Frequently Asked Questions


How do I get a York U Identification Card?

York is in the process of introducing the YU-card, York’s new official photo ID, officially launching in Fall 2006.  New and current students will still be mailed a sessional card (York’s current student ID card) in the fall term only. It’s required as identification, along with a valid photo ID for exams, recreational facilities, meal-plans and the Library.  A visit to the YU-card office on campus to have your photo taken and receive a YU-card will then replace the sessional card.  You must present one piece of valid government ID to have your photo taken.  There is no cost, but if lost there is a $20 replacement fee.

For further information, please contact:

The YU-card Office
Room 119, William Small Centre
Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.

During this transition you are welcome to use the sessional card for entry into exams, college events, orientation activities and other needs as appropriate.

NOTE: Sessional cards will no longer be produced after this transitional phase.

Should I buy books before the first day of class?

Unlike your undergraduate studies, a list of books will not be made available before the first class.  Wait for classes to begin and all the necessary information will be provided. The Preziosi text required for Methods is the one exception. Buying this online before September will save you time and money.

Can I change my status to part-time?

Students in the graduate art history programme are expected to enrol in and pay for full-time studies.  Students do have the option of taking less than a full-course load of three classes per term, but you will still be considered full-time.  You will also have to pay for your summer tuition in your first year regardless of whether you enrol in summer courses or not. The graduate art history program, however does offer part-time status if full-time status is not possible.

What if I need a transcript of my Graduate Studies at York?

Anytime you order a transcript of your graduate studies at York the order will take approximately 7-10 days.  Note this for future reference; undergraduate transcripts are available for immediate pick-up but not graduate.  Do not let the staff confuse you into thinking it will be faster.  If they say it will print out on the spot they think you are an undergraduate student. Graduate Transcripts will always take up to 7-10 days, every time one is ordered.  You can order by mail, but it is always better to order in person at the Office of the Registrar, Student Services Centre (SSC), 416-736-5151.

How do I get to York using public transportation (TTC) and how much does it cost?

There are direct buses to York from both Downsview (York Rocket, bus 196, 106) and Finch subway stations (60C and 60F). The TTC costs $2.75 per ride.  Student monthly passes are $99.75 (Annual per month with the Metropass Discount Plan).  Please note that the 196 bus doesn’t run on Saturday or Sunday, so your only option is to take the 106 bus.  There is also regular GO Bus services to York.  For information on a specific route, call 416-896-3200 (Toronto area), 1-888-438-6646 (long distance toll free), or 1-800-387-3652 (TYY teletypewriters only).  You can also visit GO Transit.

How do I get a parking pass?

For complete information on parking rates and application forms, visit the Parking Office website or call 416-736-5225 for information.

What is my mailing address for my mailbox?

As a graduate student, you have your own mailbox and access to the computers located in room 256K in the Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts.  Pay stubs and other information from the graduate programme are sent directly to your mailbox, unless you indicate otherwise.

The address is:
c/o Art History Graduate Programme
Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts
Rm. 256L
York University
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

Telephone: 416-736-5533
Fax: 416-736-5875

Where can I do photocopying?

Scott Library

(Central Square – left of TD bank machines), purchase a library copy card because the copies are much cheaper than change.  There are various kiosks located in the library to purchase the copy card and to add money to the card (the cost is 9 cents per page).

Student Copy Centre

(Central Square – right of TD machines) (9 cents per page, volume discounts at the counter).

Keele Copy Centre

(just outside York at Keele & York Boulevard). They offer 10% student discounts.

How do I get a locker in the Fine Arts Building?

Bring in a lock of your own and go to Graduate Programme Assistant to be assigned a locker.  Do this in the first week of September because the undergraduate students take them if we don’t claim ours.

Is there a gym I can use?

At Tait MacKenzie, a building at the North West corner of campus, a membership can be attained for $10 if you bring along your Sessional Identification Card and photo ID.  You will be given a shoe tag that you should wear every time you use the gym.  Membership ID card or current sessional card and photo ID are required to enter all sport facilities.  Please note that fall and winter sessional cards are valid until the end of August.  Summer Sessional Cards are valid from May until the end of August.  Please visit the website for activities and listings

Are International Student Identification Cards (ISIC) free for York students?

Yes (full-time students).  York is a member of the CFS which runs Travel Cuts.  With a passport size photo of yourself and your sessional card you can get a free ISIC card on the spot at any Travel Cuts free of charge.  At non-member universities the charge would be $16.00.  This card is required for student discounts with VIA Rail.

