Hôtel de Sens
Student Working in Printmaking Class

Academic Policies, Procedures, and Regulations

The Paris Institute of Creative Arts (PICA) has been set up to allow students to take advantage of the countless amazing cultural offerings of Paris. However, our Paris program academic policies stress upon students the need to remain disciplined and committed to their classroom responsibilities. At PICA, we’re convinced it needn’t be a choice between commitment to the classroom or exploring Paris. When possible, we endeavor to bring students out into the city of Paris and we believe that the knowledge acquired in classroom–be it learning new French vocabulary, gaining a deeper understanding of French architecture or developing a greater mastery of your digital camera–that this new knowledge and skills help students recognize and  appreciate even more the amazing richness to be found in Paris!

Obtaining Credit:

PICA is accredited by Whittier College in California. Students should check with their home school Registrar’s Office to see whether they will need a PICA or a Whittier College transcript to transfer credits to their home universities for course work successfully completed at PICA during the Fall, Spring, Winter and/or Summer academic programs.

Paris Institute of Creative Arts Transcript:

All students will receive a PICA transcript upon completion of their academic program. As PICA receives its accreditation through Whittier College, students may require a Whittier College transcript to transfer PICA course credits to the student’s home institution. Students should check with their academic advisor and/or Registrar’s Office to determine whether the PICA transcript will be sufficient or if they will also need a Whittier College transcript.

Non-credit seeking students:

Not all students who study at PICA seek U.S. university level credits. Some students may choose to take courses for personal enrichment. Students choosing to study at PICA without receiving university credits may not switch to credit-seeking status once classes have commenced. All students are required to complete course work and attend classes. Failure to engage in regular class attendance (whether taking classes for credit or not) can lead to exclusion from the PICA program which would include vacating student-arranged housing.

Credit Hours:

One credit hour indicates a minimum of 50 minutes of class time per week. Most academic offerings are 3 credit hour courses, requiring 45 contact hours per semester. Studio Art courses are 3 credit hour courses that require a total of 60 contact hours per semester.

Grading System:

Credit hours attempted are the number of hours for which student has received a grade of “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, or “F”.


All course work is recorded on student’s transcript using the following codes.

A = (4.0 grade points) Outstanding
A- = (3.7 grade points)
B+ = (3.3 grade points)
B = (3.0 grade points) Above Average
B- = (2.7 grade points)
C+ = (2.3 grade points)
C = (2.0 grade points) Average
C- = (1.7 grade points)
D = (1.0 grade point) Below average
F = (0.0 grade points) Failure
W = (0.0 grade points) ”Withdrawal” indicates that the student was passing at the time of withdrawal.
WF = (0.0 grade points) ”Withdrew Failing” indicates failure at the time of withdrawal.
I = (0.0 grade points)
EX = Expelled

Grade Grievance Procedure:

Students must first attempt to resolve the matter with the Instructor with whom the grievance originated. The faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades. The faculty member’s judgment is final unless compelling evidence shows discrimination, differential treatment, or factual mistake. Grievances must be filed with the PICA Program Director.
Release of Academic Records: PICA transcripts and other student records are released by the office of Admissions in Paris by written request from the student or by persons authorized by the student to do so.
Scholastic Dishonesty: Cheating on a test or other class work and/or plagiarism are considered to be scholastic dishonesty and will subject a student to expulsion from the class. In such cases, students will not receive any reimbursement for paid tuition or other fees.

Attendance Policy:

A student who fails to attend at least 80% of classes will receive an F for the semester. Exceptions can be granted in the case of serious illness or family emergencies. Students are requested to keep teachers and the PICA Program Director aware of any such problems.  Attendance is kept by the Instructor and grade reduction or failure is at the discretion of the Instructor.

Adding and Dropping Courses:

Students studying in the Fall or Spring semesters may add courses through the end of the first week of classes. Students wishing to add a course after the first week must request permission in writing from both the Instructor and the Director’s office. A student may drop a class without receiving a W or a WF on their transcript within the first 3 weeks of the semester. Students may drop a class and receive a W or a WF until the end of the 6th week of class. Students may not drop/withdraw from a class after the end of the 6th week of classes. Students who cease to attend classes after this point will receive an F for the course. Students wishing to add or drop a class must submit a written request to the Director’s office. Students will not receive a refund for dropped classes. Classes that are added to student’s course load must be paid for by the end of the first week of class or the student will be dropped from the course.  It is the student’s responsibility to contact their home institution about courses added or dropped.

Non-Discrimination Policy: 

The Paris Insitute of Creative Arts admits students of any race, religion, national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs and activities made available to the students at the school. PICA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or marital, veteran, or handicapped status in administration of its educational policies, or admissions policies. All students enrolling in PICA must have at least a high school diploma or an equivalent. Students choosing to petition their schools for credit and or wishing to apply for credit must present a college transcript and must have at least a 2.8 grade point average.

Student Responsibilities and Expectations

Attendance Policy:

All students attending courses at PICA are required to attend classes regularly. Attendance is taken daily in every course and reported bi-monthly to the school’s administration. Students missing 20% or more classes will receive an automatic “F”, failing grade for that course on their transcript. Exceptions will be made only for excused absences. For an absence to be excused a student must present a valid doctor’s note signed by the Director and presented to the instructor. Students with an excused absence will be required to complete all work, exams and extra projects to make up for missed classes. Field trips scheduled by instructors if indicated as such on the syllabus require attendance and are considered part of the course curriculum. Attendance on these outings and events is mandatory. Students will be informed in advance of the dates, meeting times and costs associated with these activities.

Other PICA pages which may interest you: