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Academic Policies

Program-Level Adjustment

Program-Level Adjustment


A student’s year–level in a degree program (e.g., BFA2-1) may be adjusted upward when both of the following conditions exist:

  1. The student’s level of achievement (both artistic and academic, as determined by the student’s mentor, program faculty, program director, and school dean) is compatible with the proposed adjustment; and

  2. The student has earned sufficient, documented transfer credit.


  1. Transfer credit is defined as coursework completed with grades of “C” or better at a regionally accredited postsecondary institution outside of CalArts.

  2. For purposes of program–level adjustment, 15 semester units of transfer credit is considered equivalent to one semester. These units may be completed prior to enrollment at CalArts, during summer sessions or concurrent with CalArts enrollment. Outside course work completed concurrent with CalArts enrollment will be given credit only with prior approval of the Registrar. CalArts Summer Session coursework completed with grades of “LP” or better may be applied toward program–level adjustment.

  3. Documentation of transfer credit consists of official transcripts evaluated by the Registrar.


  1. The request for program-level adjustment must be supported by and presented to the student’s program director by the mentor.

  2. A program–level adjustment will generally not exceed one year of advancement.

  3. Program–level adjustment will normally be considered at the student’s mid–residence review.

  4. Recommendations for program–level adjustment for BFA candidates must take the student’s Critical Studies requirements into consideration. The Dean of Critical Studies must approve all such requests.


  1. The student discusses the request for program-level adjustment with his/her mentor and Registrar or the Registrar’s designee.

    1. Program–level adjustments, when requested at the time of a student review, will be considered and discussed by the review committee. If the adjustment is recommended by the committee, it will be so noted on the review report.

  2. A Program–Level Adjustment Petition form must be completed by the petitioning mentor in consultation with the Registrar.

  3. Then, the following people must approve and sign the Program-Level Adjustment Petition (in this order):

    1. The student’s mentor

    2. The student’s program director

    3. The student’s school dean

    4. The Dean of Critical Students (for BFA candidates)

    5. The Registrar

    6. The Provost or his/her designee.

  4. Upon the Provost’s or his/her designee’s approval, the petition will be forwarded to the Registrar who will send copies to the student, the student’s school office and the Financial Aid Director, and will record the year–level adjustment in the student’s permanent record.