Credits, Grades and Courses

Credits towards your MES degree

An MES degree requires 72 credits. You can earn these credits in several ways, including

  • courses/directed studies (typically 3 credits each or 6 credits for workshops)
  • field experience placements/internships (typically 3-12 credits, no more than 24 allowed)
  • your MES III Major Paper/Project/Portfolio/Thesis work (typically 12-24 credits in your fifth and/or sixth terms)


Given the interdisciplinary nature of the program, courses in the Faculty accommodate students from a wide range of backgrounds and with diverse learning objectives. Therefore, we encourage exploration, creativity and breadth of study by using a Pass/Unsatisfactory grading system in conjunction with qualitative feedback from the instructor. Based on their evaluations under this system, many students have been awarded major scholarships and grants, and have continued their studies at the world’s most prestigious universities.

Official York transcripts show grades of Pass (P), Withdrawn (W) and Unsatisfactory (U) only. A Pass equals a “B” letter grade or better, anything else is counted as Unsatisfactory, which is interpreted as a failure. 


Graduate courses offered in FES include lectures/seminars as well as individually arranged courses. Most courses are open to both MES and PhD students. Graduate students may also take relevant courses offered by other programs at York and, with approval, at other Ontario universities. Complete course list.

Note that not all courses are offered ever year. Please consult the current course offerings lists to find courses available in the upcoming terms. The Faculty reserves the right to approve enrolment in any learning activity, to limit the size of particular classes, to require that some courses be taken in sequence, and to restrict entry of students without the requisite background.