To receive the Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Arts degree, students must meet the requirements of the College of Art and take academic courses with other undergraduates. Work in art and design can be combined with studies in architecture, business, engineering, humanities, natural and social sciences, and the other arts. Students may take these courses for educational and intellectual enrichment or in direct correlation with their primary interests. Courses in University College do not count toward degree requirements.

No more than 15 units of pre-matriculation or transfer credit from all sources — Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, International Baccalaureate (IB), and British Advanced (A) Levels — will be awarded.

Students wishing to transfer credit for course work completed at another institution must bring a full catalog description of the course(s) to the Sam Fox School Registrar's Office for preapproval. Only with preapproval and upon receipt of an official transcript indicating a grade of C or better will courses be considered for transfer. Grades for transfer courses will not appear on the student's Washington University record and will not figure into the student's grade-point average. College courses taken to earn credit for high school graduation will not be considered for transfer. Washington University does not transfer credits for courses taken online. No transfer credit will be accepted for courses taken while a student is suspended from Washington University for violations of the University Student Conduct Code or the Academic Integrity Policy.

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts Grievance Procedures

The dynamic and creative studio culture at the heart of the Sam Fox School strives to be safe and inclusive for all members of our community. Our faculty, staff, and students join together in their commitment to creating learning environments of mutuality and respect. When concerns or disagreements arise about conduct, grading, or other matters in the Colleges of Art and Architecture, policies exist for pursuing proper resolution.

Grade Dispute Policy

The Sam Fox School aims to provide each student with a fair assessment of their academic work and studio. Students have the right to dispute their overall course grade (not individual assignments) if they believe that grade does not accurately reflect the quality of their work. A grade dispute must be submitted to the faculty member who assigned the grade within 30 days of receipt of the grade. The Sam Fox School stresses that every effort to resolve such a dispute be made by the faculty and student involved. A student’s eligibility for advancement in sequential course work requires timely resolution of the grade dispute. If the student is a graduation candidate, the dispute process must comply with the Intent to Graduate submission deadlines set forth by the Office of the University Registrar or else the degree conferral will be delayed by one semester or until resolved.

In general, the dispute process will occur and be resolved as follows:

  1. The student presents their question about the grade in writing to the faculty member and clearly states the reasons for questioning the grade.
  2. The faculty member and the student review the grading procedures as stated in the syllabus and discuss the determining factors of the student’s grade.
  3. If the case is not resolved between the student and the faculty member, the student may put forth their complaint in writing with supporting evidence to the chair of the academic program, with a copy given to the faculty member involved with the dispute. The student should provide the course syllabus and all of the materials relevant to the assigned grade within two weeks of the complaint. If a conflict of interest exists between the student and the chair (e.g., the chair is teaching the course), the case will be referred to another chair in the Sam Fox School or to the director of the college.
  4. The chair of the academic program will review the materials. The chair will resolve the dispute by working with the faculty member and the student to arrive at a determination.

Integrity and Ethical Conduct

Washington University and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts are committed to the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct and consider these to be integral to their mission of the promotion of learning. To maintain these standards, the university relies on each community member’s ethical behavior, honesty, integrity, and good judgment. Each community member should demonstrate respect for the rights of others, and each community member is accountable for their own actions. Washington University policies state that members of the university community can expect to be free from discrimination and harassment. Students, faculty, staff, and outside organizations working on campus are required to abide by specific policies prohibiting harassment, which are posted on the Compliance and Policies page of the university’s website. Should a situation arise in which a member of our community believes they have cause to file a grievance, there are two categories of grievance to consider: academic and non-academic. Academic grievances can either be when a student challenges a course grade or when a fellow student or faculty member feels a matter of academic integrity is at issue. Student grievances filed to challenge a grade that the student feels has been given incorrectly must follow the procedures outlined in the Grade Dispute Policy above.

