In the College of Architecture, Art and Planning .
AAP College Policies
The following policies apply to all undergraduate (B.Arch., B.F.A., and B.S.) and professional master’s degree (M.Arch. and M.R.P.) students in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.
Exhibitions of Student Work
Generally, exhibitions of student work are held each semester in the two galleries in Tjaden Hall. Additionally, there are eight LCD screens located throughout the college for digital exhibitions. There are two additional galleries (John Hartell Gallery and Bibliowicz Family Gallery) which exhibit faculty work or other work that is relevant to the college pedagogy.
AAP has moved to a mobile, cloud-based computing environment. As a result, all students are expected to have a personal laptop computer powerful enough to support the demanding video and computational requirements necessary for coursework, as well as have adequate storage to accommodate new software releases. For additional information, please refer to the AAP Student Laptop Recommendations on the college website.
Students use Student Center to request classes for the upcoming semester during the pre-enrollment period* and to add or drop classes for the current semester during the add/drop period. Detailed information regarding course enrollment is available in the Course Enrollment section of this catalog and in Student Essentials.
*Pre-enrollment is an enrollment request; it is not a guarantee of enrollment. Prior to the beginning of each semester, changes can be administratively made to a student’s pre-enrollment request without the student being notified. At the beginning of the add/drop period, it is the student’s responsibility to confirm their schedule in Student Center.
Enrollment Changes Outside the Add/Drop Period
Any changes to enrollment outside of the add/drop period require an approved petition. Petition forms are available online on the AAP Academic Forms page. This policy also applies to independent study classes. Petitions should be submitted only if there are clearly extraordinary circumstances that merit special consideration.
Petitions to withdraw from a class will be accepted through the university withdrawal deadline as specified in the academic calendar, with the exception of courses with “no drop” policies. Petitions submitted after the published deadlines are typically only approved in exceptional circumstances.
Students may not petition to withdraw from a course if there are any issues of academic integrity with the class. Any course withdrawal decision will be deferred pending the outcome of an academic integrity matter.
Approval of the petition results in the grade of “W” (withdrawn) permanently appearing on the official transcript. A meeting with a college Student Services advisor might be required if there are questions about the above criteria.
It is expected that all enrollment changes to “W” will be completed prior to the end of each term. Any retroactive change to a “W” after the end of the semester is a revision of record and should only occur for exceptional circumstances (e.g. in response to health leaves).
Enrollment in Required Courses for the Major
AAP students may be administratively pre-enrolled in required courses. It is expected that students follow the prescribed semester-by-semester curriculum, and any deviation from the prescribed curriculum requires an approved petition in advance. It is also expected that students be present for all classes. Students who have been administratively enrolled in a required class and do not attend by the add deadline (or earlier, depending on the faculty member’s grading policy) will need the explicit permission of the instructor to remain enrolled in the class.
The following college grading policies apply to all AAP students, in addition to all university and program grading guidelines.
For letter-graded courses, the minimum passing grade is D-. For S-U–graded courses, a grade of S is required for passing. In addition, architecture design studio courses require a minimum grade of C in order for the credit to be applied toward the design sequence and to advance to the next design studio in the sequence.
Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory Grade Option
The satisfactory-unsatisfactory grading option may be used only with free electives; all other courses must be taken for letter grade. For additional information, please refer to the university S/U guidelines .
Each semester’s work is an entity and grades are to be assigned for work completed during the normal period of the semester. As a matter of equity, grades must not be changed after the end of a semester because a student may have subsequently done additional work.
To avoid the influencing of grades by improper consideration or student pressure, a grade, once given, may only be changed if an error in the original grade is claimed by the instructor. The instructor should be willing to review the basis of an assigned grade with an inquiring student and correct the grade if an error is found.
Additional information regarding grade changes is available in the Faculty Handbook.
The grade of incomplete is appropriate only when three basic conditions are met:
1. The student has substantial equity at a passing level in the course with respect to work completed. As a guideline, at least two-thirds of all course requirements should have already been satisfactorily completed, or all work should have been completed except for a final paper, final exam, or final project.
2. The student has been prevented by circumstances beyond the student’s control, such as illness or family emergency, from completing all of the course requirements on time.
3. Ordinarily, the request for an INC must be submitted by the last day of classes.
An incomplete should be resolved within one calendar year from when it was assigned. An instructor may set a shorter timeframe for completion, if appropriate. An instructor would need approval from the college to set a timeframe longer than one year.
