Adding/Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course
Students must contact their assigned Academic Advisor to initiate the add, drop or course withdrawal process in collaboration with the Office of the Registrar. Requests will be approved or denied by the Office of the Registrar. Add and drop deadlines are published in the Academic Calendar section of this Catalog. Course additions must be received by 11:59 PM MT on the day of the add deadline or the request will be denied. Course drop requests must be received by 11:59 PM MT on the day of the drop deadline or the course change will be processed as a “Withdrawal.” Exceptions to add and drop deadlines will not be considered.
Add and drop requests may result in a change to a student’s financial aid package and/or billing. The student is responsible for reaching out to their Financial Aid Advisor prior to initiating an add or drop request for information on how a course change may affect their funding.
Withdrawals are only accepted before the published deadline of the term (see the Academic Calendar ); they are considered non-punitive and are not computed into the grade point average.
Credit Overload Policy
Registration for more than 18 credit hours, whether online or on-campus, in a 16-week semester is not permitted. The recommended maximum credit load for a full-time student is 12 - 15 credit hours. Overloads are discouraged, except in exceptional circumstances.
Students wishing to request a credit hour overload must have completed 30 or more credit hours at RMCAD, have a 3.0 cumulative GPA, and petition the Department Chair and the Dean of Students. Students will be asked to present evidence of academic preparation and demonstrate the ability to meet course load obligations. Final authorization of any credit load exception is subject to Department Chair and Deans’ approval.
The recommended maximum credit load for a full-time graduate student is 12 credit hours per semester. Overloads are discouraged, except in exceptional circumstances. Students will be asked to present evidence of academic preparation and demonstrate the ability to meet course load obligations. Final authorization of any credit load exception is subject to Department Chair and Deans’ approval.
Change of Major or Modality
Some first-year course offerings are the same for all RMCAD programs. A change of major or modality is only possible between the start of one financial aid academic year and the beginning of another. Courses completed, that are not included in the new major, cannot be credited toward that degree. Some courses may be used to fulfill the elective requirements. In order to change their major or modality, students must meet with their current Department Chair and their new Chair. Both Department Chairs will sign the Change of Enrollment form, and the student then submits the form to the Office of the Registrar. A change in major or modality may result in a change of Catalog year and estimated graduation date. A student who changes their major or modality is subject to the program requirements as specified in the catalog that is in place at the time the transfer is performed starting with their new financial aid academic year in the new program. The Change of Enrollment form is available from Advising.
Undeclared Students must declare a major by the end of their first academic year, or two semesters, and prior to earning 30 credits. Earned credit hours include those from RMCAD as well as all applied transfer credit from other institutions and college credit received in high school such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate. Undeclared students in the BFA track may take a maximum of six studio electives which must be approved by the Manager of Advising and a combination of liberal arts and foundations courses. It is recommended that elective credits pertain to students’ major(s) of interest. Credits earned are not guaranteed to apply to the student’s declared major. A registration hold will remain on the student enrollment record until a major has been applied to the student’s permanent record. Change of major policies will apply for declaring a major.
Elective Credit Hours
Students in program majors will be given registration priority in major coursework. Undeclared students or declared students enrolling in courses outside of their major are not guaranteed enrollment in elective courses.
Full-time enrollment at RMCAD is defined as being registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours in a 16-week semester. Students registered for 9-11.5 credit hours in a 16-week semester are considered three-quarter time. Students registered for 6-8.5 credit hours in a 16-week semester are considered half-time. Students registered for less than 6 credits in a 16-week semester are considered less than half-time.
Full-time enrollment for graduate degree-seeking students at RMCAD is defined as being registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours in a 16-week semester.
Full-time enrollment for graduate certificate students at RMCAD is defined as being registered for a minimum of 6 credit hours in a 16-week semester.
RMCAD does not encourage students to take time off from their studies, but we do realize that personal issues may arise that require the student to take time off. Please refer to the Unofficial and Official College Withdrawal section to understand the implications for financial aid and other Academic Policies for full information.
Students should consult both their Academic Advisor and Financial Aid Advisor for implications of the withdrawal as well as reinstatement information. Please note that part-time enrollment or taking time off may affect financial aid and/or scholarship eligibility.
