Academic Policies

Academic Policies

The following is a plain language summary of important standards and policies pertaining to the academic affairs of the College.

Academic Load

Full-time undergraduate students at Fei Tian College must carry a minimum course load of 12 credits per semester unless they are authorized for a reduced course load or need fewer credits to graduate. Full-time graduate students must carry a minimum course load of 9 credits per semester, unless they are authorized for a reduced course load or have completed all required coursework and are enrolled in a three-credit thesis course for no more than two semesters. Students wishing to take a reduced course load should be aware of how this change could affect their on-campus housing, financial aid, and/or international legal status. Students are encouraged to consult their academic and international advisors for more information and to work with their advisors to ensure normal progress toward completion of their program.

Academic Program Variance

The chief academic officer of a program has the authority to grant variances from academic program requirements, which includes waiving particular requirements and approving appropriate substitutes.

Academic Standing

Fei Tian College reviews the academic standing of every student at the end of each term. Students in good standing are deemed to be making satisfactory academic progress toward program completion. Failure to make satisfactory academic progress can result in academic sanctions as detailed in this policy; cases of serious academic underperformance may necessitate a student’s dismissal or withdrawal from the college.

Good Standing

To maintain good standing, students must satisfy the following criteria: 1) if full-time students, earn the requisite number of academic credits in the term just completed (12 credits for undergraduate students); 2) maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5; and 3) comply with all relevant laws, regulations, and policies. [Note: Academic credits do not include audit and non-credit work.]

Academic Standing Sanctions

Students are put on academic probation when their end-of-term reviews indicate failure to maintain good standing; specifically, failure to satisfy criterion 1), 2), or 3) as stated above in Section II.A. Students are reviewed after one term on academic probation. Those who satisfy the requisite load requirement, which may be reduced at the discretion of the program’s chief academic officer, and earn a minimum term GPA of 2.5 will return to good standing. Those who do not achieve good standing during the probationary term will move to academic suspension, dismissal, or a second term of academic probation, as determined by the college.

Students face academic suspension when they have spent one or two terms on academic probation and have not achieved good standing in the most recent probationary term. The college will determine the duration and conditions of academic suspension on a case-by-case basis. Appeals of academic suspension are directed to the program’s designated official. Students must meet with their academic advisor after fulfilling their period of academic suspension. They may reestablish their standing in the college by contacting the program’s designated official and requesting reinstatement to probationary standing.

Students face dismissal when they have spent either 1) one or two terms on academic probation and have not achieved good standing in the most recent probationary term or 2) at least one term on academic suspension and have not fulfilled the conditions of their suspension. Decisions on dismissal are made by the college on a case-by-case basis. Dismissal results in permanent separation from the college. Appeals of dismissal are directed to the program’s chief academic officer. Student who are dismissed from the college for the first time may after a one-term lay out and upon formal request to the college, be reinstated in accordance with college policies.

Student are notified in person or by letter or email of any status change in their academic standing.

Administrative Holds

An administrative hold may be placed on a student’s record denying enrollment services for an infraction including but not restricted to any of the following: i) overdue financial accounts with the college; ii) fines; iii) inaccurate or incomplete admissions file; iv) lost or broken college property; v) failure to meet admission or program requirements, including academic standards; vi) falsification of information on college records, including failure to provide; or vii) violation of Code of Student Conduct.

Calculation of GPA

Fei Tian College calculates GPA in a consistent manner for all students, and grants the college community and prospective students access to the standards by which calculations are made.

Types of GPA: FTC calculates two types of GPA on a 4.0 scale for each student: 1) cumulative GPA is the cumulative average, calculated across all enrolled terms of the student’s current program(s). Includes all transferred courses that earned a letter grade if the grading system used A, B, C, D, and F; and 2) term GPA is a single-term indicator, calculated by dividing the quality points earned by the number of credits attempted that term.

Formula: Both types of GPA are calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credits attempted. The number of quality points for a course is calculated by multiplying the points for the grade equivalent by the number of credits for the course.

