Frequently Asked Questions

Question Answer
Any advice for a successful Design portfolio? Show only work which reflects your strength—both creative and technical. Resolve all issues of technology and ease of presentation before coming to the interview. Fumbling with the presentation of your work can easily distract you from focusing on answering questions during the interview. Do not include framed pieces in your portfolio—photograph the work. Do not bring 3D design work to the interview—photograph the work from several different points of view if it is to be included in your portfolio. Do not bring oversized work to the interview—photograph the work. Do not include work older than 2 or 3 years—current work best demonstrates your creative and skill level. Present work flat rather than rolled, mounted or matted. Arrange the work in your portfolio to demonstrate development. Select work that demonstrates your ability to handle a wide range of techniques, media, materials and subject matter with skill.
Any advice for a successful portfolio? Show only work which reflects your strengths – both creative and technical. After you upload your image or video file, you will be given the opportunity to add a title to the image. Please limit your titles to a maximum of thirty (30) characters.
Can I apply to more than one of the programs in AMPD? Yes. You can apply to as many programs as you want. You will need to complete and pay for Supplementary Evaluations for as many programs who require them.
Can I take a tour of your facilities? Tours take place regularly throughout the year. Tour dates will be added as they become available. You can view available tour times and book your tour at: We would also recommend coming to one of our events, to see the campus. This year, York’s Fall Campus Day will be taking place on Saturday, November 4, from 10am-2pm.
Do all production students get to make films? Yes, they are required to. Screenwriting students will also make films in first year.
Do I have to complete a supplementary evaluation? Not every AMPD program requires a supplementary evaluation. The programs that require a supplementary evaluation are Design, Dance, Cinema Production, Cinema Screenwriting, Intermedia, Media Arts, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts – Studio.
For my portfolio can I use work I have submitted as projects or on other applications? Typically, the applicant selects their pieces to show in their portfolio from school assigned projects, personal interest projects (e.g. a book cover you designed on your own for your favourite novel), ideas (sketchbook, concept/idea book, etc.), development/variations of ideas (design process documentation), extra curricular art/design classes and professional work where appropriate.
How can I find out about ways to get involved in student clubs and organizations?
How can I find out about whats happening in AMPD? Check out the AMPD blog for news and events at
How can I find out about Winters College Council?
How can I get free online academic writing support?
How can I see if I have been accepted to my program? Students can check the status of their application anytime at Students who applied through OUAC can also check their status through their account at
How can I travel safely on campus at night? GoSafe and Security Services staff will walk students to and from any campus location: Look for any Blue Light Emergency Phone, on campus pay phone (Free), go SAFE button on any campus safety phone
How do I apply? Applications can be made to the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC), or through York University’s website .
How do I apply for Art History?
How do I apply for Cinema & Media Studies?
How do I apply for Dance?
How do I apply for Design?
How do I apply for Digital Media?
How do I apply for Film Production?
How do I apply for Intermedia?
How do I apply for Media Arts?
How do I apply for Music?
How do I apply for Screenwriting?
How do I apply for Theatre?
How do I apply for Visual Art – Studio?
How do I book my audition? Once you have applied to a program that requires a supplementary evaluation, you will be emailed details about accessing the supplementary evaluation website. On the website, you will complete a questionnaire, pay a $60 evaluation fee, and be able to book your on-campus evaluation appointment or submit your materials online.
How do I book my on-campus supplementary evaluation? Once you have submitted your questionnaire and paid your evaluation fee you will be able to book your on-campus supplementary evaluation. All dates that are currently available will be shown on your account. Most on-campus evaluations take place in February and March.
How do I choose a Digital Media stream? Students will choose a stream in their second year using the Program Change Request online form: This cannot be done in first year. Choose one of Digital Media Arts, Digital Media Development or Digital Media Game Arts.
How do I complete my supplementary evaluation?
Once you have applied to a program that requires a supplementary evaluation, you will be emailed with instructions on how to register your unique account to complete the process, this can take 5-10 business days to arrive. Once you have registered your account, you can complete your evaluation at your own pace and book your on-campus appointment or upload your materials online.
How do I find a quiet study spot on campus?
