MFA Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

Updated: November 2019

MFA Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) uses the following criteria in defining satisfactory academic progress:

Satisfactory completion of coursework including mentored projects, intensive courses and workshops.
Mentored studio projects are deemed satisfactorily completed upon majority vote by the MFA Committee. The Committee considers mentors’ midterm and final evaluations as well as the results of critiques in making this determination. Evaluations and judgments of the Committee are based on values and standards set forth in the Evaluation Rubric. Mentored academic projects are deemed satisfactorily completed upon receipt of Mentor Final Evaluations. Mentors consider the standards for academic success as set forth in the Evaluation Rubric in making their judgments. Intensives are deemed satisfactorily completed by the Instructor. They are assumed to be completed unless the Instructor notifies the Committee otherwise. This occurs if and when students, in the sole judgment of the Instructor, fail to meet the goals and objectives of Intensives as described in the syllabi. Workshops are deemed to be satisfactorily completed upon majority vote by the MFA Committee after critiques of student work produced in workshops. The Committee bases its decisions on standards set forth in the Evaluation Rubric.

Successfully meeting the standards of Gateway and Penultimate Reviews.
During the Gateway Review, the MFA Committee determines whether students, at the time of the review (after one year in the program), have completed credits (18-20 minimum), properly distributed between studio and academic work, to graduate within a three-year period from the date of matriculation.The Committee also determines whether all documentation (paperwork) required for transcripts is up-to-date. Upon successful completion of the Review, students are permitted to advance to the subsequent semester. Should the Committee determine that a Candidate is not making adequate progress in earning credits to complete the degree within three years or is not producing work of acceptable quality; the Candidate may either be placed on academic probation or be dismissed without formal warning from the program, at the discretion of the MFA Committee.

During the Penultimate Review the MFA Committee evaluates students’ progress in light of a number of factors and rubric items as listed in the Student Handbook including achievement in individual art practice, development of creative vision, and capacity for self-evaluation, critical thought and discourse, to determine students’ preparedness to begin thesis work. Typically, students must have earned, at minimum, 50 credits prior to beginning thesis work. Should the Committee determine (by majority vote) that a student is prepared to undertake thesis work, they may register for the thesis semester. Should the MFA Committee find as a result of the Penultimate review that a student is not prepared to undertake thesis work or if the quality of work is determined to be substandard, the following steps may be taken:
If a student’s work is not deemed to be of sufficient quality or quantity, a student may be required to do remedial work to be presented to the MFA Committee at a specified time.
If a student fails to complete remedial work to the satisfaction of the MFA Committee, the student may be dismissed from the program.

Completion of curricular components in a timely manner.
The MFA is a 60-credit program. A student may earn up to and no more than 70 credits. Nine credits or more per semester is considered a full-time load. The MFA program is designed to be completed in three years. To remain in compliance with this SAP policy, a student must complete the program within 4.5 years, exclusive of extensions. Credits attempted, as listed on the transcript at any given period in time, include all those for which a student registers. To remain in compliance with this policy, a student may not register for more than 150% of the total credits required for the degree (90 credits).

Additional information about student progress is provided in relevant sections of the MFA Student Handbook.

Progress Reviews