Academic integrity grievances are made when a faculty member or fellow student feels a student has compromised the environment of honesty and ethics in the school. Academic integrity infractions follow the procedures laid out in the Sam Fox School and University policies and are managed in the Sam Fox School by the Academic Integrity Officer, Assistant Dean Cris Baldwin. Please refer to Washington University’s Academic Integrity Statement for additional information.

Non-Academic Concerns

If a member of our academic community feels that the ethical and safe environment of the classroom has been compromised, for whatever reason, they may seek guidance through the school’s Faculty-Student Mediator, Professor Jeff Pike. Students may also consult Washington University’s Grievance Policy and Procedures for Allegations by Undergraduate Students Against Faculty. In addition, University Resources available for support include the following:

Academic Integrity

Students and members of the faculty of the university have an obligation to uphold the highest standards of scholarship. Plagiarism and other forms of cheating will not be tolerated. When a student has violated the integrity of the academic community, an instructor may recommend that the student be brought before the Committee on Academic Integrity. A list of university policies can be found on the website of the University Registrar.

Attendance

The College of Art allows the instructor of each course to decide how many absences a student may have and still pass the course. Professors are expected to give reasonable consideration to unavoidable absences and to the feasibility of making up work that has been missed. Students are expected to explain to their faculty the reasons for any absences and to discuss with them the possibility of making up missed assignments.

Prerequisites

Students enrolling in art or design courses without the prerequisites must seek permission from the instructor; registration without this permission does not guarantee enrollment in the course.

Digital Technologies

Technology plays a critical role in the educational experience. The College of Art is committed to the integration of relevant technology into the curriculum. Students are required to have a specified computer and software beginning with the first semester of study. Supplemental purchases (e.g., monitors, scanners, tablets) may be necessary as students advance and declare a major. Information is available on our Digital Technologies webpage.

Units and Grades

In the College of Art, one semester unit of credit is assigned for every two hours of work completed in class and one hour of work completed outside of class per week for one semester. A student's undergraduate grade-point average is determined by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of semester units for which grades of A, B, C, D or F have been recorded. Grades of P# and F# received for courses taken on a pass/fail basis are not figured into the GPA. A grade of C- or better must be received in major classes during the second, third and fourth years to count toward degree requirements. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in order to graduate.

A grade point is a measure of quality assigned to units according to the following system: 

Grade Meaning Points per Unit
A+ 4.0
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F 0.0
P# Pass (P/F option)
F# Fail (P/F option)
I Course work incomplete
W Withdraw (non-leave of absence)
WLA Withdraw (leave of absence)
R Repeat
L Successful audit
Z Unsuccessful audit
N No grade submitted
X Examination not taken

Grades of I, X and N will become grades of F if the deficiency is not made up within the next two semesters of residence. For a course that is repeated, students earn credit and grade points based on the second grade received.

The WLA grade is only for undergraduate students who withdraw from all semester coursework with an approved medical leave of absence.

Pass/Fail Option

A student may take one non-art course per semester on a pass/fail basis (exclusive of courses that must be taken pass/fail). Any additional courses taken pass/fail in a given semester will not be counted toward the degree. All courses with an F10 or F20 department number must be taken for credit, unless otherwise noted. Any course taken to fulfill the writing requirement must be taken for credit.

Incomplete Grades

If, following the last day for withdrawal from courses, a student experiences medical or personal problems that make the satisfactory completion of course work unlikely, they may request a grade of I (incomplete) from one or more instructors and should take the following steps:

  1. Discuss the request with the instructor before the final critique or portfolio review.
  2. With the instructor's consent, complete an Incomplete Grade Petition, which is then signed by both the instructor and the student. The instructor is under no obligation to award a grade of I (incomplete).
  3. Return the signed petition to the Sam Fox School Registrar's Office for final approval.

Repeating a Course

When a student retakes a course, both registrations will show on the transcript. If the second grade is equivalent to or better than the first, the first grade may be changed to an R to indicate the retake. If the second grade is lower, both grades will remain on the transcript, with degree credit allowed for only one of the enrollments. 

