faculty of environmental studies

You are here

Section B. BES Program

Amended by Faculty Council May 17, 2013
Reviewed by ASCP March 2013

TABLE OF CONTENTS

B. BES PROGRAM

B1. BES Advising and Progress through the Program

        It is critical that students enrolled in the BES Programs meet with the Program Adviser to ensure that all degree requirements are met through a completed BES Program Checklist form. The advising meeting will guide second, third, and fourth year course selections and allow students to discuss future objectives, and ensure that the courses selected keep important options open for each student.

        The BES Program Checklist is extremely important; it ensures that all students meet the requirements of their declared Area of Concentration. Each student is required to submit to the Program Adviser a completed BES Program Checklist by the end of April. Students are blocked from online enrolment and registration until this form has been received. An incomplete or improper submission of a BES Program Checklist form may result in a delay in registration and may prohibit enrolment in desired and/or required courses.

 

B2. BES Honours Program (120 credits)

B2.1 Program Credit Requirements

To graduate with the BES Specialized Honours Degree a student must pass courses worth 120 credits (equivalent to 20 full-year courses). At least 60 credits and a maximum of 90 credits shall be in Environmental Studies courses. To remain in the BES honours program, an overall grade point average of at least 5.0 (65-69%) must be maintained.

B2.2 Program Coherence Requirements

BES students are required to present the following non-credit requirements as part of their program towards the BES Degree:

(a)    Program Checklist: This is a concise statement of the student’s educational objectives and concomitant course selections to meet the Area of Concentration and other requirements of the BES degree chosen by the student in conjunction with his/her advisor. It is submitted and approved annually. Its purpose is to indicate the future program objectives and to ensure that courses are chosen such that important options are not foreclosed. The Program Checklist will govern subsequent course selection.  It may be changed in any term by the student subject to the Undergraduate Advisor’s recommendation. It is subject to the Faculty Advisor's recommendation and the Undergraduate Program Advisor's approval.

B2.3 Course Choice

Courses must be chosen according to the following requirements:

(a) General Education: Following York University's philosophy of undergraduate education, study in humanities and the natural sciences is required of all BES students.

       The BES humanities requirement can be satisfied by taking ENVS 1800 6.0 or a 1000 level course from the following classical studies: English; French studies; history; humanities; languages, literatures & linguistics; or philosophy.

        The BES natural science requirement is met by taking ENVS 1500 6.0 Introduction to Science for Environmental Studies or a first year (6 credit) biology, chemistry or physics course from the Faculty of Science.

b)     Required Core Environmental Studies Courses: 18-27 credits of Environmental Studies courses depending on the student’s selected Area of Concentration as outlined in the Undergraduate Handbook.

(c)   Area of Concentration Requirement:  12 credits of Environmental Studies courses at the 2000 level.

(d)   Faculty Requirement: 27 credits of Environmental Studies courses at the 3000 and  4000-level (in addition to (b) and (c) above) shall be selected; of these, at least 9 credits must be at 3000 level in the declared area of concentration and 9 credits at the 4000 level in the declared area of concentration.  The remaining 9 credits will be satisfied by taking ES/ENVS 4000 6.0 or for Course Based Option, 2-3 credit courses at the 4000-level from selected Area of Concentration and one other 3 credits at either the 3000 or 4000 level.

(e)   Out of Faculty Requirement: At least 24 credits, in addition to the General Education requirements, must be taken as electives outside of the Faculty.

(f)     Free Elective Courses:  A minimum of 18 and up to 27 credits depending on the student’s declared Area of Concentration must be taken from any undergraduate Faculty (including FES).

(g)    4000-Level Requirement: at least 18 credits at the 4000-level, of which at least 12 must be ENVS credits.

           * Cross-listed courses used to fulfill the BES requirements may not be double counted in order to fulfill another major/minor requirement.

 

B3. BES Bachelor’s Program Requirements (90 credits)

B3.1 Program Credit Requirements

        To graduate with a BES degree, students must successfully complete 90 credits (equivalent to 15 full-year courses).

        At least 45 credits shall be in Environmental Studies courses. To remain in the BES program, a cumulative grade point average of at least 4.0 (60-64%) must be maintained.

