Glossary of Terms

York University is currently experiencing a major IT services disruption due to a power failure. Power has been restored. Services are currently being brought online in priority sequence.

Credit Value

The credit value is the value of the course, e.g. PSYC 1000 6.00 has a credit value of 6. The credit value is used along with the grade value to determine the grade point average, e.g. If a student receives a C+ in a course, the value of the C+ is 5. If the course is a 6 credit course then the credit value is 6. Therefore the points a student would receive for this course would be 30 (5 x 6).

Courses Outside the Major
(known as "electives" prior to FW12)

Credits outside the major are courses which are intended to broaden the educational experience of students beyond their area of specialization. Credits outside the major include most courses which are not used to fulfill the general education requirements or major/minor requirements.

Courses not considered to be credits outside the major are:

  • Major/minor courses taken above the required number;
  • Non-major/minor courses taken within the major/minor subject (e.g. AP/FR 1020 6.00 is a non-major French course);
  • Courses outside the major/minor taken to fulfill major/minor requirements (e.g. AP/ADMS 2400 3.00 or HH/PSYC 3570 3.00 and AP/ECON 3240 3.00 are human resources management requirements);
  • Courses which are cross-listed or designated in the Undergraduate Calendar as program course substitutes to courses offered by the major/minor program (e.g. For Criminology, the Undergraduate Calendar reports AP/CRIM 3656 3.00 is cross-listed to AP/SOSC 3656 3.00 and is also a program course substitute for AP/CRIM 3652 3.00).

First Declared Subject

First declared subject is the student’s major, which is their primary area of concentration.

Foundations Courses

Foundations courses are 1000- and 2000-level nine-credit courses offered by the Division of Humanities and Division of Social Science in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. Foundations courses are part of the general education requirement.

General Education Courses

General education courses are courses which provide a broad interdisciplinary perspective, in addition to courses which focus on a specific subject. The requirements vary from Faculty to Faculty. For further information about general education courses, click on the appropriate link for your faculty:

School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design | Faculty of Health | Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

If you have questions about your general education requirements, please contact your Faculty's Advising Office.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Two types of averages are calculated and reported to students: sessional and cumulative. Both your grade point average achieved during a particular session (sessional grade point average) and your overall grade point average (cumulative grade point average) show on your grade report. All averages calculated for purposes such as determining eligibility to proceed and graduate are credit-weighted. Averages are calculated on the basis of the point value assigned to each letter grade as well as the credit value associated with that grade point value. To determine the grade point average:

  • Multiply total credit of each course by the grade point.
  • Add up total number of credits.
  • Add up the total of grade points.
  • Divide the total grade points by the total credits.

Grade Point Values

The following are the point values assigned to letter grades: 9 = A+; 8 = A; 7 = B+; 6 = B; 5 = C+; 4 = C; 3 = D+; 2 = D; 1 = E; 0 = F.

Letter of Permission (LOP)

A letter of permission allows students to receive credit at York for courses taken at other universities. In order to receive credit for such courses, a letter of permission must be obtained prior to enrolling. Students, who attend another institution without first obtaining a letter of permission, must reapply for admission and supply supporting documentation where necessary. In order to receive credit for courses taken on a letter of permission, students must arrange for the host institution to submit an official transcript to the Registrar’s Office.

Overall Cumulative Grade Point Average (OCGPA)

The overall cumulative grade point average reflects a student’s grades over the entire undergraduate career to date in a student’s particular degree program. Students who have completed less than 84 earned credits and are in year levels one, two or three,and whose overall cumulative grade point average is below 5.00, may continue in an Honours degree program provided they meet the year level progression requirements as follows:

Year 10-23 earned creditsMinimum overall cumulative grade point average 4.00
Year 224-53 earned creditsMinimum overall cumulative grade point average 4.25
Year 354-83 earned creditsMinimum overall cumulative grade point average 4.80
Year 484 earned credits or greaterMinimum overall cumulative grade point average 5.00

Pass/Fail Courses

Undergraduate students who have passed 24 credits and are in good academic standing, may be eligible to take a limited number of courses towards their degree on an ungraded basis. There are a number of additional Faculty-specific regulations that must be met for you to be eligible to take a course or courses on an ungraded basis. Instead of a final grade, you will either receive a pass or a fail for the course, which will appear on both your grade report and your transcript. Neither the pass nor the fail is calculated into your grade point average. If you want to take a course on a pass/fail basis, you need to complete the Pass/Fail Option Application form during the first two weeks of classes for the course.

Repeated Courses

When courses are repeated, York University's academic regulation is that only the grade and credit value of the second attempt is your grade of record. Twice a year - once in April for fall/winter courses and once in August for summer courses - the Registrar's Office reviews all repeated courses to ensure only the second grade is counted. Once the repeated courses process is complete, the grade on all attempts other than your second attempt will be marked as "NCR" (no credit received). Also your GPA as well as credits earned will reflect only the credits and grade of the second attempt. During the session, until we process our repeated courses updates, the credits and GPA should not be considered final. Once you see "NCR" on the repeated course in the grades section, this means that all updates have been completed and your report has been adjusted accordingly.

For more information about the repeated courses policy, see the Senate policy. Please consult with your Faculty's Advising Office if you have questions.

Required for Major

Mandatory courses that are required to fulfill major degree requirements. They are counted towards the total number of credits for the degree but not towards the major.

Residency Requirement

All York University undergraduate students must fulfill York’s residency requirement, which means that a minimum of 30 course credits and at least half (50 per cent) of the course credits required in each undergraduate degree program major/minor must be taken at York University. Students should look at the Undergraduate Calendar for further information.

Second Declared Subject

Second declared subject is the student’s second major in a double major program, or the minor in a major/minor program.

Sessional Grade Point Average

The sessional grade point average reflects a student’s grades for a particular academic session, e.g. Fall/Winter 2014-2015 Session.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit, also known as "advanced standing", refers to the number of credit or course equivalents you will be awarded towards your degree at York based on previous (accredited) postsecondary studies. Transfer credit is granted automatically to all admitted applicants who've studied at accredited postsecondary institutions before applying to York. This includes universities, colleges and some advanced secondary school credentials (IB and GCE programs). For further information about transfer credit, please visit the Students with Transfer Credits page.