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Grades & Student Responsibilities

Class Attendance

Unless otherwise indicated by the instructor, students are expected to attend all meetings of each class in which they are enrolled. They are expected to be ready to start work at the opening of class and to remain for the entire class session. Irregular attendance or habitual tardiness usually leads to lower grades and, ultimately, to probation or dismissal. Although an instructor's discretion is clearly involved, unexcused absence from as few as three classes will result in a failing grade. In the case of extended illness or other legitimate absences that may keep the student from attending a class for more than three meetings, students must contact the instructor, program director, and the Office of Graduate Studies (full-time MFA and Post-baccalaureate certificate) and the Dean for the Center for Art Education (MAT, MAAE, MACA, and MFAST) and the Dean of the School for Professional and Continuing Studies (MPS, MBA/MA). The appropriate administrator will facilitate a conversation with faculty to determine whether the student can achieve satisfactory academic progress.

Student Conduct in Class

If, in the opinion of the instructor, a student's behavior is hindering his or her educational progress and/or that of the class, a faculty member may counsel the student to encourage behavioral improvement. The faculty member will work with the graduate director, and if needed, the Office of Graduate Studies, the Dean of the Center for Art Education or the Dean of the School for Professional and Continuing Studies, and if need be, the Dean of Academic Services. The student may be withdrawn, from the course with a grade of "W" assigned, or from the program. The College reserves the right to require that a student whose attitudes, behavior, or performance is inconsistent with their graduate program leave school, and can deny the use of school facilities to such students. Under such circumstances, the student will not be entitled to a tuition refund after the refund period.

Grading Policy

All MFA grades are on a Pass (P)/Fail (F) system. The MAT, MPS and MAAE programs are letter graded and students must receive a B or better to pass a course and to maintain a B or better in all coursework to continue in the program. The MACA program is piloting a Pass/Fail grading system but reserves the option to return to a letter-graded system at any point in the future.

Grades and Transcripts

Grades will be released only to the student and, upon the student's written request, to those who are financially responsible for the student. Grades are posted electronically. Graduate students do not receive letter grades. Grades are awarded as follows:

  • AUD- audit
  • F -fail
  • I- incomplete
  • P - pass
  • PP - probational pass
  • R - repeat
  • TR - transfer
  • W - withdrawal

Graduate students may take undergraduate classes (level 200-400) and are expected to perform at a higher level and/or do additional work for graduate credit. Such agreement  are on a contract between the individual student and the instructor. A grade of B or better must be earned in order to receive graduate credit for the course.

To request a transcript, students must submit a request to the Office of Enrollment Services. Official transcripts cannot be released without written consent from the student.

Probational Pass

Probational Pass for a Single Course

A probational pass (PP) may be awarded in the case that a graduate student has not passed a course integral to the sequence of courses, and if the student agrees to a contract for satisfactory completion of the work due. No credit is awarded for the course until the contract has been fulfilled. If the terms of the contract are not met, the student may be subject to dismissal.

Probational Pass for a Semester

If, at the end of semester, a student's instructor(s) or graduate director determines he/she has not achieved satisfactory academic progress, the student may be awarded a grade of probational pass (PP) in his/her major program. In such cases, a contract outlining conditions for achieving successful progress (P), (including the work to be completed, the date it must be completed by, and how it will be graded) will be created by the graduate director in consultation with any other faculty involved. No credit is awarded for a grade of probational pass until the terms of the contract have been fulfilled and the grade is changed to pass (P).

All students receiving a probational pass will be placed on academic probation until the contract is satisfactorily fulfilled. If a graduate student fails to satisfy the terms of the probational pass contract before the designated deadline, the student will receive a failing grade (F) in that class and may be
academically dismissed.

If, at the end of the final summer semester, a MAAE student's instructor determines he/she has not achieved satisfactory academic progress, the student may be awarded a grade of Probational Pass (PP) in the MAAE program. In such a case, a contract outlining conditions for achieving a grade of "B", including the work to be completed, the date the work must be completed by, and how the work will be graded, will be created by the instructor. The date of completion of required work must occur within the fall semester following the terminalmsummer semester of the MAAE program. No credit is awarded for a grade of probational pass (PP) until the terms of the contract have been fulfilled and the grade is changed to "B" or better.