B3.2 Program Coherence Requirements

        BES students are required to present the following non-credit requirements as part of their program towards the BES Degree:

(a)    Program Checklist: This is a concise statement of the student’s educational objectives and concomitant course selections to meet the Area of Concentration and other requirements of the BES degree chosen by the student in conjunction with his/her advisor. It is submitted and approved annually. Its purpose is to indicate the future program objectives and to ensure that courses are chosen such that important options are not foreclosed. The Program Checklist will govern subsequent course selection.  It may be changed in any term by the student subject to the Undergraduate Advisor’s recommendation. It is subject to the Faculty Advisor's recommendation and the Undergraduate Program Advisor's approval.

B3.3 Course Choice

(a)   General Education: Following York University's philosophy of undergraduate education, study in humanities and the natural sciences is required of all BES students.

       The BES humanities requirement can be satisfied by taking ENVS 1800 6.0 or a 1000 level course from the following classical studies: English; French studies; history; humanities; languages, literatures & linguistics; or philosophy.

       The BES natural science requirement is met by taking ENVS 1500 6.0 Introduction to Science for Environmental Studies or a first year (6 credit) biology, chemistry or physics course from the Faculty of Science.

 (b)   Required Core Environmental Studies Courses:  15-24 credits of Environmental Studies courses depending on student’s selected Area of Concentration as outlined in the Undergraduate Handbook.

(c)    Area of Concentration Requirement:  12 credits of Environmental Studies courses at the 2000 level.

(d)   Faculty Requirement: 24 credits of Environmental Studies courses at the 3000 and 4000-level (in addition to (b) and (c) above) shall be selected; of these, at least 12 credits must be at 3000 level in the declared area of concentration.  The remaining 12 are selected based on student’s interest.

(e)   Out-of-Faculty Elective Requirement: In addition to the General Education requirements, a minimum of 12 credits are taken outside of the Faculty.

(f)     Free Elective Courses:   A minimum of 6 and up to 15 credits depending on student’s declared Area of Concentration must be taken from any undergraduate Faculty (including FES).

* Cross-listed courses used to fulfill the BES requirements may not be double counted in order to fulfill another major/minor requirement.

BES internship program

             Eligible students will have the option to participate in the internship program for full-time placements varying in length from four to sixteen months or 1-4 academic terms. Internships commence following third year of study.

             After the internship has ended, the student returns to the university to complete their BES Honours degree and apply their expanded knowledge and skills in the classroom. Eligible students will be educated about the program and its processes, trained in job search skills, and supported throughout their internship experiences by the Career Centre staff with guidance and evaluation provided by the FES Undergraduate Program Director (UPD). Although internship positions are considered to be "work experience", the focus of the experience is on learning. Through these internships, students will gain confidence in field-related knowledge, general employability skills, and valuable experience. To be eligible for the program, students must:

•   Be enrolled as a full-time student in the BES Honours degree

•   Have a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 6.0 or better

•   Have successfully completed at least 9.0 ENVS credits at the 3000-level in their declared area of concentration

•   Have not been absent for more than two consecutive years as a full-time student from their BES Honours studies

•   Have a maximum of 30 credits remaining to complete for their BES Honours degree upon enrollment in the program and a minimum of 15 credits remaining by the time they begin their internship (i.e. enrol in the Internship Work Term course)

Notes

(a)    Once accepted into the program, students typically study full-time for at least one academic term while applying and interviewing for internship positions.

(b)   Students with transfer credits need to have completed their third year requirements with York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies to be eligible.

Once their internship position has been secured, students are required to register in the Internship Work Term course ENVS 4001 0.0N (zero credit) for each internship work term to a maximum of four work terms (i.e. 16 months) and pay the associated fee as established by the Career Centre

 

B4. BES COMBINED PROGRAMS

B4.1 Program Options

A BES student may apply to pursue the following:

•     an Inter-Faculty Major program or a Major/Minor program in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies;

•     a Minor program in the Faculty of Fine Arts with the exception of the design program;

•     an Inter-Faculty Major or a Minor in the Faculty of Heath with specific approved programs;

•     a Minor program in the Faculty of Science with the following programs:  Biology, Earth and Atmospheric Science; Chemistry; Math; Physics and Astronomy.

