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Classes dropped between Saturday of Week 2 and Friday of Week 9 will receive a grade of W (for withdrawn) on the student’s official transcript.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.
Student course schedules can be viewed at Inside ArtCenter. 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.
All courses at ArtCenter College of Design must meet the federal requirement for credit hours. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
The above policy is applicable to all courses offered, regardless of the mode of delivery and/or session length (e.g. full term-length, weekend mode, abbreviated term, face-to-face, hybrid, online, etc.).
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.
Students’ full attendance and participation in class supports the quality of the educational experience for all class participants, particularly in courses that incorporate group work and peer critique. Attendance and participation in class therefore will be important factors of your grade. Students are expected to attend all enrolled classes regularly and be on time, remaining for the duration of the class period. ArtCenter does not permit students to audit classes (students may not sit in or visit a class in which they are not enrolled, including field trips). A student who is absent due to serious or ongoing medical or personal issues should contact the Center for Student Experience (CSE) as soon as possible for additional advisement in addition to informing their instructor and department representative (chair, director or coordinator).
Students should refer to each class syllabus for specific expectations about attendance, participation, communication with the instructor(s), etc. Please note that for some courses attendance is mandatory, and in these cases missing one class period, including the first class period, may result in a failing grade.
An absence may be excused by an instructor if there is a medical reason, family emergency or extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control. Note that excused absences are always at the discretion of the instructor(s). Students are advised to contact their instructors as soon as possible (or in advance of missing a class, if possible), using the instructor’s preferred method of communication, as a professional courtesy to explain why they have missed or will miss a class. Students who are absent are required to discuss missed content with their instructor as soon as possible. Excused absences do not automatically change any class or college-related requirements or deadlines.
Any absence that is not excused is considered an unexcused absence. Students who are absent are required to discuss missed content with their instructor as soon as possible. If students accumulate unexcused absences, it may culminate in a failing grade at the discretion of the instructor:
Students who stop attending courses will NOT be automatically dropped. In order to drop a course, a student must either drop the course during the Week 1 add/drop period or file to withdraw from the course before the Week 9 deadline. For further information, see the “Add/Drop and Course Withdrawal Policy.”
Showing up to class at the scheduled start time of the course and remaining for the duration of the class period is important to the educational quality of students’ learning. If a student arrives late or leaves early without the instructor’s permission on more than 3 occasions in a course, the pattern of behavior may constitute unexcused absences at the discretion of the instructor.
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.
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.
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.
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 semester. Students may enroll in an Internship Term for up to two (2) semesters 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 semester.
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 cancelation of the F-L visa.
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.
Internships are valuable, educational experiences that provide students with opportunities to gain practical hands-on work experience under the supervision of professional artists or designers in their field. These opportunities occur in an off-campus professional workplace environment and supplement what a student is learning in the formal curriculum of his or her major/department. Internships are planned in advance and include work expectations and learning outcomes that can be measured and evaluated at the conclusion of the internship. Internships should provide students with the opportunity to grow creatively, gain confidence in their abilities, build their professional network and diversify their skill set. The Internship Program is managed by Career + Professional Development (CPD).
Undergraduate students having completed a minimum of 70 units and graduate students having completed a minimum of 30 units, who are in good academic standing (2.5 GPA for undergraduate students and 3.0 GPA for graduate students) are eligible to register an internship for academic credit through CPD. (Eligibility may vary depending on a student’s academic program.)
An internship must be registered through CPD and meet the following criteria in order to receive academic credit:
Internships provide students with the opportunity to broaden and develop their professional behavior, in addition to enhancing their skill set. Academic credit for internships will be assigned by the student’s Department Chair and will be awarded only on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. To receive a Satisfactory grade for an internship course, the student must satisfy the expectations and requirements outlined below.
Students engaging in internships are expected to practice general professional behavior at their internship sites, including:
The student must also submit the following completed documents to the Internship Specialist by the deadline designated by CPD:
The Internship Specialist will then submit these documents to the appropriate Department Chairs or the designated faculty member, who will award a grade of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory to the student.
Registration will open during Week 12 of each term for the next term and will remain open for enrollment and Add/Drop through Friday of Week 1. Students must resolve all restrictions and pay all outstanding balances and fines to register.
Students planning to take a term off must submit a completed Leave of Absence form to Enrollment Services. Students receiving financial aid must meet with a financial aid officer before submitting the Leave of Absence form to Enrollment Services. International students must have the Leave of Absence form approved by the International Student Advisor in the Center for the Student Experience prior to submitting the form to Enrollment Services.
Students planning to take an ArtCenter Lite term must submit the Request for an ArtCenter Lite form to Enrollment Services by 4 p.m. on Friday of Week 1.
ArtCenter requires full payment of tuition and fees each term by Friday of Week 1. An extended payment schedule is available from the Cashier’s Office. Students who fail to pay their balance by Friday of Week 10 will have an Accounting Restriction/Hold placed on their account that will prevent them from registering for classes online for the following term. Students will regain eligibility to enroll for classes for the next term once the balance is paid in full. If the balance is not paid by 3 p.m. on Friday of Week 1 (the Add/Drop deadline), they will be ineligible to enroll and will NOT be able to attend classes, even if they pay the balance in full. This policy applies to all students, regardless of whether payment was to be made from financial aid or from personal resources.
ArtCenter reserves the right to assign priority registration status (i.e., first available access to register for classes for the following semester) to individual students or to specific groups of students, as determined in consultation with other offices. Examples of priority registration identities may include, but are not limited to: students with disabilities that require such accommodation, students who receive U.S. military veteran educational benefits, ArtCenter Student Government members, etc.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
ArtCenter reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to dismiss students for violations of academic or student conduct policies.
A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is granted to graduates in the following departments: Advertising; Creative Direction; Film; Fine Art; Graphic Design; Illustration; and Photography & Imaging. A Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is granted in: Entertainment Design; Environmental Design; Interaction Design; Product Design; Spatial Experience Design; and Transportation Design.
A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is granted to graduates in the following departments: Art; Film; Graphic Design; and Media Design Practices. A Master of Science (MS) degree is granted in: Environmental Design; Furniture, Lighting, and Fixtures Design; Industrial Design; Spatial Experience Design; and Transportation Systems & Design. A Master’s of Design (online) is granted in: Brand Design and Strategy; and Interaction Design.
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.