In the case of a grade sanction for an academic integrity violation, the retake policy does not apply. If the student retakes the course, both grades will remain on the transcript, and only the second grade, if passing, will count toward degree requirements. 

Courses completed at institutions other than Washington University are not applicable under this policy.

Independent Study

Opportunities for independent study are available to undergraduate students. Registration in an independent study requires the student to submit a written proposal and to obtain the approval of the sponsoring faculty and program chair. Approved proposals must be submitted to the Sam Fox School Registrar's Office by the semester course add deadline. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.

Study Abroad

The Sam Fox School offers semester or summer study abroad programs in Florence, Italy. Undergraduate students are also eligible to participate in the university's study abroad programs.

Minimum and Maximum Loads

Students must enroll in an average of 15 to 16 units each semester to complete degree requirements in eight semesters. It is strongly recommended that students enroll in no more than 18 units each semester in order to focus on studios and required courses.

Full-time enrollment is 12 units. Enrollment below 12 units may be granted only with the consent of the associate dean of students.

Enrollment over 21 units is not allowed.

Advanced Placement Credit

A maximum of 15 units of pre-matriculation or non-Washington University transfer credit may be counted toward an undergraduate degree. These units count toward graduation but do not fulfill distribution/general education requirements.

Transfer Credit

A student wishing to transfer credit for courses completed at another institution must bring a full catalog description of the course(s) to the Sam Fox School Registrar's Office for preapproval. Upon receipt of an official transcript indicating a grade of C or better, courses will be considered for transfer. Grades for transfer courses will not appear on the student's Washington University record and will not figure into the student's GPA. College courses taken to earn credit for high school graduation will not be considered for transfer. Washington University does not transfer credits for courses taken online. No transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken while a student is suspended from Washington University for violations of the University Student Judicial Code or Academic Integrity Policy.

Major Declaration and Transfer

A student declares their major by using the university's online registration system (WebSTAC). A student must declare a major no later than the beginning of the spring semester of the sophomore year. Once a student has declared a major, they must be approved to change to another major. Students requesting to change their major must be in good academic standing. Credit transfers between majors are at the discretion of the program chair.

Interdivision Transfer Policy: Transferring Into the College of Art

Undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences, McKelvey School of Engineering, Olin Business School, or the College of Architecture may apply to transfer into the College of Art. Transfer requests must be made in WebSTAC by the last day of final exams of the semester before the effective semester. It is strongly recommended that students meet with a four-year adviser in the Sam Fox School prior to registration to ensure that they know what classes to take the following semester and are given waitlist priority. Otherwise, enrollment in the required studios for the semester of entry may not be possible. All Washington University students must spend their first semester in the academic division that admitted them.

Minimum Criteria

The following requirements must be met for an internal (interdivision) transfer into the College of Art:

  1. Submit a portfolio of 10 to 20 images of the best and most recent artwork.
  2. Achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students with GPAs below 3.0 are required to meet in person with the associate dean of students in the Sam Fox School for an interview and academic record review.
  3. Present an academic record that supports the conclusion that the student will be able to complete a BFA or BA degree in the College of Art in a typical time frame. Depending on the student's level at the time of transfer, additional semesters and/or preapproved summer school may be required.
  4. Be in good academic standing.

Each application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission into the College of Art.

Portfolio Requirements

The portfolio should consist of 10 to 20 pieces of artwork such as drawings, paintings, photographs, illustrations, videos, sculptures, storyboards, websites, or other types of relevant work in art and design. Work from any studio courses previously taken in the Sam Fox School must be included in the portfolio. Artwork should be submitted as high-resolution digital images no larger than 2 MB each. Students should include only one image per file. Detail images or alternate views of work may be included as individual files. Each file should be in .jpg or .jpeg format and labeled using the following format: Lastname Firstname_01.jpg (e.g., Smith John_01.jpg).