Faculty of Education -Concurrent Education Program:

The Faculty of Education at York University offers the BEd degree in both a consecutive program (i.e. requiring a one year period of study after obtaining a Bachelor's degree) , and a concurrent program, where students who are enrolled in the BES program may apply to co-register in the Faculty of Education. BES students may apply to enter the concurrent program after completing one or two years in the BES program. Candidates admitted to the Concurrent Education Program would add a minimum of one year to their undergraduate studies.  Successful candidates then work to complete their BES program in addition to completing their education studies for a Bachelor of Education degree.

Inter-Faculty major requirements in Environmental Studies:

Students whose home Faculty is Liberal Arts and Professional Studies and/or Health who want to pursue an Inter-Faculty major in Environmental Studies are required to complete 42 credits in Environmental Studies as outlined in the Undergraduate Handbook

Minor requirements in Environmental Studies:

        Students whose home Faculty is Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, Fine Arts, Health, Science who want to pursue a minor in Environmental Studies are required to complete 30 credits in Environmental Studies as outlined in the Undergraduate Handbook.

       Students should be aware that in order to complete the requirements of the Honours Inter-Faculty Major or Honours Major/Minor programs it may be necessary to complete more than 20 full courses (120 credits). Note: In a major/minor program a course can count only once towards a major or minor credit.

 

B5. BES CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS

(a)    As defined by Senate, an “Undergraduate Certificate” is the term applied to a program of studies attesting to a level of competence or skills in a particular area or field. It is distinct from a defined undergraduate degree program stream, specialization or informal concentration. A certificate recognizes a specific grouping of courses that i) are cross-disciplinary but with a thematic coherence, ii) form a coherent yet distinctive complement to the major of a degree program, or iii) lead to the acquisition of specific skills or professional expertise that may meet requirements of outside accrediting bodies.

(b)    At a minimum, a certificate will consist of 4 full courses (24 credits), 3 of which would normally be at the 2000 level or above.

(c)    Only "special" or "degree" students are eligible for admission to certificate programs where a certificate is based on a University program of studies.

(d)    There is no advanced standing in certificate programs; in order to be eligible for the certificate, students must complete all requirements at York.

Minimum requirements for multiple certificates

        Students may acquire more than one certificate during the course of their studies provided that at least 18 credits in each certificate program are unique to the specific certificate.

Residency requirements

        The University residency requirement for undergraduate certificate programs is 18 credits for certificate programs requiring up to 36 credits, and 50% of the required credits for certificates comprising more than 36 credits. Normally, for undergraduate certificate programs requiring 18 credits or less, all credits are completed at York.

B5.1 Certificate Program in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (GIS)

        The Certificate Program in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing is a four-course (24-credit) program for students registered in undergraduate degree programs at York University or for students who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree.  The purpose of the certificate program is to provide undergraduate students with applied skills that encompasses the art, science and technology involved in collecting and managing geographically referenced information.

        The details of the Certificate Requirements shall be published annually in the Undergraduate Handbook.

B5.2 Certificate in Community Arts Practice (CAP)

The Certificate in Community Arts Practice (CAP) may be completed either concurrently with an undergraduate degree program at York University (a three-year degree or an honours degree), or completely separate from an active degree program. Candidates who previously completed an undergraduate degree in a related field must have a minimum grade point average of 5.0 (C+). As well, individuals without an undergraduate degree but who have previous relevant work experience may also apply to this program. Consideration of non-degree applicants will be based on the level and appropriateness of their work experience and applicants may be invited to an interview by the program coordinator.

        The certificate introduces students to diverse practices of community arts and art and activism. It prepares students to collaborate with communities in making place-based art, writing community, environmental and ecological histories, community arts facilitation, performance/media/visual art, arts management, and funding for the arts. Students develop artistic skills, deepen their social analysis, and learn to facilitate creative processes with groups working for social change.

        The details of the Certificate Requirements shall be published annually in the Undergraduate Handbook.

B5.3 General Certificate In Refugee And Migration Studies (GRSM)

        By enrolling in the General Certificate Program in Refugee and Migration Studies, students registered in undergraduate degree programs at York University and should formally focus their studies in the area of refugees and migration. The General Certificate will be awarded concurrently with the degree.

        The details of the Certificate Requirements shall be published annually in the Undergraduate Handbook.

