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Academic Policies for Graduate Students
i. Knowledge of Corcoran College of Art + Design Policies
Each student is responsible for knowing the academic and general policies of the Corcoran College of Art + Design. The student handbook is the normal repository of College policies, but corrections, changes, or interpretations can be announced by other means, including e-mail notifications. When the College or one of its administrative departments makes changes in course requirements, grading procedures, or graduation requirements, the changes apply to all students enrolled at the College at the time of implementation and thereafter.
ii. Academic Progress
Academic progress is the standard by which progress toward a degree is measured, in terms of quality (GPA) and quantity (number of credits earned towards graduation). In order to remain in good academic standing, graduate students must maintain a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of 3.0. The maximum time limit for completing degree requirements vary according to the specific degree and program. Additionally, academic progress at the graduate level is assessed through a comprehensive coursework review with the chair or program director during the semester in which all academic requirements are completed. Students are deemed degree candidates following successful reviews and written notifications by each program, and will be cleared to finish remaining internships, theses, comprehensive examinations, and any additional non-residential requirements.
All students are responsible for keeping track of their academic progress and should know which credits they have earned, and what they still need to earn to meet graduation requirements. Students with questions about their academic progress should contact their advisor or chair/program director for clarification.
iii. Academic Load
Graduate students must be enrolled in at least nine credits each semester, excluding summer semesters, to be considered full-time. International students holding an F-1 visa must be full-time each semester, excluding summer semesters. Part-time graduate students must be enrolled in at least six credits each semester, excluding summer semesters. Audited and non-credit classes do not count towards the minimum academic load. Graduate students must have written permission from the dean of graduate studies or the dean of enrollment to register for less than six credits per semester. Permitted enrollment under six credits may occur in a student’s final semester when nearly all required credits have been completed.
Master of Arts in Teaching: Full-time enrollment each term (excluding summer) is required for the MAT degree. After one academic year, a student in good standing may request a one-semester or long-term reduction to part-time status, in close continuing consultation with the program director.
Master of Arts in Art Education: Students take at least one course in fall and spring terms, but usually no more than six credits in those semesters. A typical schedule equals approximately four to five courses per full year in Education, Studio and other art courses, combined. Summer study is strongly recommended for coherency of experience in the program, and students may take nine credits or more over two summer semesters.
Master of Arts in New Media Photojournalism: Full-time enrollment each term (excluding summer) is required for the degree. It may be necessary to complete an internship during the summer.
All other graduate programs: Full-time enrollment is optional, but part-time graduate students must be enrolled in at least six credits each semester, excluding summer. Audited and non-credit classes do not count towards the minimum academic load. Graduate students must have written permission from the director of academic advising, the dean of students, dean of enrollment, or the provost to register for fewer than six credits per semester. Permitted enrollment under six credits may occur in a student’s final semester when nearly all required credits have been completed. The maximum time limit for completing degree requirements varies according to the specific degree and program as detailed below:
Maximum Time Limits
For continuously enrolled graduate students, the maximum time limit for completing degree requirements is four years, except for the MA in Art Education, which is six years. Additional annual credit earning minimums as detailed below:
Master of Arts in Interior Design: 60 credits in four years, with a minimum 15 credits per year, extension for thesis with permission of the program director
Master of Arts in Teaching: 60 credits in four years; with a minimum 15 credits per year
Master of Arts in Exhibition Design: 48 credits in four years; with a minimum 12 credits per year, extension for thesis with permission of the program director
Master of Arts in Art and the Book: 48 credits in four years; with a minimum 12 credits per year
Master of Arts in Art Education: 33 credits in six years; with a minimum 5.5 credits per year
Master of Arts in New Media Photojournalism: 48 credits in four years; with a minimum of 12 credits per year
In all cases, including interruptions in study, the maximum time limit for completing graduate degree requirements is 10 years from time of matriculation at the Corcoran. Students should request a leave of absence prior to the semester(s) of planned academic inaction.
Students may petition the Academic Review Committee in cases where extenuating circumstances prevent completion of the program within the time limits and/or benchmark credits per annum as stated above. Students are encouraged to meet with the director of financial aid to discuss any adjustments that may result from a reduced academic load prior to schedule adjustments. Graduate students should note that fellowships require full-time enrollment (nine or more credits), except for the Master of Art Education degree, with approval.
