Enrollment Guidelines

Students are required to be enrolled full-time and must maintain a minimum of 12 units. On Friday of Week 1, students not enrolled in at least 12 units will be placed on an ArtCenter Lite term, which will count towards one of the two ArtCenter Lite (ACL) terms granted to students. Students who have exhausted their two ACL terms will not be placed on an ACL term and will be charged full-time tuition.

Students who do not preregister or add their classes by Friday of Week 1 will not be enrolled for that term.

Students are solely responsible for ensuring the accuracy of their schedules and will be held accountable for all classes on their schedules. Students will be billed for classes that are on their schedules even if they do not attend them, and a grade of N may result due to non-attendance.

Classes dropped between Saturday of Week 2 and Friday of Week 9 will receive a grade of W (for withdrawn) on the student’s official transcript. Failure to drop a class by Friday of Week 9 may result in a grade of F or N for the class.

Academic Schedules

Student course schedules can be viewed at Inside ArtCenter (inside.artcenter.edu). Once registered, students may modify their schedules by completing the add/drop process online no later than Friday of Week 1. Students cannot make changes to their schedules using the online process after Friday of Week 1. Students should check official bulletin boards and their email for additional information related to registration.

Students are expected to attend every class on their schedules, and only the classes on their schedules. Not attending a class on their schedule will result in a grade of N being assigned for non-attendance. Students attending classes not on their schedules will not receive credit or grades for those classes.

Credit Hour Definition

Studio or Laboratory Credit Hour Studio or lab courses at ArtCenter are generally required to meet a minimum of 1.5 hours per week for each credit granted; the remaining time is for studio/laboratory preparation.

  • A three-credit studio/laboratory course may meet for 4.5 hours per week (ArtCenter’s normal standard is five hours per week), where the majority of the work occurs in the studio or lab space with supplementary work occurring outside of class time.
  • Alternately, a three-credit studio/laboratory course may meet for three hours per week, where there will be correspondingly a higher ratio of work performed outside of face-to-face-contact course hours.

Lecture or Other Non-studio/Laboratory Credit Hour

In lecture/discussion courses requiring outside preparation (e.g., Humanities and Sciences courses), one hour of credit represents one hour each week of the term in class and two hours of work each week of the term outside of class time.

Abbreviated Course or Independent Study Credit Hour

Courses offered for abbreviated time periods or as independent study will fulfill approximately a combined equivalent number of contact hours and outside course work as they would in the corresponding course offered during a normal term. It is important to note that course out-of-class time varies depending on the level of the course as well as the individual ability and learning style of the student.

Institutional Procedures for Determining Credit Hour Assignments

Upon proposing a new course, ArtCenter educational departments work with the Registrar and Provost/Academic Affairs to verify that the credit hour assignment for the course is appropriate.

Studio or Lab Credit Hour

Studio or lab courses at ArtCenter are generally required to meet a minimum of 1.5 hours per week for each credit granted; the remaining time is for studio/laboratory preparation.

A three-credit studio/laboratory course may meet for 4.5 hours per week (ArtCenter’s normal standard is five hours per week), where the majority of the work occurs in the studio or lab space with supplementary work occurring outside of class time.

Alternately, a three-credit studio/laboratory course may meet for three hours per week, where there will be a correspondingly higher ratio of work performed outside of face-to-face-contact course hours.

Lecture or Other Non-studio/Laboratory Credit Hour

In lecture/discussion courses requiring outside preparation (e.g., Humanities & Sciences courses), one hour of credit represents one hour each week of the term in class and two hours of work each week of the term outside of class time.

Abbreviated Course or Independent Study Credit Hour

Courses offered for abbreviated time periods or as independent study will fulfill approximately a combined equivalent number of contact hours and outside course work as they would in the corresponding course offered during a normal term. Independent-study courses are available by special permission as described in the ArtCenter Student Handbook. It is important to note that course out-of-class time varies depending on the level of the course as well as the individual ability and learning style of the student.

Institutional Procedures for Determining Credit Hour Assignments

Upon proposing a new course, ArtCenter educational departments work with the Registrar and Provost/Academic Affairs to verify that the credit hour assignment for the course is appropriate.

Attendance

To complete a course successfully, students must attend all class sessions (unless they are engaged in research or location assignments that have been authorized in advance by the class instructor of the missed class). The instructor takes attendance at the beginning of each class, and at the discretion of the instructor, three or more absences may result in an "F." Students who miss a class due to illness should discuss the absence with the instructor at the next class meeting. Students who are ill for a week or longer should inform their Department Chair’s office of their absence.

