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Transfer credit

General policy

Transfer credit is considered for acceptance toward a CalArts degree only when:

1. It was earned at a postsecondary institution accredited by a regional accrediting agency, or a foreign postsecondary institution recognized by its national government; and subject to review by the dean and the Registrar.

2. A grade of A, B, C or Pass was earned. CalArts residence equivalence is based on 15 semester units equal to one semester.

Credit toward the major

The decision on year level placement at the time of acceptance is made by a faculty committee in each of the Institute's schools, based on portfolio or audition, and may not exceed a level that can be substantiated by acceptable transfer credit. The schools are not obligated to recognize transfer credit in the major area when determining year level of acceptance.

Credit Toward Critical Studies

CalArts accepts postsecondary transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities and will accept equivalent courses for curriculum requirements in Critical Studies. A maximum of 38 semester units will be allowed to transfer toward the CalArts Critical Studies requirement.

Students with previous bachelors degrees and students transferring in undergraduate credits are required to complete at least 8 semester units of CalArts Critical Studies Core in order to obtain a BFA degree from CalArts. A maximum of 38 semester units will be allowed to transfer toward the CalArts Critical Studies requriement. The remaining 8 units must be taken at CalArts in any combination of Critical/Intellectual Skills, Creative Writing, Computing and Research Skills, Humanities, Cultural Studies, Social Science, or Science/Math providing students have met the Core Curriculum requirement.

Level 100 Curriculum

Students with a previous bachelor's degree or have 15 or more Critical Studies transfer credits, prior to matriculation, are exempt from the Fall and Spring Level 100 curriculum requirement.

Students who do not meet the above qualification are required to take the Level 100 curriculum requirement during their first year at CalArts. English Language Learners who do not test into the Level 100 curriculum will take the recommended English Fundamentals courses during their first year and then the Level 100 curriculum during their second year.

Limitations on units accepted toward Critical Studies

Religious studies

Critical Studies accepts for transfer credit historical, philosophical and literary studies of religion and the Bible. We do not accept courses in religious studies that represent interpretations of a particular church or sect.

Business courses

We will give credit for courses that combine business and the arts, as these are equivalent to our Survival in the Arts courses. 

Foreign languages

We will accept elective credit toward the Critical Studies requirements for foreign language courses. 

Applied sciences

Generally we proceed on a course-by-course basis in allotting transfer credit to the applied sciences such as courses in the areas of engineering, electronics and computer science. Through course descriptions and syllabi we wish to be assured that there is a significant scientific or quantitative component to the course for which credit is given.

Speech/Oral Communication

Courses that highlight oral communication in conjunction with critical thinking and evidenced based reasoning are accepted. Through course descriptions and syllabi we wish to be assured that there is a significant and sustained critical thinking within the courses for which transfer credit is awarded. 

Critical Studies transfer credit for currently enrolled students

Critical Studies generally accepts any credit earned by a currently enrolled student if the credit is earned at a regionally accredited postsecondary institution and otherwise meets transfer criteria. Students are strongly urged to consult with the Dean of the School of Critical Studies prior to enrollment in outside courses for which Critical Studies credit is expected. Consultation with the Dean will insure that course choices of the student are consistent with our requirements and will serve the student in fulfilling those requirements. Transfer credit is not guaranteed unless prior approval of the Dean of Critical Studies has been obtained.

Last edited by mryan on Nov 16, 2016
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