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Can I run maya 2015/6 on an intel 4210u, 4 gb of ram and a 920m? I found a computer animation subject at my college that I'd like to enroll in, but I don't know if my laptop is powerful enough to do basic modeling rendering and animation on

For rendering absolutely not, but just animating should be fine, considering I use to run it on an iMac with a core 2 duo @2,5GHz, 4GiB RAM and a radeon HD6000 256 MB
It fits minimum requirements, but convenience of usage really depends on what you'll do with it. Basic modelling and animations is definitely okay. You can model pretty advanced stuff even on calculator(not too comfortably though). Animation is also not too hard on the hardware if you work with one object. Rendering? Depends on what level you want to achieve. If you want to get the basics and understand how it works it'll do the job. But even for pic related you'll wait a shit ton of time.
If you intended to do it seriously, I'd suggest you invest into something more powerful(at least more ram if your laptop have open SO-DIMM slot). I worked with 3ds Max a couple years ago(only modelling, no animation or rendering) on a laptop with 4gb of ram and Intel Atom on it, and it wasn't a pleasant experience in terms of amount of crashes(on relatively complex scenes). Maybe Maya is better with optimization, but I doubt it, since 2017 version requires 8gb
Can you upgrade the RAM? You're gonna have a bad time with 4GB...
How bad are we talking here? Last year the final exam was modeling and animating the pixar lamp, it can handle that right?

I can go as far as 8 gb since it's a laptop, and if I really get into it I'm gonna get a powerful desktop, but for now I gotta make due with this

Probably 1M polygons max, if you need more just buy a better computer. Is not wasting money buying something you need. Look for some w series thinkpad, those are nice portable workstations.
10 years ago I rendered a 1,5 Million polygon Car in Maya 2006 on a Core 2 Duo with 4 GB RAM.
It was pure horror, with the amount of crashes and hiccups, but ultimately worth it ($$$).

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