchange and cross-registration partners.
Students may not register for senior-level studio courses until they have completed all freshman and sophomore requirements.
Only students who have met all requirements for graduation may participate in the commencement ceremonies. The college assumes that students will pass the final semester’s courses. Therefore, participation in commencement does not guarantee graduation. Students must pass courses in their last semester that are needed for graduation.
Diplomas are typically mailed from the Registrar’s Office by the end of the summer.
A student must earn at least eight A’s in their Liberal Arts and/or History of Art courses by the start of the spring semester of their graduation year to earn Academic Honors and participate in The Honors Ceremony. At least seven of these courses must be taken at MassArt.
Some students may earn enough additional A’s in their final spring semester to equal or exceed the number required for Academic Honors. These students will have Academic Honors conferred upon them and listed on their academic transcript.
For the spring 2020 term, grades of P (pass) in a Liberal Arts and/or History of Art course will count toward Academic Honors.
Students whose work is judged exceptional in their departments are awarded Departmental Honors upon graduation.
Limited Enrollment Status
Matriculated undergraduates who, for hardship reasons, would like to take a single course through Continuing Education may apply for Limited Enrollment Status (LES).
Students on Limited Enrollment Status are still considered matriculated BFA students, but may register only for classes offered through Continuing Education, and are charged for those courses on a per-credit basis.
Students on Limited Enrollment Status are subject to the following restrictions:
LES registration is for 5 or fewer credits of enrollment through Continuing Education
LES students have no eligibility for financial aid.
LES students may not cross-register to other institutions.
Students must petition the Office or the Registrar to switch to LES on a per semester basis and can only do so for up to two consecutive semesters. From a degree enrollment point of view, LES is considered a semester of leave. Thus, a student can be on LES at most for one semester which precedes or follows a one semester leave of absence.
Students who want to permanently withdraw from MassArt should notify the college in writing or on a Withdrawal form. This assures that the student’s financial and academic status is properly treated upon exit.
Students who do not return to the college at the end of an approved leave of absence will be considered withdrawn from the college.
Returning Undergraduate Student Policy
- Students who have discontinued their enrollment as MassArt undergraduates, who are not on a formal leave of absence and were missing any required courses at the time they stopped attending, have two semesters from the end of their last completed semester to resume coursework towards completing their degree. Students must complete the “Returning Major” application with the Office of the Registrar. The Faculty Chair of the student’s Major(s) will decide acceptance on a space available basis.
- Students who have discontinued their enrollment as MassArt undergraduates for over one academic year, who are not on an official leave of absence, and were missing any required courses at the time they stopped attending must apply for re-admission*
- Readmission is not required for students who had completed all required courses at the time they stopped attending and have been away for fewer than five academic years. Returning students must complete a “Returning Student” form with the Office of the Registrar.
- Students who have not attended MassArt for five years or more must apply for readmission*
- Students must submit the Returning Major or Returning Student form to the Office of the Registrar sixty days prior to the next term.
- Students return to the college with the same academic standing that they had during their last term of enrollment.
*If the student is re-admitted, academic requirements listed in the most up to date academic catalog of the student’s selected major in effect at the time of readmission become effective. Courses deemed applicable through the application process from his/her previous enrollment will be credited toward the new degree track. Some previous courses/credits may be deemed out-of-date, irrelevant, or technically obsolete and not be applied to the new requirements.
Transfer credits may be accepted for college courses completed since separation. However, upon readmission, a limited number of transfer credits are accepted in accordance with transfer credit policies. All students must achieve current MassArt institutional credit requirements to complete their degree.
Appeals to the Returning Student Policy must be made to the Office of the Registrar in writing sixty days prior to the beginning of the semester in which enrollment is desired. Any appeals by students who are missing any required courses must be approved by the Chair of that major.
Students who are required to reapply must meet the same application requirements and deadlines as new transfer applicants and are reviewed in the same schedule.
Students who are readmitted return with the same credit accumulated as when they withdrew; however, they must meet current requirements for graduation. Students may transfer additional credits only with the approval of the director of advising and the chair of the department in which the student is concentrating. Under no circumstances is the final year of residency waived.
Students dismissed for academic reasons may, after a period of one year, apply for readmission through normal readmission procedures.
Students dismissed for disciplinary reasons may, after a period of one year, petition the dean of students for readmission.
Faculty hold all papers, texts, models, art work, and other materials submitted in fulfillment of class requirements for one full semester following completion of the course. Faculty are responsible for preserving course materials for this period and for making them available to students. Students are responsible for retrieving their materials. Faculty have the right to discard any course materials not collected after one semester. If course materials are preserved past the one semester period, students retain ownership of such work. The college is not responsible for the damage or loss of property and art work left in studio spaces.
