Academic Policies and Procedures
The Curtis Institute of Music is committed to musical and academic integrity. Curtis pledges to create an atmosphere conducive to creativity, learning, and achievement, in keeping with the mission of the school. Guidelines and policies detail students’ and teachers’ rights and obligations as members of Curtis’s community and are provided to foster excellence on stage and in the classroom. Read the full academic honesty policy here.
The safety, security and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors at the Curtis Institute of Music are of paramount importance. Read our Annual Security and Fire Safety Report to see safety statistics from 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Students are required to attend and be on time for all private lessons, coachings, ensemble classes, academic classes, and opera and orchestra rehearsals scheduled by Curtis.
In addition, students must adhere to the attendance policies outlined by their individual instructors for each class. Late students may be refused admittance, and credit for attendance when late will be granted at the teacher’s discretion.
Students unable to attend a private lesson, coaching, or ensemble class because of illness or other circumstance must contact the registrar by 9 a.m. that day. Curtis reserves the right to request a doctor’s excuse for extended illnesses or after multiple absences. Unauthorized absences from ensemble classes or orchestra rehearsals may result in denial of a Release Request of any kind and a grade of F for the semester. Excessive unexcused absences from any class may be cause for dismissal.
Curtis is a community in which musical and intellectual growth, learning by doing, mutual tolerance, and respect for freedom of thought and expression are principles of great importance. Curtis provides an environment that promotes the free interchange of ideas, cultural diversity, and space for artistic, intellectual, and social growth.
Read the Curtis Code of Conduct (pdf).
Students may meet requirements in musical studies and supplementary performance subjects by examination. Credit for Advanced Placement examinations may be given in certain liberal arts subjects for test scores of 4 or 5.
The Curtis Institute of Music will accept credit for liberal arts and music history courses taken at an accredited college, university, or music school prior to matriculation at Curtis. Transfer courses must have a grade of C or better. Curtis will examine all applicable transcripts before granting the transfer of credits. Final assignments of transfer credit are made by the registrar.
During a student’s enrollment at Curtis, all degree requirements must be fulfilled within the Curtis curriculum. Any course taken for transfer credit must have the pre-approval of the senior associate dean of academics. Curtis students who wish to take a course for transfer credit should contact the senior associate dean of academics for consideration with the following information: the name of the institution at which the course is offered, the course name, and a course description and/or proposed syllabus.
Transfer students may receive credit for up to twenty-seven semester hours in liberal arts subjects. Students with a previous undergraduate degree must take a minimum of fifteen semester hours in liberal arts subjects at Curtis to receive a Bachelor of Music degree from the Institute.
Courses may be added only during the first two weeks of each semester.
Courses may be dropped during the first four weeks of the semester without appearing on the student’s transcript. Students who drop a course after the second week of classes may not add one in its place.
Students who drop a course between the fifth and eighth week of classes receive a W/F (Withdraw/Fail). After eight weeks the mark is F. If there are extenuating circumstances, a student may submit to the registrar a written petition to have the grade changed. The petition is reviewed by the appropriate staff members, and, if approved, a W/P (Withdraw/Pass) for the course appears on the student’s transcript.
A+ 4.0 A 4.0 Excellent A- 3.7 B+ 3.3 B 3.0 Good B- 2.7 C+ 2.3 C 2.0 Average C- 1.7 D+ 1.3 D 1.0 Passing D- Conditional: First semester only F 0.0 Failure AUD Audit INC Incomplete P Pass (indicates that no grades were given in the course but that the student has received credit for attendance) W/F Withdraw/Fail W/P Withdraw/Pass
Courses accepted as transfer credits and through exemption exams count toward the total number of credits for graduation but are not included in GPA calculations.
In both musical studies and liberal arts courses, D– is a temporary first-semester grade. The D– will be changed to an F if the student fails second semester; D– will be changed to a D should the student receive a passing grade for second semester.
The Curtis Institute of Music uses the semester hour as the basis for awarding academic credit. In lecture-based courses offered through the liberal arts and music studies curricula, a semester hour is defined as one 50-minute period of recitation plus two hours of preparation each week over a 15-week term. In performance-based and ensemble courses, one semester hour is given for a minimum of two clock hours of participation plus necessary preparation each week of a semester.
Credit and scheduling assignments for courses are made by the registrar in consultation with the senior associate dean of academics and academic department chairs as part of the curriculum development process each year.
Each semester, syllabi for all liberal arts and musical studies courses are collected and kept on file. The department chairs, in conjunction with the registrar, monitor course requirements and expectations to ensure that credit assignments accurately reflect class requisites and obligations.
No grade of Incomplete is given unless approved by the senior associate dean of academics and the instructor of the course. The student must make the request for an Incomplete in writing to the senior associate dean of academics before the end of the semester in which the course is being taken.
For courses in which a grade of Incomplete is received, course work must be completed within four weeks of the end of the semester and a grade submitted to the registrar. Otherwise, a permanent grade of F for that course is recorded on the student’s transcript.
Students must make all requests for transcripts in writing to the registrar. Official transcripts will be released directly to outside agencies only after the registrar receives a written request from the student.
Current students are entitled to three official transcripts each year without charge. Additional transcripts are sent for $5 each.
Curtis supplies transcripts (up to three per request) for alumni at a cost of $10. Transcripts are mailed within one week of payment made credit card. Transcripts may be requested online.
The Curtis Institute of Music adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
Curtis welcomes students with disabilities and provides reasonable accommodations to those who self-identify in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Academic accommodations, auxiliary services, and technology are made available to students who meet established documentation guidelines.
If you would like to discuss diagnostic testing for learning and psychological disabilities or would like more information contact Dean Tarditi or a member of the Counseling Team.