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Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Education
Faculty of Environmental Studies
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Faculty of Pure and Applied Science
Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies
Osgoode Hall Law School
Schulich School of Business
Courses of Instruction
Glendon College

Grading and Academic Standards

The Faculty of Environmental Studies follows the York University undergraduate grading scheme which awards letters ranging from A+ to F and assigns a point value from 0 to 9 to each letter grade. The various grades that may be awarded in satisfying the requirement of a BES course or assignment are outlined in the BES Supplemental Calendar, available at the Office of Student and Academic Services in 352 Lumbers Building.

BES Term Work, Tests and Examinations

Term Work: Term work includes reports, assignments, essays, tests, and other written and oral work assigned in a course, with the exception of final examinations, as outlined in the approved course syllabus. Course directors set the deadlines for submission of term work. All term work must be submitted by the last day of classes of the term in which the course ends. Term work submitted after the last day of classes of the term in which the course ends will not be accepted for grading. Students will be penalized one-half grade point per day that their assignments are late. Exceptions to the lateness policy for valid reasons such as illness, compassionate grounds etc. will be entertained by the course director only when supported by written documentation (e.g. a doctor's letter).

Examinations: Examinations may be held in any BES course in such form and manner as decided by the course director and as described in the approved course syllabus. Examinations are an essential part of the learning and evaluation process. They must be conducted under fair conditions which allow students to analyze, synthesize, and demonstrate what they have learned. Disruptions or attempts to obtain an unfair advantage are offences against due academic processes and carry severe penalties.

End of Term Restrictions: The total value of any test(s) or examination(s) given during the last two weeks of classes in a term must carry a combined weighting of no more that 20 percent of the final mark for the course.

Scheduling of Tests: Except where testing is conducted during individual appointments which accommodate a student's schedule (for example, individually scheduled make-up tests), tests or examinations given during the term must be held within the hours regularly scheduled for the course in question.

Students' Rights of Refusal: Students who are asked to write tests or examinations in contravention of the preceding two regulations may refuse to do so without academic penalty. They also have the right to raise the matter with the undergraduate program director.

General Regulations for Tests and Examinations

Identification: Students who are being tested or examined are required to present their sessional validation card and an acceptable form of photographic identification when asked to do so by an instructor or invigilator. Acceptable forms of photographic identification include a valid driver's license with photograph attached, a valid passport or other certificate of citizenship with photograph attached.

Formally Scheduled Examinations

Final Examination Period: There is a final examination period at the end of each term, as published in the York University Undergraduate Lecture Schedule.

Examination Schedules: The dates, times and places of formally scheduled examinations are published each term on the Office of the Registrar's Web site (www.registrar.yorku.ca). Examinations may last two or three hours. Students are responsible for making themselves aware of the appropriate examination details.

Missed Examinations: A student who misses an examination must contact the Office of Student and Academic Services or the Office of the Registrar within 48 hours of the examination. A student who wishes to write a make-up examination must petition for deferred standing in the course.

Rewriting of Examinations: There shall be no rewriting of a final examination to improve a mark.

Assessment of Students in BES Courses

The course director shall assess students enrolled in each BES course in light of the requirements set at the beginning of the course as articulated in the course syllabus. These assessments shall be based on a combination of tests or formal examination(s), participation in classes, term work submitted, and other evidence as determined by the course director.

Marking scheme:

  • Announcement in class: The means of determining the final grade in a course shall be provided to students by the course director. Such information must include the types of assignments, essays, examinations, and other components, which make up the grade, their relative weight(s), and any other procedures, which enter into the determination of the final grade.
  • Subsequent changes: In exceptional circumstances, a previously announced marking scheme for a course may be changed, but only with the consent of all students and the approval of the undergraduate program director. The course director must distribute the new marking scheme in written form to the students.
  • Feedback during course: Instructors are obliged to provide a mechanism by which students can be apprised of their progress in a course. Students must be able to make an informed decision on whether to withdraw from a course within the university's official deadline. This will normally mean that students will receive some graded feedback on work worth at least 10 per cent of the course grade before the deadline for withdrawing from that course. Instructors are urged to provide more feedback where possible.