When assigning an incomplete grade, the instructor must complete an Explanation of Incomplete Grade form in which they provide a default grade that the student would receive if no further work is completed, along with other essential information. The instructor can update the assigned grade, factoring in additional work the student completes by the deadline, by completing a Change of Grade form.
Ordinarily, a student cannot re-enroll in a course in which they have an unresolved INC. This does not prevent the student from attending some of the course sessions if that aids the completion of the INC. If under exceptional circumstances, a student would benefit from re-enrolling in the class, the student would need to submit a college petition to request permission to enroll. Once the INC is resolved, the college policy on repeating a course applies.
Transcripts indicate when a grade has been awarded following an incomplete grade. That a grade was obtained following an incomplete designation becomes a permanent part of the student record even after the incomplete grade has been resolved.
Additional information regarding the grade of Incomplete:
An incomplete may not be given merely because a student fails to complete all course requirements on time. Such a practice would be open to abuse; by deferring completion of some major course requirement, a student could gain advantage over his or her classmates by obtaining additional time to do a superior job.
An incomplete is not an option that may be elected at the student’s own discretion. While it is the student’s responsibility to initiate a request for a grade of incomplete, reasons for requesting one must meet the above conditions and be acceptable to the instructor, who establishes specific make-up requirements and deadlines for completion within the above parameters.
Students should be aware that they will not have access to college or university resources to complete an Incomplete unless they are officially registered with the university. The AAP Office of Student Services can advise students on options.
The consequences of failure to complete all course work within the time permitted or prior to graduation should be determined when the Incomplete is assigned and should be documented on the Explanation of Incomplete form. Once a grade has been assigned, the option to make up the work is lost. It is the responsibility of the student to see that all incompletes are made up within the deadline and that the grade change has been properly recorded with the AAP Office of Student Services.
Important note regarding sequence courses: The grade of incomplete in a sequence course prevents a student from enrolling in the next course of the sequence unless the student petitions the appropriate department faculty to be allowed to continue in the sequence.
For additional information, please refer to university guidelines on incompletes .
In exceptional circumstances, students may be eligible for prorated tuition in their final semester of study. Students must have already completed the minimum number of semesters expected by their degree program.
- B.Arch. students who have completed 10 full-time semesters (or equivalent) may be eligible for prorated tuition in the 11th and final semester;
- B.F.A. students who have completed eight full-time semesters (or equivalent) may be eligible for prorated tuition in the ninth and final semester;
- B.S. in URS students who have completed eight full-time semesters (or equivalent) may be eligible for prorated tuition in the ninth and final semester;
- M.Arch. students who have completed seven full-time semesters (or equivalent) may be eligible for prorated tuition in the eighth and final semester;
- M.R.P. students who have completed four full-time semesters (or equivalent) may be eligible for prorated tuition in the fifth and final semester
Students applying for prorated tuition are required to meet with the AAP Office of Student Services to confirm eligibility. Eligible students may apply to prorate up to 9 credit hours during the final semester. The application deadline for prorated tuition is the third week of classes in the affected semester, and earlier submission is strongly encouraged. Applications require both college and university approval.
AAP Undergraduate Academic Policies
The following academic policies apply to all undergraduate students in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning in addition to program-specific policies.
Good Academic Standing
To be in a good academic standing, an AAP student must:
- Successfully complete a minimum of 12 academic credits* each semester
- Earn a minimum semester grade point average (GPA) of 2.300
- Comply with college and department curriculum and rules
In addition, a minimum GPA of 2.000 is required for graduation.
*Please note the following college policies on nonacademic credit and repeated courses with regard to good academic standing:
Nonacademic credit refers to all Cornell courses numbered 1000–1099, all physical education courses, and Reserve Officer Training courses offered under the subjects of Air Force science (AIRS), military science (MILS), and naval science (NAVS) unless cross-listed with an academic department.
- Courses numbered 1000–1099 count toward the minimum 12 credits/semester required for good academic standing and full-time status; however, they do not count toward the total number of academic credits required for graduation.
- Physical education courses do not count toward the minimum 12 credits/semester required for good academic standing or the total number of academic credits required for graduation.