How do I find out about food options on campus? Food Bank, Food4Thought YorkU Farmers Market  
How do I find out about support for international students? Look for AMPD World Café and AMPD World Cabaret events for fun ways to meet your fellow AMPD and Winters College students
How do I find out about the Degree Requirements for my Program? You must fulfill the degree requirements for the year that you entered your current program. For example, if you entered the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD) in 2018 as a Film BFA student, but in 2019 became a Film BA student, you will look for the Film BA degree requirements Degree requirements for 2019. Degree requirements are found in the Undergraduate Calendar at
How do I find out about tutoring and study groups?
How do I find out about Winters College?
How do I get a parking permit?
How do I get to and from campus without a car?
How do I pay my student account?
How is York different from other film schools? Our program is distinctive due to the extent and variety of our curricular offerings, the combination of writing, theory and practice refined over the 46 years of our existence, a tightly knit community based on experiential group learning and mentorship which is made of the extraordinary talent, inventiveness and commitment of our students, the rich knowledge base of our faculty, who are practicing filmmakers and prominent film scholars, cross-listed courses with other areas such as Production Design, as well as Production Planning, that are offered in conjunction with the Department of Theatre. Field placements are available for both BFA & BA students in their senior years.
How large are Film classes? Most of the classes offered in the Department of Cinema & Media Arts are small. Studio (production) courses range between about 15 to 22 students. Studies courses vary from very large courses with tutorials to small, intensely focused seminars in the upper years.
How long are the Music auditions? About 20 Minutes
How long before my Music audition should I check in? Try to arrive at least an hour prior to your scheduled time. You will need to allow time for the check-in process and to warm up thoroughly.
How long does the Music audition theory evaluation take? This depends on your experience but generally about an hour.
How many film productions are made in the program in a given year? Every year approximately 175 undergraduate student works are produced in our department.
How many pieces should I show in my Design portfolio?? Generally a maximum of 10-12 pieces that show your best strengths. Two of these pieces should be supported by your design process documentation, e.g. sketchbook work that displays research, sketches and alternative ideas that you developed and/or modified to get to the final solution.
How should I present my Design portfolio for the in person interview? Typically, pieces are brought in a multi-page portfolio binder not to exceed 16″ x 20″. Large or cumbersome pieces should be photographed and shown as a print with an indication of size/scale. Interactive, web, video and animation work should ideally be presented on the applicant’s own laptop computer. You can include selected web pages/frames in a print storyboard format in your portfolio to help explain the structure and concept but the best option is to bring a laptop to the interview if you wish to show digital work. Have everything cued up and ready to run so that technology glitches don’t prevent us from seeing your work.
How will my Design portfolio and in person interview be evaluated? Your portfolio score is based upon a 100 point system as follows: quality and range of the work: 50 points, ability to embrace and demonstrate process (research and exploration): 20 points, ability to articulate and care taken in the visual presentation of your work: 10 points, discuss the work in the interview: 20 points.
How will studying Film at York prepare me for a job? Our BFA graduates are known and respected throughout the Canadian industry for their technical and creative proficiency. As active professional filmmakers, the faculty are involved in the industry, allowing us to bring that experience and understanding into the classroom. The size of the department, its extensive facilities, its broad curriculum, the scale of student productions and perhaps most of all the extraordinary talent and dedication of our student body, all combine to create an accelerated learning experience like no other. York is located in the heart of the GTA, one of Canada’s primary film centres, and our Department is actively involved in the Canadian film, television and media industries. Professionals from all sectors of the industry regularly make their way up to visit our students. Upper level students may participate in a summer internship program that gives them on-the-job experience. For a significant number of students, their internship has led directly to employment with prominent companies in the film and television industry. Every year the Toronto International Film Festival includes York talent, with features and short films produced by alumni, faculty and often also current students. A university is very different from a training program which focuses solely on technical instruction. York faculty are not only active in the industry but have chosen to work within the university setting because we like to think about what we do. The university experience is about much more than finding a job. At the same time, we believe the all-around experience York offers makes our graduates employable in a wider range of positions. This is demonstrated by the successes of our alumni, who include not only prominent directors, cinematographers, producers and editors, but also industry executives, casting directors, special effects designers etc. Our BA/Cinema and Media Studies graduates have gone on to positions as film critics, publicists, curators, educators, film festival organizers, book and magazine editors, teachers and professors. They have found a variety of jobs in the cultural industries working for film production houses, museums and galleries, in the broadcasting sector (TVO, History Channel, VisionTV, CBC etc) and (in two recent cases) setting up their own publishing company devoted to independent cinema. Some of our students have received prestigious scholarships to go on to graduate school to train as cutting-edge media researchers and film scholars.