The portfolio must also contain a numbered image list that corresponds to the file names. For each piece, students should list the course in which it was made (if applicable), the title/assignment, the media used, the size, and the year of completion. The image list may be a .pdf or .doc file.

The images and image list must be uploaded to a Box folder that the student will be informed how to access. 

To Begin the Transfer Process

  1. Log into WebSTAC and select "Change WU School" under the "Academics" tab.
  2. Upload the portfolio and image list to Box as instructed.
  3. Meet with the associate dean of students for an interview and portfolio review. Contact information for the associate dean is provided during the request process in WebSTAC.
  4. Complete an exit interview or exit survey with the academic division that is being left.

Second Major Declaration Policy: College of Art

Undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences, McKelvey School of Engineering, Olin Business School, or the College of Architecture may declare a second major in art or design in the College of Art. Second major declarations must be made in WebSTAC by the last day of final exams of the semester before the effective semester.

Minimum Criteria

The following requirements must be met to pursue a second major in the College of Art:

  1. Submit a portfolio of 10 to 20 images of the best and most recent artwork.
  2. Achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students with GPAs below 3.0 are required to meet in person with the associate dean of students in the Sam Fox School for an interview and academic record review.
  3. Present an academic record that supports the conclusion that the student will be able to complete a second major in art or design in a typical time frame.
  4. Be in good academic standing.

Each declaration is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the second major program.

Portfolio Requirements

The portfolio should consist of 10 to 20 pieces of artwork such as drawings, paintings, photographs, illustrations, videos, sculptures, storyboards, websites, or other types of relevant work in art and design. Work from any studio courses previously taken in the Sam Fox School must be included in the portfolio. Artwork should be submitted as high-resolution digital images no larger than 2 MB each. Students should include only one image per file. Detail images or alternate views of work may be included as individual files. Each file should be in .jpg or .jpeg format and labeled using the following format: Lastname Firstname_01.jpg (e.g., Smith John_01.jpg).

The portfolio must also contain a numbered image list that corresponds to the file names. For each piece, students should list the course in which it was made (if applicable), the title/assignment, the media used, the size, and the year of completion. The image list may be a .pdf or .doc file.

The images and image list must be uploaded to a Box folder that the student will be informed how to access. 

To Begin the Declaration Process

  1. Log into WebSTAC and select "Major Programs" under the "Academics" tab.
  2. Upload the portfolio and image list to Box as instructed.
  3. Meet for an interview and portfolio review with the adviser of the declared second major program. Contact information is provided during the declaration process in WebSTAC.

Academic Probation and Suspension

Students are expected to proceed at a pace that enables them to finish their degree within the appropriate time limit. For degrees in the College of Art, this is usually eight semesters.

A student whose semester GPA is below 2.0 (a grade of C) or who falls below a pace of 6623% (for the number of credits earned divided by the number of credits attempted) will be placed on academic probation. If, after the following semester, the semester GPA is still below 2.0 or if the pace is still below 6623%, the student may be ineligible for normal advancement or may be suspended. Although the College of Art desires to give all students the opportunity to prove themselves, it is not in the best interest of either the students or the college to permit students to continue indefinitely in educational programs in which they are not producing satisfactory results.

Probation serves as a warning that, unless the quality of work improves, the student may be subject to suspension. A student suspended for academic deficiency will not be eligible for readmission until they can demonstrate, under the conditions set for each individual case, their ability to do satisfactory work.

A student will be removed from academic probation when their cumulative GPA is above 2.0 and they are meeting the pace of 6623% for satisfactory academic progress.

In support of the student, the Sam Fox School Registrar's Office will work with the student to develop a plan for success. To succeed, the student must understand the cause(s) of their current situation, identify what needs to change, and implement and review a plan. The student is required to meet regularly with the associate dean of students to review progress. Failure to make these meetings will result in a hold being placed on the student's record.