Where can I get a free organizer?

You can pick up a free organizer at the York Federation of Graduate Students, student government office, in the Student Centre (above the food court).

How do I set up my phone, TV, and Internet in my apartment?

Telephone, cable and internet hook-up can be arranged through Telecom York, 416-650-8055, located in York Lanes.  Dial-up access is free of charge to graduate students and high-speed access (RESNET) is available at a cost of $28.75 per month. Visit the Computing for Students website for more information.

Are there laundry facilities in the apartment buildings?

Laundry machines are located in every residence building and operate on a debit card system. Cards can be purchased from dispensers in York Lanes or from the Graduate Housing Office in room 101, 4 Assiniboine Road.  Money can be placed on the cards at machines in the lobbies of most residence buildings.

More information on these issues can be found on the Current Students website.


When do I select my courses?

On Wednesday, August 29th you will have a group advising session with the Graduate Director, who will explain what requirements must be met in this programme.  The Graduate Director will assist you with the selection of your courses. You will then proceed to finalize these selections on the computer enrolment system.

What courses are mandatory in my first term?

ARTH 5100: Methods must be taken in the first term.  Students generally enrol in three courses per term.  This leaves the option open to take two courses in addition to Methods.

How many terms will my degree take?

If you are a full-time student, you must enrol in five consecutive terms. If, for example, you started your degree in Fall 2007, this means that you are responsible for tuition for Fall 2007, Winter 2008, Summer 2008, Fall 2008 and Winter 2009.  You are allowed to opt-out for one term, but you must enrol in an additional term afterwards in order to satisfy the five-term requirement.

What requirements should I keep in mind when choosing courses?

For the MA by Major Research Paper, you will need to take a total of seven half-courses of three credits each. Five of these courses must be in Art History (three of these must be graduate seminar courses). One other course, a cognate, must be outside of Art History (5000 or 4000-level). The remaining courses, electives, can be in or out of Art History (5000 or 4000-level). Graduate courses are numbered 5000 e.g. ARTH 5180B 3.0.  Integrated courses are offered to 4th year undergraduate students and graduate students e.g. ARTH 5700A 3.0 / VISA 4620H 3.0.

If you are also taking the Curatorial Practice Diploma, you will need to take a total of eight half-courses. Five of these courses must be in Art History, and three of them must be Museums and Galleries 5170 3.0, Curatorial Practices 5175 3.0 and Curatorial Internship 5190 3.0. One other course, a cognate, must be outside of Art History (5000 or 4000-level). The remaining courses, electives, can be in or out of Art History (5000 or 4000-level).

What if I don’t pass the French translation test?

As you know, there is a French translation requirement that everyone must meet.  If you do not pass the French translation test don’t worry!!!  There is a full-year French reading course (pass/fail) designed for graduate students, which you can take on top of your regular course load. The French course will not bog you down with work, and is focused around reading and understanding French – the idea is that you will be able to do a bit of research in French when you finish the class.

What is Passport York and how do I get an account?

This is an online account that allows students to register for sessions, to add or drop courses, to check their financial statements and their programme status, to change their student addresses, and to check their grades. To set up your account, click here. Click on the Manage my Services link and it will direct you to the New Student Sign Up link. If you have any difficulties, contact Computer Network Services at, or by telephone at 416-736-5800 ext. 55800 (on-campus), or visit: Computing Commons, William Small Centre.

How Do I Enrol in Courses?

Once you have created a account, go to the university's courses website. You can scroll down to GS/ARTH and you will find the catalogue numbers required to enrol in courses. Once you have obtained the catalogue numbers for your courses, please visit, selectadd/drop a course found under the first heading Courses and Enrolment. Log in, accept fees for the Fall Term, and then proceed to enrol into courses using the catalogue numbers obtained in step 1. As a graduate student you are required to register in each term of your two year program (Fall, Winter, Summer, Fall, Winter).  You do not need to be enrolled in a course in each term. Registration and enrolment are two separate issues despite the fact that they are handled together.

More information on these issues can be found on the Current Students website.


What are my fees for 2009-2010?

The following tables are the programme fees and refund schedule for the 2009-2010 academic year. Know that completing program requirements requires registration and payment for five academic sessions which includes the summer term (unless students want an elective leave of absence).