Interruption of Training for Flex Term Enrollments
A student ending a Flex A term or Flex B term academic year will automatically be placed into an Interruption of Training (IOT) status at the conclusion of their first Academic Year (two semesters). Students are required to complete the IOT form upon initial enrollment, which must include the following information: the IOT begin date and the date the student will return. All IOT Flex term students will be contacted by a Financial Aid Advisor for repackaging 7-8 weeks prior to the scheduled return date. Students who fail to return from IOT after a semester off will be automatically withdrawn from the college and required to go through the advising re-entry process should they wish to return.
Interruption of Training for Active Military Students
In an effort to support our students who are members of the armed forces, RMCAD will allow active military personnel one additional Interruption of Training (IOT) period during a 12-month period. The combined IOT periods cannot exceed 120 days within a 12-month period. Students who fail to return from IOT will be automatically withdrawn from the college and required to go through the Advising re-entry process should they wish to return.
Return from Interruption of Training
Students who have completed an Interruption of Training (IOT) form will automatically be enrolled for the term in which they are scheduled to return. Any student coming back from an IOT who has an account balance will be required to meet with Student Accounts prior to getting packaging established for the next academic year.
Undergraduate Independent Study courses are intended to give upper-level exceptional students an opportunity for individualized and specialized study in an area of art or design not offered in the regular curriculum. The purpose is to explore an area of personal interest related to a student’s major field of study, wherein the teaching and learning occur outside of a formal classroom setting. A junior or senior-level student with a GPA of 3.5 or higher may petition to take one three-credit Independent Study course as part of the degree program. The Independent Study Proposal Form must be accompanied by a syllabus created by the instructor and student, including a course description, calendar, rationale, goals, and objectives. The course number for all Independent Study courses is 3990; and the prefix reflects the program of study under which the course is instructed (e.g., AN 3990, FA 3990).
Independent Study courses should not be confused with low-enrollment or one-on-one courses.
Internships in Undergraduate Degree Programs
Internships for Academic Credit
Undergraduate students may earn academic credit for internship participation with enrollment in an internship course as part of their designated degree program requirement or elective credit. Students must meet the eligibility requirements and complete an Internship Learning Agreement. The Internship Learning Agreement outlines the details of the students proposed internship, sponsorship guidelines, start and end dates, hours of work requirements toward earning academic credit and learning objectives. Students must obtain the Internship Learning Agreement packet from the Office of Career + Alumni Services and complete an Internship Information seminar.
Internship Eligibility and Process
Students are eligible to participate in an internship for academic credit upon approval of their program chair, completion of the Internship Information seminar, and completion of the required Internship Learning Agreement Documentation. (Please see individual degree program internship course requirements) Internship Information seminars are conducted by the Office of Career + Alumni Services and are offered several times throughout the year and by appointment. Students should seek assistance from their Academic Advisor to ensure the appropriate sequence of the internship course within their schedule.
Students must locate an internship site/sponsor that meets the requirements and guidelines identified in the Internship Learning Agreement. Assistance in locating a site/sponsor can be obtained through Career + Alumni Services, Academic Program Chairs/Heads, and faculty. Once a site/sponsor is identified and the Internship Learning Agreement has been completed, the document is then submitted to Career + Alumni Services to be processed and finally submitted to the Office of the Registrar (add/drop deadlines apply). Students must log a minimum of 135 hours to earn 3 credits. Internship hours must start in the term in which the student is registered, and any hours logged prior to the term start cannot be applied. If a student if officially registered prior to the start date of the term, and the internship site/sponsor designates a start date that occurs after the start of term, it is the responsibility of the student and site sponsor to make arrangements to ensure hours logged start in the term in which the internship is scheduled and completed within the agreed-upon time frame stated in the Internship Learning Agreement. Internships that occurred without notification and adherence to the course approval process cannot be retroactively applied toward earning academic credit for the internship course requirement or elective.
Students attending RMCAD on an F1 visa must receive school authorization for all off-campus work through Curricular Practical Training (CPT) form. The CPT can be obtained through the Office of the Registrar.
