Photography Department critique
Program and Curriculum
Type of Program / Measuring Academic Achievement
Cranbrook offers a studio program based upon individual study and research, and the actual creation of art, design, and architectural projects. Specific classes are not offered and traditional grades are not awarded; satisfactory academic progress is evaluated subjectively on a pass/fail basis by the department head. Students whose work is judged satisfactory earn 15 credit hours in a semester. Credits are recorded on permanent transcripts. A total of sixty (60) credit hours, the presentation of a satisfactory written thesis, and a museum exhibition of completed projects are required for graduation.
The studios at Cranbrook afford an opportunity for students to make intense, personal investigations into the practice and philosophy of the fine arts. This research comprises approximately 40 percent of the academic program.
The course consists of the following:
1. Studio Work and Research. Working in individual studios, students complete self-initiated studio work by researching and creating actual works. Working with the department head, students set forth a plan of study based on personal interests. The department head acts as mentor and advisor in monitoring the student's academic progress. Individual critiques, both group and one-on-one with the Artist-in-Residence, are included in studio requirements. All students prepare for annual formal reviews by faculty from other departments, as well as for their degree exhibition and Master’s Statement. Students document the finished works through photography and/or video media.
2. Assigned Projects. On infrequent occasions, a department head will assign projects to his/her student(s) as part of the particular department curriculum. These may take the form of seminars, written reports, exhibitions on or off campus, or projects undertaken with other departments.
3. Reading and Discussion. The department head assigns readings and holds seminars on works relevant to studio activity. Students are expected to read widely about timely issues within the field and to make appropriate presentations from their research.
4. Visiting Artists. The program is supplemented by visiting artists and critics who lecture and offer critiques on students' work.
5. Critical Studies Program. This program brings a Critical Studies Fellow to campus each fall to serve as a catalyst for discussion around ideas art criticism, theory, and critical writing. The program offers reading and discussion groups, studio visits, and critique, as well as special changing projects.
6. Humanities Series. Meant as a counterpoint to the studio investigation, the Academy presents the Humanities Series yearly. The Series consists of presentations, public discussions lectures, and/or performances dealing with social issues affecting architects artists, and designers.
7. Museum, Gallery, and Field Trips. Departments frequently travel to other cities, and, in some cases, other countries, to view significant exhibitions and study art of other cultures. These experiences contribute to the ongoing critical dialog in the department and provide a broader context for student’s ideas and studio work.
8. Reviews. Formal reviews of student work are conducted twice for each student during their course of study in the second and third semesters. Students present finished and in-progress work for review by 4-5 individual faculty members for a one-on-one situation. These reviews for all ten departments take place over 5 days each in the winter and early spring. The outcome of Reviews is linked to Satisfactory Academic Progress.
9. Degree Show and Master’s Statement. Students petitioning to graduate must mount a show of recent work in the Cranbrook Art Museum and complete a written Master’s Statement. Both efforts must be reviewed and approved by the department head. The Statement represents the culmination of a deliberate, well-rounded course of study and comprehensive research performed by the student in his chosen field.
The program can be undertaken only on a full-time basis for the prescribed two years. Part-time involvement or credit earned away from campus is not permitted.
Academic Progress and Attendance Requirements
All students are required to attend full time. Students must meet a minimum of 45 clock hours comprised of studio work, research, lecture and discussion as specified by their department head (see credit distribution below). Credits are awarded by the department head based on an evaluation of the student’s academic and artistic progress. A student is in good standing by earning fifteen credit hours per semester in the following ways:
Studio Work and Research:
12 credits per semester; one semester credit hour equals 45 hours of work in the studio.
A minimum of 36 clock hours per week of independent studio work is expected.
Lecture and Discussion:
3 credits per semester; 3 clock hours of participation in a formal setting plus 6 clock hours of individual work and preparation outside of the formal setting, for a minimum of 9 clock hours per week, are expected.
1 credit per semester; at least 3 clock hours per week of formal participation and/or studio work and preparation is expected for students in an Elective.