Auditing Courses

Students who do not wish to earn course credit may be permitted to audit a course by notifying the Office of Admissions and Records of their intent at the time of course registration or before the end of the Course Selection Period. All students who register for six credits or more are eligible to audit courses of up to one half of the total paid credits.

The privileges of an auditing student in a course are specifically limited to attending and listening. The auditor assumes no obligation to do any of the work of the course and is not expected to take any of the instructor’s time. The auditor does not submit any work and is neither eligible to take any tests or examinations nor to receive grades on all or any part of the course. Audited courses will not appear on the student’s transcript and will not carry any credit. An audited course does not meet any prerequisite requirements for more advanced courses.

Calculation of Grade Point Average

Fei Tian College calculates two types of grade point average (GPA) for each student: a cumulative GPA calculated across all registered semesters, and a semester GPA as a single-semester indicator.

Both types of GPA are calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credits attempted. The number of quality points for a course is found by multiplying the points for the grade equivalent by the number of credits for the course.

Grades for courses taken at an institution other than Fei Tian College or based on prior learning are not calculated in a student’s grade point average.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend their classes and conscientiously complete all required course activities and assignments, including those covered during absences.

Each student is permitted two absences per course. Any additional absence is deemed unexcused unless it is an official absence as described below or it falls within the list of excused absences set forth here or is otherwise excused by the course instructor:

  • Family emergency
  • Medical emergency
  • Jury duty
  • Court ordered summons
  • Official absence (for College-recognized performance, competition, or scholastic activity).

Each unexcused absence will result in a reduction of 5 points (on a 100-point scale) of the student’s final course score. However, six or more unexcused absences may result in a final course grade of “F.” College policy allows an instructor to issue a grade of “NC” (no credit) if a student has exceeded a threshold of unexcused absences.

Students must submit appropriate documentation to the Office of Student Affairs within a reasonable time in order to claim an excused absence and obtain an official excused absence verification card. Students should present the card promptly to the appropriate course instructor(s), in advance of any absence whenever feasible or immediately upon their return to classes, to determine the impact of the absence on academic requirements. Excused absences only excuse the student from attending class during the period of absence. Students have both the right and the responsibility to make up any work missed during their absence; to make up examinations given during their absence; and to have the same privileges as other students in the class. Instructors will upon proper presentation of an official excused absence verification card make arrangements to accommodate such absences with opportunity to make up the work missed. Instructors shall announce their specific attendance and grading policies and due dates in their course syllabi.

Course Repetition

Students can attempt an individual course a maximum of two times, unless the course is a repeatable course or one for which the student has received credit for prior learning. Repeatable courses are designed to be taken multiple times for additional credit and have their own individual repeat limits. Subsequent attempts require the approval of the academic advisor and the chair of the department offering the course.

Courses resulting in a grade of “W” (withdrawn) represent uncompleted courses, and do not count toward the course repeat limit.

When students repeat a course, they must register for the same amount of credits as originally taken. The transcript will include each course as an attempted course. The highest grade received will be used in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average and the second attempt will be marked with an “RP” (repeated).

Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for prior learning provides the option to award academic credit to students who can demonstrate college-level knowledge and competencies, or their equivalent. This may include, but is not limited to: transfer of credit between institutions; transfer of credit based on exams that are either developed by the College Board (including Advanced Placement (AP) and the College Level Examination Program (CLEP)) or offered by other internationally recognized organizations (including International Baccalaureate (IB)), or developed by Fei Tian College; and prior occupational or life experience that merits the award of academic credit.

General conditions on the award of credit for prior learning include the following:

  • The student must be matriculated at Fei Tian College.
  • Prior learning must not duplicate, overlap, or regress previous coursework.
  • Prior learning shall not be included in calculating the student’s grade point average.
  • The total number of credits awarded based on prior learning may not exceed 50 percent of the total credits required for graduation.

To request credit for prior learning, students must be able to demonstrate that they have met the learning objectives required in a college academic course. This is shown through a portfolio or other other written request, to be created as described below.