If a MAAE student fails to satisfy the terms of the probational pass contract before the designated deadline, the student will receive a failing grade (F) in that class and may be academically dismissed.

Incompletes

Incomplete grades (I) are given only in circumstances where the student has not completed assigned work by the end of the semester due to illness, extenuating circumstances, or as an accommodation for special needs approved by the Learning Resource Center. Students who have probationary passes or have previous incompletes still pending may not be eligible.

Incomplete grades require an Incomplete Contract, which may be obtained in the Office of Graduate Studies or in the Center for Art Education, and must be signed by the student, the supervising faculty member, and program director. The contract is turned in to the Office of Enrollment Services by the instructor at the time of grading. Incompletes must be fulfilled according to the timeline agreed upon in the Incomplete Contract. If the contract is not fulfilled by the designated deadline, the grade is automatically changed to a failure (F).

Incompletes in the Final Semester

During transitional semesters, graduate students may not receive a grade of incomplete (I) in their major program. Graduate students may only receive an incomplete in their major program in their terminal semester if the student's thesis is incomplete.

Students enrolled in the low-residency MA in art education may receive a grade of incomplete (I) in any semester.

Academic Probation

Graduate student transcripts are reviewed at the end of every semester by the appropriate Graduate Director. If a student receives a grade of "F" in a pass/fail program, or below a B in a letter-graded program, he/she will be academically dismissed and can apply for readmittance according to the readmittance policy. If a student receives a grade of F in a class not in their major program, they will be placed on academic probation and may be required to fulfill a contract outlining steps that the student must take to regain good academic standing. Students who fail to satisfy a contract within the designated time will be academically dismissed.

If a student in the MPS programs receives a grade of "C" in a letter-graded program, he/she will be placed on Academic Probation. If a student in the MPS programs receives a "D" or lower, he/she will be academically dismissed and can apply for readmittance according to the readmittance policy. Students who earn a "D" or "F" will be required to retake the class(es) within the next two years, and will be required to pay per credit tuition.

Grade Appeal

Students attending Maryland Institute College of Art who receive a grade that they are convinced does not reflect their accomplishments may appeal that grade. Students understand that the College will consider the teacher in the classroom the best judge of a student's performance and that the burden of proof lies completely with the appealing student. They should also be aware that a grade may be lowered as a result of the appeal process. If, understanding these facts, a student wishes to appeal a grade, the process is as follows:

1. Within four weeks of the grade's posting, the student must request in writing an appointment with the instructor to discuss the grade, sending a copy of this letter to his/her graduate director to be placed in the student's file.

2a. If, after the meeting with the instructor, the student still wishes to pursue the appeal, the student must submit a grade appeal form and meet with his or her graduate director about the grade in question. At this time, the student will need to present appropriate evidence from the course (a portfolio, exams, etc.) and a detailed explanation of why the appeal is being made. The program director will also meet with the instructors in the program in order to determine any other circumstances that may be reflected in the student's grades (attendance, class participation, etc.). The program director may facilitate a meeting between the faculty member and the student, and has the authority to determine if a grade change is warranted.

2b. If, by the beginning of the next semester, the instructor has not responded to the student's request to discuss the grade, the student may make the appeal directly to the department chair and proceed as described in step 2a.

3. The graduate director will notify the Registrar of any grade change. This process of appeal to the program director and the appropriate Dean should take place within the semester immediately following the semester in which the course in question was taken.

4. If the instructor of the class is also the program director, the student may bring the appeal to the Graduate Studies Office (for full-time MFA and post-baccalaureate students), or the Dean of the Center for Art Education (for students in the MAT, MAEA, MAAE, and MFAST programs, the Dean of the School for Professional and Continuing Studies (for students in the MPS or MBA/MA programs). A written request should be submitted with a detailed explanation for the appeal. The appropriate dean will interview relevant faculty and the instructor/director separately, possibly facilitate a meeting with both parties, and holds the authority to confirm or revise the posted grade. Appeals are considered and acted upon during the semester following that in which the contested grade was received. The determination by the Dean is final.