Course-Related Information

Calling All Communication Studies Majors:
Important course-related information you need to know!

1. Grading Standards: what does a GPA of 5 mean?

At York, we use 3 evaluation methods: a letter grade, a point value and a percentage. Students will get a letter grade on a piece of course work (which represents a numerical range). Please see the grading matrix below. In calculating the overall Grade Point Average (GPA), course grades are converted to a point value and then depending on the credit weight of the course (3, 6, or 9), an average is computed from all course credits. Students can use the GPA Calculator at the link below to see what their marks will be if they are curious about the effects different marks would have on their GPA:

A+ 9 90%+ exceptional
A 8 80-89% excellent
B+ 7 75-79% very good
B 6 70-74% good
C+ 5 65-69% competent
C 4 60-64% fairly
D+ 3 55-59% passing
D 2 50-54% barely
E 1 40-49% marginally
F 0 0-39% failing

2. How much feedback on grades will you get before the drop

Your Course Director is required to give feedback to you in a timely fashion so that you can make decisions about whether to drop a course before the drop date. For 2018-2019 dates go to:

Normally, 30% of the mark should be available for a full-year course, and 15% for a
semester course by the respective drop-dates.

3. Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course

For complete information regarding enrolling, dropping or withdrawing from a course, as well as financial and sessional deadlines, please be sure to visit—and bookmark—the Important Dates website:

There are different academic and financial deadlines for adding and dropping courses. Be sure to read the information carefully so that you understand the difference between the Sessional Dates and the Refund Table.

If a student drops a course before the drop date, the course will be removed from the transcript.

After the drop date, students may still withdraw from a course using the registration and enrolment system until the last day of class for the term associated with the course. When you withdraw from a course, the course remains on your transcript without a grade and is notated as "W". The withdrawal will not affect your GPA or count towards the credits required for your degree.

This policy gives an option to students who are struggling in a course and/or who have become overwhelmed by their circumstances: it lets students minimize the impact on their academic standing, reduce their course load and focus on successfully completing their other courses.

The Course Withdrawal Policy is also relevant to the resolution of Academic Petitions for a late withdrawal filed after the last day of classes on the grounds of hardship. For additional information on filing a petition, please visit:

For complete information regarding withdrawing from a course, please go to:

4. Course Relief

York University allows eligible undergraduate students who have changed their program degree or major to exclude courses completed toward the prior major requirements from their Overall Cumulative GPA (OCGPA) and credit totals for their new program of study.

This policy aims to help students continue in and graduate from a new academic program. For additional information regarding Course Relief, please visit:

5. What can you do if you receive a low or failure FINAL mark and it’s pulling down your GPA?

You have a number of options depending on your circumstances:
• If you think you’ve been unfairly evaluated, you can ask for a Grade Reappraisal (see #6. below)
• You can submit a Petition: If the mark or marks are the result of circumstances over which you have not had any control (sickness, family matters, accident, etc.), you can petition to have the mark or marks removed from your transcript. There is a petition package that must be completed and supporting evidence/documents must be attached.
• You can retake the course: The second grade will become the Grade of Record, and the first mark—while remaining on your transcript—is NOT averaged into your GPA.
• You can work very hard the next session to bring up your average.

6. How do you get work reappraised?

  • 6.1 During the school session

    If you question a mark you received in a course with a tutorial, please approach your Tutorial Leader first during her/his office hours for clarification of the marking scheme. If you continue to be dissatisfied, make an appointment with the Course Director and seek her/his intervention. The Undergraduate Program Director can be asked to intervene if a dispute is unresolved, but s/he
    cannot change the mark.6.2 Once final marks have been receivedIf you think that your final grade in a course was not justified, you may submit a formal request to the Department. The form is available at the Department or on our website:

Requests for Grade Reappraisals must be submitted within 21 calendar days of the release of final grades. Students may ask for all written work, or just specific parts to be reassessed – please note that participation marks CANNOT be reassessed. In courses with Tutorial Leaders, the reassessment will be carried out by the Course Director (if s/he has not already seen the work), and then if the dispute continues, by an anonymous marker (another full-time teaching member of Comn Studies) who will receive the work with the student’s name removed. As a result of the reappraisal, the original grade may be raised, lowered or confirmed. The Grade Reappraisal process
may take from 6-8 weeks; and you will be notified of the result in writing via letter to your home address.

The decision of the Department may be appealed—on procedural grounds only—to the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies’ Committee on Student Appeals and Academic Integrity. Appeals must be submitted within 21 calendar days of receiving the Department’s letter.

7. What If you can’t finish your work during the term?
Seek a Deferred Standing from your Course Director

Students may be eligible for Deferred Standing in a course on such grounds as illness, family misfortune, or accident. Deferred Standing allows students more time to complete course assignments, tests, and exams, past the deadline for the Course Director to submit final grades. Students in such circumstances should approach their Course Director(s) to sign the Final Exam/Assignment Deferred Standing Agreement form available online at:

Signed Deferred Standing Agreements must normally be submitted within 7 days following a missed exam or the last day to submit term work.

If a Course Director is unwilling or unable to sign the DSA form, you can meet with an Academic Advisor to submit a petition package within 14 calendar days of the missed exam or last day to submit term work (follow instructions at the link below):

8. How do you take a course at another university for credit?
Obtain a Letter of Permission (LOP)

If you wish to enroll at another university (host) and have those undergraduate credits transferred toward your York University Degree, you must first apply and be granted a Letter of Permission by the Office of the Registrar.

For complete information regarding LOPs, please visit:

Steps for taking an LOP:
• Download and fill out a Letter of Permission request which can be found at the following link:
• Submit the form, along with the Course(s) Syllabus to the appropriate department for them to confirm whether the course(s) is/are equivalent to one of their course(s);
• Submit the completed form with the department signature to the Registrar's Office (RO), and pay the 50$ related fee (once processed, the RO will send you the Letter of Permission per se);
• Follow the other institution's process to enrol in their course(s);
• Once the course(s) is completed, arrange for the other institution to send an official
transcript directly to York's Registrar's Office - it is also recommended to order a transcript for your own record as you will not have access to the one sent to York;
• Once York receives the official transcript directly from the other institution, if the course was successfully passed (with a minimal grade equivalent to a C at York), the credits will be added to your credits count (but will NOT appear on
your York transcript).

9. How seriously should you take academic honesty? Seriously!

The York University’s Senate Policy on Academic Honesty “is an affirmation and clarification for members of the University of the general obligation to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty.” Students are advised to make themselves aware of all the instances of academic dishonesty and proper research procedures in order to avoid being charged.

The Department of Communication Studies is committed to following up on all reported cases. The Undergraduate Program Director’s office handles all cases at the Exploratory Level. The full document, including the range of penalties, is available at:

10. Where do I go for specific academic help with my major?

Call 416-736-5057 for an advising session with either our Program Assistant or Undergraduate Program Director. We are here to help!