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Grading Criteria

MFA Interaction Design uses a Pass/Fail scale for all classes.

A student may occasionally receive a "pass with distinction" for exceptional work. These distinctions are to be given out sparingly so as to preserve the unique nature of this recognition. These levels are described as:

Graduate students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in order to remain in good academic standing. Students who do not meet these minimum requirements will be placed on academic probation, receive a letter specifying the terms of probation, and have their work monitored by the department. Two semesters on academic probation, or not fulfilling the conditions of the probation letter, may result in dismissal from SVA.


Since SVA is a professional art college dedicate to teaching and learning, and not a research institution, attendance is required in all classes. As a department policy, we suggest allowing no more than two absences before significantly affecting the final grade.

The following is the text of this policy from the 2019-20 SVA Handbook.

School of Visual Arts is a professional art college dedicated to teaching and learning. Attendance is required in all courses, and the individual faculty member determines the number of acceptable absences, if any, and includes that information on the course syllabus. However, students who are marked absent for one-third of the sessions for a given course will be administratively withdrawn from the course with a grade of W. All faculty members are required to record class attendance in Canvas, the College’s learning management system ( Students will be alerted via email if they have accrued a significant number of consecutive or nonconsecutive absences, regardless of an individual instructor’s absence policy. Attendance records may be monitored by administrative offices in order to identify students who are not attending classes. Faculty members are encouraged to report any students who appear on their rosters but are not attending classes to an academic advisor, department chair or the STAR committee ( Faculty members needing assistance with Canvas may contact the Office of Learning Technologies at 212.592.2313 or

"Excused" Absences

No absences are considered “excused” for the purposes of this policy, regardless of the reason or an individual instructor’s policy. This is because SVA is held to standards by our regional accreditors, and it is understood that students will have a minimum number of instructional hours in order to receive academic credit. As such, there is no longer an “Excused Absence” option when recording attendance in Canvas. You may only mark a student Present, Absent, or Late.

Absences due to illness are similarly not excused; students who are ill should not provide doctor’s notes to you, nor should you accept such documentation. If a student has extenuating health-related circumstances that may necessitate excessive absences, refer them to either Disability Resources or Student Health and Counseling. Both offices provide support and may be able to grant accommodations for excessive absences. However, only in extreme circumstances would an accommodation be granted for absences that exceed the institution’s policy. Staff members in these offices can best assess a student’s situation and connect them with appropriate resources.


Students are expected to attend and be on time for all classes. Students who arrive ten minutes or more after class begins are marked as late. Three latenesses equal one absence. Excessive absence or lateness can result in a failing grade for the course and potential academic probation.

Mid-Semester Evaluations

Students who are not meeting course requirements by the half-way mark through the course will receive a Mid-Semester Unsatisfactory Evaluation. This form may be given to a student for excessive absences, failure to complete required work or assignments in a satisfactory manner, or failure to participate in classroom work and activity. A student will receive written notification of a Mid-Semester Unsatisfactory Evaluation either verbally or in writing. Faculty should share this status with the Department Chair or the Graduate Advisor.


In rare circumstances, students unable to complete required coursework in a given semester may receive the grade "Incomplete.” This decision is made by the instructor and student, and an Incomplete Grade form is generated and put on file with the department and the Registrar’s Office. This form is an agreement between the student and instructor specifying what work needs to be completed and when it is due. Any deviation from this agreement may result in a failing grade for the course.

Submitting Grades

You can access WebAdvisor via MySVA, the portal for SVA. To log in type in your browser and enter your username and your 7-digit ID number You will then create a permanent password. Once you access the portal there is a link to WebAdvisor where you can view your class schedule, information about your students and enter grades. If you need assistance, contact or call the Registrar's office at 212.592.2200.


Please free free to contact the Registrar with any questions or concerns at 212.592.2202 or via email.

Page last modified on August 27, 2019, at 09:53 PM