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Frequently Asked Questions

What is OSAS?OSAS is the Office of Student and Academic Services and is essentially the centre of your universe while you are at NSCAD. OSAS includes the Admissions and Registrar’s offices; Financial Aid Counselling and Scholarships and Bursaries; Disability Services; Registration, course changes, etc. etc. OSAS is located at the Granville Block of NSCAD, 5163 Duke Street, second floor across from the elevator.

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What constitutes full time vs. part time status?Full Time vs Part Time is an important distinction, as it is used to determine your eligibility for loans and scholarships. Full Time is 9 credits or more. Part Time is 3-6 credits. Note that “Full Load” is 15 credits, as that is the regular maximum number of credits which most students take.

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I want to take 18 credits. Am I allowed to?You may take 18 credits in your final semester at NSCAD. If you wish to take 18 credits in your second last semester, you must file an appeal form to request permission. The appeal form can be picked up at the front desk of the Office of Student and Academic Services.

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I received my course timetable, but I don’t know what “R” means for the week day.“R” is a short form for “Thursday”. So the days of the week are shortened as thus:

M = Monday T = Tuesday
W = Wednesday
R = Thursday
F = Friday
S = Saturday

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I am missing the prerequisites for a class I want to take. How do I get around that?Only an instructor or Chair can waive a student from required prerequisites for a course. If you want to register for a course without the prerequisites, you must discuss it with the course instructor and demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge to succeed in the class without the prerequisite. If the instructor thinks that this is the case, he/she should sign your “Add” or “Registration” form next to the course entry, and when you submit your registration request to the Office of Student and Academic Services, we will take that signature as a waiver of the prerequisites for a class. Note that waiving someone from a course prerequisite does not mean that if a course is required for a degree, it can be waived. The only way that a course can be waived from a degree requirement is a Division Chair. Even then, note that most degree requirements cannot be changed.

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Do I need to declare a Major and how do I do it?Students at NSCAD have many choices. They can take the BFA (Interdisciplinary) which has no Major (your program choice will “default” to this if you do not select a Major), or they can select a BFA Major (Ceramics, Film, Fine Art, Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing, Intermedia, Photography or Textiles). The other option is to select one of our other Degrees: B.Des (Bachelor of Design), Major in Interdisciplinary Design, or the B.A. (Bachelor of Arts), Major in Art History.

Majors should not be selected until a student has met the requirements for entry to the major (specific courses in years 1 and 2), which are clearly laid out in the Guide to Academic Programs (available online or at the Office of Student and Academic Services).

To select a BFA Major OR to select either the B.Des or B.A., students can fill out the “Declaration of Degree, Major and Minor” form at the front desk of the Office of Student and Academic Services.

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What is a Credit Summary and how do I get one?A Credit Summary is a record of all of the courses you have taken (without any grades) and a list of what courses you need to take to complete your degree program and major. The Credit Summary does not indicate a second major, double degree, or minor due to its limited nature, and so students with any of the above should check the Program Guide carefully to be sure that they are meeting any additional degree requirements. You can request your credit summary at the front desk of the Office of Student and Academic Services or by emailing nscad.ca or nscad.ca. Please allow 2-3 business days for reply.

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I want to take a course at another local HRM University (Dalhousie, King’s, SMU, MSVU, etc). How do I do that?Students in good standing at NSCAD can take courses as part of their degree program at neighbouring universities on a ‘Letter of Permission” as long as they are still within their residency requirements for completion of their NSCAD degree. For local HRM universities, LOPs can be picked up at front desk of the Office of Student and Academic Services. To take courses at a university outside of the HRM, students should make an appointment with the Registrar, as this involves additional steps.

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I transferred credits from another institution towards my NSCAD degree. How do I find out what was transferred.When students are admitted to NSCAD with transfer credits, NSCAD requires that an official transcript be sent directly from the other institution. The sooner that is done, the sooner a transfer credit assessment can be made. Once transfer credits have been assessed, a report will be sent to the student.

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I am registering for a course that requires a proposal. What does that mean?A course proposal normally means that each student will have an independent project to finish during the term. Contact the instructor to find out what the proposal must entail, and arrange to submit the proposal directly to the instructor, but keep a copy to submit with your registration or Add form, since the approved proposal form will “count” as a “signature”.

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What is the "credit priority" period?Credit Priority periods are designated periods each year or semester when NSCAD degree and studio certificate students can submit course registration requests and have their requests prioritized according to how many credits they have already earned. During that period, registration for each individual course is granted to students based on the number of credits already obtained. For example, if Student X has 90 credits, he/she will gain entry to individual requested classes ahead of other students seeking the same classes with fewer than 90 credits, up to the enrolment limit for that course. Additional factors that are considered when assigning course placements are found below. For Fall 2008/Winter 2009 registration, the Credit Priority period is the same, and so spaces will be allocated based on students’ Fall 2007 credits.

After the credit priority period has closed, students are placed in courses on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of how many credits they have already obtained, and may be waitlisted for up to three courses if a full schedule cannot be provided. This is why it is VERY IMPORTANT for students to submit their registration requests during the Credit Priority Period.

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After I submit my registration, when do I find out what courses I have gained entry to?Confirmations of Registration for Summer semesters will be emailed to NSCAD Student Email Addresses the week of April 14.

Confirmations of Registration for Fall/Winter semesters will be emailed to NSCAD Student Email Addresses between June 15–30. The Confirmation will contain both the student’s Fall/Winter schedules, as well as any course that the student is waitlisted for.

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How do Waitlists work?Due to increased demand and enrolment limits, some courses accrue waitlists. A student will only be waitlisted for a maximum of THREE courses. After Registration Confirmations have been sent out via NSCAD student email (by June 30 for Fall/Winter, or the week of April 14 for Summer), students should check their email regularly if they are waitlisted for classes. If a space becomes available in a course which has a waitlist, the first student on that waitlist will be emailed (at their NSCAD student email address) with an offer of that space, and MUST REPLY by 2:00 pm the following day. If addition of a waitlisted course will result in an overload, the student must also inform us which course is to be dropped in order to obtain that waitlisted spot. After 2:00 pm if no response is received, or if the student chooses not to accept the offered space, the space in the course will be offered to the next person on the waitlist. For these reasons it is VERY IMPORTANT that students who are on waitlists check their NSCAD student email frequently so as not to miss enrolment opportunities.

Students who are serious about obtaining waitlisted courses and who are close to the top of the waitlist (1-6) should attend the course during the first week in order to not miss critical work (although there is no guarantee that space will become available.) Students who are on waitlists and know that they do NOT want to be considered for those spaces should, as a courtesy to others on the waitlist, email nscad.ca and indicate which waitlists they wish to be removed from.

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What does “Topic” at the end of a course title mean?"Topic" in a course description means that when that course is offered during a semester, a specific "topic" is chosen, so the course itself varies. While a student cannot take the same topic (and thus course-code) twice, s/he can indeed take two separate topics at different times in their program. Only the topic(s) listed in the semester timetable are offered (The Academic Calendar lists all topics that have been taught under that course heading).

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