Adding and Dropping Classes

Students may add or drop courses through the online registration process. The deadline to add or drop a class is Friday of Week 1. After Friday of Week 1, no classes may be added to a student’s schedule. This policy applies to all courses, including those requiring signatures or special clearance for enrollment. Students are encouraged to obtain clearance for adding special courses early in Week 1.

All course drops after Friday of Week 1 must be submitted to the Enrollment Services office on a Course Drop Weeks 2–9 Request form, signed by the Department Chair. The online add/drop process is turned off Friday of Week 1. Course drops are not allowed after Week 9.

International students are not permitted to drop classes below 12 units without prior permission from the International Student Advisor in the Center for the Student Experience. A signature from the International Student Advisor is required on the Course Drop Weeks 2–9 Request form.

Enrollment Status

Full-Time Status

Undergraduates must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units or a maximum of 19 units each term. Undergraduate students taking more than 19 units a term will be assessed a prorated tuition charge.

Graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units or a maximum of 24 units each term. Graduate students taking more than 24 units in a term will be assessed a prorated tuition charge.

Overload enrollment in any term is by the Registrar’s approval.

ArtCenter Lite

An ArtCenter Lite (ACL) term provides students with the opportunity to take less than the 12-unit minimum in a given term. A maximum of two ACL terms is permitted during the student’s degree program. Students who have exhausted their two ACL terms may be eligible for an additional ACL term for the term in which they are graduating. Students are charged tuition on a prorated basis per unit.

International students are not permitted to take an ACL term without prior permission from the International Student Advisor. International students approved for an ACL term may be considered term off for visa status purposes. Term off eligibility requirements will apply.

To be enrolled for an ACL term, students must complete and submit a Request for ArtCenter Lite form to Enrollment Services by the Add/Drop deadline, Friday of Week 1. Students enrolled in an ACL term for credit will be covered by the student health insurance plan.

International students are allowed to take ACL ONLY when they have attended two consecutive full-time terms prior to the ACL term and must obtain a signature from the International Student Advisor on the ACL form before submitting it to Enrollment Services. Exceptions may apply; however, prior exception authorization on the I-20 form by the International Student Advisor in the Center for the Student Experience is required before submitting the ACL form to Enrollment Services.

Internship Term

An Internship Term allows a student to be enrolled at ArtCenter while completing an internship experience off campus, and taking no other classes, that has been approved by Career + Professional Development (CPD). Internship Terms allow students to earn three (3) or six (6) units per term. Students may enroll in an Internship Term for up to two (2) terms during their course of study at ArtCenter for a maximum of 12 units of credit applied toward a student’s graduation requirements. Internship Terms are available to undergraduate students with a minimum of 70 completed units and to graduate students with a minimum of 30 completed units. Students who are approved for a three-unit or six-unit internship are charged tuition on a prorated basis, per unit. Students may not register for an Internship Term in their final/graduation term.

To enroll in an Internship Term, students must submit an approved Internship Registration form to Enrollment Services by Friday of Week 1 of the Internship Term. During an Internship Term, students may not enroll in additional courses, and can only be enrolled for a three-unit or six-unit internship officially approved through CPD. Students who wish to enroll in additional courses and earn credit through an internship should be enrolled full time (12 or more units) or in an approved ArtCenter Lite term (if enrolled in less than 12 units). All internships registered through CPD will be noted on the academic transcript.

This policy does not apply to students who are employed off campus for no course credit.

International students studying on F-1 visas must verify their eligibility to register for any internship with the International Student Advisor (ISA) in the Center for the Student Experience (CSE). If the internship is located in the United States, international students must be enrolled either full-time or in an Internship Term to engage in any internship experience off campus. They must also get Curricular Practical Training (CPT) employment authorization from the ISA in the CSE before starting an internship, in order to comply with U.S. immigration laws. Failure to follow these steps may have serious consequences for international students, including the possible cancellation of the F-1 visa.

Graduate Thesis Research or Project Term

Graduate students must complete all course work, including a thesis, to graduate from the College. Graduate students who have completed all course work with the exception of a thesis must be enrolled in a zero-unit thesis continuation course each term until the thesis is complete. After completion of their final term, students will be unable to graduate from ArtCenter unless they are currently enrolled in the thesis continuation course. Students enrolled in a Graduate Thesis Research Term are not enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program.

