Dance Academic Policies & FGS Regulations

Department of Dance graduate academic policies and procedures:

Auditing Dance Technique Courses

Graduate students may audit studio/theory undergraduate courses free of charge. If you wish to participate in a technique class on a regular basis, please contact the course instructor to ensure that the class is an appropriate level for you. Once you have decided on the classes you plan to attend on a regular basis, please fill out an Audit Form, available at the Department of Dance front desk. Drop-in participation is not allowed.

Directed Reading Courses

The Graduate Programs in Dance and Dance Studies offer Directed Reading courses in both full (6.0 credits) and half (3.0 credits) course versions. Directed Reading courses are primarily intended to facilitate independent, yet closely supervised study of subjects not covered elsewhere in the Program’s course offerings that are relevant to a student’s research interests. The following procedures for the proposal and approval of a Directed Reading course must be followed:

Responsibility for the course design lies with the student, although faculty will assist by offering both bibliographic advice and suggestions regarding appropriate work plans and projects. A proposal for a Directed Reading course for the Fall term must be submitted to the GPA or GPD by September 15th. For a Winter term course, the proposal must be submitted by January 15th. For a Summer term course, the proposal must be submitted by April 15th. The proposal should consist of the following:

  • Description of the subject(s) or material(s) to be studied and an explanation of the relevance these have for the proposed research. This description should be one or two pages in length.
  • Bibliography and/or filmography as relevant to the subject matter.
  • Work plan indicating an approximate schedule of work, as well as the nature of projects, note-taking to be done, and meetings with the supervisor. While there is more flexibility in the meetings with a Directed Reading course supervisor than there is with other course offerings, we strongly recommend that a student is in contact no less than every 2-3 weeks.
  • Indication of the means by which the coursework should be evaluated.
  • Signature or email confirmation from the supervising faculty member. This indicates support for the project as proposed and agreement to supervise and evaluate the work.

The GPD and full-time faculty members for the Graduate Program in Dance will review the proposal and either Approve, Reject, or Conditionally Approve Pending Revisions. Enrolment in GS/DANC 5100 6.0 and/or GS/DANC 5110 3.0 is blocked until the proposal has been approved and permission has been mounted by the GPA.

Directed Reading course numbers are occasionally used to enable an MA or MFA student to take a relevant fourth-year undergraduate course. In this case, the graduate student is expected to complete the undergraduate work as well as some additional work (usually additional reading and a larger term project/essay) to justify the graduate-level credit. The undergraduate course director would normally act as supervisor for the Directed Reading course. If the undergraduate course director is not a member of the graduate faculty, the Directed Reading course must be co-supervised by a member of the graduate faculty.

Directed Reading Application Form

Letters of Recommendation & Introduction

Faculty are happy to provide letters of recommendation and introduction to graduate students. When requesting letters, please remember to provide in writing the name of addressee, the complete address, key points that should be mentioned and any other information that will help us write effective letters on your behalf. In consideration of faculty members’ schedules, a request should be made well in advance and never less than one week before the date required. Requesting a letter to be written within a day or two is an imposition.

Progress Reports

At the end of each academic year, all graduate students and their supervisors are required to complete a Progress Report. These serve as important records for the department and FGS to have on file so as to help ensure as straightforward and peaceful a degree completion path as possible for both students and faculty members. If in-person meetings are not possible, email signatures are perfectly fine.

Progress Reports are mandatory for all graduate students and are due annually by April 30th. The process is as follows:

  • Dance Graduate Student Progress Report
  • Student completes first 2 items, then sends report to supervisor
  • Supervisor completes and signs their sections of report
  • Supervisor and student meet (in-person or via electronic means) to discuss supervisor's comments, student has option to reply to comments
  • Student signs
  • Supervisor submits completed and signed report to GPA

FGS Policy on Annual Progress Reports

FGS Policy on Conflict Resolution

Discussion Topics to Inform Productive Supervisory Relationships


Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) rules and regulations:

Elective, Maternity, Parental Leave(s)

On request to FGS, with the prior approval of the appropriate Graduate Program Director, students may petition for an elective, maternity, or parental leave of absence (LOA) from the University, not to exceed one year. Such students will be required to maintain continuous registration and pay the appropriate fees.

