Academic Regulations


Students may register for any term on the condition that they are making satisfactory progress toward the degree and have been cleared by the Office of Student Accounts to register. Students who are not compliant with Yale’s vaccination requirements will not be allowed to register; see Required Immunizations under Health Services in the chapter Yale University Resources and Services.

Course Changes

It is the student’s responsibility to maintain an accurate course schedule in the Office of Academic Administration. Any change (drop or add) to the schedule agreed upon at registration should be reported immediately. No adding of courses will be permitted after the first two weeks of any term. A student may, with the consent of the registrar, drop a course until midterm, after which point courses are permanently entered onto the transcript. From midterm until the last day of classes in each term, a student may withdraw from a course with the permission of the instructor of the course and either the registrar or the assistant dean for academic affairs. At the time the student withdraws, the notation of W (Withdrew) will be entered onto the transcript. Between the end of classes in each term and the beginning of the examination period, no student will be permitted to withdraw from any course. If the instructor of a course reports to the registrar that a student has not successfully completed a course from which the student has not formally withdrawn, a grade of F will be recorded in that course.

Grading System

All graduate-level courses within the School of Art are graded Pass (P) or Fail (F). Credit will be given for any passing grade received for a Yale College course (A–C), Graduate School course (H, HP, P), or other professional school course at Yale. No credit will be given for a grade of F or an incomplete. Arrangements to finish incompletes are to be determined between the student and the instructor, and the registrar should be made aware of the date to which the time to complete and submit coursework deliverables has been extended. Any incomplete that is not made up by registration in the next consecutive term will be recorded as an F on the transcript. Academic courses may also be elected under a Pass/Fail option whereby the registrar will interpret letter grades from them onto the transcript as Pass or Fail.

Progress Reports

Within one week following registration in any given term, students will find their course schedule that lists the courses for which they have registered in the Yale Hub. At the end of the academic term, students are issued a web transcript indicating grades earned, which will serve as a progress report. Official academic transcripts are available by written request to the registrar.

Student Conduct and Attendance

Students are required to follow all policies and regulations established by the School of Art. The School of Art Handbook contains the School’s Academic Rules and Regulations. It is expected that students will attend all classes regularly. In any course, more than two unexcused absences may result in a failing grade.

academic reviews

The M.F.A. degree is awarded by the University on the recommendation of the faculty of the School of Art. Each department in the School facilitates official reviews of students’ work at regular intervals. At the end of each periodic review, faculty may require a student to take a particular course or participate in a tutorial. This requirement supersedes the normal choice of electives. Students are considered to be in "good academic standing" as long as they maintain a grade level of Pass in all courses and studio work. No student can progress to a subsequent term with a failing grade in the student’s core requirements within the area of study. Students are expected to attend and participate in all courses taken for credit in order to receive passing grades. If the work under review is not considered by the faculty to be satisfactory and deserving of credit toward the degree, a letter of academic warning will be issued. Students who have been placed on academic warning during or at the end of any term will have to demonstrate a satisfactory level of quality and effort in their work by the next review period. If they fail to do this, they may not be advanced to the next level of program completion or may be asked to take a leave of absence. Disciplinary dismissal may take place at any time during the year for any student in the School. Exceptions to the regulations of the M.F.A. degree can be made only on the recommendation of the Academic Subcommittee, to which all applications on these matters must be addressed.

Financial Aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress

If a student on financial aid does not maintain satisfactory academic progress, the appropriate portion of loans and scholarships (Federal Stafford loans, School of Art Work-Study jobs, scholarships) will be canceled, and no further aid will be allocated until there is proof of improvement and/or satisfactory completion of course work.


Attendance is required at Commencement exercises for all M.F.A. candidates. Special permission to be excused must be obtained from the dean. In addition to the completion of degree requirements, satisfactory final review of the student’s work, and a thesis exhibition, submission of the following is required in order to graduate:

Graphic Design Thesis book and digital documentation
Painting/Printmaking Digital thesis documentation
Photography Thesis print portfolio and digital documentation
Sculpture Digital thesis documentation

All degree requirements must be completed within three years of the student’s scheduled graduation date in order to obtain the M.F.A. degree. Those who are unable to meet this deadline and wish to pursue their degree further must reapply for this consideration and pay a reregistration fee, which is 10 percent of the current tuition rate.