Internships for Professional Experience - Non-Credit Option
Participation in an Internship for Professional Experience - non-credit option allows for a student to participate in an internship where the site/sponsor requires the college approval or confirmation of student enrollment status in the institution or degree program but does not require the student to obtain academic credit. Internships for Professional Experience - non-credit are not overseen by the college due to the fact the student is not seeking academic credit, however, the internship can be officially recognized by the college and recorded with a notation on their transcript upon student request and successful completion of the internship.
Merging + Changing Classes
On occasion it may be necessary for the College, without prior notice to students, to merge sections of the same class; to cancel classes before they commence; to replace instructors; to change program requirements or class sequence; to modify course content and/or descriptions, or to change the classes required for graduation. The College will make every effort to contact students well in advance of such changes, so they are able to make any necessary alternative arrangements.
Planning a Schedule + Registering
RMCAD is a year-round institution of higher education and offers classes during three semesters: Fall, Spring, and Summer. Students register annually for a complete year, and it is recommended that students complete a minimum of 30 credits per year (36 credits per year enables students to graduate in less than 4 years). The Office of the Registrar will create a schedule for each student. Students will have the option to prioritize their electives using the Liberal Arts Elective form and the Program Elective form. Schedule change requests should be initiated through the assigned Student Advisor.
Degree sequence and course prerequisites must be followed; advanced courses may not be taken until acceptable skill levels are achieved. Students may request to enroll in courses without having completed the appropriate course prerequisites in exceptional cases. A Prerequisite Waiver form is available through the Office of Academic Advising. All requests must be approved by the Student Advisor, Program Department Chair, and the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs prior to registration.
Failed courses should be repeated the next time the course is available. Students seeking to substitute a course not in their catalog year must have an approved Course Substitution form available from the Academic Advising office.
Registration + Financial Aid
Following class registration, students meet with their Financial Aid Advisor to complete financial aid paperwork. Balances not covered by financial aid must be paid in full by the first day of class or be scheduled under an approved payment plan with the first payment due no later than the first day of class. Student account bills are emailed prior to the start of the semester as well as after the add/drop period and individual student accounts are viewable online through the student portal. Students are responsible for reviewing account information and reporting any discrepancies to the Student Accounts department and/or their Financial Aid Advisor.
A student who wishes to audit a course should contact the Office of Admissions. Renewal students should refer to the RMCAD Renew section of the catalog for complete information. Audit students are charged the standard credit hour rate for a course (see the Financial Services/Tuition portion of this catalog for exact amounts). Auditors receive a grade of “AU”. Auditors taking no other classes with RMCAD must meet the same academic requirements as students registering for credit. Financial aid is not available for audited courses.
Academic Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements
See the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) section of the catalog for complete information.
All full-time and part-time students are expected to meet minimum standards of progress determined on the basis of cumulative grade point average (CUM GPA) and Completion Rate (CR). Undergraduate students must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 by the end of the first semester and for the duration of their degree program. All Art Education majors must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 by the end of their first semester and for the duration of the Art Education degree program.
All full-time and part-time graduate students are expected to meet minimum standards of progress determined on the basis of CUM GPA. Students must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 at the end of their first semester and a 3.0 for the duration of their degree.
All full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students are expected to meet the minimum CR of 67% by the end of each semester and throughout their program.
- All RMCAD credit hours attempted and earned are counted in the evaluation of SAP.
- All transferable credits are counted as credit earned and attempted and will count towards CR but not in the cumulative GPA calculation.
- Incomplete grades in courses will count as credits attempted but not earned until the final grade has been posted, at which point SAP will be re-calculated for CR and cumulative GPA with the final grade.
- Course withdrawals (grades of W) count as credits attempted but not earned, and count towards CR but not toward cumulative GPA.
- For students who change degree programs, all credits attempted and earned, regardless of program, count in CR and cumulative GPA.
Transcripts + Diplomas
(updated June 2022)
Transcripts and Diplomas are kept as permanent student records and may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar by request. Students request transcripts via the National Student Clearinghouse. The website is located at www.rmcad.edu, under “Request Transcript.” Six to eight weeks are required for processing for recent graduates.
