askastudent

your student life specialists

Jul 22

how much learning is enough learning

hey I’m entering the program for UTM’s art and art history program and I was just wondering what would be the recommended number of courses I should take? Should I take the full work of 5 in one semester or should I take a few because of the studio workloads?

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hey there,

this is kind of something you have to figure out for yourself, so keep that in mind before you take anything i’m about to say as gospel. also, first year is the time to figure these things out, so if you don’t get it right this year, don’t worry: you’ve got three more tries left.

if you decide to enrol in fewer than 5.0 courses for Fall/Winter, you will probably end up taking summer courses. for someone like me who’s allergic to working on nice, summer days, that’s not the best idea. on the other hand, if you want to spread out your course load over a full year, taking a couple credits every summer, then maybe it is.

that said, UTM didn’t design the program to be impossible with a full course-load. according to this PDF, the studio courses are restricted to tuesdays and thursdays, leaving mondays, wednesdays and fridays for art history and other UTM courses. also, keep in mind that it costs more to take 4.0 courses during the year and 1.0 in the summer than it does to take 5.0 all in one go.

if you’re really uncertain, plan out a hypothetical weekly schedule with 5.0 FCEs (include professional hula-hooping or whatever other commitments you may have) and see if it looks manageable for you. if not, start cutting things out of your schedule (ideally NOT sleep or eating).

and remember that no matter how many courses you enrol in, if it turns out to be too much when school starts, you can always drop a few classes – just make sure to do it before september 21st.

cheers,

aska


Jul 22

CRedit

If I used the CR/NCR option for a course and got CR, can I take courses that have that course as a prerequisite?

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hey there,

if the prerequisite is that you have the credit (so, it just says ‘prerequisites: that course’ on the course calendar), then yeah, you can.

however, if it requires a specific mark (e.g. ‘prerquisite: minimum of 65% in that course’), then no, because your transcript doesn’t know WHAT you got in that course, just that you got the credit.

ttfn,

aska


Jul 22

nope

can u plzzzz help me find the easiest possible breadth 4th and 5th category course to take (both 0.5 credits)

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hey there,

unfortunately, aska doesn’t do easy. we’re about as hardcore as it gets here, and in my opinion, if you’re going to be paying nearly $8k a year for an education, you may as well go whole hog and get the real deal. you can find “easy” somewhere else for cheaper.

that said, if you’re not in the life/physical/mathematical sciences, you can’t just wander into a proofs class and expect to blossom. generally speaking, you’ll want to take the most basic level of a course possible, where you won’t be missing any recommended preparation from high school that you may not have.

look into 100-level, intro. classes offered by EEB (e.g. BIO120H1), Astronomy/Astrophysics (e.g. AST101H1), Earth Sciences (e.g. ESS205H1), or basically any other science department in the faculty. try not to be intimidated by the fact that it’s A SCIENCE, and ask yourself what you’re genuinely interested in.

also, don’t feel like you have to fulfil all the breadth requirements right away – this is an opportunity to learn about something wildly different from what you’re used to, and that’s exciting! (really.) don’t settle for taking a course you don’t really care about so you can get it ‘out of the way.’ if there’s a 200- or 300-level class you’d rather take, take that.

forget about all this “easiness” nonsense and focus on finding something COOL.

xoxo,

aska


Jul 22

taking a break

hey,

I’m supposed to be entering my second year in September. But what if I decided to take a year off for personal reason/financial reasons, would I have to fill out a form or do something specific. Basically if I don’t come back this September will I be able to enrol in further semesters such as September 2015 fall/winter or will UTM just assume I’ve given up on university (doubt the latter is the case).

Thank you in advance

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hey there,

for some reason, all three campuses are REALLY SILENT on this issue. i trawled the UTM FAQ database for like half an hour and the only link i’ve been able to come up with is this one.

seems like you can take a break whenever you like, but if you take 12 months off, you’ll have to pay 25 bucks to reactivate your account when you come back. but, you know, you won’t have to pay full-time tuition for the year you’re off, so hopefully that counts for something.

double-check with UTM’s registrar to make sure, but i think you should just be able to pack up and go.

cheers,

aska


Jul 21

okay but like i can’t pick your courses for you, guys

Hello The Epitome of Awesomeness, I’m planning out my schedule and I have a conflict between two courses I really want to take: ENG200H and ENG240Y. The professors for both courses seem great, so instead of closing my eyes and choosing one at random, I’m hoping you could give me some advice. Have you ever taken either? What are your opinions on both? Thanks!

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hey there,

i haven’t taken either course, but like i said, you’ll probably find that circumstance will make the choice for you. either you won’t be able to get into one of them on ROSI, or one will conflict with another course you want to take, or you won’t like the prof, blah blah blah…

if by some miracle there’s space in both courses when your start time rolls around, here are a few things to help you decide:

1. do either of them meet program requirements?

2. are either of them prerequisites for upper-year courses you might be interested in taking?