- Nonacademic Reserve Officer Training courses do not count toward the minimum 12 credits/semester required for good academic standing or the total number of academic credits required for graduation.
All courses completed at Cornell University are included on the official transcript. If taken for a letter grade, all courses are included in the calculation of the GPA.
Repeated courses are courses taken a second (or subsequent) time, even if a passing grade was earned.
- Repeated course credits count toward the minimum 12 credits per semester required for good academic standing and full-time status.
- Credits earned from repeating a course do not count toward the minimum number of credits required for graduation.*
*Exception for architecture design studio courses: In the case of architecture design studio courses which are repeated because the minimum grade of ‘C’ or better was not achieved, the credits from the course with a non-advancing grade will count toward the minimum number of credits required for graduation if a minimum grade of D- was achieved. Those credits will be applied as departmental free elective credits.
- If a course is repeated, both courses and both grades are included on the official transcript (i.e., if a course is repeated, the second course does not replace the first course on the official transcript).
- If taken for a letter grade, both grades are included in the calculation of the GPA.
Course Load and Credit Limit
Each semester, students are expected to enroll in the courses stipulated in their published curriculum. AAP students are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 20 academic credits.
The Dean’s List is calculated after each semester. Students who complete a course load of at least 12 academic letter credits with no grades of incomplete (INC), no failing grades (F, U, or UX) (excluding PE courses), and no missing grades (NGR); and who earn a grade point average of 3.800 or better will be placed on the Dean’s List. This honor will be recorded on the official transcript. Students with grades of INC and/or NGR will be reevaluated for the Dean’s List when grades are officially recorded.
In order for transfer credit to be accepted by AAP, the coursework must:
- Be completed at a regionally accredited* institution in the United States or the student’s country of permanent residence;
- Be completed for a letter grade of C or better; and
- Be equivalent in rigor to a Cornell course, as judged by:
o Course content and/or
o The use of a textbook similar to that used in the parallel Cornell course and/or
o The use of examinations, writing assignments, projects, portfolios, or other submitted work that is substantially similar to those required in a similar Cornell course and/or
o Substantial similarity in meeting hours of the Cornell and non-Cornell course
The AAP Registrar in the Office of Student Services reviews all transfer credit to ensure that it meets the minimum college and university transfer credit criteria. This requires the submission of an official, sealed transcript. If the coursework meets college and university criteria, it will be automatically applied as free elective credit.
Current AAP students wishing to receive credit toward a specific degree requirement must have the coursework reviewed by the designated Cornell faculty member in the appropriate subject area. Consult with the AAP Registrar regarding this process. Please note that First-Year Writing Seminars and mathematics and quantitative reasoning courses have their own approval processes. More information is available at the following links:
Questions about transfer credit should be directed to the AAP Office of Student Services.
* Regional accrediting organizations include: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC); Commission on Institutions of Higher Education; Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE); New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC-CIHE); Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC); and Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Transfer Credit for Courses Taken While in High School
Cornell University DOES NOT ACCEPT credit for courses sponsored by colleges or universities but taught in the high school to high school students, even if the college provides a transcript of such work.
Course work completed while in high school may be considered for credit if there is sufficient evidence that:
- The course was a standard course available to all students registered at the college/university;
- The course syllabus, text(s), examinations, and evaluation processes are the same for all enrolled students at all teaching sites;
- The course instructor is a faculty member (includes adjunct) at the offering college; and
- The course was not used to fulfill high school requirements
Students must submit an Application for Credit Earned while in High School and an official college transcript to the AAP Office of Student Services, 235 Sibley Dome, Ithaca, NY 14853. The Application for Credit Earned while in High School is available online on the AAP Academic Forms page.
After all documentation has been verified, coursework will be applied as free elective credit as outlined above. Students wishing to receive credit toward a specific degree requirement must also submit a Transfer Credit Request Form, which is available online on the AAP Academic Forms page. Please contact the AAP Office of Student Services for additional information.
Advanced Placement Credit
Advanced placement credit refers to college credit that students earn before they enter Cornell as first-year students. Credit may be earned from Advanced Placement Examinations (AP Exams) from the College Examination Board (CEEB), General Certification of Education Advanced Level (“A” Level Exams) and International Baccalaureate Examinations, and Cornell department examinations (CASE). Its primary purpose is to exempt students from introductory courses and to place them in advanced courses. Its value is that it allows students to include more advanced courses in their course of study.
