May 18, 2024  
2024-2025 Academic Catalog 
2024-2025 Academic Catalog

Admissions Policies + Procedures

Submitting a Portfolio

The admissions portfolio should include a separate, word-processed Statement of Intent and a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 15 images/files of the applicant’s own original work. The projects presented should demonstrate creativity and originality; an understanding of color and the elements and principles of design; proficiencies in drawing and/or composition; or proficiencies in musical skills and aesthetic, media, or sound design. All submitted portfolios should follow the portfolio guidelines as they are outlined in SlideRoom and include a complete Statement of Intent.

Submitting the portfolio in a digital format through SlideRoom is required. Students must complete the required fields indicated for RMCAD Portfolios within SlideRoom. The materials must be marked clearly with the applicant’s name and a completed Application for Admission form must accompany the submission (unless the form was previously completed).

Students are encouraged to submit portfolios consisting of a variety of media as applicable to their degree program. Visual artist applicant portfolios must include at least one drawing. Copies of artwork, media, slides, or photographs not produced by the student should not be submitted and will be considered plagiarism. See the statement on the use of artificial intelligence  under Academic Policies.

For portfolio tips and specific guidelines, please see the Admissions page at

Portfolio Review for Transfer Credit Guidelines (Transfer Students Only)

(Updated April 2024. Applicable to new students starting in the Summer 2024 B term 24-25 Academic Year only.)

The admissions portfolio may double as the transfer credit portfolio for students seeking transfer credit in Foundations and BFA major-specific coursework.

Courses completed with a grade of “C-” or higher will be considered for transfer credit. Please see the Undergraduate Transfer Credit Policy in the Registration section of the catalog

In addition to the portfolio, students should include the syllabus course description from the transferring institution. Work included within the portfolio should be relevant to the intended declared major and must demonstrate the learning outcomes of the transferring course.

RMCAD will not grant transfer credit for studio art coursework not included in the portfolio. All requirements for portfolio review for transfer credit are due two weeks after the date of application.

Transfer Portfolios are forwarded to the appropriate Program Department Chairs for review. Transfer credits are not guaranteed and are evaluated in conjunction with the transfer credit evaluation. Official transcripts from all attended institutions must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

For additional information regarding transfer portfolio processes, please contact the Office of the Registrar.


RMCAD has multiple entry points throughout the year (see the Academic Calendar  for details). This allows students to begin their studies year-round. Applications are reviewed upon receipt. Applicants are notified as soon as the application requirements have been fulfilled, with most decisions made within one week from the date all documents are received.

Students with transfer credits from accredited colleges will receive a credit evaluation before scheduling. Students enrolled as Non-Degree Seeking are not eligible to receive transfer credit.

All admissions decisions are binding. An appeal will be reviewed only if a student can introduce new information or material that has not already been reviewed in making the original decision. The College reserves the right to deny admission, continued enrollment, or re-enrollment to any applicant or student whose personal history and background indicate that their presence at the College would endanger the health, safety, welfare, or property of the members of the academic community or interfere with the orderly and effective performance of the College’s functions. The College reserves the right to deny, revoke, and alter the academic records, degrees, awards, and other credentials of any applicant, student, or graduate of RMCAD if they are found to violate RMCAD policies, rules, or regulations. 

Application Accepted Status Classifications

Internal application accepted status classifications are: Admit, Admit Provisional, Admit Conditional, Admit NDS, and Admit High School.

Before a file can be submitted for admit review, it is required to contain:

  • Official transcripts from all schools previously attended
  • Admissions Portfolio

Once received, a file will have one of the following admit decisions:

  1. Application Accepted - Admit
  • The student has fulfilled minimum GPA expectations (4.0-2.0) for the desired graduate/undergraduate program - all official transcripts are received and processed.
  1. Application Accepted - Admit Provisional
  • Student GPA was below 2.0 or is a GED student with a score less than 165 taken in/after 2016 or less than 500 if taken before 2016.
  • Students admitted provisionally will be required to participate in the Provisional Academic Success Strategies (PASS) program administered through the Office of Academic Advising. Students admitted under the requirement to participate in the Provisional Academic Success Strategies (PASS) program are considered admitted in provisional status and receive additional academic advising through their first semester. After their first semester, students not meeting a 2.0 GPA will fall under the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy. Students who meet the minimum 2.0 GPA are considered “SAP Met.” 
  1. Application Accepted - Admit Conditional
  • The student has been conditionally accepted pending receipt of final/official transcripts
  1. Application Accepted - Admit NDS
  • An undergraduate student who wishes to take a class in a non-degree-seeking status
  • RMCAD Renew student

Cancellation Policy

Applicants must cancel their enrollment in writing and submit it to Admissions before the start of classes. Refunds of tuition and fees will be made within 30 days from the beginning date of the term or from the date of receipt of written notice that the student will not attend, whichever is earlier.

Applicants requesting cancellation before the start of classes are entitled to a refund of all monies paid to RMCAD. Ask an Admissions Counselor for more information. Applicants who have been admitted to the College but choose not to enroll may need to reapply for any future term by submitting a new Application for Admission and other documentation as outlined in the current admission requirements. A reevaluation of transfer credits may be required, and credits previously granted may be rescinded.