I can’t log into my supplementary evaluation? If you have previously logged on successfully, please use the “reset my password” option on the website. If you haven’t ever logged on successfully please email with your name and student number.
I have completed previous education, will I receive transfer credits? Students who have completed previous college, university or IB credits could be eligible for transfer credits. After you apply, your transcripts will be evaluated and you will be notified of your transfer credits with your offer of admission. More information is available here:
I have to come on campus for my supplementary evaluation? We encourage students within 300km of York to come in for their supplementary evaluation. If you are unable to attend on-campus you will have the option of completing your supplementary evaluation online through your unique account.
If I audition for the jazz program what kind of accompaniment do I bring?
If I can’t attend an in person interview how will my online portfolio be evaluated? Your portfolio score is based upon a 100 point system as follows: Quality of the work: 60 points, Ability to embrace process: 40 points
If I have taken a conservatory theory test do I still need to write the Music audition theory evaluation? Yes, you do.
If I’m a Cinema and Media Studies (BA) Major, can I take production courses? The department offers one production course specifically for Cinema and Media Studies (BA) majors. The other production courses are available only to BFA majors.
If I’m a Production (BFA) or Cinema and Media Studies (BA) Major, can I take screenwriting courses? All film students are eligible to take screenwriting courses, and all production students are required to take screenwriting courses in first and second year. Admission to upper level screenwriting courses is extremely competitive and is based on submission of a writing portfolio.
If I’m a Screenwriting (BFA) Major, can I take production courses? Screenwriting students take the first year production course. They are then encouraged to work on the shoots of upper level production students to become more familiar with the production process.
Is it possible to see the film productions made by students? All student films are screened on campus during a two-week period in April at an event called The Finish Line. The screenings are free and open to the public. From these screenings, CMA faculty members select the strongest work produced in the department that year. A external jury of prominent figures in the film and television industries looks at the work, selects the best productions for a showcase screening, and designates awards. This special screening, titled CineSiege, takes place each year in October at the Hot Docs Bloor Cinema in downtown Toronto.
Is there a minimum piano proficiency requirement for all Music applicants? There is not. However, all of your musical training will be taken into consideration when assessing your application.
May I use a recorded accompaniment for my Music audition? No.
What are prerequisites for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) courses?
What are the academic requirements if I am applying to Design directly from a high school in Ontario? Ontario Secondary School Diploma OSSD which includes six 4U or 4M courses, including ENG4U, and all Faculty or program specific prerequisites. Francophone applicants may present FRA4U, FEF4U or FIF4U. We accept a combination of U and M courses. We may offer you early conditional admission if you have strong Grade 11 finals and/or interim Grade 12 results. Applicants must meet the admission requirements in order to participate in the selection process for final admission. The Executive Committee may consider applicants not meeting the requirements on an individual basis.
What are the admission requirements for AMPD? To be considered for admission, Ontario high school students require six 4U or 4M courses including ENG4U. Applicants to Digital Media also require a 4U Math.
What are the Dance streams?
What are the general education requirements for students in School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design? As a student in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, you must take 6.0 credits in the area of humanities, 6.0 in the area of natural science, and 6.0 in the area of social science. Each requirement can be satisfied by a single 6.0 credit course, or two separate 3.0 credit courses. The FA/XXXX 1900 courses you take as part of the program can count toward the humanities area 6.0 requirement. That leaves only 6.0 credits in the natural science area and 6.0 in the social science remaining as your gen eds. Other courses required AMPD courses may also qualify. For more information, see: Humanities: classical studies, English, French, history, humanities, languages, modes of reasoning, philosophy. Natural Science: biology, chemistry, earth and atmospheric science, environmental studies ES/ENVS 1500 6.00, natural science, physics and astronomy, science and technology studies (SC/STS). Social Science: anthropology, economics, geography, political science, social science, sociology
What are the requirements of my program? The requirements of the program will depend on where you have completed your previous education. To see the requirements specific to you, please visit You can also see more information about the application process on our “how to apply” page.