B5.4 Certificate in Sustainable Energy (SE)

        The Certificate Program in Sustainable Energy is a four-course (24-credit) program for Environmental Studies students. The area of sustainable energy (SE), specifically focus in energy efficiency, conservation and demand management and renewable energy sources. The certificate encompasses the policy, economic, technological and managerial aspects of sustainable energy and provides students with applied skills in the field. Students will complete the certificate as part of their BES Honours degree.

        The details of the Certificate Requirements shall be published annually in the Undergraduate Handbook.

B5.5 Certificate in Urban Ecologies (UE)

       The Certificate Program in Urban Ecologies is a four-course (24-credit) program for Environmental Studies students and is available to student s registered in undergraduate degree programs at York University. The Urban Ecologies (UE) certificate is an interdisciplinary program designed to help students learn how the many conflicts between the natural and urban environments emerge, is represented and can be addressed. The certificate program emphasizes urban ecology as an innovative and interactive approach to critically study the social and biophysical configuration of urban landscapes, places, sites and ecologies. 

        The details of the Certificate Requirements shall be published annually in the Undergraduate Handbook.

 

B6. BES DUAL CREDENTIAL PROGRAMS 

        Dual Credential programs offer students the opportunity to receive a combined university degree and a college diploma from either Seneca College or Fleming College, and a certificate from Humber College in what would otherwise take seven years. The York-Humber program may be completed in four years, while the York-Seneca and York-Fleming programs are five years in duration. These accelerated programs can begin either at the respective college or at York University (with the exception of the York-Humber Dual Credential Program), and are then completed at the partner institution. Students enrolled in dual credential programs must fulfill the dual credential program requirements of both institutions.

B6.1 Fleming College Dual Credential Program in Ecosystem Management

        York University students in the BES honours program may apply to the Dual Credential Program in ecosystem management (DCPEM) at Fleming (FC) during their third year of studies, and must maintain a minimum grade point average of 5.0. After successfully completing the DCPEM, students will receive their BES honours degree and their ecosystem management technologist diploma. Students enrolled in the dual credential program will take part in a joint colloquium.

       The details of the Program Requirements shall be published annually in the Undergraduate Handbook.

B6.2 York-Humber College Dual Credential Program in International Development Management

        York University students in the BES program may apply to the Dual Credential Program in International Development Management Studies at Humber College at the beginning of their third year of studies, and must be in the BES Honours program and maintain a minimum grade point average of 5.0 (C+). Upon successful completion of the dual credential program, students receive a BES Honours degree and a post-diploma certificate in International Development Management Studies. Students who intend to pursue this option must declare their intention after 1st year in the BES Honours program and must declare Environmental Politics as their Area of Concentration and must fulfill those requirements.

        University students in the BES program may apply to the Dual Credential Program in International Development Management at Humber College at the beginning of their third year of studies. Upon successful completion of the dual credential program, students receive a BES honours degree and a post-diploma certificate in international project management.

       Note: Admission to this dual credential program is contingent upon Humber’s own admissions criteria and is therefore not automatic or guaranteed.

       The details of the Program Requirements shall be published annually in the Undergraduate Handbook.

B6.3 York-Seneca Dual Credential Program in Urban Sustainability

        York University students in the BES honours program may apply to the Dual Credential Program in urban sustainability (DCPUS) at Seneca College during their third year of studies, and must maintain a minimum grade point average (g.p.a) of 5.0. After successfully completing the DCPUS, students will receive their Bachelor in environmental studies honours degree and their civil engineering technology diploma. Students enrolled in the Dual Credential program will take part in a Dual Credential colloquium.

        The details of the Program Requirements shall be published annually in the Undergraduate Handbook.

 

B7. BES TERM WORK, TESTS AND EXAMINATIONS

B7.1     Term Work

Term work includes reports, assignments, essays, tests, and other written and oral presentation work assigned in a course, with the exception of final examinations outlined in the approved Course Syllabus. Deadlines for submission of term work are set by the Course Director with the proviso that 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 be accepted for grading only with the approval of the Course Director. Notwithstanding that term work will not be accepted after the last day of classes of the term in which the course ends, assignments received later than the due date will be penalized 5% of the value of the assignment per day that they 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). Students must contact the Course Director within 48 hours of missing any due date for Term Work in order to be considered for an extension or other accommodation.