Academic load requirements impact eligibility for financial aid, which is governed by separate, external minimums. Students are encouraged to meet with the director of financial aid to discuss any adjustments that may result from a reduced academic load prior to schedule adjustments. Graduate students should note that fellowships require full-time enrollment (nine or more credits).
iv. Maintaining Status
Students who have registered for all credits required for their degree but have not yet met all degree requirements (e.g., Incomplete in one or more courses, unfinished Thesis, continuing preparation for final examination) need to register each fall and spring until the degree is completed. Auditing a course does not fulfill this requirement. In this case, a student can register for a graduate level credit-bearing extra elective, or can register for Maintaining Status.
Maintaining Status bears no credit or requirements, but it does carry a $1,000 fee. For financial aid purposes, Maintaining Status counts as half time enrollment (minimum 6 credits). This registration maintains a student's active status with the College and provides him or her with access to College resources (library, physical facilities, faculty, e-mail, etc.). Maintaining Status is not required during summer unless a student is planning to complete requirements in July or August, in which case you must fulfill the registration during final term requirement, either by Maintaining Status or registering for another credit-bearing extra elective. If you do not resolve all of your work at the end of what you expected to be your last semester (e.g., taking an Incomplete), you will need to Maintain Status for the following semester in order to maintain your student status and resolve your remaining work.
v. Academic Standing
There are three categories of graduate academic standing: good, probation, dismissal. To remain in good academic standing, graduate students must maintain a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of 3.0 based on graduate level coursework and undergraduate courses which apply to the Art Education art elective requirement and be making satisfactory academic progress towards their degree (see above).
vi. Academic Probation
Failure to achieve at least a 3.0 cumulative and semester GPA based on graduate level coursework and undergraduate courses which apply to the Art Education art elective requirement and/or earning two grades below B in graduate level coursework will result in academic probation. Students placed on academic probation have one semester to resolve their academic deficiency. To be removed from academic probation, the student must attempt a minimum of six credits toward their degree and earn at least a 3.0 semester and cumulative GPA based on graduate level coursework and undergraduate courses which apply to the Art Education art elective requirement. Failure to meet these requirements will be considered unsatisfactory academic progress and will result in academic dismissal from the Master’s degree program.
vii. Academic Dismissal
Students who receive an F in two graduate courses, earn nine credits of unsatisfactory (i.e. B-, C+, C, or F) grades in all attempted graduate courses, or cannot remove oneself from academic probation within one semester will be dismissed from the graduate degree program.
Readmission After Dismissal
Graduate students who have been dismissed may not reapply to the same program; however, they may apply to a different program within the institution. Students wishing to reapply to a different program should follow the standard application process through the Office of Admissions.
viii. Change of Academic Program
Changes to academic programs at the graduate level are not automatic and must be approved by the Admissions Committee and require a new program application and a non-refundable application fee.
ix. Grading System for Graduate Students
Grade Point Average
Semester GPAs are computed at the close of each semester by multiplying the number of credits per course by the quality points associated with the student’s earned letter grade, adding the total quality points, and dividing that sum by the total number of credits attempted. Cumulative GPAs are computed by applying the above formula to all coursework for which the student has enrolled for credit at the Corcoran. Credits transferred from other colleges and universities are not included in the cumulative GPA unless they were earned through the AICAD Mobility Program and/or the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Corcoran GPA is unweighted and no credit above 4.0 is given.
|Graduate Letter Quality Grade Descriptions|
|B+||3.3||Passing With Demonstrated Strengths|
|F||0.0||Failure, Dismissal If Recurrent|
|GNR||N/A||Grade Not Reported|
|IP||N/A||In Progress, In Good Standing|
Pass (Equivalent To B Or Higher For Graduate Students)
*Graduate students are advised that while B-, C+, and C grades are passing grades for a course, failure to earn higher than a 3.0 semester or cumulative GPA based on graduate level coursework (including those undergraduate courses which apply to the Art Education art elective requirement) will result in academic probation. In addition, graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA to be eligible for graduation.
Grade Not Reported
A notation of GNR on a transcript indicates that the instructor has failed to submit a grade by the deadline. After 30 days, if attempts to secure a grade from the instructor are unsuccessful, the GNR is replaced with an F. Grades that revert to F may have impact on a student’s academic standing. GNR grades are not calculated into student’s GPAs until replaced by a letter grade.