Graduate Academic Fees - Domestic

Faculty of Graduate Studies
For students entering York University on September 9, 2009 or later

 Tuition (Per Term)Supplementary Fee (Per Term)Total Academic Fee (Per Term)Total Academic Fee (3 Terms)

Students Enrolled in Combined or Joint Programs:

The fees you will be assessed will be those posted in the faculty in which you are currently (or will be) resident for the academic session. For example, if you are enrolled in the combined MBA/MFA program and you are taking the year in Fine Arts, then your fees are those posted on this FGS site. When you are resident at the Schulich School of Business, your fees are those posted on the Schulich site for the MBA. This method of fee payment applies to all combined and joint programs of study.

If you are currently enrolled in the joint MA/MBA with the Schulich School of Business please click here to visit their fees and financial assistance page.

Additional Charges:

1. Registration fee: $15 per student per term.
2. Graduate Student Association Health Plan: $338 (subject to change). Click here for more information.
3. Associated Course Fees: Additional fees for course materials, lab fees, etc. may be charged in individual courses. You may check with the appropriate academic department or unit for information about such fees.

Refund Table

2009 - 2010
Faculty of Graduate Studies

TermFull Program Fee Credit20% Program Fee Withheld60% Program Fee WithheldNo Credit
Fallup to/including Sept 30Oct 1- Oct 16Oct 17- Oct 31Nov 1 onward
Winterup to/including Jan 31Feb 1- Feb 15Feb 16 – Feb 28Mar 1 onward

Term Withdrawal:

Fees refunds/credit calculations are based on complete withdrawal from a term, not withdrawal from individual courses. This is because fees are calculated according to a student's program and full-time or part-time enrolment status/activity level. Fees are not calculated on a per course basis.

When do I pay my fees?

Fees for the fall session are due no later than September 10th. Statements are always sent around the 18th of the month with payments due the 10th of the next month.  For example, if you enrol on September 2nd, you get a bill in the mail soon after September 18th and the payment is due on October 10th.  If you have the wrong address on the system, or for some other reason you do not get a bill, you are still responsible for meeting the payment deadline.  You can check your student accounts online anytime to see your account balance and payment due date.  You can pay your fees through telephone or web banking.  Click here for details how to set this up.

What is a Teaching Assistantship?

A stipend may be paid to a full-time degree candidate who teaches in one of the York Faculties or colleges. Normally, such teaching will consist of a tutorial or seminar work in a timetabled course in which the lectures are given by a full-time member of Faculty, this teaching being considered equal, when preparation is counted, to no more than ten hours of work per week.

What is a Graduate Assistantship?

A stipend may be paid to a full-time degree candidate for various types of activity. The duties of a graduate assistant may include participation in a practicum, as an apprentice in a laboratory or applied setting, library work for the department or for a research group (normally in cases where it is possible for students to make small but constructive contributions to group research projects), administrative, clerical and research work. Formal arrangements for work in this category are made with the programme director after admission. It should be noted that neither a Master’s nor a Doctoral candidate is permitted, while registered as a full-time student, to accept more than ten hours of paid work per week through the University.

What is a Research Assistantship?

A stipend may be paid to a full-time degree candidate for research or academic activities relevant and related to the student’s field(s) of study within the academic programme. Formal arrangements are made with the programme director after admission.

When do I get paid for my TA , GA or RA work?

On the 25th of every month you will have one eighth of your Sept-April salary deposited into your bank account.  You need to give the programme assistant a VOID cheque in order to organize the direct deposit and payment information.

Recommendation:  Forward your VOID cheque to the programme assistant ASAP as it will ensure that no delays are encountered with your September 25th pay.  If you are unsure what amount you will be paid each month feel free to speak to Graduate Programme Assistant once you arrive.

Can I pay my tuition with my salary?

Yes.  You have the option of having your tuition taken from your salary automatically.  To do this you must sign a form at the Faculty of Graduate Studies office, Room 283 York Lanes.

What is OSAP?

Visit the OSAP website, or read the useful tips for OSAP on York University's Student Financial Services for information concerning OSAP.

When will I receive my OSAP loan?

Check your OSAP application status on the OSAP website to ensure that your application package has been processed.  Your loan documents will arrive at York about 2-3 weeks after the processing date.  OSAP funds cannot be released after the end of your academic year or if you are no longer a full time graduate student.  Students with a permanent disability can contact Student Client Services to clarify what is required to maintain full time status.

Where do I get my OSAP loan documents?