B7.2     Examinations

             Examinations may be held in any BES course in a 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 the 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 offenses against due academic process and carry severe penalties.

B7.3     General Regulations for Tests and Examinations

(a)    Identification: Students who are being tested or examined are required to present their YU-card or 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 licence with photograph attached, a valid passport or other certificate of citizenship with photograph attached.

(b)    Answer Booklets: Test papers, examination booklets, and other answer forms remain the property of the University unless they are released by an instructor; students may not remove them from the test or examination room; nor may they  leave the room with blank examination booklets.

B7.4     Tests and Examinations During the Term

(a)    Restriction at End of Term: 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. Exception are made for some third and fourth year courses, such as seminars, that often have one or two major assignments due at the end of the term.

(b)    Scheduling of Tests: Except where testing is conducted during individual appointments which accommodate the schedules of students (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.

(c)    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.

B7.5     Formally Scheduled Examinations

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

(b)    Examination Schedules: The dates, times and places of formally scheduled examinations are published each term on the “Current Students” website. Examinations may last two or three hours. It is the responsibility of students to make themselves aware of the appropriate examination details.

(c)    Missed Examinations: A student who misses an examination must contact OSAS or the Course Director within 48 hours of the examination. A student who wishes to write a make-up examination must petition for deferred standing in the course.

(d)    Rewriting of Examinations: There shall be no rewriting of a final examination or a term paper to improve a mark.

B7.6     Breach of Academic Honesty

The rules embodied in the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty apply to all students enrolled in BES courses.

 

B8. UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

B8.1     The List of BES courses to be offered in each academic session shall be determined by the  Undergraduate Program and Curriculum Subcommittee, subject to approval by the Committee of Instruction, not later than 10 months before the beginning of the session.  The final decision on course offerings resides with the Dean.

B8.2     Responsibility for each BES course shall be assigned by the Dean to one or more faculty members as course instructors, of whom one shall be given principal responsibility as course director.

B8.3     If enrollment in an undergraduate course is less than fifteen at the conclusion of the designated enrollment period, the Dean may cancel the course for that term.

B8.4     Undergraduate course numbering:

1xxx  Courses that provide entry and foundation in broad areas of subject matter and method within the particular approach of environmental studies. These courses are normally taken in the first year of a student's program.

2xxx  Courses that support students in terms of basic approaches and foundation courses in the particular theme areas of the program.

3xxx  Courses that support students in developing the essential elements of their individual programs of study.

4xxx  Courses that provide in-depth study of specific subject matter designed to support students in developing the culminating phase of their programs.

(a)    To assist students and faculty members in reviewing the potential relevance of courses in the development of the individual program, the settings, orientations, levels and status of courses are generally reflected in the first four digits of the course numbers.

(b)      The first digit of the course number indicates the intended study level year of the BES program, as follows:

(c)    Course Syllabi shall conform to a format approved by the Committee of Instruction. Please note that the syllabi constitutes a contract between the instructor and learner.

B8.5 The course director of each BES course shall submit to the Undergraduate Program Director an electronic copy of a detailed course syllabus one month prior to the beginning of the academic session. Course syllabi must follow the approved template developed by the Undergraduate Program and Curriculum Subcommittee and are subject to approval by Undergraduate Program Director.

B8.6     Normal prerequisites, degree credit exclusions, and credit value are established for each BES course as approved by Faculty Council and as outlined in the course syllabus.

B8.7     Subject to the approval of the Dean, the BES Program and Curriculum Subcommittee will establish enrolment targets for each BES course.

B8.8     Enrolment in BES courses is effected through the York University Enrolment System.

B8.9     Direct costs to the student of carrying out the work of courses shall be borne by the student as set out by the University.  Any additional costs related to the course will also be the responsibility of the student and will be identified in the Undergraduate Handbook or in the online course information.

B8.10    Regular sessions of all FES undergraduate courses shall be offered in a university academic space/location normally on campus.

B8.11    BES students are subject to course load constraints as set out in the Undergraduate Handbook

B8.12   Supervision of Directed Reading and Directed Study Courses

(a) There shall be two types of directed reading and directed study courses for individualized study:

i.      EN/ENVS 3900 3.0/6.0 Directed Reading

ii.     EN/ENVS 4900 3.0/6.0 Directed Study

(b) Directed reading and directed study courses are intended for enrollment by BES major students who wish to pursue intensive individual work with a particular fulltime FES faculty member on a specific topic of study.