For official transcripts, the Academy employs a “pass-fail” grading system. Successful completion of a semester is recorded as “Pass” or “Pass with Distinction.” Failure is recorded as “No Credit,” and no credits are accumulated. “Incomplete” and “Withdrew” are recorded as appropriate. Students who receive “Incomplete” must resolve it within the next semester or a permanent grade of “No Credit” is recorded for the term.
Reports of passing grades are issued only by student request. Students will receive written notice whenever a grade other than “Pass” is awarded for the term.
With permission from the respective department heads, students may enroll for an elective in another department. Students will establish the criteria for credit with the elective department head, which will include attendance at critiques and lectures and individual meetings with the department head. If successfully completed, electives carry one hour of credit per semester. The evaluation process is the same as for the student’s major department. A student may enroll in only one elective per semester.
The department head and student peers evaluate student work and academic progress. Department heads conduct two reviews each semester. The midterm review is advisory; the final review determines a student’s grade for the semester. More formal review of the student’s work is conducted both in the second and fourth semester of study. Students put their work up for discussion and review by the Director, Assistant Director for Academic Programs, a selection of the Artists-in-Residence, and all Academy constituents. Students are expected to be able to articulate objectives and ideas, discuss sources and technical explorations, and describe the relevance and originality of the ideas expressed in the work. The reviews are structured to provide students the opportunity for feedback from a variety of perspectives.
Academic and Conduct Requirements
Students who fail to satisfy Academy attendance and progress requirements are notified in writing by the Dean of Admissions. A student whose performance is unsatisfactory, or whose conduct is deemed detrimental to the Cranbrook community, may be dismissed. Cranbrook expects students to conduct their personal and professional lives responsibly, ethically, and in a manner that respects the integrity of each individual and the community. The Academy publishes the Student Handbook that provides specifics on reasonable social behavior in studios and residences. Criminal or disruptive conduct, harassment, or insubordination is considered grounds for dismissal.
Probation and Dismissal
An “Unsatisfactory” midterm evaluation places the student on probation for the remainder of the semester. Probation is removed if the student’s performance has returned to “Satisfactory” at the close of the term, and a “Pass” grade is recorded for the semester. A “No Credit” grade at the end of a semester places the student on probation in the coming semester, if readmitted, until midterm. If the student has satisfied the requirements for successful completion of the previous semester, the “No Credit” grade will be changed to “Pass,” and the requisite 15 hours of credit will be awarded. Dismissal will occur if the student’s progress remains unsatisfactory.
A dismissed student may be readmitted, upon recommendation of the faculty, after the student has taken a semester off, provided the conditions resulting in the dismissal have been adjusted. If the student has been dismissed for lack of achievement, the student must show significant improvement during the time away from the Academy before readmission is granted. Dismissal appeal procedures are published in the Student Handbook, and are available from the Dean of Admissions.
Candidates for the Cranbrook Academy of Art Master’s degree must:
- Earn at least sixty semester hours of credit. All credits must be earned in residence. The Academy does not accept transfer credits.
- Present a written Master’s Statement for faculty approval.
- Prepare a degree exhibition.
- Present the Library with a set of slides and CV documenting the two years of graduate work at the Academy.
All requirements for degrees must be completed within five calendar years of the date of matriculation. The date of matriculation is the beginning of the student’s first semester in residence.
Degrees are conferred in December and May. Diplomas are issued in May at commencement. Degree requirements completed prior to May commencement can be verified by the Dean of Admissions.
Admission to the Academy does not guarantee graduation or the awarding of a degree. Students may be dropped from enrollment or asked to remain at the Academy beyond the customary two years if their work does not meet the Academy’s standards of quality and quantity. These decisions are made at the discretion of the faculty and administration.
Cranbrook Academy of Art admits students without regard to race, sex, creed, national origin, status or political belief. The rights, privileges, programs, and activities of the Academy are available to all Academy students. The Academy does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, employment policies, admission policies, financial aid programs, and any other programs administered by the Academy. The non-discrimination policy also applies to disabled persons and persons with AIDS or communicable diseases, who are otherwise qualified. Questions regarding accessibility should be addressed to the Dean of Admissions.