Department chairs may assign a selected number of studio spaces to sophomore, junior, and/or senior students majoring in Art Education, Fine Arts 2D, Fine Arts 3D, and Design. Students assigned studio space must sign contracts with the chair at the beginning of the fall semester. All studio spaces must be vacated at the end of the academic year. Any student found in violation of this provision may be subject to both academic and disciplinary action.
The college accepts a maximum of 69 transfer credits toward the BFA degree: 39 maximum in the studio areas and 30 maximum in Liberal Arts/History of Art. Regardless of the number of credits transferred students must earn a minimum of 60 credits once matriculated in the BFA program.
Students must have received a grade of C or better in courses acceptable for transfer. Courses taken through the college’s Professional and Continuing Education program before admission are subject to transfer credit review and restrictions.
Enrolled students who wish to take courses at other institutions or through Professional and Continuing Education as part of their degree program must gain prior approval from the appropriate department chair or the Office of the Registrar.
All credits must be academic credits.
Studio Transfer Credits
Students accepted to Massachusetts College of Art and Design are placed in studio courses based on the strength of their application portfolios. The number of possible transfer credits does not necessarily determine a student’s class level. All studio transfer credit is based both on portfolio review and transcript review.
Studio courses not used to fulfill specific Studio Foundation or departmental requirements are evaluated for elective credits based on the level of acceptance and faculty recommendations.
A maximum of 15 portfolio credits may be granted for exceptional experience outside the classroom as evidenced by portfolio or resume. Credits granted for portfolio are applied to the 39-credit maximum allotment for studio courses.
Transfer Credits in Liberal Arts and History of Art
The Office of Admissions, The Office of the Registrar and the Chairs of Liberal Arts and Art History determine which credits students can transfer, commensurate with the level the student reached at the previous college:
Completion of freshman year: 15 credits; completion of 3 semesters: 18 credits; completion of 4 semesters: 24 credits; completion of 5 semesters: 27 credits; completion of 3 or more years: 30 credits.
Life Experience Credit for Liberal Arts and History of Art
Students with exceptional life or work experience, documented by sample writings, published or unpublished texts, or resume, may apply for a maximum of nine credits to be transferred toward Liberal Arts and History of Art requirements. Credits granted are included in the 30 Liberal Arts/History of Art maximum transfer credits.
Advanced Placement Program
A score of 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement examination can be accepted as 3 transfer credits towards an elective in the approrpate subject.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design has developed articulated transfer paths for students from three of the Commonwealth’s community colleges: Greenfield, Holyoke, and Massasoit. Students in specific programs at these community colleges who earn associate degrees with grade-point averages better than 3.0 have simplified transfer procedures. Because space is limited, only a very few transfer spaces are guaranteed each year. For specific information on the Articulation Agreements, see the transfer coordinator or department faculty in the community college or contact the MassArt Admissions Office.
In creative work, plagiarism is the inappropriate and unethical representation of another’s work as one’s own. In those instances where a significant portion of a creative work is intentionally “appropriated,” plagiarism is the failure to note, orally or in writing, the source of the appropriation. In expository or academic writing, whenever your work incorporates someone else’s research, images, words, or ideas, you must properly identify the source unless you can reasonably expect knowledgeable people to recognize it. Proper citation gives credit where it is due and enables your readers to locate sources and pursue lines of inquiry raised by your paper. Students who do not comply may be penalized.
Pronoun and Chosen Name Policy
MassArt pursues a just, compassionate, and equitable learning environment and seeks to affirm the identity of each member of our community through pronouns and names. To that end, MassArt will use the pronoun a student provides. We also recognize that students use names other than the ones assigned at birth to identify themselves. To that end, MassArt will also use a student’s chosen name wherever possible so long as the name does not contain special characters or numbers only (alphanumeric combination permissible) and the name is not being used for an improper purpose such as avoiding a legal obligation, vulgarity or misrepresentation.
MassArt will use a student’s chosen name wherever a legal name is not required on campus including on internal documents, communications, systems and web portals such as:
- Class rosters and grade rosters
- MassArt NetID and Email
- MassArt Moodle
- MassArt Self-Service
- Degrees and Certificates
A chosen name will not be used on outgoing mail or documents that require a legal name such as:
- Official transcripts
- Financial records
- W-2 forms
- Enrollment data
- Financial aid documents
Students can enter their pronouns and chosen names electronically by using the MassArt Self-Service interface. Selected pronouns are currently displayed on class rosters only.