Leave of Absence

Students are expected to follow a continuous course of study at the School of Art. However, a student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily may request a leave of absence. There are three types of leave—personal, medical, and parental—all of which are described below. The general policies that apply to all types of leave are:

  1. Any student who is contemplating a leave of absence should see the assistant dean for academic affairs or the student’s director of graduate studies to discuss the necessary application procedures.
  2. All leaves of absence must be approved by the dean. Medical leaves also require the written recommendation of a Yale Health physician, as described below.
  3. A student may be granted a leave of absence of one to two years. Any leave approved by the dean will be for a specified period.
  4. International students who apply for a leave of absence must consult with OISS regarding their visa status. In most cases, interruption of study will temporarily suspend the SEVIS record, effective as of the final day of official enrollment, and the student will have to depart from the United States within 14 days.
  5. A student on leave of absence may complete outstanding work in any course for which the student has been granted extensions. The student may not, however, fulfill any other degree requirements during the time on leave.
  6. A student on leave of absence is ineligible for financial aid, including loans; and in most cases, student loans are not deferred during periods of nonenrollment.
  7. A student on leave of absence is ineligible for the use of any University facilities normally available to enrolled students.
  8. A student on leave of absence may continue to be enrolled in Yale Health by purchasing affiliate coverage through the Student Affiliate Coverage plan. In order to secure continuous coverage from Yale Health, enrollment in this plan must be requested prior to the beginning of the term in which the student will be on leave or, if the leave commences during the term, within thirty days of the date when the leave is approved. Coverage is not automatic; enrollment forms are available from the Member Services department of Yale Health, 203.432.0246.
  9. A student on leave of absence must notify the assistant dean for academic affairs in writing of the intention to return by a specified deadline set by the dean. In addition, a returning student who wishes to be considered for financial aid must submit appropriate financial aid applications to the School’s financial aid office to determine eligibility.
  10. A student on leave who does not return at the end of the approved leave, and does not request and receive an extension from the dean, will be considered withdrawn and automatically dismissed from the School.

Personal Leave of Absence

A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily because of personal exigencies may request a personal leave of absence. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is current with degree requirements is eligible for a personal leave after satisfactory completion of at least one term of study. Personal leaves cannot be granted retroactively and normally will not be approved after the tenth day of a term.

To request a personal leave of absence, the student must apply in writing before the beginning of the term for which the leave is requested, explaining the reasons for the proposed leave and stating both the proposed start and end dates of the leave and the address at which the student can be reached during the period of the leave. Leave requests should be submitted to the assistant dean for academic affairs, who will review them with the dean. If the dean finds the student to be eligible, the leave will be approved. In any case, the student will be informed in writing of the action taken. A student who does not apply for a personal leave of absence, or whose application for a personal leave is denied, and who does not register for any term, will be considered to have withdrawn from the School.

Medical Leave of Absence

A student who must interrupt study temporarily because of illness or injury may be granted a medical leave of absence with the approval of the dean, on the written recommendation of a physician on the staff of Yale Health. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is making satisfactory progress toward the degree requirements is eligible for a medical leave any time after matriculation. The final decision concerning a request for a medical leave of absence will be communicated in writing by the dean.

The School of Art reserves the right to place a student on a mandatory medical leave of absence when, on recommendation of the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Mental Health and Counseling department, the dean of the School determines that, because of a medical condition, the student is a danger to self or others, the student has seriously disrupted others in the student’s residential or academic communities, or the student has refused to cooperate with efforts deemed necessary by Yale Health and the dean to make such determinations. Each case will be assessed individually based on all relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the level of risk presented and the availability of reasonable modifications. Reasonable modifications do not include fundamental alterations to the student’s academic, residential, or other relevant communities or programs; in addition, reasonable modifications do not include those that unduly burden University resources.

An appeal of such a leave must be made in writing to the dean of the School no later than seven days from the effective date of the leave.

