Skip to main content

Fine Arts – General Regulations


The academic regulations of the Faculty of Fine Arts have been carefully prepared to outline for students the specific demands and expectations of a fine arts degree program. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations of the Faculty and the University, and to abide by them. All students are subject to changes in regulations and requirements made after their first registration unless, in the opinion of the Faculty Council, undue hardship is involved.

Advising and Enrolment

Students newly admitted to the Faculty of Fine Arts will attend both an advising enrolment and fine arts orientation session at Student and Academic Services. Continuing students are encouraged to seek advising from their major departments prior to the summer and fall/winter enrolment periods. Students wishing to drop major courses during the term should check with an adviser first, as special permission may be required.

Maximum Course Load

Full-time students are those registered in 24 or more credits during the fall/winter academic session. 36 credits are allowed during the fall/winter session and 15 credits in the summer session for students majoring in dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts.

Students majoring in design may take a maximum of 36 credits during a calendar year.


Students who wish to attend (audit) a course in the Faculty of Fine Arts on a non-credit basis must obtain written permission from the course instructor and the department Chair. For further information on courses available and course fees, please contact the fine arts department offering the course.

Residence Requirement

While allowing students to take a certain number of courses at other universities and in other Faculties of York University, in order to meet the residence requirement, the Faculty of Fine Arts requires that students complete a portion of their courses as follows:

  • A minimum of 30 credits must be taken at York University.


  • No fewer than half of the credits required for the fine arts major must be taken in the Faculty of Fine Arts (i.e. courses with the prefix FA), including at least 12 credits at the 3000 or 4000 level, subject to any further prescriptions of the major department.

For students completing a minor in the Faculty of Fine Arts, no fewer than half of the credits required for the minor must be in-Faculty courses, i.e. courses with the prefix FA.

Academic Withdrawal

Before withdrawing from the University, students are encouraged to request an interview with a Student and Academic Serivces (SAS) adviser. In order to avoid receiving failing grades students must drop their courses by the published deadline.


Students who have been absent from the University for one or more academic sessions may apply to the Registrar’s Office for reactivation, provided that they left their fine arts degree program in good standing and have not attended another postsecondary institution without a letter of permission. Information concerning reactivation can be obtained from the Reactivation website ( Students who were ineligible to continue in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the time of their leaving must apply for re-admission. For more information see the Academic Penalties section.


Petitions for Exemptions from the Regulations

The purpose of academic regulations is to allow students to develop their interests and talents to the fullest in ways consistent with the philosophy and standards of the Faculty. In establishing academic regulations, the Faculty also recognizes that instances will arise where it makes sense, in the context of a student’s academic career, to petition or request a waiver of an academic regulation or deadline.

Academic/Administrative Policy and Planning Committee

Academic petitions from fine arts students for exceptions to all Faculty regulations, including petitions to continue their studies without interruption from students who have been required to withdraw or are debarred, are adjudicated by a sub-committee of the Fine Arts Academic/Administrative Policy and Planning Committee during the fall/winter academic session. During the summer months, petitions are heard by summer authority as designated by Faculty Council.

Note on Grade Reappraisals

Requests for the reappraisal of final grades are not petitions in the formal sense. A formal request for a grade reappraisal should be submitted in writing to the department or unit in which the course is offered (see policy on grade reappraisals in the Grading and Academic Standards section).

Right to Petition

Students in the Faculty of Fine Arts have the right to petition on reasonable grounds for special consideration. It should be noted, however, that a petition is a request for the waiver of a regulation; it cannot be used to create legislation (e.g. a degree program) that does not exist. Normally, petitions will not be considered by the Academic/Administrative Policy and Planning Committee more than one year beyond the date of the release of grades for the session to which the petition relates. The committee will only accept petitions from students currently enrolled in the Faculty of Fine Arts and who have not had their degrees conferred.

Petitions Procedure

Students shall petition all matters to their home Faculty with the exception of grade reappraisals, which are considered by the department/Faculty offering the course. Petitions are held in the strictest confidence. The committee considers the petition itself, any supporting documents (from professors or medical practitioners) and other relevant information contained in the student’s record. Students and/or their representatives may appear before a committee only at the discretion or invitation of the committee. Appeals to decisions rendered on petitions are heard by the committee solely on the grounds of either new evidence or evidence of procedural irregularity. Appeals should be directed to an adviser, in Student and Academic Services, Fine Arts.

Initiating a Petition

To initiate a petition, a student must complete an undergraduate academic petition package, available at the Academic Petition website (

Petitions relating to a student’s enrolment status or academic standing must be submitted within 30 days of the release of grade reports for the session. Such petitions may be considered for a period of up to one year if they are based on special circumstances.

Advice on petitioning is available from Student and Academic Services, Fine Arts, second floor, Joan and Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts, 416-736-5135. Petitions should be submitted to or mailed to the Bennett Centre for Student Services.