Registration Policies

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The Office of the Registrar serves students, faculty, staff, and alumni through course scheduling and registration, degree audits and graduation certifications, academic record keeping and reporting, enforcing FERPA compliance requirements, and coordinating academic warning and final grading processes. This office can assist on matters concerning registration, add, drop, and withdrawal procedures, course substitutions, immunization requirements, transcripts, and enrollment verification requests. Change of address, e-mail, and/or telephone number should be reported to the Office of the Registrar immediately.

Course registration for each semester occurs at dates announced during the prior semester (see Academic Calendar). All degree students must register for courses in advance during these dates, unless a significant issue prevents them from doing so. In that case, students should discuss the problem with their academic advisor, program director, chair, or the director of academic advising during the scheduled period of advising and registration and notify their department in writing. Later changes to advanced course registration are not penalized up to the add/drop deadlines during the semester in question, but initial advanced registration is important.

Because course cancellations due to low enrollment are determined 2-7 days in advance, students must register for all courses they intend to take no less than seven days before the first class, in order to ensure the maximum number of course offerings for all students. The same deadline ensures that priority is given to degree and certificate students before others are admitted.

i. Registration

Students are responsible for registering properly and meeting tuition deadlines. Students should confirm their enrollment on MyCorcboard. Students unable to access their MyCorcboard accounts should contact the Office of Information Technology at . Incomplete registration forms will not be processed, and students may be held responsible for any academic or financial consequences that may result. Incomplete information includes, but is not limited to: incomplete course information including course codes and section letters, missing course pre-requisites or departmental approval, Social Security or student ID numbers, student signature, and/or advisor signature. In addition, students may not register for courses which have time conflicts. Students must also clear all outstanding bills and financial obligations, including library fees, and overdue books prior to registration. The Corcoran reserves the right to make adjustments to a student’s schedule for administrative purposes to ensure that students have the best possible access to courses needed to fulfill degree requirements.

ii. Schedule Adjustment

After initial registration, students need to file the Add/Drop/Withdrawal form to make any schedule changes, including adding, dropping, or withdrawing from classes, changing class sections, and/or changing credit status within a class. Add/Drop/Withdrawal forms are available online at , the Office of the Registrar, and at the Georgetown campus. These forms must be complete, signed by the appropriate advisor(s), and submitted to the Office of the Registrar. In the event that their primary advisor is unavailable, students may consult the chair or program head, or the director of academic advising.

Students can add classes during the first two calendar weeks following the first day of classes. Course additions made after that two-week period require written permission from the dean of enrollment and are only allowed under extraordinary circumstances. Students who report that they attended classes but were not on the official class roster after the last day to add will not receive retroactive credits. The last day to drop classes without a refund is five calendar weeks after the first day of classes. All classes for which a student is enrolled following the last day to drop will remain part of the student’s permanent academic record.

The last day to withdraw from classes with a grade of W is 10 calendar weeks after the first day of classes. A grade of W is not calculated into the student’s GPA, and students may re-enroll in withdrawn courses during a different semester. Retroactive withdrawals following the withdrawal deadline require written permission from the dean of enrollment and are only allowed under extraordinary circumstances.

After the withdrawal deadline, an F will be assigned for non-attendance. In order to avoid this notation, students who have extenuating circumstances which will require absences or missing assignments may wish to consider requesting a grade of Incomplete (see Incomplete policy section for more information).

iii. Auditing Courses


Full-time degree students who wish to audit a credit course may do so as long as their academic load, including the credit hours the auditing course normally carries, does not exceed the maximum full-time load of 18 credits. Bachelor’s students exceeding this credit limit must pay for each credit that exceeds 18 credits. Students may audit only one course per semester. Audited courses do not satisfy any degree requirements, financial aid requirements, or minimum enrollment requirements for F-1 status.


Under certain conditions and with approval, graduates students may register to audit courses. In addition to the $250 audit fee, students are responsible for any lab fees associated with a course.

