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Frequently Asked Questions

What distinguishes LA&PS from other York Faculties?

The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) is York University's largest Faculty—and one of the largest Faculties of its kind in Canada. What does this mean? Greater choice and flexibility. We offer well over 1,500 courses and an unparalleled range of interdisciplinary programs in the humanities, the social sciences and key professional fields.

If the Faculty is one of the largest in Canada, how can I be sure that I won't get lost in the crowd?

You can benefit from our size. Larger means more opportunities to get involved inside the classroom through research and experiential education and outside the classroom through student clubs and organizations, community and volunteer initiatives.

As an LA&PS student you'll be a part of smaller and more intimate student communities through your school or department, your individual program and your college affiliation. You can also get involved with the Centre for Student Success, which offers an array of programming for LA&PS students:

Connect with a mentor and get the "inside scoop" on university life.
Explore with an adviser a personalized study plan that best suits your goals and interests.
Participate in a workshop on topics such as procrastination or how to study for an exam.
Become an ambassador of the Faculty by representing LA&PS with other students at events, receptions and conferences.

Plan to commute? Not to worry; there are plenty of ways in which you can interact with your peers and build your personal and professional networks. Whatever your schedule may be there is always something to get involved in—whether it is a program specific event or a cultural event on campus.

I work full-time. How can I fit my studies in?

The Faculty offers courses during the day, evenings, on weekends, online, via correspondence—all year round. You'll have the flexibility to fit any schedule, whether you wish to study full-time or part-time. Most of our students balance their studies with work, volunteer and family commitments, as well as their personal interests.

Check out our current course options and our distance education options.

I'm not sure yet what I want to take. Can I still apply?

Absolutely! The Undecided Major option allows you to wait until your second year of university study to declare a major. Many first year students choose not to commit themselves to a specific concentration, but instead take the opportunity to explore their interests and strengths by taking courses from a variety of disciplines.

You may be surprised that you have an interest in something that you might not have considered pursuing otherwise. Your first year is your chance to spark your imagination and get a taste of what we offer. When you do make the ultimate decision on what to major in, you'll be confident with your choice.

What does it mean to double major or major/minor in something?

Double majoring or taking a major/minor means more opportunity to get knowledge and expertise in more than one area. A major is a specific discipline, subject or area of study. A double major means that you can concentrate your studies in two areas. Think of a minor as a mini-major.

In LA&PS, most of our programs offer a double major and major/minor options so you can be inventive with your choices. For example, you can combine a BA in Information Technology with a second major in Professional Writing; supplement a major in Criminology with a minor in History; pursue your passion while gaining professional skills through our Business minor; or complement a program offered by LA&PS with one of many programs offered elsewhere on campus.

How many courses will I have to take?

How many courses you have to take depends on whether or not you are studying full-time or part-time. York works on a 30 credit per year system. A full year class runs from September to April and is worth 6 credits. Some classes are offered as half courses and run from September to December or January to April and are worth 3 credits.

A general bachelor of arts degree takes approximately three years full-time to complete (90 credits), and an Honours BA takes approximately four years full-time to complete (120 credits).

What will my professors be like?

Many distinguished educators and researchers are part of the LA&PS community and bring leading-edge ideas into the classroom. They are experts in the course that they are teaching and in their field. Our professors are approachable and have office hours where you can ask questions or get more direction on an assignment. They genuinely want you to do well. Several have won prestigious University-wide and external teaching awards for their innovative teaching strategies and commitment to students.

You could take courses from professors such as Susan McGrath who is heading up the Canadian Refugee Research Network; Marlene Kadar who was named by the Women's Executive Network as a "Trailblazer and Trendsetter"; David Lumsden who received the Great Wall of Friendship Award—China's highest award for foreigners; Isabella Bakker, recipient of the Trudeau Fellowship Prize for her cutting-edge work in feminist political economy; Rishma Dunlop who is an award-winning Canadian poet, playwright and fiction writer; or Jimmy Huang who is helping to improve Canadian health care through the use of information technology.

Does LA&PS offer any scholarships or bursaries to students?

There are over 400 scholarships, awards, bursaries and prizes presented by the Faculty. Other ways to help support your education include: University-wide scholarships, awards and bursaries; OSAP; private scholarships; external awards; and opportunities to work on campus. Check out the York Student Financial Services Web site for more information and resources.

I heard that it is hard to get a job with a liberal arts degree. What can I do after I graduate?

You can do just about anything with an LA&PS degree. Studies show that graduates today will change their careers—not just jobs—an estimated 5-7 times. A liberal arts education will provide you with the transferrable skills to take with you into all of those careers, skills that will prepare you for work and for life.

As a LA&PS student, you will

  • Learn how to speak and write clearly and effectively
  • Gain the critical and analytical thinking skills needed to solve complex problems
  • Explore issues from a range of perspectives and points of view
  • Demonstrate to employers your adaptability, creativity and ability to work independently and collaboratively
How can I be sure that LA&PS is right for me?

Here are 10 reasons why you'll love us:

  1. Create your own path: the possibilities for study are endless. Pursue a rewarding career path while exploring your passions and interests.
  2. We're flexible: study what you want, when you want, where you want.
  3. We're committed to your success: inside and outside of the classroom we've got academic, personal and career resources and services designed for you.
  4. Learn from the experts: our award-winning professors and researchers are committed to providing you with a dynamic and relevant learning experience.
  5. Get a new perspective: our students come from more than 130 countries and have very diverse and wide-ranging perspectives that will open your eyes to new experiences, new ways of thinking and new ways of understanding our world.
  6. Add a global element to your experience: you can participate in an international internship, take courses at one of our partner universities in 40 countries, or turn your BA into an iBA.
  7. We make learning hands-on and relevant: in-class case studies, internships, community-service learning, volunteering and practicum placements will bring your coursework to life.
  8. We prepare you for life after graduation: whether you want to launch your career, boost your career or change your career, we'll provide you with the transferrable skills needed to get ahead in our competitive and constantly changing world.
  9. Make your dreams of grad school a reality: our programs provide you with a solid foundation for grad school. Become a researcher and create, cure and explore; or get ready for an exciting career as an academic. Or prepare for both!
  10. Develop leadership skills: we've got tons of community-based projects, student initiative and skills building opportunities for you to develop your leadership potential.