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Know the Language

As a new college student, you will be introduced to a new breadth of words. You might have heard of some of these words before, but might not be sure about their meaning, or how they relate to your education. The academic advising team has compiled a list of words and terms that you may hear and use during your time at CalArts.

Métier A student’s chosen program or “major”
Métier Units within Critical Studies History, Survey, or Appreciation classes taught by a student’s school that are eligible for Critical Studies credit. For example: Film student taking Film History
Other Métier Units within Critical Studies History, Survey, or Appreciation classes that are eligible for Critical Studies credit that are taught outside of the student’s métier (program). For example: Film student taking Art History
Curriculum The courses offered by an institution 
Syllabus/ Syllabi A summary or outline of a class, or course of study
Breadth Requirement 15 of the 46 required Critical Studies units must be distributed into these seven categories, CI, H, SS, CS, SM, MS, OM (see key at the bottom of the page)
Residency Requirement in Critical Studies All BFA students must complete at least 12 Critical Studies units at CalArts, the distribution of these 12 units matter, see the Academic Advisor for details.
Critical Studies Foundation Requirement A first-year required course that a student will take during the first or second semester of their first year. Each first-year student is required to choose from a variety of classes that are eligible for foundation credit. These classes can fall in the following categories and have a writing intensive workshop: H, SS, CS, SM (see key).
Critical Writing and the Arts or "Writing Arts" A first-year required course that will be assigned to a student during the first or second semester of their first year. This class is required for all first year students, unless they have regionally accredited transfer credit for Freshman English Composition or AP credit for English Composition with a test score of 3 or better. This course introduces students to key concepts underpinning the relation between art and society. 
Work Study Work-study is a jobs program for students with financial need. CalArts offers both federal work-study and institutional work-study. Work-study is a campus-based program administered by the Financial Aid Office, which sets the packaging guidelines used to award work-study. Work-study eligibility is awarded after grants, scholarships, loans and other aid for which you are entitled.
Transfer Credit Accepted when credit was taken at a regionally accredited college or university, with a grade of C or better or Pass, a score of 3 or better is earned on the Advanced Placement Exam(s) or a score of 4 or better is earned on the IB exam. All classes must be college-level. Transfer credit falls into three categories, Critical Studies (academic), Studio (art-related), or Undistributed (neither art or academic in nature).
Non-Traditional Grading System HP: Pass with Excellence, P: Pass with quality, LP: Passing, NC: Work did not meet criteria for credit, NG: No grade assigned by instructor, W: After the Add/Drop period, students may withdraw from a course without academic penalty through the 10th week of the semester. A W is also given when student officially withdrawals from the Institute during that semester, I: Incomplete: temporary evaluation through a mutual agreement between the student and instructor. Incompletes must be resolved within one semester, or it will convert to a NC, M: Temporary evaluation given in the
first semester of a two-semester sequence course. We do not have a GPA calculation as a result of our non-traditional grading system.  
Progress Summary A summary of Critical Studies requirements, and a student’s progress within those requirements during their time at CalArts
Mid-Residency Review/ Graduation Review The reviews are part of the CalArts experience, and allow the student and their faculty to communicate about the progress of the student. 
Semester Goals/ Yearly Goals Each undergraduate student is strongly encouraged to take and complete at least 15 total units each semester in order to reach 120 units by the end of their fourth year. Undergraduate students are required to take and complete a minimum of 12 total units each semester in order to remain a full-time student. Each BFA student also has to complete their Critical Studies goals each semester, which can be found on their Critical Studies Progress Summary.
Mentor  This is a faculty member from the student’s school, and is the artistic guide and contact person for the student regarding their artistic progress and métier requirements.
Academic Advisor  The Institute Academic Advisor complements the services provided by the students' mentor with academic counseling, policy clarification, course planning, and requirement review.
BFA Bachelor’s of Fine Arts
MFA Master’s of Fine Arts

Critical Studies Key

Critical/ Intellectual Skills (CI), Computing & Research Skills (CR), Creative & Critical Writing (CW), Humanities (H), Social Science (SS), Cultural Studies (CS), Science & Math (SM), Metier Studies (MS), Other Meter Studies (OM), Elective (E)

Last edited by bhoward on Aug 15, 2013
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