Auditing requires the approval of the student’s chair or program director, as well as the chair or program director of the department offering the course, if different. All audits are on a space-available basis, according to priorities set by the College. Audit requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and in the event multiple audit requests are made by one individual, that individual will get priority status for one audit course per semester. It is the policy of the College that the number of students enrolled in the course for credit will be greater than the number of auditors and that the learning needs of “for credit” students will take precedence.

Audits have no bearing on completion of degree requirements. The option to audit applies to classroom and studio courses, but not to situations such as field experience, internship, study abroad, or study away courses. Auditors should register during the normal registration period, and before the start of the class. In order for a course to appear on a student’s transcript as an audit, auditing students must follow the same attendance rules that apply to students taking the class for credit.

The instructor will establish the class expectations where students registered for credit study side by side with auditors. For example, auditors may be expected to do assignments, or not; to participate in critique of student work, or not; or to participate actively in discussions or interactive activities or not.

iv. Repeating Courses


Undergraduate elective studio courses and academic special topics courses (in which the content rotates from semester to semester) may be repeated once for credit. Other academic courses may not be repeated for credit.


Graduate students need permission from their chairs or program director in order to earn repeat credit for use as graduate studio electives. Repeated courses (ie. any course, independent study, or internship that has the same course code) are applied to the student’s plan upon receipt of a completed course substitution form by the Office of the Registrar. All grades earned from repeated courses factor into students’ GPAs.

v. Independent Study

The College believes it to be in the best interest of its students to follow a course of study based on the published curriculum, which provides a network of collaborative exchange and feedback that is one of the strengths of a creative education. Nonetheless, it recognizes that students have individual needs and ambitions that sometimes cannot be accommodated within the current course listings. The Corcoran’s Independent Study Contract is a means of permitting individualized creative activity and research under conditions that are meant to maximize its benefits for the student.

Degree students may receive credit for independent study outside of the classroom only if it is approved by their department, supervised by a faculty member, and meets the conditions of the college’s Independent Study Contract. To receive approval under the terms of an Independent Study Contract, an independent study must meet the following standards:

  • The content of the independent study cannot substantially duplicate that of any existing course listed as currently active. This includes courses that might easily be taken at participating Consortium colleges and universities in the Washington, D.C., area.
  • The independent study must take place outside of the classroom and outside of the student’s currently scheduled classroom hours.
  • Total hours spent on the independent study must meet the minimum requirements for the number of credits contracted to be received. (See credit hour policy for details.) The majority of these hours will consist of student research and/or creative activity; contact hours with faculty are assumed to be only a small proportion of the total.
  • The student must prepare a statement of intention and a work plan that is agreed to by the student’s department chair or program head. The chair or program head will then assign a faculty member to supervise the student.
  • A faculty member must supervise the independent study. Supervision means assigning and monitoring learning goals and objectives, meeting with a student at least five times a semester, and assessing the student’s performance, including grading. Supervision can be accomplished by face-to-face meetings and/or by Internet exchanges such as email.
  • The student’s department shall determine that the proposed Independent Study is of substantive value to the student’s educational goals and interests.
  • Both the chair or program head of the student’s department and the chair or program head of the faculty member’s department must approve the Independent Study Contract. They will forward it to the Office of the Provost, which grants final approval and forwards the Contract to the registrar.
  • Independent Study Contracts must be approved and recorded by the registrar by the deadline for registration for the semester in which the independent study will take place.

Bachelor's degree students may take no more than nine credits of Independent Study and graduate students not more than six over the course of their studies. Independent Study is not available to Associate degree students or to Foundation-level Bachelor's students.

If an Independent Study is to be used as a substitute for a required course, its content, scope, depth, and learning expectations must equal or exceed those of the required course.

Independent Studies are typically 3 credits each, however, fewer or more credits may be requested, as needed, to fulfill degree requirements. They are coded according to course content (not the student's major), and level (undergraduate-3800 or graduate-6800). For example, an Independent Study in art history by an undergraduate photojournalism major will be coded AH38xx.

vI. Internships

Practical work experiences while studying at the Corcoran provide a valuable glimpse of potential career options. Internships may be eligible for academic credit provided they are arranged in advance and approved by their Department Chair or Program Head in accordance with the Internship policies below.