Graduate students who have completed all course work but are continuing to work on their final project and need access to ArtCenter labs and equipment must enroll in a zero-unit project continuation course. Students enrolled in this course will be charged a course fee of one-half of one unit tuition charge and will be subject to the Universal Access Fee. These students will have use of all labs and equipment as appropriate and will be enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Students can remain enrolled in the student health insurance plan for up to six terms as long as they are enrolled in a Graduate Project Term. After six terms, they will be dropped from the student health insurance plan.

F-1 international students must verify their eligibility to take a Graduate Thesis Research or Project Term with the International Student Advisor in the Center for the Student Experience.

Special Programs

Cross-Enrollment Programs

ArtCenter has an approved Cross-Enrollment Program with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Occidental College. Full-time ArtCenter students may enroll in non-studio courses at one of these two campuses for no additional tuition charge. ArtCenter students must be enrolled in a full- time course load, 12 units or more, to be eligible for cross-enrollment at Caltech or Occidental College.

Courses taken at Caltech or Occidental must be approved and apply directly to the student’s ArtCenter degree requirements. For more information about this program, contact Enrollment Services.

Special Status Programs

On occasion, ArtCenter admits a few select students to its Special Status Program. These students are allowed to attend ArtCenter classes for up to three terms without the intent to complete a degree. These students are charged the current tuition rate. Certain academic policies do not apply to these students; however, they must still abide by all College deadlines, policies, financial obligations, enrollment policies and student conduct policies.

Those admitted under Special Status are not entitled to all benefits, programs and services afforded to degree-seeking students, including financial aid, scholarships or institutionally sponsored internships. Courses taken in this program will not be applied toward an ArtCenter degree at any time. Admission to this program is subject to the approval and terms established by the Admissions and the Department Chairs offices.

International students in the Special Status Program must be enrolled in either full-time or approved ACL terms throughout the program in order to maintain non-immigrant status while studying in the U.S. International students in the Special Status Program are advised to consult with the International Student Advisor in the Center for the Student Experience.

ArtCenter Honors Term

ArtCenter Honors Term is a program in which an undergraduate student may enroll for an additional term after graduation at no tuition cost to pursue an area of study of special interest. To apply, the student must complete and sign an ArtCenter Honors Term application and submit two Faculty Recommendation forms, a Department Chair Recommendation form and a portfolio. The portfolio can consist of graduating portfolio pieces and any work the student feels will represent his or her interests and abilities in the area of study chosen for the ArtCenter Honors Term.

If accepted into the ArtCenter Honors Term program, the student must make a $1,000 deposit prior to graduating from ArtCenter. The deposit will be refunded at the end of the ArtCenter Honors Term if the student satisfactorily completes the term. If the student withdraws, is suspended or is expelled, the deposit will be forfeited. All grades received in an ArtCenter Honors Term are calculated separately from the student’s undergraduate GPA.

Financial aid beyond tuition remission is not available for the ArtCenter Honors Term program.

International students should consult with the International Student Advisor in the Center for the Student Experience regarding eligibility for an ArtCenter Honors Term.

Graduate Fellows Program

The Graduate Fellows Program allows exceptional graduate students who have graduated an opportunity to pursue additional research within an approved area of study for one term at no tuition cost. This program allows a select number of students to explore areas not covered in their graduate course of study.

Graduate Fellows terms are not granted to those who wish to use the College’s facilities to generally improve their portfolios. Graduate Fellows terms are granted to students pursuing specific research activities that are considered to be of merit.

To apply, students must complete and sign a Graduate Fellows application and submit two Faculty Recommendation forms, a Department Chair Recommendation form and a portfolio. The portfolio can consist of graduating portfolio pieces and any work the student feels will represent his or her interests and abilities in the area of study chosen for the Graduate Fellows Program.

If accepted into the Graduate Fellows Program, the student must make a $1,000 deposit prior to graduating from ArtCenter. The deposit will be refunded at the end of the Graduate Fellows term if the student satisfactorily completes the term. If the student withdraws, is suspended or is expelled, the deposit will be forfeited. All grades received for Graduate Fellows are calculated separately from the student’s graduate GPA.

Financial aid beyond tuition remission is not available for the Graduate Fellows Program.

International students should consult with the International Student Advisor in the Center for the Student Experience regarding eligibility for the Graduate Fellows Program.

Leave of Absence, Withdrawal and Dismissal

Course Withdrawal

Enrollment Services may grant a student permission to withdraw from a course beginning Monday of Week 2 through Friday of Week 9 for medical reasons (with proper documentation from a health care provider) or special circumstances beyond the student’s control.