What are the Theatre streams? All Theatre students start as Specialized Honours BA Theatre-Theatre Studies students, and do a General First Year that introduces them to all aspects of Theatre, including Acting, Production/Design, and Performance Creation & Research. At the end of first year, students choose their path in our Next Steps process in order to enter Performance Creation & Research, Devised Theatre, Playwriting & New Play Dramaturgy, Production/Design, and Acting Conservatory. For more information visit
What can I do to improve my chances for being accepted into Film? Immerse yourself as much as you can in thought and activity related to film and media! Watch films outside the mainstream. Learn about the Canadian film industry and film communities. The students who do best in our admissions process tend to be those who have tested their own interest and discovered that it is a passion.
What courses would I take in the Film BA/Cinema and Media Studies Program? The first two years focus on survey courses, which introduce students to a broad knowledge of film history and theory. The upper level courses specialize in a range of topics. Students can take courses in such areas as American film, gender and sexuality studies, national cinemas (including Chinese, African, European, etc), digital film and new media, television studies, Canadian and Quebecois cinema, film history, experimental and alternative cinemas, documentary, contemporary theory and more. Whichever program you are in, you will also take courses outside of the Cinema and Media Arts Department, drawn from the rich offerings of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (visual arts, theatre, music, design, digital media, dance) and the University at large.
What courses would I take in the Film BFA Production Program? The first two years include 12 credits in film production, 9 credits in screenwriting and 12 credits in film studies. In third and fourth year, the students choose from over 100 credits of offerings in production and screenwriting courses. These include project workshops, which provide creative mentoring in the making of narrative, documentary and experimental film and video projects, and specialty courses which provide advanced instruction in the various craft specializations of filmmaking: cinematography, editing, sound, directing, producing, screenwriting. Production students may also choose to take advanced cinema and media studies courses. Through their choice of courses, students at the upper level may specialize in one particular area or diversify, as they wish. Whichever program you are in, you will also take courses outside of the Cinema and Media Arts Department, drawn from the rich offerings of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (visual arts, theatre, music, design, digital media, dance) and the University at large.
What courses would I take in the Film BFA Screenwriting Program? The first two years include basic courses in production and screenwriting, and survey courses in cinema and media studies. In third and fourth year, screenwriting students take up to 36 (but at least 18) credits in screenwriting, including up to 12 credits in feature film screenwriting, 9 credits in writing for television, and courses in story editing, transmedia storytelling, scene writing, and the history of screenwriting. Screenwriting students may also choose to take some advanced cinema and media studies courses. Whichever program you are in, you will also take courses outside of the Cinema and Media Arts Department, drawn from the rich offerings of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (visual arts, theatre, music, design, digital media, dance) and the University at large.
What do I do if I want to audition for Music on two different instruments? You may only audition on a single instrument but be sure to include information regarding your skills and training on a second instrument on your supplemental application.
What does guaranteed consideration mean? Can I apply or complete my Supplementary Evaluation after the deadline? Anyone who completes their application before the deadlines listed for their application cycle will have their application reviewed. Applications may be accepted after the guaranteed consideration deadline on a first come first served basis until the program is full.
What exactly are you looking for in Film BA prospective students? We are looking for students who are creative and inquisitive, love cinema and media, and who have superior analytical abilities and excellent writing and research skills. We want students who are eager to join a community of scholars seeking to understand the art and culture of cinema, and who can meet the rigorous challenges of our program.
What exactly are you looking for in Film BFA prospective students? We are looking for students who are passionately creative, have inquiring minds and think critically, have already given serious thought to their impulse to study film, and who are self-motivated and good collaborators. In short, we are looking for students who are a good fit and likely to thrive in our extraordinarily demanding program. For students applying to the Screenwriting program, we also look for demonstrated writing talent.