All enquiries about OSAP are done through Student Financial Services in the Student Services Centre, (SSC): 416-872-YORK (Please be aware that the phones are exceptionally busy in September).  For updated information pertaining to your OSAP documents, regularly check the document tracker on the Office of Student Financial Services website.

Note: If you need to visit Student Client Services, it is recommended that you go when they first open to avoid long line-ups.  Office hours are Monday -Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Fridays 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. through August 27.  If you can go the week before school starts do so, or else wait until the end of September.  You generally have to wait over an hour during lunch at the beginning of September.  Student Client Services telephone:  (416) 872-9675. Watch for special distribution sites for graduate students during peak periods.

What do I need to receive my OSAP loan documents?

To collect your documents, you need to show a valid social insurance card and photo ID.

Where do I go with my OSAP loan documents?

Students who receive student loan documents must take them to a designated Canada Post Outlet for processing by the NSLSC, the lender that pays out your OSAP funds. During peak periods a NSLSC kiosk will be available on campus.  You can also visit Inkblotz on campus in York Lanes.

What Happens at the NSLSC kiosk or at the Canada Post Outlet?

  • You must present your valid social insurance card and photo ID (e.g. driver's license).
  • You will complete a Loan Agreement form (this will be given to you) at the kiosk/outlet.
  • You will need to provide either a void cheque or your banking information (your bank account number, bank name, address and phone number, and bank transit number).
  • Your loan document and the Loan Agreement form will be forwarded to the National Student Loan Service Centre to have the funds disbursed (this takes anywhere from 1-2 weeks - it will be faster if you provide a void cheque).
  • Your OSAP entitlement will be released to you in two instalments - 60% in the first term, and the balance in the 2nd term.

As soon as you negotiate your first loan, you become a borrower with important financial responsibilities. So, always make sure that you read all the instructions and ask questions if you are unclear.

If you have previous student loans check our Maintaining Your Interest Free Status page for details about 22A forms and interest free status.

What should I do if I need to prove I am still a student for a loan OTHER than OSAP or CSL, such as a Student Line of Credit through my banking institution?

Go to the Student Client Services, Student Services Centre (SSC) any time after you are registered and pick up an Enrolled and Registered letter.

Are there any bursaries I can apply for at York?

The Faculty of Graduate Studies organizes bursaries through their office for gradate students.  A call for applications is made in the fall, winter and summer terms. You will receive a memo detailing how to apply.  The graduate programme assistant will distribute all the necessary information to students by the end of September.  Are there any opportunities for travel funding?  Yes, but minimal.  If you are presenting at a conference you can apply to the FGS Graduate Development Fund for travel funding (not expenses – only travel).  You may apply each term (Fall and Spring) for travel funding: a $300 maximum for a flight in North America and a $500 maximum for a flight overseas with normally a maximum of $500 per year.  The grant may only cover gas money if the trip is within a reasonable traveling distance.  The Graduate Director must approve the application for funding after which time FGS will debate whether to grant you any money.  You will receive a memo detailing how to apply. The Graduate Programme Assistant will distribute all the necessary information to students by the end of September.

Are there any opportunities for research funding?

Yes, but minimal.  Normally funding goes to PhD students only, but in Art History (with no PhD option) there is a chance that funds will be made available for researching a final paper (MRP or thesis) during your second year of study.  The Graduate Program Director must approve the application for funding (Fall and Spring applications) after which time FGS will debate whether to grant you any money. Again, the graduate programme assistant circulates a memo requesting the submission of applications to the Research Costs Fund at the end of September.

What is the OGS, and how do I apply for it?

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship award is for students attending graduate programmes at Ontario universities.  The minimum grade for applying is an overall average of “A-” in your previous two years of university (undergraduate or graduate).  The deadline is in November, but check in with the Director or the Graduate Programme Assistant for earlier internal deadlines. Visit the OSAP website for more details.

What is the CGS, and how do I apply for it?

The CGS Master’s program offers non-renewable twelve-month awards, valued at $17,500, and tenable at recognized Canadian universities, to students who intend to pursue full-time studies at the master’s level in a discipline supported by SSHRC. Awards must be taken up in May or September 2004 or in January 2005.  Calls for application will be given before November by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.  You will be notified by the Graduate Programme office for this timeline.  Some eligibility requirements do apply.  Please visit the SSHRC website form more details.

More information on these issues can be found on the Current Students website.


How important is it for me to have email access at home?

