Degree Progress, Requirements & Graduation

For students admitted Fall 2017, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Bachelor of Music (BM) from Cornish College of the Arts consists of the following basic requirements:

Art

Credits in Major84
Humanities & Sciences30
College Electives6
Total Hours120

Dance

Credits in Major86
Humanities & Sciences30
College Electives6
Total Hours122

Professional Dancers with extensive professional experience may qualify for our Professional Dancers Program, which awards up to two years of CBE or PLE credit for significant professional experience. For more information, contact the Dance Department.

Design

Credits in Major84
Humanities & Sciences30
College Electives6
Total Hours120

Film

Credits in Major84
Humanities & Sciences30
College Electives6
Total Hours120

Interior Architecture

Credits in Major84
Humanities & Sciences30
College Electives6
Total Hours120

Music

Credits in Major89
Humanities & Sciences30
College Electives6
Total Hours125

Performance Production

Credits in Major84
Humanities & Sciences30
College Electives6
Total Hours120

Theater

Credits in Major88
Humanities & Sciences30
College Electives6
Total Hours124

Each department publishes a Model Program to guide students through their degree. Students should refer to the section for their major and the Model Program to learn what is required within the major in order to graduate.

Catalog Year

If degree requirements change during the time a student is enrolled at Cornish, the student may choose to complete a degree under the new requirements or elect to continue under those in effect at the time of initial enrollment. The provisions of the two programs cannot be combined. To ensure graduation within four years and timely progression in class standing, students should complete between 30 and 33 credits each year and closely follow their model program. Class level is based on a student’s total (career) earned credits:

Class Level Credits
Freshman 0 - 29 credits
Sophomore 30 - 59 credits
Junior 60 - 89 credits
Senior 90 credits and above

College Electives Requirement

As part of their baccalaureate degree, all undergraduates must complete six credits of coursework beyond their major in addition to 30 credits of Liberal Arts Core Curriculum. The College Electives requirement is an opportunity for students to engage in cross-disciplinary work through the InterArts courses and classes outside of their major, including Humanities and Science course offerings.  Students should refer to the Schedule of Classes each semester for current College Electives choices.

Liberal Arts Core Curriculum Requirements (General Education Program)

As part of their BFA or BM degree, students will complete 30 credits in the Liberal Arts Core curriculum (housed within the Humanities and Sciences department) coursework. The program provides students with a breadth of learning across the liberal arts, inclusive of first-year writing curriculum and seminars.  Elective coursework requirements provide students with the opportunity to focus more closely on specific areas across the Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, and/or Mathematics.  For more details, see the Liberal Arts Core curriculum section of this catalog.

General Graduation Requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
or Bachelor of Music (BM) degree must meet these criteria:

  • Completion of at least 60 credits and final two semesters as a matriculated student-in-residence at Cornish. Credit by Exam, Prior Learning Experience, AP/CLEP/IB, and transfer credit are not considered credits completed in residence.
  • Minimum grade point average of 2.0.
  • Fulfillment of all degree requirements.
  • Conversion of all incomplete grades to final grades.
  • Submission of Graduation Application: Graduation Applications must be submitted to the Registration & Records Office by October 14 (for spring and summer graduates) and April 27 (for fall graduates).

In special circumstances, a student may be permitted to participate in commencement with degree requirements unmet if they have no more than six credits outstanding. Students should contact the Registration & Records office as soon as they realize that this situation may apply to them.

Academic Advising

Academic Advisors assist students by providing guidance with course planning, graduation requirements, academic policies and procedures, and helping to identify College resources.  Students are encouraged to make a yearly appointment with an Academic Advisor to discuss their academic progress. Additionally, an Academic Advisor will review student degree progress annually to ensure that all students are on track to graduate.  

The Advising Template indicates course requirements that are completed, course requirements in progress, and requirements still to be completed. It is most easily understood when read in conjunction with the description of a student’s Model Program. The Advising Template does not constitute an official academic record. Rather, it is created in support of the student’s responsibility to be aware of timely completion of all degree requirements.

Graduation with Honors

Students who have demonstrated academic excellence over the course of their studies at Cornish are honored with the designations Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Cum Laude, at the time of graduation. Honors are determined by the career grade point average as follows:

Honor GPA
Summa Cum Laude 3.90 - 4.00
Magna Cum Laude 3.72 - 3.89
Cum Laude 3.55 - 3.71

Change of Major

Students interested in a change of major that entails transferring to a different department should consult with their Academic Advisor located in the Registration & Records Office as soon as they begin to consider this option.  An Academic Advisor will assist students in scheduling a portfolio review/audition, as well as facilitating the evaluation and application of completed course work to the new degree program and any necessary adjustments to the student’s course registration. Interdepartmental Transfer can mean additional time for degree completion, it is important that students inform their Academic Advisor so that staff can advise the student appropriately.

Registration Disclaimer

Cornish College of the Arts reserves the right to change the policies, calendar, and fees regulating registration, to withdraw courses from the curriculum, to amend, alter, or modify class offerings, schedules, location, and faculty assignments at any time, and to change any other regulation affecting the student body. Cornish College of the Arts cannot guarantee that a student’s choice of classes will be available. Information contained in the catalog does not constitute a binding contract between the student and the College.