What grade level should my Music audition selections be? Where appropriate, your selections should be at approximately a R.C.M. grade eight level or higher. It is more important that you display your abilities in their best light.
What if I canʼt find a suitable time in the online scheduling for my Music audition? Please call the music office at 416-736-5186 and we will try to accommodate you by arranging a substitute audition time.
What if I want to audition on the same instrument for two different areas of the Music program such as Jazz and Classical? Again, you may only audition in a single area but make your other abilities clear on your supplemental application.
What is a supplementary evaluation? A supplementary evaluation is a requirement for many of our programs in AMPD. This could refer to a portfolio review, an audition or something else. Specific supplementary requirements are available at
What is Design looking for in a portfolio? During your portfolio review, the faculty will be looking for the following: The breadth and quality of investigation in your work (as demonstrated in the selected pieces shown, your idea/concept books, and your design process documentation), Evidence of the various creative thinking processes employed in your work, Demonstrated visual abilities in your work (typography, colour, composition, perspective, drawing), Technical skill in a diverse range of media and tools used, Communication skills as demonstrated by your ability to discuss your work and thought processes at the interview, and Care in the selection and presentation of your work.
What is the fee for my supplementary evaluation? Each supplementary evaluation has a fee of $60 payable by credit card. This fee is separate from your application fee. The system accepts most VISA and Mastercard cards.
What is the purpose of a sketchbook or concept/idea book as part of my Design portfolio? The sketchbook or concept/idea book is a very important component in your portfolio. It should contain a variety of studies and examples of your media/tools experiments and demonstrate an exploration of visual and annotated ideas, comments and critiques. It should represent the ongoing variety of the things that interest you and the development of your thoughts and ideas.
What media do Film production students work in? Students start off in first year working with 16mm film cameras as well as digital cinema cameras. Because many of our incoming students have no previous experience in film production, this allows them to encounter the particular challenges of the both film and digital media. For the next three years students follow digital workflows from camera to the screen – moving from Black Magic Pocket Cinema Cameras to Canon C300 MkII.
What programs does York offer in Film? The Department of Cinema & Media Arts, which is part of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, offers four distinct undergraduate courses of study: Production, Media Arts, Cinema and Media Studies and Screenwriting. For more info visit  
What should I play in my Music Audition?
What should I show in my Design portfolio? Your portfolio should contain samples of your original work that demonstrate a wide range of ideas and competency with different media and tools. In addition to the types of work listed below, a sketchbook or concept/idea book is required. At least one piece in your portfolio should include an example of word(s) and image(s) that communicate a message. Knowledge of computer software is an asset but not required. Typically, an applicant’s portfolio contains their best work from at least 3 of the following areas: Areas 1 to 5 are highly recommended for inclusion in the portfolio. Two-dimensional design work e.g. designs for posters, logos, letterheads, book/magazine covers and interior page spreads, CD/DVD inserts. Typography e.g. poetry or words using an expressive font or page layout, typeface designs, expressive lettering, projects with text settings designed for clear communication. Drawings and experiments with typographic form. Interactive media e.g. web site design and/or other interactive work. Motion graphics e.g. video or animation using images and typography. Short pieces with a strong message are preferred. Sketchbook or concept/idea book e.g. studies and examples of your media/tools experiments, process explorations. Your sketchbook or idea/concept book should contain “notational drawings,” i.e. quick line drawings done to explore layouts and visual concepts. Drawing & Illustration e.g. direct observational drawings are preferred (not drawn from photographs). Imaginative drawing is also welcome. It is good to demonstrate the use of a wide variety of media (pen & ink, charcoal, pastel, coloured pencil, marker pen, collage, digital drawings). Photography e.g. B&W prints, colour prints, hand-tinted prints, digitally manipulated. Painting e.g. representative and/or non-representative in oil, acrylic, watercolour, gouache. 3D Design/Sculpture e.g. scale models from plan drawings, craft and fibre experiments.
What types of questions are on the Music audition theory evaluation? The questions are similar to grade two rudiments. A sample theory test is posted on the department of music website.
When do classes start and other important dates?
When is the application deadline?
When will I find out the results of my Music audition?