(c) A request for enrollment in a directed reading or directed study course will be considered for approval by the Undergraduate Program Director only for a topic that is not offered in a particular session as a formal undergraduate course.

(d) Permission to enroll in a directed reading or directed study course will be considered by the Undergraduate Program Director in terms of the following guidelines:

i.      BES major: these courses are intended only for BES major students.

ii.     After four courses: students may request enrollment in such courses only after having completed four full-course equivalents (24 credits) in FES.

iii.    Maximum number: normally, the maximum permissible number of such is three full-course equivalents (18 credits).

iv.    Final five courses: normally, within the last five full-course equivalents towards the completion of the BES degree, students may take a maximum of two such full-course equivalents (12 credits).

v.     Courses with the same faculty member: normally, students may take a maximum of two full-course equivalents (12 credits) of such courses with the same faculty member.

vi.    Course Contract: the student and the faculty member must agree at the time of enrollment in the course on a written description of the course, its objectives, its content, the expected learning outcome, the form and frequency of contact between the student and the faculty member, and the form of its evaluation. This description shall be submitted on the appropriate form to the Office of Student and Academic Services for consideration by the Undergraduate Program Director.

vii.   Other considerations: subject to consultation with the Dean, the Undergraduate Program Director shall take into consideration other factors that might affect approval of the request for enrollment in a directed reading and directed study course, including, but not limited to, the student's academic record, faculty member workload, etc.

B8.13    Assessment/Academic Feedback of Students in BES Courses

(a)    Assessment of students enrolled in each BES course shall be made by the course director in light of the requirements set at the beginning of the course as specified in the course syllabus and 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.

(b)    Marking scheme:

i.      Announcement in class: The means of determining the final grade in a course shall be announced in each course within the first two weeks of classes as outlined in the course syllabus. 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.

ii.     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 new marking scheme must be distributed by the course director in written form to all students enrolled in the course.

iii.    Feedback during course: 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 by the University’s official deadline. This will normally mean that students will receive some graded feedback on work worth at least 15% of the final grade for Fall, Winter, and Summer term and 30% for full year courses offered in the Fall/Winter term in all courses prior to the final withdrawal date from a course without receiving a grade.  The following are exceptions:  senior undergraduate courses where course work typically, or at the Course Director’s discretion, consists of single piece of work and/or is based predominantly (or solely) on student presentations (e.g., Senior Honours Work); practicum courses; ungraded courses; courses in Faculties where drop date occurs within the first three weeks of classes; courses which run on a compressed schedule). Instructors are urged to provide more feedback where possible. The policy is available at http://www.yorku.ca/secretariat/senate/index-senate.html.

(c)    Grading scale: The Faculty of Environmental Studies follows the common York University undergraduate grading scheme which awards letter grades ranging from A+ to F and assigns a point value from 9 to 0 to each letter grade. The definitions of the various grades that may be awarded in satisfying the requirements of a BES course or assignment are as follows:

Grading in the BES Program

Grade

Point Value

%

Definition

A+

9

90%+

Exceptional: thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques and exceptional skills or great originality in their use.

A

8

80-89%

Excellent: thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques and a high degree of skill and/or some elements of originality.

B+

7

75-79%

Very Good: thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques and a fairly high degree of skill in their use.

B

6

70-74%

Good:  good level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques and considerable skill in their use.

C+

5

65-69%

 

Competent:  acceptable level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques and reasonable skill in their use.

C

4

60-64%

Fairly Competent:  acceptable level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques and some ability in their use.

D+

3

55-59%

Passing:  slightly better than minimal knowledge of concepts and/or techniques and some ability in their use.

D

2

50-54%

Barely Passing:  minimum knowledge of concepts and/or techniques needed to satisfy course requirements.

E

1

40-49%

Marginally failing.

F

      0

0-39%

Failing.