Alternate Grading Method


Students in the Faculty of Environmental Studies can request a pass/fail option only after completing 24 credits. Courses taken under the pass/fail option will be annotated on their transcript as "Pass" or "Fail." Neither of these grades will be calculated into their grade point average. The following rules apply to the pass/fail option:

  • Only students who have good academic standing may choose this option (i.e. above 4.0 or 5.0 grade point average, depending on degree program);
  • Students are required to have completed 24 credits before requesting this option;
  • Courses taken under this option may not be used to satisfy major, minor, general education or certificate requirements or 1000-level science courses;
  • Students in the Honours BES program can take a maximum of 12 credits on the pass/fail option;
  • Students in the 90-credit BES program may take a maximum of six credits on the pass/fail option;
  • Students who intend to take a course on the pass/fail option must request to do so within the first two weeks of classes in the term in which the course is being offered;
  • Students are required to fill out an application form - available at the Office of the Registrar or online at www.registrar.yorku.ca. The student will return the completed form with the course director's approval to the Office of the Registrar;
  • Students who select the pass/fail grading option can switch back to a graded option without academic penalties until the last day to drop the course.

Grade Reappraisals

Reappraisal of Final BES Course Grades:

A student may, with sufficient grounds, request that a final course grade be reappraised. Such requests must be submitted on the approved form (which is available from the respective office) to the departmental office responsible for offering the course within 21 calendar days of the release of the final grade in the course. The course director shall do the reappraisal personally, or recommend a qualified person to do so to the undergraduate program director (e.g. a teaching assistant from the same course or a faculty member familiar with the course material). A reappraisal may result in a lower, higher, or unchanged grade. Whenever the grade reappraisal reflects a grade change it will be annotated on the student's transcript.

Further Appeal for Reappraisal of a Final BES Course Grade:

If the student is not satisfied with a reappraised final course grade, the procedure shall be as follows:

i) The course director and the student shall discuss the matter with the undergraduate program director, who may or may not arrange another reappraisal;

ii) If the matter remains unresolved, the student may appeal the grade by petition on the appropriate form provided by the Office of Student and Academic Services to the BES Program and Admissions Subcommittee, clearly stating the grounds for appeal;

iii) The decision of the BES Program and Admissions Subcommittee shall be final, and may be appealed to the FES Appeals Committee only on grounds of procedural irregularity.

Reappraisal of Grades Other Than Final Course Grades:

If a student is not satisfied with any grade -- other than a final course grade -- received from an instructor or teaching assistant, the student is expected to discuss the matter (and at such time may request a reappraisal) with the person from whom the student received the grade, normally within two weeks. A reappraisal may result in a lower, higher, or unchanged grade. If the student is not satisfied with the result of the reappraisal, the instructor or teaching assistant (where appropriate) shall discuss the matter with the course director. The course director shall decide whether or not to reappraise the student's work, and his/her decision is final for all grades other than final course grades.

Deferred Standing

In some cases, students may be eligible for deferred standing (an extension) to write a test or final examination or to complete an assignment after the Faculty's deadline for submission of term work. Senate policy states that students must request deferred standing through the department responsible for the course within one week following a missed examination or the last day to submit course work.

Students are responsible for ensuring that full documentation (medical or other) is provided in support of a petition for deferred standing. Application forms are available at the Office of the Registrar or online at www.registrar.yorku.ca, or from the FES Office of Student and Academic Services.

Aegrotat Standing

In cases where a student cannot be expected to complete the work for a course, the phrase "aegrotat standing" (from the Latin for "she/he is ill") is substituted for a grade on the transcript. Aegrotat standing is seldom granted, and only in exceptional circumstances where deferred standing is inappropriate. For more information, please contact your course director.

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