Students are responsible for locating and securing internships with the assistance of their department chair. The Career Services Specialist can be consulted to help locate internship opportunities.

To receive credit for an internship, the student must complete an Internship Contract/Add form. When the completed form is submitted to the Office of the Registrar the internship will be added to the student’s schedule.

Internships are governed by the same add/drop and withdrawal policies as a standard course. As with any enrollment, internship credits are factored into billing. See the Tuition and Fees section for more information. Late contracts will not be accepted; and credit will not be awarded for work completed in a prior term.

All elective Internships are graded Pass/Fail and appear on a student’s transcript.

Continuing Education students are not eligible to receive credit for internships.


Undergraduate students who have earned a minimum of 24 credits at the Corcoran may be eligible to earn credit for an internship. Undergraduate students may register for no more than six (6) credit hours of internship credit while pursuing their degree.

A semester-long internship for three (3) credit internship requires a minimum of 120 hours of work, or a minimum of eight (8) hours of work per week.

The Internship Contract/Add form serves as the agreement between the Corcoran, the student, and the internship site. The department chair, student, and internship site supervisor signatures must appear on the Form in order for the registration to be processed, and a statement of learning opportunities and expectations written by the student is required.

Career Services will solicit a midterm evaluation from the student, and a final evaluation from the internship site supervisor with a recommendation for a grade (pass/fail) is required no later than 10 working days prior to the end of the semester. The student’s Corcoran Department Chair is responsible for submitting the grade to the Office of the Registrar after review of the evaluation(s).

Internships may be paid or unpaid. Corcoran faculty, whether full-time or adjunct, cannot serve as internship site supervisors.


Graduate internships are arranged in collaboration with the student’s program head. A semester-long internship for three (3) credits requires a minimum of 150 hours of work, or a minimum of ten (10) hours of work per week, and is governed by the same add/drop and withdrawal rules as a standard course. Each graduate program maintains its own departmental requirements and evaluation procedures.

Criminal Background Checks for Art Education Students

Graduate students in Art Education seeking internship placements in educational institutions should be aware that they will be subjected to any criminal background checks required by the site of its workers or by local or state law. Please contact the program director for more information.


The Continuing Education department offers a limited number of 1.5 credit and intensive 3 credit courses. Additional tuition or fees may be charged to degree students enrolling in intensive courses offered through the Continuing Education department. Intensive 3 credit courses offered through the Continuing Education department will indicate in the course description that approval of the continuing education department is required prior to registration. Degree seeking students who wish to take a 1.5 credit course must obtain approval from the continuing education department prior to registration by emailing .

Non-credit courses (those not offered for credit) are not available for audit and are subject to the standard tuition and fees associated with the course. Degree students wishing to register for non-credit courses must follow the standard process for registration and must seek advisor approval. Non-credit courses cannot be applied toward completion of degree requirements.


Undergraduate juniors and seniors may request permission to enroll in graduate level courses with permission of the graduate department, and their advisor or director of academic advising. Undergraduate students in the BFA/MAT program may register for graduate level courses that are part of their curriculum and do not need additional approval beyond their advisor or program head.


Graduate students may register for up to two undergraduate electives per semester on an audit basis only. The following exceptions apply:

  • Art Education graduate students who are enrolling in undergraduate courses which have been approved by their department to use the credit towards their art elective requirements
  • Interior Design graduate students who matriculated prior to Fall 2011 who are enrolling for credit to fulfill their prerequisites at the undergraduate level (though registration in the graduate level prerequisite equivalent is strongly recommended).


Additional coursework, (up to 21 credits beyond the 60 credit degree requirements for MA in Interior Design students, and up to 6 credits beyond the 48 credit degree requirements for MA in Exhibition Design), may be assigned upon admission to those applicants whose undergraduate degrees are unrelated to Interior or Exhibition Design and for applicants who need additional instruction in certain areas. These courses provide a general knowledge base to prepare the student for work in their degree program. Students are notified of the courses which they must complete in their admissions acceptance letter. Prerequisites must be completed prior to enrolling in graduate level requirements, however, are waive-able by the department on a case by case basis given prior academic or professional experience (see section on Academic Standing for specific policies).