 

(d)    Pass/Fail Option: A Pass/Fail (ungraded) option is available for BES students after completion of 24 credits in the program; this includes credits awarded as transfer credit. Students may apply for this option for up to 12 credits of their Honours program, and 6 credits in the Bachelor’s program.  Courses taken under this option will be annotated on a student’s transcript as “Pass” or “Fail.”  Neither of these grades will be calculated into a student’s grade point average.  This option cannot be chosen for the following:  major or minor courses (including for-credit practica); outside-the-major required courses; courses to satisfy general education or certificate requirements; required 1000-level science courses in the Faculty of Health or the Faculty of Science; exchange courses taken at another institution. For application forms or further information, students should contact the Office of Student and Academic Services. 

(e)    Reporting and changes in final course grades: Final course grades as reported by the Course Director may subsequently be changed by the course director only with the approval of the Undergraduate Program Director.

(f)    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 a Course Director or teaching assistant, the student is expected to discuss the matter, normally within two weeks, with the person from whom the student received the grade, and may request a reappraisal. A reappraisal may result in a lower, higher, or the same grade. If the student is not satisfied with the result of the reappraisal by a teaching assistant, the student shall discuss the matter with the Course Director. The Course Director shall decide whether or not to reappraise the student's work whether or not a teaching assistant is involved; the decision of the Course Director is final for all such grades.

(g)    Reappraisal of final course grades: A student may, with sufficient grounds, request that a final course grade be reappraised (which may mean the review of specific pieces of tangible work).  Non-academic grounds are not relevant for grade reappraisals; in such cases, students are advised to petition to their home Faculty.  Students are normally expected to first contact the Course Director to discuss the grade received and to request that their tangible work be reviewed.  Tangible work may include written, graphic, digitized, modelled, video recording or audio recording formats, but not oral work. The Senate Appeals Committee's "Policy on Petitions, Grade Reappraisals and Appeals" applies.  The Senate-approved deadline for submitting grade reappraisals is February 15 for Fall term grades, June 15 for Fall/Winter grades, September 30 for Summer term grades or a minimum of 21 days from the release of grades, whichever is later.  When a submission deadline occurs on a weekend or holiday, requests will be accepted up until the end of the next available business day.  Exercising discretion about minor delays in meeting the deadline which result for slow mail delivery or extraordinary circumstances is reasonable.

The Course Director shall personally do the reappraisal, or recommend to the Undergraduate Program Director a qualified person to do so, (e.g., a teaching assistant from the same course or a faculty member familiar with the course material).

(h)    Further appeal for reappraisal of final 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 to the Undergraduate Academic Review and Admissions Subcommittee on the appropriate form provided by the Office of Student and Academic Services, clearly stating the grounds for appeal. The Undergraduate Academic Review and Admissions Subcommittee shall consider the matter at its next meeting following receipt of the appeal. (Any member of the subcommittee who is an interested party to the matter shall not be party to a discussion of the matter or the decision.)

iii.    In dealing with the appeal, the Undergraduate Academic Review and Admissions Subcommittee shall adopt whatever procedure it deems to be appropriate.

iv.    The decision of the Undergraduate Academic Review and Admissions Subcommittee shall be final, and may be appealed to the FES Appeals Committee only on grounds of procedural irregularity.

Final course grade profiles: Each academic term, the Undergraduate Program Director shall prepare a report profiling the final course grades distribution submitted for BES courses by the end of the grades exercise following the termination of a course. The report shall be submitted for approval by the Undergraduate Academic Review and Admissions Subcommittee and for information by the Committee of Instruction. Final course grade guidelines are as follows:

GRADE DISTRIBUTION GUIDELINE

GRADE

RANGE

A+, A (80-100)

0 – 35%

B+, B (70-79)

20 – 55%

C+, C (60-69)

   10 – 40%

D+, D (50-59)

0 – 25%

E, F (0-49)

0 – 10%

(j)     Deferred standing in Undergraduate Courses

i.      Work in undergraduate courses in FES is required to be completed by the student during the course period in the term(s) in which the course is taken. Students and faculty members are expected to be familiar with FES academic regulations governing undergraduate courses, in which the conditions for "deferred work" are spelled out.

ii.     It is the obligation of the course director to ensure that the requirements of a course can be completed reasonably during the course period as established in the academic calendar. All work in a course should be completed by the last day of courses. The last day of courses is set sufficiently in advance of the end of the term to provide adequate time for the course director to evaluate the students' performance and submit grades before the deadline for submission of grades. It is the obligation of students to arrange their individual work programs so that they can fulfil the requirements of the course as set forth in the course syllabus, as approved by the Undergraduate Program Director.