Students may apply for transfer of credit earned at other institutions including:

  • Institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Degree-granting institutions approved by the New York State Education Department
  • International colleges and universities recognized by Fei Tian College.

Transfer of credits between institutions is subject to the following restrictions:

  • Credits must carry a grade of at least C+ for general education courses, and at least B for courses in the student’s area of specialization (i.e., dance or music). Pass-fail credits are not transferable unless a pass-fail option also exists at Fei Tian for the equivalent course.
  • The institution offering the courses allows them to be taken for credit toward the equivalent degree.
  • Courses are substantially similar in terms of content and rigor to courses registered for at Fei Tian; namely:
    • Cover at least 75% of the course material
    • Include equivalent meeting hours for the same number of credit hours
    • Include requirements for equivalent graded assignments/exams
    • Use an equivalent textbook (if applicable)
  • Credits cannot be used for dual credit to satisfy high school graduation requirements.
  • 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 in Classical Chinese Dance, a student may transfer up to 33 general education credits toward the degree. Dance credits are not transferable.
  • For the BM in Performance, a student normally may transfer a maximum of 33 general education or 30 music credits, totaling up to 60 credits toward the degree. However, in cases for which the student earned a baccalaureate degree from an institution recognized by the College, he or she may be exempted from up to all of the general education requirements for graduation, which will be treated as transfer credits.

Students may request a transfer of credit between institutions by submitting to the Office of Admissions and Records a written request, which shall include an official transcript, course descriptions and syllabi of the courses for which transfer credit is sought, and any other information the College requires to conduct a proper evaluation.

The transfer credit will appear on both unofficial and official Fei Tian College transcripts within four weeks of official receipt of the request.


Credit Based on AP/CLEP/IB Exams

Fei Tian College recognizes standardized examinations developed by the College Board, including Advanced Placement (AP) and the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Fei Tian also recognizes examinations offered by other internationally recognized organizations, including International Baccalaureate (IB).

Students may request a transfer of credit based on exams by submitting a written request and ordering an official score report of the AP/CLEP/IB exam to be sent to the Office of Admissions and Records. A maximum of five AP/CLEP/IB exams may be accepted for credit.

The transfer credit will appear on official Fei Tian College transcripts within four weeks of official receipt of the official score report.

Credit Based on Fei Tian College Course Exams

Students may earn credit by exam by passing any of Fei Tian College’s select course exams. These course exams are designed to be comparable to the AP/CLEP/IB exams in terms of intellectual challenge, level of skill required, and breadth of knowledge tested. To be eligible to sit for any of these course exams (with the exception of Chinese language courses), the student must present to the Office of Academic Services an official transcript as proof that he or she has successfully completed at another institution an advanced-level course in the same subject or topic covered by the exam. Normally, a maximum of one credit by exam may be accepted for credit per semester.


Experiential learning includes learning acquired through professional, creative, volunteer, or other work and life experiences, which might involve non-collegiate institutions and/or non-accredited colleges and universities. This type of learning may be recognized for academic credit where no other category of prior learning credit applies and if it can be verified that such learning is equivalent in level and nature to the learning acquired in Fei Tian College programs.

Credit for experiential learning is subject to the following policies:

  • Credit is based on substantially similar registered courses at Fei Tian.
  • Credits must carry a grade of at least C+ or its equivalent for non-collegiate coursework.
  • A maximum of 30 credits may be transferred toward the degree as major credit, general education credit, and/or elective credit.
  • Credit for experiential learning will not be computed in the student’s grade point average.
  • Prior experiential learning shall be assessed by a committee of two or more Fei Tian College faculty members with expertise in the subject area upon recommendation of the Office of Admissions and Records in consultation with the Chair of the relevant Department.
  • Assessment of prior experiential learning is made based on the requesting student’s portfolio, which must evidence outstanding achievement requiring mastery of a topic.
  • Fei Tian College shall maintain records regarding the assessment of prior experiential learning portfolios.

Interested students may contact the Office of Admissions and Records to obtain an official request form to complete. Student must list the courses for which they request credit and provide proper documentation of prior learning, such as certificates, military training records, in-service training records, or professional certificates.