3. are either of them beneficial for an application to any graduate/professional programs you may be interested in?

4. when the lists go up for both courses, you may want to compare the reading list for both courses on the uoft bookstore website. if you don’t wanna read the stuff, you shouldn’t take the course.

5. one of them is a half-level course and one is a full-year, so if you pick the H course, i hope you have some equally as awesome S-course in mind to fill the gap. or, on the flip side, if you take the Y course, make sure it doesn’t go over the course limit (either set by the university, or by your own academic limitations).

hope that’s helpful, my friend.

aska


Jul 21

shy commuter seeks convenient extra-curricular activity

Hey! I’m going into my second year at U of T and I’m a commuter. Last year I tried getting involved with extra-curricular but I was way too shy and never had the time. Once my classes were over I would just make my way home (I have approx. a 2 hour commute by public transit from my house to St. George campus) because I live so far. I don’t want to make the same mistake this year by missing out on great opportunities. I found that a lot of meetings are held so late after classes that I would be commuting home alone at too late of a time. How can I get more involved while still being able to juggle school work, a part-time job, and a horribly long commute twice a day??

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hey there,

as a fellow commuter and shy person, i empathize with your situation. it’s not fun spending an hour and a half studiously avoiding the gaze of creepy dudes on the train, and then be expected to look just as fresh and perky as the people who walked two minutes to class from their residence.

the fact that you even want to be involved with all those commitments you already have is commendable, but if you feel that it will be too much, or that you’re not comfortable being that social, then don’t do it. school and work come first.

that said, if you’re hell-bent on participating this year, there are some extra-curriculars that are pretty mobile and minimal on human interaction. if you’re into writing, the varsity and blogUT just require an internet connection, and the time commitment is pretty flexible.

something that doesn’t meet often, like uoft’s monthly book club, might also be worth looking into.

even if you’ve never heard of them, there are still plenty of student groups out there that meet during the day. i’d recommend browsing ULife’s list of student groups and calling those you’re interested in to ask about when and how often they meet. if you start now, i’m sure you’ll be able to find something that fits your schedule and disposition by september.

cheers,

aska


Jul 21

i love the people who say it like ‘breath requirements’

Hi Aska,
Can first year seminars (199 courses) be taken while in a Ones program? I want to try and fulfil most, if not all, of the breadth requirements in first years. Any suggestions for doing so? Thanks.

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hey there,

you can take both 199 seminars and One courses unless you’re a Vic One student (sorry, Vic peeps).

as for breadth requirements, it’s hard to make specific suggestions if i don’t know what program you’re interested in or what you like.

if you’re in a humanities program, the 1-3 breadth req’s will be pretty easy to pick up. if you’re in life/physical/mathematical sciences, then the 4-5 req’s will be easier.

if you want to complete those breadth req’s that are unrelated to your program early, then a lot of people like taking introductory versions of classes in other streams. for example, a course like AST101H1 fulfils the 5th breadth req. category, but doesn’t require a physics background.

if you’re on the other side of the fence, then something like FAH101H1, for instance, would give you a pain- and artistes-free introduction to art history, and fulfil breadth category #1.

but please remember, these are just examples and guidelines. the most important thing is to enrol in courses you’re genuinely interested in* – filling breadth requirements is not hard, and usually happens without you noticing it. don’t feel like you have to stretch yourself or your schedule to meet all the breadth req’s in first year; it’s really not necessary, and you won’t be “ahead” of people who didn’t do them all in first year.

hope that helps! and whatever your stream, don’t be afraid of taking something that’s a little outside your comfort zone. the whole point of breadth requirements is that students become well-rounded and aren’t just automatons who only know how to think about their tiny area of expertise.

cheers,

aska

* bolding words means this is serious and i’m not messing around.


Jul 21

filling some program req’s

Hello

Who makes the choices as to which courses get used to fulfill the program requirements. I do not want one course to be used for both programs as that will go over my maximum overlapping limit but one degree explorer it shows this. Do I need to contact the program admin?

thanks

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hey there,

ultimately, the department that administers the program is the one that gives you the OK when you want to graduate, so yeah, they’re the people you’ll want to speak to first.

however, if you’re having trouble determining whether you’re following the 12.0 distinct credits rule, then that’s the domain of your college registrar.

sooo, department first, then the registrar. then out for ice cream, ’cause that stuff’s stressful.

best,

aska


Jul 21

this question about repeated courses has got a lot of flair, would read again

I absolutely bombed high school and never made it to university. Say I go back, and take the required 6 U/M courses and let’s say I get a 99% average to my name, and I’m applying to the Life Sciences program. Is there any reason why UofT still wouldn’t accept me?