First Academic Probation: The first time a student qualifies for probation, they are placed on academic probation. Students placed on first academic probation are sent a letter informing them of this action.

Second Academic Probation: The second time a student qualifies for probation, they are placed on second academic probation. Students placed on second academic probation are sent a letter informing them of this action. A copy of this letter is sent to the parent(s)/legal guardian(s).

Special Academic Probation: A student is placed on special academic probation when their earned semester pace or GPA is below the terms of satisfactory academic progress because of outstanding or incomplete grades. Once all grades are received, the student's record is reviewed to determine satisfactory or probationary status.

Academic Suspension: The third time a student qualifies for probation, they will be suspended. A letter is sent to the student and their parent(s)/legal guardian(s) informing them of this action. The student is not allowed to enroll in any classes at Washington University while suspended, including University College. If the suspended student would like to return to the university in the future, they must petition and be approved for reinstatement. If the student fails to achieve and maintain satisfactory progress after reinstatement, they will be dismissed.

Leave of Absence

A student may request a leave of absence for one semester at a time for up to one year. If this is granted, the student may re-enroll at the end of that time without going through further admission or readmission procedures. A Request for Leave of Absence form must be completed before a leave of absence will be granted. In the case of a medical leave of absence, a letter of clearance is required from Habif Health and Wellness Center before the student will be permitted to re-enroll.

Financial Obligations

Students are responsible for fulfilling their financial obligations to the university. If a student account becomes overdue, a late payment fee will be assessed, and a hold will be placed on the account. Students with a poor payment history may be restricted from utilizing certain payment options or receiving tuition remission until course credit has been earned. Non-payment of tuition and other expenses due to the university will be cause for exclusion from class or refusal of graduation, further registration, or transfer credit. In addition, students are liable for any costs associated with the collection of their unpaid bills, including but not limited to collection agency costs, court costs, and legal fees. Past due amounts can also be reported to a credit bureau.

Withdrawals and Refunds

A written request for a refund must be submitted to the Sam Fox School Registrar's Office for consideration. Approval is required to officially withdraw from the university. Tuition adjustments will be processed based on information received, and refund checks will be issued only after the fourth week of classes. Material fees for art courses will not be refunded after the course drop period for the semester. For any student whose medical condition makes attendance for the balance of the semester impossible or medically inadvisable, the university will make a pro rata refund of tuition as of the date of withdrawal when that date occurs prior to the twelfth week of classes, provided that the condition is verified by the Habif Health and Wellness Center or a private physician. The date of withdrawal may correspond to the date of hospitalization or the date on which the medical condition was determined.

Withdrawal Date Refund
Within 1st or 2nd week of classes 100%
Within 3rd or 4th week of classes 80%
Within 5th or 6th week of classes 60%
Within 7th or 8th week of classes 50%
Within 9th or 10th week of classes 40%
After 10th week of classes 0%

Summer Withdrawals and Refunds

The Sam Fox School reserves the right to cancel a course if it has not enrolled a minimum of eight students before the first day of class. If a course is canceled, all enrolled students will be notified and dropped from the class, and they will not be charged tuition and fees.

If a course is not canceled, a student may be released from their obligation to pay full tuition and fees by canceling their registration according to the schedule below:

Withdrawal Date Refund
Prior to the first class meeting 100% + fees
Prior to 15% of published meeting dates 100%
Prior to 30% of published meeting dates 80%
Prior to 45% or published meeting dates 60%
Prior to 60% of published meeting dates 40%
After 61% of published meeting dates No refund

Intent to Graduate

Every candidate for a degree is required to file an Intent to Graduate in WebSTAC in order to participate in commencement. The deadlines for filing are listed in WebSTAC.

Retention of Student Work

The College of Art reserves the right to hold a student's work(s) for exhibition purposes and holds reproduction rights of any work(s) executed in fulfillment of course requirements.