Continuing students should refer to the Academic Policies | Registration | Enrollment  section of the catalog for withdrawal policies.

Returning Students: Guidelines for Returning

(Updated April 2024. Applicable to new students starting in the Summer 2024 B term 24-25 Academic Year only.)

Students who have been withdrawn from RMCAD for less than 365 days from the withdrawal date may return to the same program and receive the locked tuition rate set forth in their original enrollment agreement. All credits previously earned including, approved transfer credits, will count towards their program completion. 

Students who have been withdrawn from RMCAD for 365 days or longer will be subject to the tuition, fees, and program requirements set forth in the catalog in effect for the first semester in which they resume coursework. All credits previously earned including, approved transfer credits, will be evaluated to determine if they can apply towards the program version in effect at the time of their return. Students should know that previously earned credit may not always apply to their new program requirements.

Previously enrolled students who received sanctions for violations of the student code of conduct (including probation, suspension, or expulsion) and/or have a pending investigation for academic or behavioral violations (such as Plagiarism or Title IX) will be required to submit an appeal and receive approval from the Dean of Students to return. Students must also be cleared by the Financial Aid Department including, arrangements for any outstanding student account balance as well as future program charges, before they will be registered for courses.

A student is considered to be in good standing with the college if the following criteria are met:

  • Current term payment has been made or arrangements to pay are on file
  • There is no prior term balance
  • There is no current financial-related hold on their student record
  • There is no outstanding balance that has been referred to a third-party collector
  • No current sanctions for violations of the student code of conduct (including probation, suspension, or expulsion)
  • No loss of privileges (including lab usage, TECHBAR, Student Life)
  • Not currently under investigation for academic or behavioral violations (such as Plagiarism or Title IX)

Non-Degree Seeking Students

All non-degree seeking (NDS) students are expected to have experience commensurate with course demands and requirements.

NDS students must submit official high school transcripts for freshman-level courses, or official college transcripts to demonstrate skills for upper-level coursework. Department Chair approval is required in cases where non-degree-seeking students have not satisfied prerequisite requirements. Students seeking a degree have scheduling priority over non-degree-seeking students.

NDS Students Pursuing BFA Courses

Students with a high school diploma may wish to take courses for credit, but not pursue a BFA degree. Non-degree-seeking students may take up to 18 credits, pay tuition, complete all requirements of the coursework, and earn a grade. Non-degree-seeking students do not qualify for financial aid, and they are not eligible for internships. Once a student completes 18 credit hours in non-degree-seeking status, the student must declare a major and become degree-seeking , and submit additional admissions requirements, or the student will be withdrawn from RMCAD.

NDS Students Pursuing MA Courses

Students with a baccalaureate degree may wish to take MA-level courses for credit but not pursue a degree. Non-degree-seeking students may take up to 6 credit hours, pay tuition, complete all requirements of the coursework, and earn a grade. Non-degree-seeking students do not qualify for financial aid. Once a student completes 6 credit hours in non-degree-seeking status, the student must declare a major and become degree-seeking, or the student will be withdrawn from RMCAD.

NDS Students Auditing a Class

Auditing a class allows a student to take a class for academic enrichment without the benefit of a grade or credit for the course. Auditing students take 3 credit hours per 8-week term, pay tuition , and complete all requirements of the coursework. Auditing students do not qualify for financial aid and are not eligible for internships. Auditing courses may be approved on a space-available basis and must be approved by the Department Chair and the Dean of Students.

Military + Veterans

A variety of military benefits are available based on the student’s status. Please note that Chapter 30, 35,1606, and 1607 students (benefits are paid directly to the student) will have their first payment scheduled 30 days after the first day of the semester or the first day of the subsequent month (whichever is earlier) and will be required to make their following scheduled payments. Charges not covered by military benefits are the responsibility of the student. All military benefits requests must be submitted and approved before the start of the term.

Educational Benefits

Active military students, spouses, dependents, and veterans may be eligible for other education benefits in accordance with Public Laws. Veterans, military personnel, and their families must follow the admission requirements and procedures in addition to applying for these benefits.

Students seeking additional information should email Additional information can be found on our website at: If a deployment is issued, the service member must provide a copy of their deployment orders at which time a full refund of tuition and applicable fees will be credited to the student account.

RMCAD partners with all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and VA to assist service members utilizing Military Tuition Assistance, Montgomery GI Bill® Chapter 30, Post 911 GI Bill® Chapter 33, VA Vocational Rehabilitation, and recipients of the Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program. RMCAD participates in the Yellow Ribbon program at an unlimited rate.  

(GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at

Military Credit

Experience in the armed services will be evaluated for college credit based on a review of transcripts according to the American Council on Education (ACE) guidelines and recommendations. Credit is considered for those courses that are Associate or Bachelor level, and that are deemed equivalent to courses in the corresponding RMCAD program of study for which the student has applied.

