General Academic Policies

Unit of Academic Credit

FTC apportions academic credit for undergraduate and graduate coursework based on the semester credit hour. Semester credit hour means that a credit is granted for the satisfactory completion of a course that normally requires 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments and work.

Lecture and seminar courses assign one credit for every 1 hour of class time and 2 hours of preparation required per week over 15 instructional weeks.

Studio and lab courses assign one credit for every 2 to 3 hours of practice or lab work required per week over 15 instructional weeks.

For an instructional session having a length other than 15 weeks, the number of weekly hours that correspond to one credit is scaled accordingly.

Credit for Prior Learning

Fei Tian offers matriculated students the opportunity to receive academic credit for documented prior college-level learning acquired through previous study or through non-classroom experiences.

Prior learning may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Credit transfer from another institution
  • Credit by examination
  • Credit by portfolio evaluation

The awarding of prior learning credit is conditioned on the following:

  • The student must be matriculated at Fei Tian College.
  • Prior learning must not duplicate or overlap previous coursework, or diminish the rigor of the program.
  • Credit from prior learning is not included in calculating grade point average.
  • The total number of credits awarded for prior learning may not exceed 50 percent of the credits required for graduation.

The determination of credit for prior learning is ultimately made by the Registrar in consultation with the department Chairs.

Credit Transfer

Students may apply for transfer of credit earned at other institutions, including institutions accredited by U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting bodies, degree-granting institutions authorized by the NYS Board of Regents, and colleges and universities outside of the U.S. that are recognized by Fei Tian College.

Transfer of credit is subject to the following conditions:

  • The credit must carry a grade of at least C+ for general education courses and at least B for courses in the student’s area of study. Pass/no pass credit is not transferable unless a pass/no pass option also exists at Fei Tian for the equivalent course.
  • The other institution offering the course allows it to be taken for credit toward the equivalent degree.
  • The course offered at the other institution is substantially similar in content and rigor to the course at Fei Tian: i.e., (1) covers at least 75 percent of the same course material; (2) yields at least the same number of credits as does the equivalent course at Fei Tian; (3) includes requirements for comparable graded assignments/exams; and (4) uses a comparable textbook (if applicable).
  • In computing transfer credits, quarter credits shall be converted to semester credits. Unless specified otherwise, one quarter credit equals two-thirds of a semester credit (e.g., 3 quarter credits equal 2 semester credits).
  • For the BFA degree programs, a student may transfer up to 30 general education credits toward the degree.
  • For the BM degree program, a student may transfer a maximum of 30 general education credits and 30 music credits, up to a total of 60 credits, toward the degree.

Students may request a transfer of credit from another institution by submitting a Transfer Credit Form to the Office of the Registrar, together with an official transcript, course descriptions and syllabi of the courses for which transfer credit is sought, and any other information FTC requires to conduct a proper evaluation.

Approved transfer credits will appear on FTC transcripts within approximately four weeks of official receipt of the request.

Credit by Examination

Standardized Exams

FTC recognizes standardized exams, including Advanced Placement (AP), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Examinations, and International Baccalaureate (IB). To request credit by standardized exam, the student must submit a written request to the Registrar and order an official score report to be sent to the Office of the Registrar. A student may earn credit from a maximum of five standardized exams. Approved credit(s) by standardized exam will appear on the student’s transcript within approximately four weeks of receipt of the official score report(s).

FTC Comprehensive Exams

Students who have acquired the knowledge and skills taught in a particular course can opt to demonstrate that they can pass the course without taking it. To do so, the student must submit a written request to the Chair of the department offering the course, explaining how the student has already met the goals and objectives of the course. The Chair will determine whether the course is available for credit by examination and whether the student is eligible to sit for the exam. If the Chair is satisfied with the student’s performance on the exam, the Chair can recommend to the Registrar that the student receive credit for the course. Normally, a student may earn credit by exam for at most one course per semester.

Credit by Portfolio Evaluation

Students may develop a portfolio for credit to document experiential learning acquired through professional, creative, volunteer, or other experiences, to be assessed by faculty or equivalent subject area experts.

Double-Counting Credit

Under certain circumstances where doing so would not diminish the requirements of any program, a single course may be used to fulfill more than one requirement, either across the curriculum or toward two degrees.

Class Standing for Undergraduates

Class standing represents an undergraduate student’s progress toward graduation. It is based on the number of credits earned toward the degree, including credits for prior learning. The following table shows the number of credits required at each classification.

Undergraduate Class Standing Classifications

Classification Credits required
Freshman Less than 32.5
Sophomore At least 32.5 but less than 68.5
Junior At least 68.5 but less than 100.5
Senior 100.5 or more

Course Load

At FTC, students typically study on a full-time basis. Full-time status is defined as registering each required semester for a minimum of 12 credits for undergraduate students, or 9 credits for graduate students. Exceptions to the rule exist for students in their final semester who need less than a full load of credits to complete their programs, for students who register for a course load that yields the requisite load credits but numerically fewer academic credits, and for graduate students who have been certified by the institution for full-time student status.

Part-time status is defined as registering in a minimum of one course per semester but less than full-time status. Students interested in switching to part-time status should check with their academic advisor for information on how their academic standing, financial aid awards, student privileges, and, for international students, U.S. legal status, could be affected.

Students may not take over 20 credits of courses per semester unless expressly permitted by their Departments and the Office of Academic Services.

Academic Integrity

Truthfulness is a core value of the Fei Tian experience. Academic misconduct undermines the educational process and the sense of integrity that characterizes the College community. It is expected that all academic goals be achieved through honorable means. Specifically, students are expected to support and abide by the provisions of the College’s Academic Integrity Policy, which prohibits cheating, falsification, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, engaging in prohibited behavior, and any other conduct that violates academic integrity. Suspected academic misconduct may be reported through the procedures set forth in the Code of Student Conduct.

Participation in Assessment

Students at the College are expected to spend several hours during their programs participating in College-wide outcomes assessment activities, such as tests, surveys, and interviews.

President’s Honor List

Full-time, matriculated undergraduate students who earn a semester GPA of 3.7 or higher receive the “President’s Honor List” distinction for that semester, provided that the student has no “W” (Withdrawal) or “I” (Incomplete) grade during that semester.

Program Variance

Students may petition for an academic program variance from a particular College policy or course requirement if the request is adequately supported through a written statement describing the rationale for the variance and information as requested. Petitions may be submitted to the Office of the Provost (for undergraduate students) or the Director of Graduate Studies (for graduate students). Final decisions are at the discretion of the program of study’s chief academic officer.

Time Limits for Degree Completion

Baccalaureate degrees must be completed within seven years of initial enrollment, and master’s degrees must be completed within five years of initial enrollment.

Periods of official leave of absence are excluded from the time limits set for completion of degrees. Any extension of a time limit must be initiated by the student through a formal petition for a program variance.

Special Accommodations

Fei Tian coordinates reasonable special accommodations for qualifying individuals with disabilities, including temporary disabilities due to injury. Students must request special accommodations through the Office of Student Affairs and should notify their course instructors promptly thereafter of accommodations made for their courses.

Leaves of Absence and Returns

A matriculated student in good standing who desires to take a temporary leave from the College with the intent to return must consult the Office of Student Affairs and submit a completed and signed Leave Form to the Office of the Registrar for review and acceptance. The student bears ultimate responsibility for completing the official leave-taking and returning process and notifying all relevant administrative offices in a timely fashion. For academic and financial purposes, the effective date of a leave of absence is the date indicated on the Leave Form or the date of receipt, whichever is appropriate. Depending on the length of the leave and requirements of the student’s program, he or she may be required by the major department to apply for readmission or to attend a reconditioning period before resuming studies. Students must confer with their individual departments and the Office of Student Services to determine requirements.

Withdrawal from the College

A student’s withdrawal from the College is a permanent separation. Reasons why a student may withdraw from the College include to transfer to another institution or to leave the College without a definite plan to return.

A student who seeks to withdraw from the College in good standing must ordinarily complete an exit interview at the Office of Student Affairs and complete the exit procedures, which include submitting a completed Withdrawal Form to the Office of the Registrar for processing and promptly notifying all student services offices. For a withdrawal from the College that occurs before the fifth week of the semester, no courses or grades for that semester will appear on the student’s transcript. For a withdrawal that occurs in the fifth week of the semester or later, a final grade of “W” (Withdrawal) will be entered for all registered courses.

Administrative withdrawal is a College-initiated withdrawal that occurs when students, by the middle of a semester, have failed to attend class or have not registered for any courses, and have not been granted a leave of absence. In this case, a final grade of “F,” “NP,” or “IA” will be entered for all registered courses.

See Tuition Refund Policy for details on the tuition refund policy.

See Return and Refund of Financial Aid for details on financial aid adjustment.

Academic Policies  ›  General Academic Policies