The official transcript is signed by the Office of the Registrar and is provided in a sealed envelope. It is generally the only type of transcript acceptable for the transfer of credit. The fee for an official transcript is located at www.getmytranscript.org and is regulated by the National Student Clearinghouse.
Transferability of RMCAD Credits
Decisions concerning the acceptance of credits by any institution other than the granting institution are made at the sole discretion of the receiving institution. No representation is made whatsoever concerning the transferability of any credits to any institution.
Students considering continuing their education at, or transferring to, other institutions must not assume that credits earned at this College will be automatically accepted by any receiving institution. An institution’s accreditation does not guarantee that credits earned at that institution will be accepted for transfer by any other institution. Students must contact the Registrar or appropriate department of the receiving institution to determine what credits if any, that institution will accept.
Accreditation of the Sending Institution - Undergraduate and Graduate Credit
(Revised and updated 5/12/2021)
Previously earned postsecondary credits may be considered for transfer if they were earned at an institution accredited by: 1) an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (a current list of such recognized agencies can be found at (https://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg6.html); 2) certain programmatic accrediting agencies that oversee programs with content similar to those offered by RMCAD (such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation); or 3) international equivalents to the aforementioned agencies. In all cases, RMCAD will review the prior coursework and, among other factors, utilize the recommendations of The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) when making its decision. Transfer credit considerations include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Comparability of credit to be transferred to the destination program at RMCAD;
- The level of the previously earned credit (100 or 200 level, graduate, etc.);
- Applicability of the credit in relation to the programs offered at RMCAD; and
- Regulatory limitations on the number and type of credits that can be accepted for transfer.
In all cases, RMCAD reserves the right to determine the acceptance of previously completed academic credits. Additional questions about the transfer credit review process, including required documentation, should be directed to the Registrar’s Office.
Undergraduate Transfer Credit Evaluation
Applicants who have attended prior institutions of higher education will have their credits evaluated for transferability by the Office of the Registrar. The Office of the Registrar will review unofficial transcripts, but official college transcripts are required prior to any transfer credit posting. Up to 90 credits can be earned from external sources, including transfer credit, Advanced Placement (AP), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and credit given through a portfolio review evaluation. The final 33-35 (depending on the program of study) credits must be earned in residency at RMCAD. Students enrolled as Non-Degree Seeking are not eligible to receive transfer credit.
No transfer credit is accepted for the final term of study. Grades for external credit are not calculated into the RMCAD cumulative grade point average. Evaluations are good for the current academic year. Students who defer their start date to a new catalog are subject to re-evaluation at that time.
Courses are considered for transfer credit based on the following:
1. Appropriateness + Equivalency of Courses
Course equivalency is determined by a course description review, depends on the nature of the course, and how it compares to similar courses offered at RMCAD. Liberal Arts courses that have been found equivalent will be accepted in transfer when grades of “C” or better have been earned. Studio courses (foundations and department-specific courses) that have been found equivalent will be accepted in transfer when grades of “B” or better have been earned. Remedial courses, or courses not offered at the college level, are not transferable. RMCAD has access to an extensive library of course catalogs and course descriptions from most schools across the nation and we will attempt to locate course descriptions for prior courses in order to determine course equivalency. It is helpful, however, for prospective students to submit course syllabi and descriptions for prior coursework whenever possible, as it is ultimately a student’s responsibility to provide information as it relates to prior schooling.
2. Antiquity Policy
(updated December 2021)
There are no antiquity limitations on Liberal Arts courses.
Digital media and other computer- or technology-based courses are considered for transfer provided they were completed within the last five years prior to the date of matriculation. Once the five-year period has lapsed, credit is contingent upon the evaluation of the Department Chair to determine if the course satisfactorily meets current standards and practices in the discipline.
Portfolio Appeal Process for Credit of Transcript Evaluation
Students who wish to formally appeal for additional portfolio credit may submit a portfolio to the Office of the Registrar. The portfolio should include the required outcomes for each class for which they petition. Program Department Chairs conduct portfolio reviews for student transfer appeals and their decision is final. Additional information regarding the portfolio appeal process is available through the Office of the Registrar.