An incident that gives rise to voluntary or mandatory leave of absence may also result in subsequent disciplinary action.

A student who is placed on medical leave during any term will have tuition adjusted according to the same schedule used for withdrawals (see Tuition Rebate and Refund Policy under Tuition in the chapter Tuition and Fees). Before reregistering, a student on medical leave must secure written permission to return from a Yale Health physician.

Leave of Absence for Parental Responsibilities

A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily for reasons of pregnancy, birthing, or parental care may be granted a leave of absence for parental responsibilities. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is making satisfactory progress toward the degree requirements is eligible for parental leave any time after matriculation.

Students planning to have or care for a child are welcomed to meet with the assistant dean for academic affairs to discuss leaves and other short-term arrangements. For many students, short-term arrangements rather than a leave of absence are possible. Students living in University housing units are encouraged to review their housing contract and the related polices of the Graduate Housing Office before applying for a parental leave of absence. Students granted a parental leave may continue to reside in University housing to the end of the academic term for which the leave was first granted, but no longer.

U.S. Military Leave Readmissions Policy

Students who wish or need to interrupt their studies to perform U.S. military service are subject to a separate U.S. military leave readmissions policy. In the event a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence from Yale School of Art to serve in the U.S. military, the student will be entitled to guaranteed readmission under the following conditions:

  1. The student must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for a period of more than thirty consecutive days;
  2. The student must give advance written or verbal notice of such service to the assistant dean for academic affairs. In providing the advance notice the student does not need to indicate whether the student intends to return. This advance notice need not come directly from the student, but rather, can be made by an appropriate officer of the U.S. Armed Forces or official of the U.S. Department of Defense. Notice is not required if precluded by military necessity. In all cases, this notice requirement can be fulfilled at the time the student seeks readmission, by submitting an attestation that the student performed the service.
  3. The student must not be away from the School to perform U.S. military service for a period exceeding five years (this includes all previous absences to perform U.S. military service but does not include any initial period of obligated service). If a student’s time away from the School to perform U.S. military service exceeds five years because the student is unable to obtain release orders through no fault of the student or the student was ordered to or retained on active duty, the student should contact the assistant dean for academic affairs to determine if the student remains eligible for guaranteed readmission.
  4. The student must notify the School within three years of the end of the U.S. military service of the intention to return. However, a student who is hospitalized or recovering from an illness or injury incurred in or aggravated during the U.S. military service has up until two years after recovering from the illness or injury to notify the School of the intent to return.
  5. The student cannot have received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or have been sentenced in a court-martial.

A student who meets all of these conditions will be readmitted for the next term, unless the student requests a later date of readmission. Any student who fails to meet one of these requirements may still be readmitted under the general readmission policy but is not guaranteed readmission.

Upon returning to the School, the student will resume education without repeating completed course work for courses interrupted by U.S. military service. The student will have the same enrolled status last held and with the same academic standing. For the first academic year in which the student returns, the student will be charged the tuition and fees that would have been assessed for the academic year in which the student left the institution. Yale may charge up to the amount of tuition and fees other students are assessed, however, if veteran’s education benefits will cover the difference between the amounts currently charged other students and the amount charged for the academic year in which the student left.

In the case of a student who is not prepared to resume studies with the same academic status at the same point where the student left or who will not be able to complete the program of study, the School will undertake reasonable efforts to help the student become prepared. If after reasonable efforts, the School determines that the student remains unprepared or will be unable to complete the program, or after the School determines that there are no reasonable efforts it can take, the School may deny the student readmission.


A student who wishes to withdraw from the M.F.A. program should confer with the assistant dean for academic affairs or the director of graduate studies in the student’s department. The University identification card and all keys must be submitted with a formal letter of withdrawal. Students who do not register for any term, and for whom a leave of absence has not been approved, are considered to have withdrawn from the School. Students who discontinue their program of study during the academic year will have tuition charges prorated according to University policy as noted in the section on Tuition Rebate and Refund Policy under Tuition in the chapter Tuition and Fees. A student who has withdrawn from the School of Art in good standing and who wishes to resume study at a later date must apply for readmission. Neither readmission nor financial aid is guaranteed to students who withdraw.