Students must maintain full-time status (a minimum of 12 units) until their Course Withdrawal Request form is processed. This does not apply to students on an approved ArtCenter Lite term.

For all courses, students must obtain their Department Chair’s signature on the Course Withdrawal Request form, available from Enrollment Services. A withdrawn course will be graded with a letter grade of "W." GPAs will not be affected by the "W" grade. It is the student’s responsibility to check Inside ArtCenter (inside.artcenter.edu) for confirmation that the Course Withdrawal Request was approved.

International students are not permitted to withdraw from classes and drop below 12 units without prior permission from the International Student Advisor in the Center for the Student Experience. A signature from the International Student Advisor is required on their Course Withdrawal Request form.

Leave of Absence or Withdrawal

Students intending to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) or Withdrawal from ArtCenter must complete and submit a Leave of Absence Request or a Withdrawal form, both available in Enrollment Services, by the Friday before the start of the term to avoid any charges for that term. For example, students who intend to be on an LOA for the Summer term, or to withdraw from ArtCenter permanently, will have until the Friday before the start of Summer term classes to file the request with no penalty. Suspended or dismissed students are not eligible for an LOA.

International students are allowed to take a Leave of Absence only when they have attended two consecutive full-time terms prior to the LOA term and must obtain a signature from the International Student Advisor on the LOA form before submitting it to Enrollment Services. Exceptions may apply; however, prior authorization by the International Student Advisor in the Center for the Student Experience is required before they submit the LOA form to Enrollment Services.

An LOA or Withdrawal is effective according to the date that the form was approved and signed by Enrollment Services. If you take an LOA or Withdrawal from the term prior to Friday of Week 5, a portion of your tuition for the term will be forgiven (please see the Tuition and Fee Forgiveness Policy). Students who take an LOA or Withdrawal from classes between Weeks 6 and 12 are not eligible for any tuition forgiveness. Students may not take an LOA or Withdrawal in Weeks 13 or 14.

Exceptions to the above LOA policy are only granted in the case of documented medical reasons. This must be approved by the Associate Provost for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or designee (see Medical and Psychological Leave Policy). There are no exceptions to the above policy for students withdrawing from ArtCenter. Students who stop attending classes without completing an LOA or Withdrawal form will receive a grade of "F" for the registered courses. The last day to file a Withdrawal request for the term is Friday of Week 12.

Please note that taking an LOA or Withdrawal from ArtCenter may have financial implications. Changes in financial aid support, recalculation of financial aid packages and delays in refunds may result from the decision to take an LOA. By law, the Financial Aid office must refund certain kinds of aid (government grants, loans, ArtCenter scholarships, etc.) to their respective sources if a student is not enrolled at ArtCenter.

Students may take an LOA for no more than three consecutive terms. Students on an LOA will be eligible to enroll in the term following the leave and are not required to reapply.

International students must meet with the International Student Advisor prior to taking an LOA or Withdrawal from ArtCenter. International students are only permitted to take a term off for their annual vacation or for an internship after having completed two consecutive terms. International students who do not follow the requirements and deadlines to take a term off for an LOA or Withdrawal and then do not properly enroll for the term will fail to maintain visa status, and their United States SEVIS I-20 records will be terminated.

International students who have their SEVIS I-20 records terminated may not be permitted to remain in the United States.

Students on an LOA who withdraw or take a term off from the College are not covered by student health insurance. Please contact the Center for the Student Experience at 626 396-2323 for further information on alternative insurance options, including the option of purchasing the school’s health insurance plan.

Students who do not file the LOA or Withdrawal form by the Friday before the start of the term are subject to fees and charges.

Dismissal

ArtCenter reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to dismiss students for violations of academic or student conduct policies.

Types of Degrees

A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is granted to graduates in the following departments: Advertising; Film; Fine Art; Graphic Design; Illustration; and Photography & Imaging. A Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is granted in: Environmental Design; Interaction Design; Product Design; and Transportation Design.

A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is granted to graduates in the following departments: Art; Film; and Media Design Practices. A Master of Science (MS) degree is granted in: Environmental Design; Industrial Design; and Transportation Systems & Design.

Second Degree Policy

To earn a second BFA or BS from ArtCenter, a student must complete a minimum of 60 additional, unduplicated units beyond their initial BFA or BS from ArtCenter and complete all requirements of the second major as determined by the Department Chair. Admission to the second degree program is subject to available space and the approval of the Department Chair.