Consumer Information

Information for current and prospective students about The Academy's admission rates, retention and graduation rates, gender, ethnicity and financial aid are available on the College Navigator webpage for the National Center for Education Statistics.

Additional Consumer Information Policies

Withdrawal Policy

A student wishing to withdraw from the school for any reason must do so in person with the Senior Director of Instruction (or designee) and file a Student Withdrawal Form. In addition, students who are receiving financial aid must also consult with the Financial Aid Officer. Failure to withdraw formally will result in a student's transcript being withheld until the above requirements are completed. (If the student is under 18 years of age, a parental note of permission must accompany the notification of withdrawal.)

Refund and Return of Title IV Funds Policy

Tuition will be refunded according to the schedule indicated in the catalog. Title IV funds will be refunded on a pro rata basis according to regulations established by the United States Department of Education. If you receive federal funds while attending The Academy, be advised that if you terminate your enrollment prior to completing the course of study of your choice, federal regulations may require that all or a portion of the funds received be returned to the original aid programs as unearned aid. Unpaid institutional charges will be the sole responsibility of the student. For complete information about The Academy's refund policy, contact our Financial Aid Office.

Leave of Absence Policy

A leave of absence may be granted at the discretion of the Director of Instruction in the case of extreme emergency only. Due to the time framework of study at The Academy, students who are granted a leave of absence must usually join the subsequent enrollment class, since classes progress at a rapid pace and it is difficult to make up any significant time lost within the term that the leave occurred. If the student feels that a leave of absence is necessary, the student should submit a letter requesting a leave of absence to the Director of Instruction as soon as possible. The Director of Instruction will make arrangements to meet with the student after receipt of the letter to discuss the situation and request.

A leave of absence can only be granted once during a student’s enrollment at The Academy. The student must provide documentation regarding extreme medical, financial or personal circumstances prior to the leave being considered. The student must be able to return to school within one year. In order to be re-admitted to The Academy, the student must provide documentation, such as a note from a physician attesting to the student’s good health and full ability to do the work with no limitations, if it were a medical leave.

If the leave is for financial reasons, the student must meet with the Financial Aid Director, who will work with the student to plan for the leave and clearly inform the student of his/her financial obligations. It may be possible to apply any remaining tuition to the return of the student. The student will be subject to tuition in effect when the student returns and not at the level when the student went on leave of absence.

If a term has been completed prior to the leave of absence, the student will not have to repeat the term. If a student is granted a leave mid-term, he/she will start the term from the beginning upon returning.

Students not communicating and/or not returning to school at the scheduled end of an official leave of absence will be terminated from the program.

Studying Abroad Policy

The Academy does not participate in a study abroad program.

Services for Students with Disabilities

The American Academy of Dramatic Arts is committed to providing equal educational access for individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments (ADAA) of 2008. An individual with a disability who is qualified for admission will have the same access to programs, services, and activities as all other students.

Students with disabilities who wish to enroll in Academy programs, services, or activities must be able to meet Academy standards.

Students who have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities are eligible for services.

We recognize that disabilities may impact mobility, psychological functioning, learning, and other health concerns. The Academy will make efforts to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities to the extent that such accommodations are achievable. Though The Academy takes the needs of students with disabilities seriously, it is not able to guarantee that all services requested can or will be provided. Specifically, accommodations that are unduly burdensome or that fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity may not be considered.

Note that at the post-secondary level, students have the right not to be identified as disabled. For this reason, students must take the initiative to contact The Academy and request academic accommodations. Students must submit their request for accommodations to The Academy’s Director of Instruction. Written documentation regarding the nature of the disability and any considerations/accommodations that may be necessary must be submitted along with the request. Such documentation must: (1) be from an appropriate professional, (2) not be more than three years old and, (3) provide a clear understanding of how the student is presently functioning.

Students requesting accommodations must provide the following:

  • Documentation from a licensed clinical professional who is familiar with the current functional implications of the impairments.
  • Documentation content must include verification of the current nature and extent of the disability in accordance with current professional standards.
  • Documentation must indicate that the disability substantially limits a major life activity, in order to establish that an individual is covered under Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For classroom-based adjustments, learning must be one of the major life activities affected.
  • Documentation must substantiate the student’s current accommodation requests and list the academic adjustments required.
  • All documentation must be submitted on the official letterhead of the professional describing the disability.
  • Documentation should be dated, signed, and include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification.

The Academy will provide accommodations as required by the ADA and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Because each disability and the particular circumstances surrounding each request are unique, is impossible to predict what accommodations might be provided to a particular student. Academic accommodations include, but are not limited to: extended time for tests and exams, extended time for the completion of assignments, tutoring, recording classes, etc. This list is not exhaustive, nor are these services guaranteed. Whether a requested accommodation will be provided will depend on the nature and functional limitations of a student’s disability, the particular class it affects, and the burden it will place on The Academy in terms of resources as well as whether the accommodation would fundamentally disturb or alter the nature of the service provided.

The Academy’s confidentiality policy provides that only appropriate school personnel access this information and it is stored in separate, confidential files. Except in instances of health or safety, information concerning the disability, accommodations, or documentation will not be released without written consent.

It is important to realize that the request, documentation review and arrangements for accommodations can be a lengthy process. We urge students who believe they may be eligible to contact The Academy well in advance of their enrollment to apply for services. If possible, please provide at least 60 days advance notice. The Academy’s President, Director of Instruction and Director of Academic Services / Student Advisor make determinations of reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.

The granting of any accommodation will not be retroactive and cannot jeopardize the academic standards or integrity of any course.

Credit Hours Policy

The American Academy of Dramatic Arts complies with Federal (U.S. Department of Education), New York State Education Department (NYSED), Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE), and National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) regulations and standards pertaining to degree requirements and credit hours.