Effective Fall 2011, prerequisites are listed at the graduate (5000) level, and may be eligible to apply for Financial Aid. All students entering Fall 2011 or beyond are required to complete the courses at the graduate level and will be assessed as graduate level tuition.

Students who entered the program prior to Fall 2011 have the option to register at the undergraduate level as originally permitted upon admission, or to substitute the graduate level equivalent. If the courses are completed at the undergraduate level, they are not eligible for financial aid.

Though they are prerequisites, courses at the 5000-level follow graduate level content requirements and grading scale, and may fulfill other program electives at the discretion of departmental advisors. Currently, no other programs have course-based prerequisites; however, individual courses may have prerequisites.


Excluding the BFA/MAT joint degree program, the Corcoran does not offer the option to enroll concurrently in more than one program (e.g. degree and Continuing Education certificate), or to double major within a degree program.

XII. Maintaining Status

Graduate students who have registered for all credits required for their degree but have not yet met all degree requirements (e.g., Incomplete on In Progress in one or more courses, unfinished Thesis, continuing preparation for final examination) need to register each fall and spring until the degree is completed. Auditing a course does not fulfill this requirement. In this case, a student can register for a graduate level credit-bearing extra elective, or can register for Maintaining Status.

Maintaining Status bears no credit or requirements, but it does carry a $1,000 fee. For financial aid purposes, Maintaining Status counts as half time enrollment (contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information). This registration maintains a student's active status with the College and provides him or her with access to College resources (library, physical facilities, faculty, e-mail, etc.). Maintaining Status is not required during summer unless students are planning to complete requirements in July or August, in which case they must fulfill the policy that states that students must be registered during their final term , either by Maintaining Status or registering for another credit-bearing extra elective. If the student does not resolve all of his/her work at the end of what was expected to be their last semester (e.g., taking an Incomplete), the student will need to Maintain Status for the following semester in order to maintain student status and resolve remaining work. Students cannot graduate with any unresolved grade(s), even for courses that are not required for the degree program.

xiii. Leave of Absence Policies

Students who wish to take a leave of absence from the Corcoran should review the Refunds section and Return of Title IV Funds sections of the handbook so that they understand the financial implications of withdraw.


Leave of Absence

At the discretion of the College, a student is permitted to take one Leave of Absence (LOA) for up to one academic year (i.e., two consecutive semesters) provided that he/she will be making no academic progress during that semester. The year of LOA must be continuous and cannot be separated by other semesters of academic activity. There is no fee for LOA.

A student cannot take a LOA if he/she has any Incompletes or ungraded work pending, and a student cannot transfer in any credits completed elsewhere while on leave (i.e., the student cannot take a LOA to take a course elsewhere with plans to transfer in the credits).

During a LOA the student is not entitled to use the services of the college and will not have access to the library or other campus resources or activities.

To request a LOA, the student must submit a Leave of Absence form (obtainable from the Office of the Registrar, director of academic advising, or the dean of students) that indicates the semester(s) for which leave is requested and a brief explanation for the leave request. A student on LOA for one semester can add a second consecutive semester of leave by submitting a written request for an extension of leave to the dean of students, dean of enrollment, or director of academic advising.

Medical Leave

In addition to standard LOAs, a student can request leave for a medical condition that will prevent him/her from making academic progress. Medical documentation may be required to process request for Medical Leave, and Medical Leave is not limited to two semesters in the way a standard LOA is, nor do semesters of Medical Leave need to be consecutive.

Military Leave

Active military personnel can receive Military Leave if they are being deployed or otherwise have their studies interrupted by their military service commitment. For more information about leave for medical or military reasons, please contact the dean of students, dean of enrollment, or director of student support and retention.

xiv. Withdrawal Policies

Students who wish to withdraw from the Corcoran should review the Refunds section and Return of Title IV Funds sections of the handbook so that they understand the financial implications of withdraw.

Official Withdrawal

Students who wish to withdraw voluntarily, through official withdrawal, from the Corcoran College of Art + Design’s degree program must do the following:

  1. Schedule an appointment with the dean of students, the dean of enrollment, or the director of student support and retention for an initial discussion and receipt of the Corcoran withdrawal checklist.
  2. Meet with the director of financial aid to determine how a withdrawal will affect their financial aid eligibility and/or payment status, and to complete a financial aid exit interview.
  3. Meet with the student accounts manager to settle all due Corcoran payments and other financial matters.
  4. Meet with Library staff to ensure that all library items are returned and overdue fees and/or replacement fees are paid.
  5. Submit the signed withdrawal checklist for final approval to the dean of students or the dean of enrollment for review during exit interview.

Withdrawal will not be official until all above requirements are met. Students who stop attending classes before their withdrawal is official will receive an F in all classes, and will be subject to administrative withdrawal and/or academic dismissal. Students should refer to the drop and withdrawal refund schedule to determine any owed charges, fees, or housing charges upon withdrawal. Withdrawn students will lose access to academic or administrative facilities or services. These include, but are not limited to, studio and classroom space, computer labs, library, and parking.

Financial Withdrawal

Students who have not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Corcoran College of Art + Design for the current and/or previous semesters are subject to registration cancellation and administrative withdrawal. The student accounts manager will notify students who are in danger of being involuntarily withdrawn for financial reasons.

Medical Withdrawal

Students who are unable to attend class regularly or fulfill course requirements for health reasons, and who foresee no imminent improvement in their condition, may choose a voluntary Medical Withdrawal by notifying the dean of enrollment. In some cases students may be administratively withdrawn if a documented condition adversely impacts their fellow students.

Non-Enrollment Withdrawal

Students who have not enrolled for three semesters and who have not officially withdrawn from the College are subject to administrative withdrawal. Application for readmission is required for consideration for future degree enrollment for any type of withdrawal.

xv. Return of Title IV Funds

If a recipient of Title IV funds (federal aid) withdraws before the end of a semester, federal regulations require that the Corcoran calculate the amount of Title IV funds “earned” by the student. The Corcoran uses a pro-rata schedule, whereby the percentage of earned aid is based upon the days the student was scheduled to attend (minus any scheduled breaks) up to the date of withdrawal. Any and all unearned portions of Title IV federal aid must be returned to the respective Title IV programs. These unearned funds are referred to as overpayments. The maximum grant overpayment that must be repaid is 50% of the grant funds that were received or that were scheduled to be received. Students may make repayment arrangements with the Corcoran or contact the Department of Education. Students having questions about their Title IV funds may call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at (800) 433-3243.

EXAMPLE: If a student completes 10% of the semester, then 10% of that student’s federal aid is considered earned, while 90% is considered unearned and is thus returned to the respective Title IV programs from which the funds originated. However as soon as 60% of a semester has been completed, there are no federal funds that are considered unearned.

The Title IV programs covered by these regulations at the Corcoran are to be refunded in the following order:

Federal Direct Unsubsidized
Federal Direct Subsidized
Federal Perkins Loan
Federal Direct PLUS/Graduate Direct Plus Loan
Federal Pell Grant
Federal SEOG
Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant

In accordance with federal regulations, the responsibility for repaying unearned aid may be shared by the Corcoran and the student in proportion to the aid each is assumed to possess. The Corcoran’s share is the lesser of: (a) the total amount of unearned aid or (b) Institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of aid that was unearned. The student’s share is the difference between the total unearned amount and the institution’s share. In the case of scenario (a) , whereby the Corcoran’s share is the total amount of unearned aid, then the student would not owe anything.

xvi. Readmission after Withdrawal (Non-Dismissal)

Students who wish to be reinstated after a withdrawal as noted above must reapply through the Admissions office. Upon re-enrollment, students who left on probation will have to meet the criteria defined in the academic standing section in order to remain enrolled.