Members of the faculty panel will offer verbal evaluations of work presented. Students are encouraged to take notes of their feedback. The purpose of these sessions is to offer supportive comments that will help students to effectively realize their creative and conceptual goals. Students are encouraged to ask questions of the critique panel during the session.
The “First Crit” (formerly called Mid-Program Crit) comes after the completion of five production classes, and the “Second Crit” (formerly called End- of-Program Crit) comes after the completion of production classes. Upon completing the requisite number of production classes (five or ten), students may immediately participate in a critique session or choose to wait a semester before presenting their work at the relevant critique session.
A passing grade is required for a production class to count towards the relevant total needed for the First and Second Crits (and towards the MFA degree). Any grade below a B- is considered a failing grade in the IMA Program. Students are permitted to re-take a class in which they have received a failing grade.
See Thesis Guidelines for more information.
Once a student decides to participate in the crits during a particular semester, the program schedules the session. Students are intentionally assigned at random to a panel, compelling them to present and make a case for their work precisely to those who may be unfamiliar with them and their work – as is often the case outside the confines of an MFA program.
Students must present:
- Work created since enrolling in the program;
- A minimum of two pieces of work created in conjunction with an IMA class; and
Student may present:
- Written work created as part of an IMA class; and
- Additional work created while IMA students but not as part of a class.
With respect to collaborative work presented at a crit session, students must address the precise nature of their creative contribution to the project.
After the 20min of work is presented, the Crit Panel then has approx. twenty minutes to ask the student questions and to provide feedback.
Next, the student and all other guests in attendance (including IMA faculty not on the panel), leaves the room so that Crit Panel can deliberate.
Once the Crit Panel reaches a decision, the student is brought back into the room. The panel Convener conveys the panel’s decision to the student, including specific feedback on the work presented and the presentation itself.
Each panelist will evaluate in writing the student’s presentation according to the following criteria:
- Idea or ideas being presented: originality, poignancy, specificity, research.
- Technical competency. Capacity to use tools in order to achieve creative objectives. (visual composition; sound design; writing; graphic elements, typography, etc., as applicable)
- To what extent does this piece have a clear, identifiable voice? Is it consistent throughout? (as applicable)
- Public relevance. Does the work speak effectively to an intended audience?
- Ability to talk about and contextualize the work presented and its aims.
Overall Evaluation (Pass or Re-Present next semester):
The Convener collects the panelists written evaluations from the and writes a summary of them. This written crit feedback is provided to the student by the beginning of the semester following the crit session, with a copy retained by the IMA Program office.
Students who have not passed the Second Crit but have finished with ten cluster workshops are encouraged to take additional workshops in order to refine and develop the quality of their work. However, successful passage of the Second Crit is necessary in order to be approved to move forward with the Thesis Project.
Students may repeat the First and Second Crits up to two times each (for a maximum of three times in each category). Students who fail to pass either critique session after three attempts will not be able to continue in the IMA Program.
Students may not appeal Crit decisions based on their assertion that the panelists made errors of judgment. In other words, matters of opinion are not appealable.