An incomplete grade is a temporary deferral of a final grade pending the make-up of a small amount of coursework. Incomplete grades may be requested only under extraordinary circumstances when coursework completion is unavoidably and justifiably delayed. Students can only request an Incomplete when 80 percent of their coursework has already been satisfied. Faculty can refuse requests for incomplete grades if the reasons provided are deemed insufficient. Instructors must hand in forms requesting incomplete grades to the Office of the Registrar when final grades are submitted. Incomplete grades are not calculated into students’ GPAs until replaced by a final letter grade.
Graduate students will have 30 days following the last day of class to complete the missing work. Faculty members may set a shorter deadline or extend the deadline on a case-by-case basis as long as the change is indicated on their request for incomplete grade forms. Incomplete deadlines may be extended up to the last day of classes of the semester following the one in which the course was taken. Any extension beyond one semester requires approval of the dean of enrollment.
An incomplete grade automatically becomes an F if the Office of the Registrar does not receive a signed change of grade form or notification of extension from the instructor within the pre-approved deadline. All change of grade forms must be signed by the dean of enrollment or dean of undergraduate studies.
In Progress, In Good Standing
An IP grade may also be assigned as non-punitive for required for courses which require extended year-long or repeat enrollment such as Pro-Thesis, Thesis, FA7950/FA7951 MA/Art Education Studio Capstone, ED6900/ED6901 Art Education Studio Teaching, and ED6910/ED6911 Art Education Internship. In these cases, the IP will remain on the student’s record while the student is actively enrolled in courses or maintaining status at the Corcoran or until the IP is replaced by a grade or an incomplete.
Grading Scale by Percent
The Corcoran does not dictate a percent grading scale. Instructors may determine the grading criteria and structure for their course based on assignments, attendance, or other criteria at their own discretion. The grade scale and criteria for a course must be included in the course syllabus which is provided to students at the beginning of the semester.
Graduate students whose work falls below the B grade level at any point during a semester will receive academic warnings that indicate unsatisfactory academic progress. Warnings are intended to make students aware of their unsatisfactory progress and do not appear on permanent academic records. Students receiving academic warnings must meet with their instructors to discuss ways to improve their grades to a satisfactory level. Students and instructors should sign the academic warning form following their discussion. Completed forms should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. Students receiving two or more academic warnings will receive a letter informing them of a required meeting with the dean of students.
Change of Grade
Final course grades recorded by the Office of the Registrar can only be changed when computational or recording errors occur, or if the grades are successfully appealed (see section on Academic Review Committee). No additional work can be submitted to improve a grade after the final grade has been assigned. Instructors are responsible for submitting change-of-grade forms to the Office of the Registrar no later than the last day of classes in the semester following the one during which the course was taken Grade changes will not be considered until the instructor submits a change-of-grade form to the Office of the Registrar. All change of grade forms must be signed by the dean of enrollment or dean of graduate studies.
Graduate programs do not have Dean’s List notations.
X. GRADUATE STUDENT REGISTRATION IN UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL COURSES
Graduate students may register for up to two undergraduate electives per semester on an audit basis only. The following exceptions apply:
- Art Education graduate students who are enrolling in undergraduate courses which have been approved by their department to use the credit towards their art elective requirements
- Interior Design graduate students who matriculated prior to Fall 2011 who are enrolling for credit to fulfill their prerequisites at the undergraduate level (though registration in the graduate level prerequisite equivalent is strongly recommended).
XI. GRADUATE PROGRAM PRERQUISITE COURSES
Additional coursework, (up to 21 credits beyond the 60 credit degree requirements for MA in Interior Design students, and up to 6 credits beyond the 48 credit degree requirements for MA in Exhibition Design), may be assigned upon admission to those applicants whose undergraduate degrees are unrelated to Interior or Exhibition Design and for applicants who need additional instruction in certain areas. These courses provide a general knowledge base to prepare the student for work in their degree program. Students are notified of the courses which they must complete in their admissions acceptance letter. Prerequisites must be completed prior to enrolling in graduate level requirements, however, are waive-able by the department on a case by case basis given prior academic or professional experience (see section on Academic Standing for specific policies).
Effective Fall 2011, prerequisites are listed at the graduate (5000) level, and may be eligible to apply for Financial Aid. All students entering Fall 2011 or beyond are required to complete the courses at the graduate level and will be assessed as graduate level tuition.
Students who entered the program prior to Fall 2011 have the option to register at the undergraduate level as originally permitted upon admission, or to substitute the graduate level equivalent. If the courses are completed at the undergraduate level, they are not eligible for financial aid.
Though they are prerequisites, courses at the 5000-level follow graduate level content requirements and grading scale, and may fulfill other program electives at the discretion of departmental advisors. Currently, no other programs have course-based prerequisites; however, individual courses may have prerequisites.
XII. Graduation Requirements for Graduate Students
For a degree to be conferred, students must be enrolled at the Corcoran during his or her final semester of his or her degree program with good academic and financial standing. All coursework must be completed, even if the coursework is not being applied to the degree. Graduate students who need six credits or less to fulfill their degree requirements may petition their chair or program director and the provost to participate in the annual Commencement ceremony in May. Students will not receive their diploma until all degree requirements are met. In addition, official academic transcripts and diplomas will not be released until all outstanding bills and charges are paid in full. Students with due balances can petition to walk at graduation, pending the provost’s approval. Students fulfilling degree requirements in August or December will receive diplomas the following June.
Finally, all students completing a thesis must provide an electronic copy to the College Library and must submit the thesis to UMI Dissertation Publishing via the Library’s website, www.corcoran.edu/library.
Graduation application forms are available online and in the Office of the Registrar, and must be submitted prior to the start of a student’s final semester of enrollment, i.e. in the fall semester for a spring graduation. Forms should indicate the term in which the student anticipates completion of all academic requirements. A graduation fee of $195 is required. The application and fee will be valid for one year (three semesters, including summer). If academic requirements are not met within the allotted time, a graduation application must be resubmitted with fee. Upon receipt of the graduation application, a graduation audit is completed and a student’s status, including any missing coursework, is communicated to their departmental advisors. As noted in the Academic Progress section, students are ultimately responsible for the completion of all requirements, so it is strongly encouraged that they frequently refer to their planning sheet or online academic plan throughout their enrollment to be sure that they remain on track for timely graduation. If a student completes all academic requirements, but has not submitted an application for degree, they will be cleared for their degree, however, a hold will be placed on their degree until the paperwork and fees are submitted.
See Below for Additional Graduation Requirements:
Master of Arts in Interior Design (60 credits) and Exhibition Design (48 credits): Students must complete all academic degree requirements; successfully defend and submit a signed final copy of their thesis, earn at least 39 Exhibition Design or 51 Interior Design credits in residence at the Corcoran, satisfy all outstanding bills, charges, and accounts, including library items and fees, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
Master of Arts in Teaching (60 credits) and Master of Arts in Art Education (48 credits): Students must complete all academic degree requirements; submit a signed final copy of their thesis, earn at least 51 (MAT) or 41 (MAAE) credits in residence at the Corcoran, satisfy all outstanding bills, charges, and accounts, including library items and fees, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Thesis and internships may not need to be completed in the Washington, D.C. area, but students must be regularly enrolled at the Corcoran and under its active academic supervision for these requirements, even if granted approval to complete them elsewhere. All degree requirements must be completed within one year of the original expected date of graduation. Students must be actively enrolled for credit during their final semester, either in residence or in an approved program. Special permission requests to study outside of the Corcoran during a final semester must be supported by the chair or program director and approved by the dean of students prior to registration. Students who have completed all courses and fulfilled all credit requirements, but who are still completing specific tasks such as a thesis, must register for maintaining status. Students can contact their program director or academic advisor for more information on maintaining status and fulfilling academic requirements during the assigned period of pre-registration.
Master of Arts in Art and the Book (48 credits): Students must complete all academic and studio requirements. Those Art and the Book students who have a studio focus will need to submit and successfully defend a full, cohesive body of work. This will include a final copy of the written thesis. Students with an academic focus will need to submit and successfully defend an extensive written thesis in its final culmination. Art and the Book graduate students must have a earned at least 39 credits in residence at the Corcoran, satisfy all outstanding bills, charges, and accounts, including library items and fees, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Master of Arts in New Media Photojournalism (48 credits): Students must complete all academic degree requirements; submit a signed final copy of their thesis, earn at least 39 credits in residence at the Corcoran, satisfy all outstanding bills, charges, and accounts, including library items and fees, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
Graduate programs do not have honors notations.
Academic Records after Graduation
Students receive complimentary copies of their official transcripts upon graduation. Students are strongly urged to review these documents for errors, as changes can be made to the academic record only during the two-month period following graduation.