Art History Study Abroad Transfer Credits
Art History credits may be considered for transfer if they are earned through study abroad programs offered by accredited institutions. The Liberal Arts Chair will individually evaluate these credits. Art History prerequisites apply.
Information about current articulation agreements is available at rmcad.edu. Contact the Office of the Registrar for more information on specific transfer and articulation agreements.
Quarter Unit to Semester Credit Conversion
Credits at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design are semester credits. A student transferring from a college on the quarter system will receive two-thirds of a semester credit for every quarter unit rounded to the nearest semester credit.
Continuing Students Seeking Transfer Credit
Current RMCAD students seeking transfer credit while attending RMCAD must obtain written approval from the Registrar prior to registering at the other institution. Students must submit official transcripts with final grades from that institution to the Office of the Registrar immediately upon completion of the course(s). Official transcripts are due by the end of the first 8-week term.
Students who have a prior Associate of Arts, Bachelor’s Degree or Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from an institutionally accredited college or university in the United States will be granted up to 33 credits of Liberal Arts satisfying this requirement for BFAs in Animation, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Game Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, and Photography and up to 30 credits for Art Education and Interior Design. Art History, foundations, and major-specific courses are evaluated separately.
Associate of Science or other degrees not specified here, as well as degrees from schools outside the U.S., are evaluated based on individual course equivalency. Art Education students have up to 3 major specific Liberal Arts requirements that may not be satisfied by the prior degree policy. This prior degree policy applies to Art Education majors only after all state requirements are met.
Evaluation of Advanced Placement (AP) Credit
Advanced Placement gives students the chance to complete college-level work in high school, and to gain valuable skills and study habits for college. Students who earn a minimum qualifying grade of 4 are awarded 3 credits towards the equivalent RMCAD course. For equivalency information please contact the Office of the Registrar. In order to evaluate and award credit, RMCAD requires a copy of the grade report no later than 30 days prior to the start of the term in which the student matriculates. Prospective students should contact The College Board or visit their website at www.collegeboard.org for procedures for requesting AP transcripts.
Evaluation of College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Credit
The College-Level Examination Program® or CLEP provides students of any age with the opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through a program of exams in undergraduate college courses. RMCAD grants credit for CLEP exams that meet the minimum qualifying score of 50 for exams that are equivalent to an RMCAD course. For equivalency information please contact the Office of the Registrar. RMCAD requires a copy of the CLEP transcript in order to evaluate and award credit. Contact the College Board or visit their website at www.collegeboard.org for procedures for requesting CLEP transcripts.
RMCAD does not provide credit for experiential learning.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit
The International Baccalaureate is a comprehensive course of study for academically talented high school students in select high schools throughout the world. Decisions for or against awarding credit are based on individual scores on exams that are equivalent to a RMCAD course. For more equivalency information please contact the Office of the Registrar. In order to evaluate and award credit, RMCAD requires the official transcript no later than 30 days prior to the start of term in which the student matriculates. Transcripts must be requested in writing (by mail, fax or email). Be sure to use the full name under which you originally registered, provide your seven-digit IB candidate code, give the name of the IB high school you attended, and include your month and year of graduation and your date of birth. For more information, contact: International Baccalaureate North America, 475 Riverside Drive, 16th Floor, New York, NY, 10115. Phone: 212.696.4464, Fax: 212.889.9242, Email: email@example.com.
Graduate Transfer Credit Evaluation
Applicants must arrange to have copies of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions they have attended sent to the Graduate Admissions Department. Official transcripts for courses completed at colleges outside of the United States must be submitted to the College and to an approved evaluation agency before transfer credit will be evaluated by RMCAD (refer to the International Transcript Evaluation section of this catalog. A student who does not list all colleges attended on their application may have their admission rescinded. Credit will be considered for courses in progress at another institution so that students may be notified of potential transfer credit. In these cases, an official transcript documenting enrollment is required. Credit may not be awarded at a later date from colleges not listed on the application.