Academic Misconduct Procedures
A faculty member who suspects cheating or plagiarism in work submitted in fulfillment of a class requirement should confer with the student submitting the work in an attempt to determine whether a violation has occurred. The faculty member has the discretion to accept the work as academically and/or artistically honest, or to resolve the issue as a classroom issue, or to refer the matter to the department chair.
In the event the student does not concur with the disposition proposed by the faculty member, the student may refer the matter to the Department Chair.
If the matter is referred to the Department Chair, the Chair and faculty member will meet with the student to pursue information that may be pertinent.
In the event that the Chair and faculty member determine that a violation has occurred, they will review the student’s educational record to determine if a prior sanction for academic misconduct has been imposed and may impose one or more of the following sanctions:
- The student does the assignment over or retakes the test.
- The student receives no credit for the plagiarized assignment.
- The student fails (or receives no credit) for the class.
- The student is referred to the senior vice president for academic affairs for further academic sanction.
The chair will inform the student, in writing, of the finding and the sanction imposed. If the sanction imposed is failure (or no credit) for the class, the chair’s letter to the student constitutes a letter of reprimand. A copy of any letter of reprimand is retained by the college as a component of the accused student’s educational record.
An academic sanction imposed or approved by the senior vice president for academic affairs is not subject to further review or appeal.
If just cause is determined by the senior vice president for academic affairs, in consultation with the department chair and the faculty member, the matter may also be referred by the senior vice president to the chief student affairs officer, to be dealt with as a disciplinary matter under the general provisions of these Community Standards.
Incomplete Grade Policy
A designation of an Incomplete in a course is a non-credit, temporary designation assigned when the student cannot, due to extenuating circumstances, complete the course obligations by the end of the semester.
Careful consideration must be given by the faculty to allow one student more time than all other students in a course to complete the required work.
• Students must complete a Petition for Incomplete Form & Contract (available in the Registrar’s Office) and present it to the Faculty for approval with supporting documentation (if required). This will act as a contract between the Student and the Faculty governing the completion of the coursework.
• Faculty shall draft the contract with the student that records the reason for the extension.
• Students should have completed a majority amount of coursework to be considered for an incomplete.
• For a student who successfully petitions their faculty for an Incomplete, the Faculty will not mark a student with a grade. The Registrar’s Office will mark the INC designation once it receives a completed Petition for Incomplete form, signed by the faculty.
• All incomplete work should be completed no later than four weeks after the start of the subsequent semester.
• Only in extreme cases may the deadline be extended.
• Faculty must complete a Change of Grade Form to change the designation from an INC to either a passing grade or an NC/F.
• If a student who receives an Incomplete in a prerequisite is unable to finish their work in the allotted time they will be dropped from any current post requisites.
MassArt students are encouraged to enhance their artistic perspective by participating in study abroad through a MassArt Exchange Program, an approved third-party study abroad program, or MassArt Faculty Led Travel Course. These programs are supported by the International Education Center (IEC).
Semester and Summer Abroad
Students may participate in one of MassArt Exchange Programs or an approved third-party study abroad program. The MassArt Exchange Programs are fall or spring semester-long, full immersion programs at one of MassArt’s reciprocal exchange partner institutions. Read more about Exchange Programs here. Third-party study abroad programs are IEC approved and are offered by organizations or schools that set up abroad programs for U.S. students. They can be either over a semester, or during various lengths during the summer. Read more about semester abroad programs here.
In order to study abroad for a full semester or on a summer program, gain pre-approved MassArt credit, and have the support of the IEC before, during, and after their program abroad, students must participate in a program approved by MassArt and follow all International Education Center processes, as outlined here.
MassArt Faculty Led Travel Courses
MassArt Faculty-Led Travel Courses are three-credit elective courses open to all majors, and students from any year. Read more about faculty-led travel courses here.
Other Programs - Leave of Absence
Rare instances may arise when students opt to participate in a program that has not been vetted or approved by the International Education Center. This is not encouraged. However, if a student opts to study abroad for a semester while on a Leave of Absence, the following applies:
International Education Center staff cannot advise on any aspect of the study abroad experience, including the provider with which the student chooses to study.
The student will not register in the COF Studio Abroad portal.
The International Education Center and MassArt cannot provide health, safety or emergency support.
Students cannot study at one of MassArt’s exchange partners.
Students are responsible for all costs associated with the program and no financial aid processed through MassArt will apply.
In this case, the student works with the Academic Resource Center and follows the Leave of Absence process as outlined in the Leave of Absence Policy section of the Academic Catalog. After receiving a transcript from an abroad institution, the student follows the Transfer Credit process as outlined in the Transfer Credit Policy section of the Academic Catalog, working with the Office of the Registrar.