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hey dude,

from the horse’s mouth: “[t]he Faculty of Arts & Science does not recommend that students repeat courses and reserves the right to give preference for admission and scholarship consideration to students whose marks are the result of a single attempt at each course.

that’s uoft’s way of saying that they definitely take note of the fact that a course is repeated, and it does harm your chances, but it doesn’t rule you out completely.

plus, there is an opportunity to explain any less-than-stellar grades on your application, if there are any specific circumstances that may have affected them.

obviously aska can’t guarantee anything, but, as with everything in life, sometimes you just have to dive head-first into the pool of crocodiles and pray you can swim fast enough. unless it is actually a pool of crocodiles. then you just need to get the heck out of florida already.

if you really want to do it, then go ahead and apply, is what i’m trying to say.

cheers,

aska


Jul 18

subject LOSt

Hey aska,
I’m returning after a one year suspension from UTSG, during which I completed a certificate in Media at Humber college (awesome btw). Now that I know what I like, I requested Book & Media Studies Major and Cinema Studies Minor (Type 2 Subject POSts). My Creative Expression & Society Minor Subject POSt is active.
On ROSI it says I am a 2nd year student so course enrolment starts towards the end of the July. However, I read my Subject POSt results won’t appear until September 13 because I applied during the second round…
Will I still be able to enrol in courses, and if so, how? 
Thanks for your help!
p.s. you rock :)

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hey there,

that sounds like quite a journey – it’s nice to have you back.

you’ll still be able to enrol in courses (on july 24th), but you may not get the ones you want. if you’re not in the enrolment category for a course, a few things might happen.

if the course has a ‘P’ indicator on the timetable, you’ll have to wait until August 8th at 6am to enrol in it. if it has an ‘R’ indicator, you won’t have access to the class. you can read about the other, more exotic indicators here. if a course doesn’t have an indicator and you meet any prerequisites, you should have no problem.

also, you should add an acceptable combination of type 1 subject POSts while you wait on Book & Media and Cinema Studies to get back to you – some POSts that’ll get you into courses you’re interested in would be ideal, but it doesn’t really matter. just add some so that you can enrol in courses while you wait on the results from the type 2′s.

also, well done on the witty e-mail subject line. it was so good i had to use it as a title for this post, which may not seem like a big deal, but you saved me 10 minutes of staring vacantly into space trying to think up come clever pun or one-liner related to enrolment indicators, so thanks.

best,

aska

P.S. you sediment ;)


Jul 18

jus t enrol in evERYTHI GN JS UT DO IT

Hey aska! I’m going into 1st year and so far, most upper years’ advice has been ‘Enrol in as many courses as you can, then after classes start, drop the ones you don’t like’. So my question is, is dropping courses just a few clicks on ROSI? Or would I have to write a ton of letters and get sassed out by my registrar? Thanks! :)

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hey there,

sometimes i think uoft’s bureaucracy is unnecessarily confusing and complicated, but then i see what incoming students THINK it’s like, and i thank my lucky stars this school is not actually the dystopian nightmare y’all seem to think it is.

up until the deadline (september 21st for this Fall/Winter), you’re able to add, drop and change course sections yourself on ROSI at the click of a button. that’s it, that’s all.

that said, there’s a limit to how many courses you can enrol in. until august 8th, you’re only able to enrol in 5.0 FCEs (that’s Full Credit Equivalents). after that, you can enrol in a maximum of 6.0.

cheers,

aska

P.S. the registrar NEVER sasses. that’s exclusively aska’s job. oh and did i mention that your mom and i hang out behind your back? haha. sass.


Jul 18

socrates said ‘know thyself’ but what did he know amirite

is it a bad idea to take 5.5 credits next year (i’m going into second year)

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hey there,

not necessarily. uoft doesn’t require that you get special permission to take more classes until you go over 6.0 FCEs, so obviously they don’t think it’s impossible.

now that you’re all grown-up and wipe your own nose and whatnot, you’ve gotta be the one who assesses how much you can handle. think about how many courses you took last year and how well you did. if you really struggled with 5.0 or less, doing more this year probably isn’t the brightest idea. on the other hand, if you really excelled, then you can probably do more.

it’s kinda like using a Q-tip; you’ve just gotta be able to feel when it’s the right time to stop.

best,

aska


Jul 18

YOU WILL NEVER LEAVE

Hey aska,

I’m in the last round of my fifth year (double major English/Anthro) and am completing my last 1.0 credit this summer. When I used the degree navigator, my anthropology major is incomplete by 3 credits!  Many 300-level courses that I wanted to take I was locked out of for some strange reason. If one of my majors is technically incomplete, will I still be able to graduate? :(

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hey there,

in order to graduate, you need to complete degree AND program requirements, i.e. your major requirements. however, don’t automatically trust whatever degree explorer is saying – it has been known not to update information right away.

if you think you’ve done everything you need to for the anthro major, check your academic history on ROSI against the program reqs on the course calendar.

if it turns out you haven’t completed the reqs, then unfortunately you’re stuck here in this windy, frozen, sprawling city of a university* until you’re done your programs. sorry.

best of luck,

aska

*which i love. but it’s a complicated love, you know? like rachel and ross.


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