When will I get a response to my application? York can send out responses as soon as your application is complete. A complete application can be different depending on the student and the program applied to. For a list of required documents please visit the York website here: Applicants can check at any time to see if they have any missing requirements. If you feel that a missing requirement is listed in error you can contact admissions at 416-736-5000. Responses for applications that do not require a supplementary evaluation can go out as early as December if York University has received all required documentation. For programs that require a supplementary evaluation your response will be sent once you have completed the evaluation.
Where can I access health services?
Where can I find a job?
Where can I find a peer mentor in my program? Email your questions to our peer mentors at
Where can I find free learning skills workshops to help me succeed? Visit website for workshop times, locations, and individual appointments:
Where can I find help if English isn’t my first language?
Where can I find information about the bookstore?
Where can I find information and resources for mature and/or part-time students? Visit the Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-Time Students (111 Central Square). For more information, call 416-736-5770, visit or email
Where can I find information on housing?
Where can I go for personal counselling information and resources for students with different disabilities? Visit Counselling and Disability Services, N110 Bennett Centre for Student Services, 416-736-5297, Mental Health Disabilities Learning Disabilities Centre for Human Rights Personal Counselling Services: Physical, Sensory, and/or Medical Disabilities Physical, Sensory & Medical Disability Services:
Where can I learn about the College system?
Where can I learn about the libraries?
Where can I look up courses?
Where do I check in on the day of my Music audition? A check-in table will be set up in the lobby of the Accolade East Building.
Where do I find information and forms about Academic Resources (such as changing your program or petitioning etc.)? You can find information at the York University Current Students portal
Where do I find information and forms about Campus Services (Bookstore, Housing etc.)? You can find information at the York University Current Students portal
Where do I find information and forms about Courses and Enrolment (adding and dropping courses, Important Dates etc.)? You can find information at the York University Current Students portal
Where do I find information and forms about Future Planning (Career Centre, Convocation etc.)? You can find information at the York University Current Students portal
Where do I find information and forms about Money Matters (fees, financial aid etc.)? You can find information at the York University Current Students portal
Where do I find information and forms about Student Life (Conflict Resolution, Counseling & Disability Services etc.)? You can find information at the York University Current Students portal
Where do incoming students come from? Approximately half of our students come from somewhere in Ontario. The remainder come from across Canada and around the world.
Where will the Music auditions take place? All auditions will take place in the Accolade East Building on the Keele campus of York University.
Who can I call if I am stressed out?
Who owns the films made by students? Students own their own film works. They are required only to acknowledge the department’s participation in an on-screen credit.
Who pays for the cost of student films? The department provides equipment, facilities and support. Students crew on one another’s projects. In general, hard costs are borne by the students. Students who enroll in the BFA program can expect to spend $500 in their first year and $1000 in second year. In third and fourth year, costs depend entirely on what projects students choose to undertake. Costs are generally shared between key crew members who are gaining academic credit for a production; the director has primary overall responsibility.
Who teaches in the Department of Cinema & Media Arts at York? Our faculty are well established in their fields of filmmaking and film study, and many combine both disciplines in their work. We are not teachers who made a film or two in a long-forgotten past and then gave it up for a teaching job, but active and productive filmmakers and film scholars who cherish the opportunity to enhance our filmmaking and film study practice through our teaching, and to enhance our teaching through our practice. The department draws its strength from 21 full-time faculty members and a similar number of contract faculty. The full-time faculty include internationally recognized documentary, dramatic and experimental filmmakers, professionally produced screenwriters, and leading figures in the field of film studies with a broad range of publications and research specialties. The part-time faculty rotates to allow us to bring in industry professionals whose extensive commitments do not allow them to take on a full-time teaching position. All of the department’s full-time faculty also teach in our internationally recognized graduate programs. Upper level undergraduate students benefit from our graduate programs through courses that integrate them with graduate students. We are the only film department in Canada offering Masters degrees in production, screenwriting and film studies.
Will I be asked to perform anything for my Music audition other than my two contrasting pieces?
Will I need an accompanist for my Music audition? If your music requires an accompanist you should have one. A list of qualified accompanists is available on the department of music website.
Will there be a warm-up room available on the day of my Music audition? Yes, you will be assigned a warm-up room when you check in.