Advanced placement credit is applied as free elective credit only, with the exception of up to one First-Year Writing Seminar for B.F.A. and B.S. URS students. Advanced placement credit may not be applied toward core major requirements or requirements in the humanities and social sciences (CA, FL, HA, KCM, LA, SBA), physical and biological sciences (PBS), or mathematics and quantitative reasoning (MQR).
For additional information, please refer to the university guidelines regarding advanced placement credit .
Leaves of Absence
The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning grants three types of leaves of absence - personal leave of absence, health leave of absence, and required leave of absence.
Students on any type of leave of absence from AAP are generally not permitted to enroll in courses at Cornell during their leave, including through the College of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions. Students may take courses at other institutions while on a leave. Credit for courses completed at foreign institutions during a leave of absence will not be accepted for transfer credit unless the student is enrolling in an institution in their country of permanent residence. Before enrolling in classes while on leave, students are strongly encouraged to discuss options and policies with the AAP Registrar in the Office of Student Services.
Students who are considering taking a personal leave or health leave, as well as those who are placed on a required leave of absence, should check with other university offices including the Bursar’s Office, Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment, and Housing and Dining to find out about financial implications. It is particularly important for students who have educational loans to contact the Office of Financial Aid. Eligibility for other services, such as insurance, may also be affected during a student’s leave of absence. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with relevant offices and service providers regarding the leave.
Students who are granted a leave of absence during the affected semester are responsible for any outstanding tuition or other university charges incurred through the effective date of the leave of absence. Some charges, such as on-campus housing and dining, may continue to accrue until the student no longer utilizes the services, regardless of the official leave date.
All leaves of absence have a maximum term limit of five years. Students who do not return to study within the five-year period will be withdrawn from the university.
- Personal leaves of absence may be granted for a variety of reasons. The student may request a personal leave of absence by submitting a completed Leave of Absence Request form to the AAP Office of Student Services. If a personal leave is being requested for health reasons, the college may deny the request and require that a health leave of absence be requested instead. Students considering a personal leave request after the 12th week of instruction are strongly encouraged to meet with the AAP Office of Student Services to discuss options prior to submitting the request.
The student’s academic status is subject to review at the time of the leave and upon the student’s return. The college and department may approve the leave with conditions. Conditions could include the successful completion of coursework (new or incomplete), involvement in community service or an internship, or the submission of evidence that the factors that necessitated the leave have been addressed.
Students wishing to return from a personal leave should submit a Request to Return from Leave of Absence form with an academic plan for completing all remaining degree requirements to the AAP Office of Student Services, 235 Sibley Dome, Ithaca, NY 14853-6702. The Request to Return from Leave of Absence form can be found online on the AAP Academic Forms Page. Requests for spring-semester return should be made by October 1, and requests for fall-semester return should be made by March 1.
If the leave of absence was granted with conditions, the request to return should clearly state how the conditions of the leave have been satisfied and should include any required documentation. If it is determined that the conditions of the leave have not been satisfied, the request will be denied. The student may appeal in writing within one week of the decision. The decision on the appeal is final. Students denied readmission can request a return in the following semester.
- A health leave of absence is recommended when a student’s medical or mental health condition is found—collaboratively with the student and their health care provider(s)—to significantly impair their ability to function successfully or safely as a student. It is expected that the student uses the time away from the university for treatment and recovery. A health leave of absence may be granted by the college upon the recommendation of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or Cornell Health.
The student’s academic status is subject to review at the time of the leave and upon the student’s return.
Students wishing to return from a health leave of absence must notify both Cornell Health and the college. The college strongly encourages students to follow the college deadlines as they differ from those of Cornell Health and are earlier. Completing the request to return process as early as possible affords students more time to prepare for their return to study.
To return to study in the fall semester:
- Inform the college of your intent to return to study by submitting the Request to Return from Leave of Absence form, found online on the AAP Academic Forms page, documentation that all college conditions will be satisfied, and an academic plan for completing all remaining degree requirements to the AAP Office of Student Services by March 1.
- Inform Cornell Health of your intent to return to study by emailing email@example.com by June 1.
- Provide all required documentation to Cornell Health by July 1.
- Inform the college when you’ve received a positive recommendation to return to study from Cornell Health.
To return to study in the spring semester:
- Inform the college of your intent to return to study by submitting the Request to Return from Leave of Absence form, found online on the AAP Academic Forms page, documentation that all college conditions will be satisfied, and an academic plan for completing all remaining degree requirements to the AAP Office of Student Services by October 1.
- Inform Cornell Health of your intent to return to study by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by November 1.
- Provide all required documentation to Cornell Health by December 1.
- Inform the college when you’ve received a positive recommendation to return to study from Cornell Health.
A checklist for returning from a health leave of absence can be found online on the Cornell Health website. Please note that Cornell Health deadlines and procedures may change, and students should always refer to the Cornell Health website for the most up-to-date information regarding health leaves of absence.
3. Required leaves of absence for academic reasons may be required by the Academic Review Committee if the student is not in good academic standing. A required leave may supersede a previously approved personal leave of absence. Please see the detailed description in the Academic Review section.
At the end of each semester, the college’s Academic Review Committee (ARC) goes over the record of each student who is not in good academic standing and decides an appropriate action, among those described below:
- The student is issued a warning. This means the student’s performance does not meet expectations. Unless improvement is shown in the subsequent semester, the student may be placed on final warning or given a required leave of absence or required withdrawal from the college.
- The student is issued a final warning. This indicates the student’s record is unsatisfactory. Unless considerable improvement is shown in the subsequent semester, the student may be given a required leave of absence or required withdrawal from the college.
- The student is placed on a required leave of absence. The student may not continue studies in the college and may not attend classes at Cornell University, including through the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions. The ARC and department may set conditions appropriate to the student’s individual circumstances. Conditions could include the successful completion of coursework (new or incomplete), involvement in community service or an internship, or the submission of evidence that the factors that necessitated the leave have been addressed. The minimum length of a required leave of absence is generally two semesters, and the maximum term length is five years. Students who do not return to study within the five-year period will be withdrawn from the college.
A return to study in the college after a required leave is at the discretion of the college’s ARC. Students wishing to return from a required leave should submit a Request to Return from Leave of Absence form, found online on the AAP Academic Forms page, an academic plan for completing all remaining degree requirements, and evidence that all conditions have been satisfied and the time has been well used. If employed, the student must submit a letter from the employer(s) verifying employment. If coursework has been completed, official transcripts should be included with the request to return. Requests for spring-semester return must be made by October 1, and requests for fall-semester return must be made by March 1. The ARC decision regarding readmission is final and cannot be appealed. Students denied readmission can reapply the following semester.
A second required leave of absence is a de facto dismissal, and the student will be permanently withdrawn from the college.
- The student is placed on a required withdrawal. The student is dismissed from the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning and is permanently prohibited from continuing studies in it.
The above actions are not necessarily sequential. A student who has received a warning may be placed on a required leave of absence or required withdrawal at the end of the next semester if the performance during that semester is deemed to be grossly deficient. Similarly, a student may be placed on a required leave of absence without first having been issued a warning or placed on final warning.
Appeals: A student who has been placed on a required leave of absence or a required withdrawal from the college has one week from the time of the decision to appeal the ARC decision in writing. The appeal should explain any extenuating circumstances that contributed to the student’s academic performance. Only new information will be considered in the appeal. To ensure timely receipt of the appeal, the appeal should be submitted to the AAP Office of Student Services at email@example.com. The college decision on the appeal is final. No further appeals will be considered.
A student who has been denied readmission from a required leave cannot appeal that decision. The student can reapply for readmission in a subsequent semester.
Deviating from the Curriculum, Policies, or Procedures
Students wishing to deviate from degree requirements and/or request exceptions to any college or department policy or procedure must petition the academic department for permission. All petitions must be submitted prior to the act and with the faculty advisor’s signature, and course enrollment petitions require the instructor’s signature. Petitions should be submitted only if there are clearly extraordinary circumstances that merit special consideration. Once submitted and acted upon, petitions can only be reversed by subsequent petition. Petition forms are available online on the AAP Academic Forms page.
Appeals: A student has ten days from the time of the petitions decision to appeal the decision in writing. Late appeals will not be considered. Appeals should be submitted directly to the academic department for review and vote by the faculty. Appeal forms are available online on the AAP Academic Forms page. The faculty decision on the appeal is final. No further appeals will be considered. Failure to comply with any petitions decision may result in review by the ARC.