RMCAD limits academic residency to no more than twenty-five percent of the degree requirements for all undergraduate degrees for active-duty service members. Academic residency can be completed at any time while active-duty service members are enrolled. Reservists and National Guardsmen on active duty are covered in the same manner.

RMCAD accepts transcripts from the following:

  • Community College of the Air Force (CCAF)
  • Joint Service Transcripts (JST)
  • Formerly Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS); Sailor Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART); and Coast Guard
  • Active Duty Military Students may transfer up to a maximum of 75% of the credits required for their degree program, which includes credit earned at an institution or through challenge examinations and standardized tests such as CLEP for specific academic disciplines. The College does not provide credit for experiential learning.

VA Policy States: The evaluation of previous postsecondary education and training is mandatory and required for VA beneficiaries.  For students utilizing Veterans benefits who are approved for transfer credit as a result of this evaluation, the institution will grant appropriate credit, reduce the program length proportionately, notify the student and Veterans Affairs in writing of this decision, and adjust invoicing of the VA accordingly. 

Military Satisfactory Academic Progress

All RMCAD students must adhere to the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). For full details please go to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)  section of the catalog.

Return of Unearned Military Tuition Assistance Funds

Military Tuition Assistance is a U.S. Department of Defense program. Tuition Assistance rules vary by branch of service and even vary between different units within the same branch depending on whether the unit is active duty, Reserve, or National Guard. Tuition Assistance funds will be applied to tuition costs only.

In accordance with regulations issued by the Department of Defense, Tuition Assistance funds are earned proportionally during the enrollment period, with unearned funds returned based on when a student stops attending.  If a Service member officially or unofficially withdraws from a course, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design must return unearned tuition assistance (TA) funds on a proportional basis through at least the 60 percent portion of the enrollment period.  In cases where some or all of the tuition assistance must be returned, the Service member will be responsible for all balances on his or her student account.

In instances when a Service member stops attending due to a military service obligation, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design will work with the affected Service member to identify solutions that will not result in student debt for the returned portion.

The calculation is performed as follows:

8-week course refund % Return
Before or during week 1

100% return

Week 2 (day 8 -14) 75% return
Week 3 - 4 (day 15 - 29) 50% return
Week 5 (day 30-38) 40% return
Week 6 - 8 (day 40) 0% no return


Orientation | Pre-Orientation (RMCAD Launch)

All RMCAD students are required to complete pre-orientation (RMCAD Launch) before the first day of class. Additionally, students are expected to attend a new student orientation, either virtually (online students) or in person (campus students). Failure to complete the orientation requirements by the time classes begin may result in being withdrawn from courses.

Pre-orientation provides students the opportunity to tour the online environment; learn how to use the various tools in the classroom; and get to know the administrative areas of the college. New student orientation (virtual or in-person) focuses on connecting new students with faculty, staff, and each other. All orientation information is designed to help prepare students for a successful experience.

RMCAD Renew Program

Graduates of RMCAD’s BFA degree programs may audit (attend without grade or credit) most current course offerings within their original degree program with no cost of tuition.


  • Alumni may take courses from within the major from which they graduated and should check the current catalog for program requirements and offerings as specific course prefixes/codes may have been updated.
  • RMCAD Renew courses in Foundations and Liberal Arts are available to all BFA alumni based on enrollment availability.
  • Alumni may take a Renew course in their home program’s areas of specialization, including courses outside their original area of specialization. For example, an Illustration student who specialized in Concept Art may take a course in Children’s Book Illustration. 
  • Art Education alumni may take courses within any undergraduate degree program with met prerequisites.
  • Alumni from the Illustrative Design program may take courses from within the required degree listings and elective offerings.
  • Alumni may be able to take courses outside of their original major with the permission of their major Department Chair, Director of Career + Alumni Services, and Dean of Students. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Alumni are responsible for any tool kit, supplies, books, or software charges.
  • Internships are not available for RMCAD Renew participants.
  • Auditing courses is subject to enrollment and space availability.
  • Alumni must be in good standing with the College, as detailed in the Returning Students section above.
  • Alumni may take courses on-campus or online.
  • Alumni may not audit courses through Renew to complete work for professional purposes. Renew is for educational advancement only.
  • Alumni may audit 1 course per 8-week term through Renew, not to exceed 3 courses in any calendar year.
  • Alumni must meet the same course requirements as an enrolled student, and adequate performance in Renew courses is required. Faculty reserve the right to request dismissal through the Department Chair, the Dean of Students, or the Vice President of Academic Affairs if the enrolled Alumnus is not meeting course criteria including attendance and participation.
  • Alumni attending on-campus courses must purchase a RMCAD Alumni ID Badge at the current cost. This ID card will have similar but limited access to campus buildings and future events.


  1. Contact the Office of Career + Alumni Services to request course enrollment up to two weeks before the term start date.
  2. Complete Renew Registration form and submit it to The Office of Career + Alumni Services.
  3. The Office of Career + Alumni Services will confirm availability in the requested course with the Office of the Registrar.
  4. Alumnus will then be notified if the Renew course was approved or declined.