It is extremely important as you will find it fairly difficult to get by without e-mail at home. It is possible to check it everyday at school, but you may be frustrated.  You can access your email account on campus at  Some professors will cancel classes over email or send out important information about changes to a reading list, etc.  These cases are rare, but it can be annoying if you miss the message.  It is also a good way for students in your tutorial to contact you the night before their essay is due without your phone ringing off the hook.  York gives an email account for free to all graduate and undergraduate students.  Otherwise the primary reason to have e-mail is that all department information is sent to you by e-mail: upcoming events, scholarship information and important reminders.

How do I activate my email account?

To activate your e-mail go to Manage My Services and click on the New Student Sign-Up! button. Follow the instructions from there. For further assistance, such as using Telnet, visit Computing and Network Services or call 416-736-5800 or x55800.  The main Computing Commons is located in at the William Small Centre in Parking Structure II where there is a helpdesk.

How do I use York as my Internet Provider (to get on-line from home)?

When you are in Manage My Services, go to active accounts and select Remote Access. Here you must select a dial–up password and again of 8 characters. This will be active in 24 hours. You need to obtain the dial-up software from any of the Computing Commons, where it can be burned to a CD, and install it on your computer. There is no cost for the software. Please also note that the computers in the Scott Library connect to the same server as the Commons, so all the student files are also available there.

Note: As long as you remember your Manage My Services password you can change the others if you forget them. Remember your Manage My Services password!  Help for all this is available from 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday-Friday at 416-736-5800 or

Where on campus do I have computer access?

Graduate Student Loft (Room 338M)

It houses at least two computers and is generally available 24 hours a day to authorized users who have been given a door card and an alarm code.  To get a door access card and the alarm code, please visit the Graduate Program Assistant, in the Graduate Program Office.  Once you have been given a card, the Graduate Program Assistant will request that it be activated by computing services. In order to have your card activated, you must enable a Passport York account. You can do this by visiting: (may take between 24-48 hours). All students using the loft must disable the alarm when entering the room, and enable it when leaving the room.

Computing Commons Labs

William Small Centre – located in Parking Structure II
TEL Computing Commons – located in the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Building, Rm. 1017.

017 ACE - There will be a new CNS Computing Commons in 017 Accolade East. There are 48 PC, 4 high-end MACS, printing and scanning facilities and a helpdesk counter. Hours of operation are:  Monday – Friday 8:15am – 7:50pm

The Computing Commons have computers for all York students and these have Internet, word processing and printing. Each time at the Computing Commons Lab, use your Passport York account to access the computers. You can print for free from these terminals (3000 pages/Graduate student from September – August, after which the cost is $0.09 per page using a York Library Photocopy card) but make sure you select the “OAK” printer.

Faculty Support Centre, Computing and Network Services

This centre provides support for faculty and graduate students doing teaching and research.  Several services are offered including scanner/multimedia equipment that is available for TAs and RAs to use.  For more details on support please visit

Location: 1050 TEL Building
Phone: 416.736.2100 Ext.55800
Hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Computing and Printing for Students

Please visit York University Libraries page on Printing.

Do I have access to a colour printer?

The undergrad computer lab, GCFA 328, houses an Epson Stylus Photo 2200 color printer that outputs images up to 13 x 20 inches.  Prints cost $1 each, payable to the technician or work-study student on duty prior to printing.  Graduate students are welcome to make limited use of this printer as long as usage does not disrupt classes or undergraduate access.  Students should bring their own paper.

Another color laser printer in this lab (GCFA 328) can be accessed from anywhere on campus.  It is listed on the network as 'visual arts color'.  Paper is provided, and prints are free, but limited to 60 pages per user per term.  Color quality/accuracy are not as good as the Epson 2200 printer.

Epson Premium paper works very well for photo quality prints, and is available at the campus bookstore. Non-Epson papers are allowed at the discretion of the technician or work-study student on duty. Large, high-resolution prints can take up to 45 minutes.

Where on campus is there a good quiet place to study?

Graduate Student Loft (Computer Lab)

Room 338M

Scott Library Graduate Student Reading Room - Room 409

- There is a study room on the fourth floor of the Scott Library which is a study space for Graduate Students only.  Graduate students can enter the Graduate Student Reading Room by punching in the current door access code, which will be changed periodically. There are 2 options to access this: Go to the Exit Desk at Scott Library and present your graduate ID or the Libraries will attempt to notify graduate students by way of their Graduate Program Directors of such a change, but it is possible for a graduate student to learn the current code by completing the Graduate Student Reading Room Door Access Code Form.

More information on these issues can be found on the Current Students website.