Since assessment of prior experiential learning portfolios is a time-consuming process for all parties involved, students should first consult their advisors before submitting a portfolio.

Credit Unit

The College apportions academic credit for undergraduate and graduate coursework based on the semester hour. Semester hour means a credit granted for the satisfactory completion of a course which normally requires at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments and work. Typical lecture and seminar courses assign one credit for a combination of 1 hour per week of class time and 2 hours of preparation over 15 instructional weeks. Three-credit courses may meet for two 75-minute class sessions a week over the semester. Studio and lab courses typically assign one credit for 2-3 hours per week of practice or lab work over 15 instructional weeks.

Credits to Be Taken at the College

Students completing a degree program must earn at least 50% of their total credits from Fei Tian College.

Dual Degree and Additional Baccalaureate Degree

Fei Tian College permits individuals to pursue a dual degree or an additional baccalaureate degree.

Grading System

Fei Tian College adopts two grading scales from which students may choose: letter grade and pass/fail grade. In addition, a grade point average (GPA) is maintained to indicate a student’s overall academic performance.

Leave-taking (Student) and Complete Withdrawal

The College recognizes three types of withdrawal: 1) leavetaking; 2) complete withdrawal; and 3) course withdrawal. This policy deals with the procedures for leavetaking and student-initiated complete withdrawal from the college in good standing.

Students who wish to leave the college in good standing must consult with OSA. The students bear ultimate responsibility for completing the official withdrawal process and timely notifying all concerned administrative offices, (including the Offices of Admissions and Records, Academic Services, and International Services if in F status) of their withdrawal.

The administrative offices of student services are responsible for processing requests for student withdrawals from the college.

For academic and financial purposes, the effective date of a withdrawal is the date marked on the Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Form. For withdrawals that occur during the term course selection period, no courses or letter grades will be recorded on the student’s transcript. For student-initiated complete withdrawals that occur after the term course selection period, the students will receive grades of “W” in all registered courses. For administrative withdrawals, the students will receive final grades of “F” in all registered courses. Students who fail to register for courses by the 50% point of a term will be administratively withdrawn by the college.

Readmission and Reinstatement

Fei Tian College permits students to request re-enrollment to the college to resume their programs of study after official leaves of absence or complete withdrawals. The process of readmission is applied in cases of leaves of absence whereas the process of reinstatement is applied in cases of complete withdrawals or dismissals from the college.

Requesting students must complete the Readmission Request Form and file it with the Office of Admissions and Records (OAR) for submission to the appropriate department for review and decision. As part of the readmission package, arts students are expected to submit a recent performance video recorded within the past three months. Students will be notified by OAR of the decision. If approved, students must promptly notify all concerned administrative offices (OAR, OAS, OSA, OIS) to complete all required enrollment procedures.

Students must write a formal signed request letter directed to the program’s chief academic officer. In this letter, students must formally request reinstatement to the program and fully explain the situation of their withdrawal or dismissal from the college and subsequent request for reinstatement. Requesting students must file their letters with OAR for submission to the program’s chief academic officer for review and decision. The program’s chief academic officer evaluates student requests in consultation with the following, as appropriate: the advisor, other faculty, and concerned administrative offices. Students will be notified by OAR and sent an official decision letter from the program’s chief academic officer. If approved, the decision letters will include stipulations, if any, to be satisfied by the students. If not approved, the decision letters will include an explanation. Students may appeal such decisions of the college to the Judicial Committee, which will render a final decision.

 Titles and Appointments for Faculty

Academic rank is accorded to qualified individuals whose primary assignment is to a major function of the College: teaching, creative work, service, or outreach. Fei Tian College awards the Distinguished Faculty status to individuals who have provided distinguished service to Fei Tian in accordance with this policy.

Regular faculty titles include: Teaching Specialist; Instructor; Assistant Professor; Associate Professor; and Professor.

Special appointment modifiers include: Subject to Ph.D.; Joint Appointments; Full-time; Part-time; Acting; Visiting; Adjunct; and Distinguished Status.