The United States Department of Education, at 34 CFR Section 600.2, defines a credit hour as an “amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out-of-class student work for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or 10 to 12 weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or,
  2. At least an equivalent of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.”

All courses and degree programs at The Academy must comply with Section 50.1 (o) New York State Commissioner of Education Regulations:

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. The basic measure shall be adjusted proportionally 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.”

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, in its Credit Hour Policy, effective August 23, 2013, requires institutions to verify compliance with Credit Hour Regulations.

The American Academy of Dramatic Arts' Policy on “Credit Hour”

The unit of credit at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts is the credit hour. As defined above, one credit hour is earned by a minimum of 15 instructional hours (of 50 minutes, i.e. 12.5 clock hours), together with 30 hours of supplementary assignments (i.e. out-of-class work, homework of 25 clock hours). Credit for non-lecture-based classes, including studios, practica, and rehearsal and performance projects, may be adjusted from this common correspondence, based on different expectations for the amount of supplementary assignments, in accordance with common practice in higher education. The Academy adheres to the federal standard of a total expectation of at least 45 total student-learning hours, consisting of instructional hours and supplementary assignments, in a semester regardless of time frame of delivery.

The academic year at The Academy consists of thirty weeks, comprised of two semesters. A semester may have one or two terms, each of variable lengths of 3 to 12 weeks. Because The Academy’s intensive conservatory training does not follow a traditional fifteen-week semester, lecture-discussion courses normally meet for one period of lecture (115 minutes), plus two periods of preparation (230 minutes) each week for twelve (12) weeks and award 1.5 credit hours. In studio or practicum courses, normally one hour of credit is given for one 115-minute direct instruction period and one 115-minute period of required preparation or independent practice per week for twelve (12) weeks. The amount of credit awarded for classes in abbreviated terms is adjusted proportionally. Rehearsal and performance capstone projects normally meet for 20 hours (55 minutes each) of rehearsal, plus ten hours (55 minutes each) of preparation weekly for a period of six or seven weeks and award 4 or 4.5 credit hours respectively.

Instructional Format

The following provides general guidance on how the credit hour translates to the particular instructional format.

Lecture (LEC): Courses with multiple students which meet to engage in various forms of group instruction under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Ratio of instructional time to out-of-class student work is 1:2, e.g., Script Analysis, Theater History.

Credit hours awarded Minimum instructional time per week Minimum instructional time for 12 weeks Minimum out of class student work per week Minimum out of class student work for 12 weeks Total of instructional contact time and out of class student work
1.5 115 instructional minutes 1,380 instructional minutes 230 minutes 2,760 minutes 4,140 minutes
(69 hours)
3 230 instructional minutes 2,760 instructional minutes 460 minutes 5,520 minutes 8,280 minutes
(138 hours)

Studio (STU): A course requiring performance-focused experiential work, where students perform a creative activity to obtain a specific outcome, under the supervision of a faculty member. Significant outside practice and preparation are expected; ratio of instructional time to out-of-class student work is 1:1, e.g., Acting I, II, IV; Voice & Speech I, II, III; Movement I, II, III; Camera I, II, III; Vocal Production I, II; Stage Combat; Styles.

Credits awarded Minimum contact time per week Minimum instructional time for 12 weeks Minimum out of class student work per week Minimum out of class student work for 12 weeks Total of instructional contact time and out of class student work
1 115 instructional minutes 1,380 instructional minutes 115 minutes 1,380 minutes 2,760 minutes
(46 hours)
2 230 instructional minutes 2,760 instructional minutes 230 minutes 2,760 minutes 5,520 minutes
(92 hours)
3 345 instructional minutes 4,140 instructional minutes 345 minutes 4,140 minutes 8,280 minutes
(138 hours)
4 445 instructional minutes 5,340 instructional minutes 445 minutes 5,340 minutes 10,680 minutes
(178 hours)
5 575 minutes 6,900 instructional minutes 575 minutes 6,900 minutes 13,800 minutes
(230 hours)

Practicum (PRC): A course requiring students to apply previously studied theory of the field or discipline under the supervision of a faculty member. Includes organized course meetings with instructor, e.g., Voice & Speech Practicum.

Credits awarded Minimum contact time per week Minimum instructional time for 12 weeks Minimum out of class student work per week Minimum out of class student work for 12 weeks Total of instructional contact time and out of class student work
1 230 instructional minutes 2,760 instructional minutes 0 0 2,760 minutes
(46 hours)

Rehearsal & Performance (RP): Course requiring performance-focused experiential work under the direct supervision of a faculty member, where students rehearse and ultimately perform works of theatre for a jury or audience. The minimum contact time per credit is typically twice that of a lecture (2:1 ratio), e.g., Acting III, Rehearsal & Performance I, II.

Credits awarded Minimum contact time per week Minimum instructional time for 6 weeks Minimum out of class student work per week Minimum out of class student work for 6 weeks Total of instructional contact time and out of class student work
4 1,200 instructional minutes 7,200 instructional minutes 600 minutes 3,600 minutes 10,800 minutes (180 hours)
4.5 1,200 instructional minutes 8,400 instructional minutes (7 weeks in Second Year) 600 minutes 4,200 minutes (7 weeks in Second Year) 12,600 minutes
(210 hours)

Procedures for Review of Credit Hour Assignment

  1. All new courses will follow the credit hour calculation in this policy.
  2. Existing courses are reviewed annually by the Senior Director of Instruction and Registrar to ensure that work load is consistent with the potential credits to be earned.
  3. Courses which appear to be out of compliance will be evaluated and immediate measures taken to rectify discrepancies.
  4. The Academy website will serve as the official college publication providing information on credits assigned to each college course.