UndergraduateGraduateContinuing EducationSpecial ProgramsAboutAdmissionsAlumniStudents
Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously at SVA. This includes plagiarism, cheating, lying in academic matters, and falsifying student records. First offenses are handled at the departmental level and may result in failure of an assignment or an entire course. Second offenses (or any case of falsifying student records) are automatically escalated to the Office of the Provost, who may elect to convene a hearing with the Academic Judicial Committee. Penalties at this phase may be as serious as suspension or expulsion. Any student found in violation of the academic dishonesty policy may appeal to the Office of the President.

Attendance Expectations

Regular attendance is required in all courses at SVA. While individual faculty members decide the number of acceptable absences for a course, any student missing more than one-third of course sessions will be withdrawn from the course. 
Attendance is recorded online weekly and students are automatically altered via email if they have accrued a significant number of absences in a course.

Credit Hour Policy

        All credit hours awarded by SVA will conform to the credit-hour definition established by the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) Commissioner’s Rules (Part 50), to wit:

Semester hour means a credit, point, or other unit granted for the satisfactory completion of a course which requires at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments, except as otherwise provided pursuant to section 52.2(c)(4) of this Subchapter. This basic measure shall be adjusted proportionately to translate the value of other academic calendars and formats of study in relation to the credit granted for study during the two semesters that comprise an academic year.
These guidelines are also in compliance with policies set forth by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. SVA follows a semester system with fall and spring semesters consisting of 15 weeks. Summer terms are less than 15 weeks, but they adhere to the policy in terms of meeting time for credit hours and the recommended amount of work required.
Terms for special academic programs are adjusted to adhere to the policy in terms of the amount of work and time required. The faculty and college administrators are responsible for developing, maintaining, and evaluating the curriculum within an academic program, although the Board of Directors or their representative retain final control and approval of the curriculum.
Assignment of credit hours for courses are determined within the program based on faculty expertise and course learning objectives. Existing courses are evaluated for adherence to the NYSED credit hour regulation by the Registrar as a part of the building of the course schedule.  Proposals for new courses are submitted to the appropriate department chair, who in turn submits new course proposals for review to the Office of Academic Affairs.  Approved courses are sent to the Registrar’s Office for inclusion in the College’s annual registration book. The Registrar’s Office reviews the class schedules prior to the start of each semester to ensure that all classes are scheduled for the minimum number of minutes corresponding to the credits assigned, or otherwise notes when course schedules do not match assigned credit hours.
Any discrepancies are brought to the attention of the appropriate department for correction. The following table provides general guidance on how the credit hour translates to the particular instruction methodology. Note, however, that the credit-hour definition does not dictate particular amounts of classroom time versus out-of-class student work – the information below serves as general guidance only.

Lecture: Courses that meet to engage in various forms of group instruction under the direct supervision of a faculty member.

Laboratory: Classroom/Faculty Instruction and Outside Student Work

Credits Awarded Minimum Instructional Contact Time per Week Minimum Instructional Time Total for 15 Weeks (Contact Time X Weeks) Recommended Student Study Time per Week
1 50 contact minutes 750 contact minutes 100 minutes
2 100 contact minutes 1500 contact minutes 200 minutes
3 150 contact minutes 2250 contact minutes 300 minutes
4 200 contact minutes 3000 contact minutes 400 minutes

Studio or Laboratory: Certain undergraduate courses with a focus on experiential learning under the direct supervision of a faculty member in which the student performs substantive work in a studio or laboratory setting requires a minimum contact time per credit that is twice that of a lecture course (2:1 ratio).

Laboratory: Classroom/Faculty Instruction and Outside Student Work
Credits Awarded Minimum Instructional Contact Time per Week Minimum Instructional Time Total for 15 Weeks (Contact Time X Weeks) Recommended Student Study Time per Week
1 100 contact minutes 1500 contact minutes 50 minutes
2 200 contact minutes 3000 contact minutes 100 minutes
3 300 contact minutes 4500 contact minutes 150 minutes
4 400 contact minutes 6000 contact minutes 200 minutes

SVA gives course grades on a standard letter scale from A+ to F, with select courses graded on a Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.
A grade of Incomplete may be given if a student reasonably requires additional time to complete a project or assignment. An unresolved incomplete will automatically convert to an F 60 days after the end of the term unless specified by the instructor.

Independent Study

Independent studies offer juniors and seniors the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member on a topic beyond the scope of available courses, or to focus on material covered only briefly in a course. Interested students should contact their academic advisor before the beginning of the semester to discuss their ideas and find out how to apply for an independent study.

Intellectual Property

Unless agreed to otherwise in writing, SVA has no ownership or other interest in student or faculty work (including any artwork, writing, research, animation, film, video, design, software, application or other works that may be protected by copyright). SVA has a limited right to use student work for educational and accreditation purposes.


Any student, faculty member or staff member wishing to conduct research under the auspices of SVA that involves human subjects must first seek authorization from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). A copy of SVA’s Human Subject Research Policy and instructions on how to submit research proposals to the IRB may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Provost at provost@sva.edu.

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587