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<Faculty of Arts

Grading System

Refer to Grades and Grading Schemes within the Academic Information section of this calendar.

Repeating Passed or Failed Courses for Academic Credit

Students are allowed to repeat a passed or a failed course once for degree or certificate credit. Students should note that course availability and space considerations may preclude the possibility of repeating a course in the session they choose. When a student is allowed to repeat a course for degree or certificate credit, the second grade will be the grade of record and the only grade calculated in the student's grade point average (major, cumulative, sessional and overall). A course can be credited only once towards satisfaction of degree or certificate credit requirements. The record of both the first and second time the course was taken will appear on the student's transcript, with the first course designated as "No Credit Retained" (NCR). The restrictions regarding repeating a passed or failed course also apply to cross-listed courses and course exclusions.

Grades from Other Universities

Grades for courses taken at other universities either prior to admission to York or on a York letter of permission are not listed on the York transcript and are not included in the calculation of grade point averages in the Faculty of Arts. Where it is necessary for the Faculty to take into consideration a student's grades from another institution, this Faculty's definitions of grades apply.

Alternative Grading Option


The Faculty wants capable upper-year students to feel free to enrol in elective/free-choice courses without fear of jeopardizing their grade point average. For this reason, students may take a limited number of such courses for full degree credit on an ungraded basis. Courses taken on this basis are listed on the transcript as Pass or as Fail. Neither of these two grades is calculated into the student's grade point averages. The course director forwards a written evaluation of the student's work in the course to the student and to the Registrar's Office. The following regulations apply to courses taken as a pass/fail alternative grading option.

  • Only students who are not under academic warning, debarment warning, or academic probation may take such courses.
  • Students may apply to take such courses only after they have successfully completed 24 credits.
  • Courses taken on a pass/fail alternative grading option may not be used for courses taken to satisfy major, minor, general education, certificate requirements, or 1000-level science courses.
  • Students registered in an Honours BA program may take a maximum of 12 credits as a pass/fail alternative grading option.
  • Students registered in a BA program may take a maximum of six credits as a pass/fail alternative grading option.
  • Students who wish to designate a course as pass/fail alternative grading option must do so within the first two weeks of the term in which the course begins; they must first obtain the signature of the course director on the form available for this purpose from Student Client Services. The completed form should then be returned to Student Client Services.
  • Students who elect to complete a course as a pass/fail alternative grading option can switch back to a graded basis until the last date to drop a course without academic penalty.

Credit/No Credit

The notations "Credit" and "No Credit" will be used when an entire course is being offered on an ungraded basis. No credit will count as an earned failing grade of F in the grade point average.

Grades in Courses

Marking Scheme

The means of determining the final grade in a course must be announced in writing in each course within the first two weeks of classes. Such information must include the kinds of assignments, essays, examinations and other components which make up the grade; their relative weights; and any other procedures which enter into the determination of the final grade.

In exceptional circumstances, a previously announced marking scheme for a course may be changed, but only with the consent of all students. The new marking scheme must also be distributed in written form.

Instructors are obligated to provide a mechanism by which students can be apprised of their progress in a course; in particular, students must be able to make an informed decision on whether to withdraw from a course. This will normally mean that before the deadline for withdrawing from courses, students will receive graded feedback on work worth at least 15 per cent of the final grade for fall (F Term), winter (W Term), or summer term courses, and 30 per cent for Y Term courses offered in the fall/winter session. Instructors are urged to provide more feedback where possible. More information is available at

In courses where percentages are used as a means of reporting grades on individual pieces of work, the following conversion table is to be used in converting percentage grades to letter grades, unless alternative provisions for scaling and/or conversion are announced to students in writing within the first two weeks of classes.

From Percentage

To Letter Grade





















Requests for Reappraisal of Final Grades

Students may, with sufficient grounds, request that a final grade in a course be reappraised. Further information may be obtained from the department/division offering the course. Students applying to have a grade reappraised in a Faculty of Arts course should note the following:

  • Requests for reappraisal must be filed with the unit offering the course within 21 calendar days of the release of the final grade in the course, or February 15 for the fall term, June 15 for the fall/winter and winter term and September 30 for the summer term, whichever is later.
  • Students may question the marking of specific pieces of work, or the overall course grade. Normally, however, only written work can be reassessed.
  • When a student asks for a reappraisal, an original grade may be raised, lowered or confirmed.
  • Students wishing to request the reappraisal of a final grade should fill out the appropriate form available from the department/division offering the course and submit it to the same office.
  • The decision of the department/division may be appealed to the Faculty of Arts Student Relations and Experience Committee only on grounds of procedural irregularity or new evidence.

Deferred Standing and Aegrotat Standing

In some cases, students may be eligible for deferred standing or aegrotat standing on the grounds of illness, accident, or family misfortune.

Deferred Standing

Deferred standing (an extension) allows a student additional time to write a test or final examination, or to complete an assignment after the Faculty's deadline for submission of term work.

In the Faculty of Arts, deferred standing is arranged by means of a form called a Final Examination/Assignment Deferred Standing Agreement. The deadlines for submitting this form are January 15 (fall term one, three and four credit courses), and May 15 (six and nine credit courses, and winter term one, three and four credit courses). A petition for deferred standing may be submitted if the course director indicates on a Final Examination/Assignment Deferred Standing Agreement form that she or he refuses to approve deferred standing, or if the deadline for agreements has passed. The form and guidelines are available on the Current Students Web site (

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 or late withdrawal from the course is inappropriate.

Petitions for Deferred Standing and Aegrotat Standing

Petitions for deferred standing or aegrotat standing are expected to be submitted to the Petitions Committee within 48 hours of the Final Examination/Assignment Deferred Standing Agreement application deadline, and will not be accepted more than one month after the last day of examinations for the term in question without evidence of circumstances which account for the delay. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that full documentation (medical or other) is provided in support of petitions for deferred or aegrotat standing. Appropriate forms and guidelines are available from Student Client Services or at the Current Students Web site (