For all graduate programs, credit may be transferred in with the approval of the Department Chair. No more than 6 graduate level, semester credits will be accepted in transfer. Transfer credit is not guaranteed. Each case is assessed individually and based on a combination of factors including course equivalency. Course equivalency is determined by a combination of course description review and portfolio review, depending on the nature of the course and how it compares to similar courses offered at RMCAD. RMCAD has access to an extensive library of course catalogs and course descriptions from most schools across the nation and we will attempt to locate course descriptions for prior courses in order to determine course equivalency. It is helpful, however, for prospective students to submit course descriptions for prior coursework whenever possible, as it is ultimately a student’s responsibility to provide information as it relates to prior schooling. For courses eligible for transfer, a B or better must have been earned, and the course(s) grade will not be included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average.
RMCAD Graduate Antiquity Policy
Courses that are deemed equivalent to graduate-level (5000 or above) RMCAD courses are considered for transfer credit provided they were completed within the last five years prior to the date of matriculation. Certain digital media and other technology-based courses that are deemed equivalent to RMCAD graduate courses must have been completed within the last two years prior to the date of matriculation.
Once the two- or five-year period has lapsed, credit is contingent upon the evaluation of the Department Chair to determine if the course satisfactorily meets current standards and practices in the discipline.
Graduate Portfolio Credit
Portfolio credit equivalencies at the graduate level are determined by the Department Chair.
Returning Graduate Students Who Have Prior Transfer Credit
Returning students who have not attended RMCAD for over one year (three consecutive terms) must initiate their return through the Graduate Admissions Office. The RMCAD catalog that is in place during the term the student returns indicates degree requirements. Therefore, returning students who have prior transfer credit may be required to have their transfer credit reevaluated prior to re-enrolling. This is true particularly if students are declaring a different major.
Credit to be evaluated includes credits taken before initial acceptance to RMCAD and any credits taken since last attending RMCAD. Returning students who have attended RMCAD within the last year may re-enroll through the Office of the Registrar, and external credit will not be reevaluated.
Student-initiated withdrawal from RMCAD
Students who wish to initiate a withdrawal from RMCAD must obtain a form from the Office of Academic Advising. The withdrawal form requires signatures from the Student Accounts Office, Financial Aid and Academic Advisor, and the Registrar. No exception may be made to this policy.
If a refund is due to a student who has withdrawn from RMCAD, as determined by the Student Accounts Office according to RMCAD refund policy, the refund will be mailed within 30 days of the student’s completion of the formal college withdrawal process.
Under certain circumstances, when a student’s health or well-being prevents continued enrollment in course(s), students are eligible to petition for a medical withdrawal. Students seeking to withdraw for non-medical reasons will need to review the RMCAD or Course Withdrawal policies and procedures. Medical withdrawal requests must be submitted no later than 8 weeks after the end of the term from which the student is petitioning for withdrawal.
Students must submit a Medical Withdrawal Form which may be obtained from their Academic Advisor.
To be eligible for a medical withdrawal, students must meet one or more of the following criteria and provide appropriate documentation, as specified below:
1. The student cannot complete the course(s) because an immediate family member has died.
Documentation: Memorial service program, notice in the paper, or copy of death certificate.
2. The student cannot successfully complete the course(s) due to an unexpected medical condition.
Documentation: Supporting documentation must be from a non-RMCAD provider or professional, who must be unrelated to the student, who is certified and/or licensed to evaluate/diagnose/assess the particular disability/medical condition.
- These professionals include, but are not limited to; medical doctors, psychologists, audiologists, ophthalmologists, and educational diagnosticians.
- Documentation must be presented on the letterhead of the professional providing the evaluation/diagnosis/assessment and include the name, address, and qualifications of the professional.
- Documentation must provide the dates during which the student was under the direct care of said professional and the limitations of the disability/medical condition and its impact on the student’s ability to complete coursework during the term from which the student is requesting the withdrawal.
3. The student has been forced to relocate for a job, there was an involuntary loss of job, or the student is no longer eligible for tuition reimbursement through the employer.
Documentation: Letter on letterhead from immediate supervisor or human resource administrator.
The College does not guarantee the approval of these petitions. All medical withdrawal petitions are reviewed by the Dean of Students. Decisions are final and binding.