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Credit Requirements and Regulations

Degree and Arts Credit Minimum

In order to earn their degree, students must complete at least 120 B.F.A.-eligible credits. Of these 120, at least 72 must be taken within the Faculty of Arts1 (see below).

A minimum of 50% of total degree credits, 50% of upper-level degree credits, and 50% of upper-level specialization credits (Honours, Major or Minor) must be completed while registered as a student in the Faculty of Arts.

1Second degree students must consult Second Degree Studies.

Granting of Credit

Credit is granted for all courses completed with at least the minimum passing grade (normally 50%).

B.F.A.-eligible Credit

Credit may be applied toward completion of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program as follows:

  • Credit from any course in the Faculty of Arts, with the exception of certain MUSC courses, may be applied to the degree.
    • Note that while all courses in music history, music theory, music technology, ethnomusicology, and music composition are acceptable, a maximum of 12 credits from the ensemble courses in musical performance may be applied. Credit from individual lessons, aural skills, conducting and repertoire courses is not applicable to the B.F.A.
  • Credit earned in Arts Co-op Search Term or Work Term courses is not applicable towards the Bachelor of Fine Arts. See Arts Co-operative Education Programs.
  • No more than 60 credits of Distance Learning courses can be applied towards the Bachelor of Fine Arts, and no more than 42 such credits may be taken in the final 60 credits of the degree program.
  • A maximum of 48 credits from outside the Faculty of Arts may be applied towards the degree.

In the 120 credits required and acceptable for the degree, there may be:

  • a maximum of 60 credits transferred into the Faculty of Arts; see Transfer and Exchange Credit; and
  • a maximum of 72 credits in courses at the 100- and 200-level; and
  • a maximum of three courses, or 9 credits, at the 500-level. See Registration.

Course Equivalency and Credit Exclusion

Students may not earn credit for two courses with significant and pre-defined content overlap. Students are fully responsible for their registration, and are advised to check the Course Schedule for course equivalencies and to review the Science Credit Exclusion Lists to avoid unnecessary registration. Note that credit exclusion does not imply that courses are interchangeable, and meeting specialization requirements may necessitate the completion of a specific course. Students registering in courses dealing with probability and statistics should exercise particular caution.


Bachelor of Fine Arts students are permitted to take a limited number of eligible elective credits under the Credit/D/Fail grading scheme. The purpose of allowing this grading scheme is to encourage exploration of subject matter outside the student’s program of study, to emphasize learning and academic exploration of the new and unfamiliar, and to expose students to a broader-based curriculum. See Credit/D/Fail. Students should note, however, that many B.F.A. programs may not be able to accommodate this option due to the small number of elective credits in the program.

Students should further be aware that there are strict rules about how credit earned with Credit/D/Fail grading may be applied to a degree. Choosing the wrong grading scheme may result in the need to take extra courses to complete degree requirements. Students considering this grading scheme are strongly encouraged to speak with an Academic Advisor for course planning and to check Degree Navigator after registration.

Credit earned with Credit/D/Fail grading may not be applied toward any of the following Degree Requirements:

  1. current or future specialization(s);
  2. the Writing and Research Requirement;
  3. the Upper-Level Requirement; and
  4. the Outside Requirement.

Students who have not yet declared or been accepted into their specialization(s) should be particularly cautious when choosing this grading scheme. Students considering transferring to a new specialization or degree, or those contemplating a future application to Education, Law, Graduate Studies, Medicine, Dentistry, or other professional programs, should check those programs' websites.

Auditing Courses

Prior to the drop deadline, students may seek permission from the course instructor to audit a course. If permission is granted, and the course is completed to the satisfaction of the instructor, the course will appear on the transcript without credit. If the course is not satisfactorily completed, Fail (F) standing will appear on the transcript. Note that not all courses permit auditing and, as no credit is earned, audited courses may not be used to satisfy program or degree requirements.


Double-counting is defined as applying credit from the same upper-level course towards requirements in two different specializations. Students enrolled in dual specializations are allowed to double-count credits between the two specializations, up to the following limits:

Dual-Specialization combination Double-counting maximum
Major and Minor 6 credits
Double Major 9 credits
Honours and Minor 9 credits
Honours and Major 12 credits
Double Honours 12 credits

Double-counting does not necessarily reduce the minimum number of upper-level credits required to complete the degree. See Summary, below.

Note: Applying credit from the same upper-level course towards more than one degree requirement, or towards both a degree requirement and a specialization-specific requirement, is freely permitted, and is not considered to be double-counting. For example, using VISA 380 to fulfill 3 credits of the Bachelor of Fine Arts Upper-Level Requirement as well as 3 credits of upper-level VISA for the Major in Visual Arts is not defined as double-counting.


The following table summarizes the minimum credits required for various degree program options. Note that some specializations and combinations of specializations may exceed these minimums.

Summary of Credit Requirements for B.F.A.
  Total Credits of which courses 300+ Total credits within specialization(s)1 of which courses 300+ Total credits outside Major and/or Honours
Major 120 48 42 30 30
Major+Minor 120 48 42+30 30+18 302
Double Major 120 60 42+42 30+30 03
Honours 120 54 60 48 30
Honours+Minor 120 54 60+30 48+18 302
Honours+Major 120 66 60+42 48+30 03
Double Honours 120 84 60+60 48+48 03
1 May vary by specialization.
2 30 credits outside Major/Honours may include credits for Minor.
3 Breadth is achieved through the completion of two Major/Honours programs; no additional outside credit is required, except as necessary to satisfy the Writing Component of the Writing and Research Requirement.

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