Jul 16, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED 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 of the applicant’s own work. The projects presented should demonstrate creativity and originality; an understanding of color and the elements and principles of design; and proficiencies in drawing and/or composition. 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, including at least one drawing. Original copies of artwork, slides, or photographs should not be submitted.

For portfolio tips and specific guidelines, please see the Admissions page at www.rmcad.edu.

Portfolio Review for Transfer Credit Guidelines (Transfer Students Only)

(This section updated April 2021)

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

Only courses completed with a grade of a B 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 on 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.


(This section updated April 2021)

RMCAD has rolling admissions with term starts every eight weeks (see the Academic Calendar  for details). This allows students to start 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 prior to scheduling. Students enrolled as Non-Degree Seeking are not eligible to receive transfer credit.

Acceptance alone does not secure enrollment in the College. Students will not be scheduled into classes until their financial aid paperwork is complete and/or proof of ability to pay is determined.

All admissions decisions are binding. An appeal will be reviewed only if a student is able to 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 be in violation of 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
  • Student has fulfilled minimum GPA expectations (4.0-2.0) for 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 prior to 2016.
  • Students admitted provisionally will be required to participate in the Academic Success Plan (ASP) program through the Student Learning Center (SLC) and will take classes part-time for their first semester. Students must complete their first semester with a 2.0 cumulative GPA to qualify for full-time status in their second term. Upon successful completion of their second semester with a 2.0 GPA or higher, the student will be moved to a full-admit (assuming that all official transcripts are on file)* If the student fails to meet the GPA provision in their first 16 week semester, they will be administratively withdrawn for failure to meet admissions requirements.
  1. Application Accepted - Admit Conditional
  • Student has been conditionally accepted pending receipt of final/official transcripts
  1. Application Accepted - Admit NDS
  • Undergraduate student who wishes to take a class in a non-degree seeking status
  • RMCAD Renew student
  1. Admit High School
  • High school student that has been admitted to the summer program for credit

Cancellation Policy

Applicants must cancel their enrollment in writing and submit it to Admissions before the start of classes. Refund 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 prior to the start of classes are entitled to a refund of all monies paid to RMCAD less the application fee. Ask an Admissions Counselor for more information. Applicants who have been admitted to the College but choose not to enroll may defer their acceptance one time. They must reapply for any future term by submitting a new Application for Admission (with application fee payment) 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 Registration  section of the catalog for withdrawal policies.

Returning Students: Guidelines for Returning

Students who were previously enrolled at RMCAD, who have not attended RMCAD for more than one year (three consecutive semesters) or longer must reapply, remit the $50 application fee, and contact an Admissions Counselor to determine if other documents are needed to reactivate their file. Only students in good standing with the College will be considered for readmission. Upon re-admittance, students will be bound by the catalog that is in place the first semester in which they return. Also, upon re-admittance, transcripts will be evaluated for any colleges attended during the student’s absence from RMCAD. Any other credits previously granted at RMCAD will be applied as is appropriate under the new catalog. Students should be aware that previously earned credit may not always apply to their new degree requirements. Readmitted students will not be scheduled into classes until financial aid paperwork is complete and/or proof of ability to pay is provided.

Students who have been out of RMCAD for less than one year and wish to return into the same program from which they left will return under the same catalog year from when they withdrew and are under the same tuition and fees of that catalog year.

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 12 credits, pay tuition and fees, 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 12 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 and fees, 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 fees, 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. RMCAD will defer payment until 30 days after the end of the term for the benefits to process. Charges not covered by military benefits are the responsibility of the student. All military benefits requests must be submitted and approved prior to 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 ccorrea@rmcad.edu. Additional information can be found on our website at: http://www.rmcad.edu/admissions/military. 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.  

Military Credit

Experience in the armed services may be evaluated for college credit based upon 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.

Military Satisfactory Academic Progress

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). 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 full-time and part-time graduate students are expected to meet minimum standards of progress determined on the basis of cumulative grade point average. Students must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for the duration of their degree.

Return of Unearned Military Tuition Assistance Funds

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 upon 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 a 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


Academic Probation

Student progress is monitored at the end of each sixteen weeks. Students who do not attain the cumulative grade point average of 2.0 for undergraduate and 3.0 for graduate students (2.5 for Art Education majors) at the end of the semester are placed on academic probation for the following semester. Undergraduate students on probation are required to participate in the Academic Success Plan  program through Student Learning Center (SLC). Graduate students who do not attain the cumulative grade point average of 2.5 for their first semester, and 3.0 for the duration of their degree are placed on academic probation for the following semester. Students are notified of academic probation in writing and notification is also sent to the VA.


Students on academic probation may not apply for an “Incomplete” grade in any course during the probationary period. Art Education departmental probation is handled in the same manner as students placed on institutional academic probation. Students will be given one semester to raise their cumulative GPA to a 2.5. Should the student fail to achieve a 2.5 cumulative GPA, they will not be required to leave the college but may instead choose to declare another major.

Academic Suspension

For undergraduate students, the minimum required grade point average of 2.0 must be achieved by the end of the semester in which the student is placed on probation or the student will be suspended from the College for a 16-week semester. For graduate students, the minimum required grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved by the end of the semester in which the student is placed on probation or the student will be suspended from the College for a 16-week semester. VA benefits will not be available to students while on suspension.

Academic Suspension Appeals

Students may appeal academic suspensions. Students must submit the appeal to the Office of the Registrar including all relevant documentation/evidence as applicable or requested by the Registrar within one week of notification of the suspension. Students who appeal by this deadline will be permitted to attend class while the appeal is under review. In cases where the appeal is denied, the student will be administratively dropped from all classes. No charges will be assessed, and no grades assigned; VA benefits will not be charged. Upon denial of appeal, the terms of suspension stated in the original notice will apply.

Re-admittance Following Suspension

Upon re-admittance to RMCAD after academic suspension, the student will remain on academic probation for a semester.

Students who do not meet the standards designated during this second probationary term will be suspended for another semester and must submit a petition the Office of the Registrar to continue enrollment. The petition must be received 30 days before the start of the semester in which the student wants to enroll. Petitions will be decided on a case-by-case basis by, and at the discretion of the Office of the Registrar and the Dean of Students.


All RMCAD students are required to complete an online orientation prior to the first day of class. Failure to complete the Online Orientation by the time classes begin may result in being withdrawn from courses.

The online orientation provides students the opportunity to tour the online environment; learn how to use the various tools in the classroom; and practice submitting assignments before classes begin. Importantly, the online orientation covers tips for success, including study skills, online communication guidelines, and academic standards for learning. The orientation is designed to help prepare students for a successful experience.

Campus students are required to complete an on-ground orientation in addition to the online orientation.

RMCAD Renew Program

(updated July 2020)

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 for tuition. RMCAD Renew does not apply to graduates of Certificate or MA degree programs.


  • 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 either the Illustration or Graphic Design programs.
  • 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 session start date.
  2. Complete Renew Registration form and submit 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.