Student records are maintained permanently by the Academy. Requests for transcripts must be made in writing. The Academy will issue its own transcripts but will not issue copies of transcripts from other institutions. A fee is charged for each official transcript.
Letters of recommendation placed in a student’s file for reference purposes will be issued by the Academy upon the student’s request and payment of a fee. The Academy will not issue copies of letters used to secure the student’s admission to Cranbrook. No other documents pertaining to the student or the student’s work will be copied or released. The Academy will place a Hold on the records of any student with a delinquent financial account. The Hold is removed when the debt is paid in full. While the Hold is in effect, the student will not be permitted to register at the Academy, and transcripts, letters of recommendation, or degree diplomas will not be issued.
The Academy does not administer a formal placement or career planning facility. However, historically the faculty, staff, and alumni of the Academy have developed invaluable networks for career advancement of its graduates. While employment after graduation is solely the graduate’s responsibility, the Academy Library maintains position announcements and employment information which are made available to students and alumni. While at the Academy, students receive advice and supervision in the preparation of fellowship and grant proposals, on professional development, and career planning.
Family Privacy Act
Cranbrook Academy of Art is in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. A copy of the Act may be obtained from the Dean of Admissions.
Policy on Web Changes
Cranbrook Academy of Art makes every effort to ensure the timeliness and accuracy of the information provided on the Web site. However, the Academy reserves the right to change or adjust policies or information provided in the catalog or on the Web site at any time and without prior notice.
Students normally are permitted to execute private commissions so long as they do not interfere in any way with the student’s work at the Academy, or with other students’ access to the studio facilities. The Academy has no financial interest in any student-patron transaction nor will it be responsible in any way for the successful completion of any such work.
Tuition and Fees
Information on tuition and fees is detailed here, and also is available from the Dean of Admissions. All tuition and fees for a semester must be paid in full by Registration day. Incidental fees and charges incurred during a semester must be paid when billed. Students holding delinquent accounts will not be permitted to register for the following semester and could face dismissal from the Academy.
Tuition and fees for new students are due in installments:
- Upon acceptance, students must remit a non-refundable tuition deposit to hold their place, and if applicable, a dormitory deposit. The dormitory deposit is non-refundable after August 15.
- The remaining tuition balance, dormitory, and remaining fees for the semester must be paid in full by Registration.
- Returning students normally are not required to make a tuition deposit. They also must pay tuition and fees in full by Registration day.
Withdrawals and Refunds
A student wishing to withdraw from the Academy must submit written notice to the Dean of Admissions, who also acts as Registrar. Failure to attend or mere verbal notification will not be regarded as official notice of withdrawal. Should the student not submit the prescribed notice of withdrawal, the Dean, in consultation with the appropriate department head, will determine the official date of withdrawal.
Tuition refunds will be calculated on a pro-rata basis, rounded down to the nearest ten percent. A pro-rata refund is based on the portion of the period of enrollment that remains on the last recorded day of attendance by the student, up to the 60 percent point in time for the period the student has been charged.
The initial studio and dormitory deposits are non-refundable and will be subtracted from the fees to be included in the refund calculation. Fees for accident and health insurance, student activities, matriculation, telephone, and lab are administrative or consumable, and also are non-refundable.
Students who have received FFEL loans will have their refunds computed pursuant to federal regulations governing the refund process. Refund monies will be disbursed within 30 days of the withdrawal date in the following order, as may be applicable to the student:
- outstanding Federal Grad PLUS loans;
- outstanding Unsubsidized Stafford loans;
- outstanding Subsidized Stafford loans;
- outstanding Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans;
- outstanding Federal Direct Subsidized loans;
- other Title IV assistance;
- non-Title IV assistance and institutional aid;
- the student.
Students who feel that individual circumstances warrant exception to the refund policy may submit an appeal, in writing, within ten days from the date of the refund, to the Dean of Admissions.
3D Design students on a department trip to Holland