iii.    Course directors are obligated to submit their grade reports by the date set for the purpose and not to delay the report because one or more students have not submitted their work. Course directors are required to report an appropriate grade calculated on the basis of work submitted by that date (subject to late penalties) for students who have not submitted all their work by the due date and have not petitioned for a deferment.

iv.    In some cases, students may be eligible for deferred standing (an extension) to allow additional time to write a test or final examination or to complete an assignment after the Faculty's deadline for submission of term work.

v.     The granting of deferred standing is the responsibility of the individual Course Director. Senate Policy states that “Normally, requests for deferred standing must be communicated within one week following a missed examination or the last day to submit course work.”  The period during which the University is officially closed for December holidays and statutory holidays is not counted in the determination of deadline days. Students are responsible for ensuring that full documentation (medical or other) is provided in support of a deferred standing.

vi.    Because deferred work carried over into the next term represents an overload of work, the Undergraduate Program Director shall consider the academic program of students who have deferred status in two or more courses and may require alterations of their enrollment status in that next term, including a reduced load of courses.

(k) Aegrotat Standing

i.      Aegrotat standing (from the Latin for "s/he is ill") is substituted for a grade on a transcript in cases where a student cannot be expected to complete the work for a course. Aegrotat standing is seldom granted, and only in exceptional circumstances where deferred standing is inappropriate.

 

B9. BES STUDENT RECORDS

B9.1     Information regarding each BES student is kept by the Faculty of Environmental Studies Office of Student and Academic Services in a student file containing:

(a)    supporting transcripts, `advanced standing statements, petitions

(b)    correspondence and other documents,

(c)    the Degree Program Checklists,

(d)    the proposal for Senior Honours Work and the evaluation of the work,

(e)    any other material deemed appropriate.

B9.2     The student's file is available for consultation by the student in the Office of Student and Academic Services, with the exception of material which was solicited by the student and which the author has indicated that the student should not see. Other than the student, only faculty members and appropriate University officials may have access to the student's file. The file shall not be available to any person outside the University, but the substance of individual documents in the file may be divulged to such a person on the written instructions of the student.

 

B10.     BES PROGRAM MONITORING

B10.1     Breach of Academic Honesty

        Conduct that violates the ethical or legal standards of the University community is a serious matter.  In particular, any breach of academic honesty is a most serious offence to both the University community and the academic enterprise.  All faculty members are required to treat any breach of academic honesty, no matter how small the breach may appear, as a most serious matter demanding most thorough investigation.  The rules embodied in the University Senate Policy on Academic Honesty apply to all students.

        As in all faculties, in the Faculty of Environmental Studies it is a serious offence against academic honesty, among other things, to cheat, to impersonate, to plagiarize or misappropriate the work of others, to practice improper research procedures, to be dishonest in publication, to aid and abet academic misconduct, or to undertake any other action that runs counter to academic honesty. In addition, some forms of breach of academic honesty might constitute offenses under the Criminal Code of Canada.  When engaged in group work assignments, students are expected to be diligent with the portions they contribute as well as the work contributed by their group members. Everyone in the group assumes the responsibility of ensuring the academic integrity of the final document. While the pressures of school may be such that a student may feel pressured to breach academic honesty, students must completely resist such pressures. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty (www.yorku.ca/secretariat/policies/).

B10.2    Student Conduct

Students and instructors are expected to maintain a professional relationship characterised by courtesy and mutual respect and to refrain from actions disruptive to such a relationship. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the instructor to maintain an appropriate academic atmosphere in the classroom, and the responsibility of the student to cooperate in that endeavour. Further, the instructor is the best person to decide, in the first instance, whether such an atmosphere is present in the class. A statement of the policy and procedures involving disruptive and/or harassing behaviour by students in academic situations is available on the York website at www.yorku.ca/secretariat/policies/document.php?document=202.

End of Section B

        Every effort has been made to ensure that these Academic Regulations are complete and accurate.

         In the event that these published regulations are not fully consistent with FES-approved legislation, then the duly approved legislation shall take precedence.