FGS Elective, Maternity and/or Parental Leave of Absence

Email Policy

Students, faculty, and staff are expected to use York University email addresses for all university related communication. The graduate program distributes many official messages and important reminders by email. It is your responsibility to check regularly for such messages. Often when an individual raises a key question, the Program responds with a message to all students.

Enrolment & Course Transaction Forms

Students must enrol in courses in a timely manner – if, for some unavoidable reason, a student needs to:

  • Add a course beyond posted dates
  • Drop a course beyond posted dates
  • Request a late grade change
  • Request a course extension
  • Request a change to an audit

Permission for any of the above must be requested through their graduate program using a Faculty of Graduate Studies Course Transaction Form. The form must be completed in full, and the request must be within the current academic year.


To continue in the Program, graduate students are expected to produce work in all courses with at least a grade of B. One C is permissible in the MA (please refer to FGS Calendar for further information).

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all work is completed by the deadlines set by the course director, or to request alternate arrangements before the deadline. After the appropriate deadline dates pass, a grade of “F” will be entered on the official transcript.

Grades of “Incomplete'”(I) may be reported when a student's course work is not completed and evaluated by the appropriate grade reporting dates, on approval by the Graduate Program Director. Students may carry at most two full incomplete courses. The FGS rules for “extensions” apply to “incompletes.” That is, a student must obtain written permission from the instructor to complete work after the course ends and a deadline for the final submission of work must be clearly specified. Please note that a grade of “I” must be removed within two months of the reporting date for a half-course or within four months of the reporting date for a full-course. If the grade of “I” is not removed by the end of the specified period, it will become a grade of “F.”

Language Requirement

Although there is no foreign language requirement for the MA and MFA in Dance and the PhD in Dance Studies, any supervisor or supervisory committee may require the student to demonstrate a reading knowledge of languages needed to use the major primary and secondary sources relevant to the student’s research.

Petitions & Appeals

All petitions for graduate students are handled by FGS and students are responsible for reading and following the stated procedural guidelines. Petition requests normally pertain to; a leave of absence, change of registration status, reinstatement, and advanced standing. The necessary documents for a petition include the FGS Academic Petition Form (which must include a recommendation and rationale from the appropriate GPD), a short personal statement, and any additional relevant documentation. Complete petition packages must be submitted to the Department of Dance, which will then forward them on to FGS, who will notify the student of the results, with reason(s), via email to the email address provided on the form.

When a petition is denied, information regarding appeal procedures will be provided with the decision correspondence. An appeal can only be pursued once a student has been granted permission to appeal by the Appeals and Academic Honesty Committee that will hear the appeal. An appeal must be filed within 20 working days of the date on which the student was informed of the decision against which
they are appealing. The completed Leave to Appeal form must be submitted to Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Registration Policies

All newly admitted and continuing graduate students at York University are responsible for being familiar with and registering and paying fees in accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies and University policies, deadlines, and procedures. By the act of registration each student becomes bound by the policies and regulations of York University, including the Faculty in which the student is registered.

Request to Take a Course in Another Graduate Program at York

Students must submit a completed Request to Take a Course in another Graduate Program at York Form to their graduate program office. Schulich course requests must be submitted at Student Services, Schulich School of Business.

Time Limits

All requirements for graduate degrees must be fulfilled within the specified number of terms for the program. Terms in which students are registered as Leave of Absence, Maternity Leave, External or No Course Available are not included in these time limits. Continuous registration at York University must be maintained, even during the summers.

Withdrawal from the Program

To voluntarily withdraw from the Program you must submit written notice to the Graduate Program Director. The effective date of withdrawal will be the date your letter is received. Please note that simply dropping courses or failing to come to campus is not recognized as being officially withdrawn and as such you would still be responsible to pay tuition and other associated fees.

FGS Program Withdrawal Form