askastudent

your student life specialists

Jan 22

i’m off!

Hey,

I’m currently a fourth year UofT student in life sciences, but want to switch schools and enter another program/field. My problem is that I am missing a few (2) courses to graduate. If I were to start at another school for fall 2015, can I return to take the courses at UofT summer (2016) and graduate?

Thank You!

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hey there,

it shouldn’t be a problem! you’re allowed to take time off and pick up where you left off, so to speak, pretty much as you like. the university isn’t too bothered about that kind of thing.

you may have to provide a transcript or other evidence to uoft of whatever studies you decided to do during your time off (just in case there’s a possibility for transfer credit), and there’s a $25 re-registration fee in the faculty of arts & science if you take a year or more off – but that’s about it! easy-peasy, pumpkin squeezy.

cheers,

aska


Jan 22

i can’t be a doctor because i hated the cow eyeball lab in AP bio.

Hey there,

I’m a third year student at utm and I have a cgpa of 3.71 but an omsas gpa of 3.56 which puts me below the 3.6 cut-off for U of T med school. My volunteer activities aren’t that impressive either: I volunteer about 6 hrs a week on campus as a first aid responder and I’m a research assistant in a psych study. I also plan on volunteering at a clinic/ hospital this summer but that’s all I have so far. In the past, I did tutor kids voluntarily in high school and was a prefect and the chairperson of my school’s science club.

Realistically, what do you think are my chances of making the cut? Do you have any advice (again, realistic advice)?

Out of curiosity, when U of T says the average accepted applicant has a gpa of 3.88, is that on the omsas scale or in general? Also, do you know if the american scale (AMCAS) converts grades in a similar way as OMSAS? Because omsas is killing me.

Thanks!

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hey there,

since 3.6 is the cut-off, i doubt you would have much chance getting in if you hadn’t met that. HOWEVER, you are only in third year. you have (at least) three more semesters to get your GPA as high as you possibly can.

now, i’m no admissions committee, but i wouldn’t call your volunteer activity unimpressive. obviously, i have no way of comparing you to everyone else who is going to be applying to uoft med school in your year, so my opinion isn’t authoritative. i find everyone impressive, honestly. i find getting to class on time impressive – but that’s another issue.

still, i wouldn’t despair just yet. if you stay on track with your plan to volunteer this summer, i think you’ll be doing ok. (again, i can’t REALLY answer this question because i – tragically – haven’t been invited to be a part of any admissions boards, but this is just MY FEEL of the situation. if you want some more professional advice, i’d recommend talking to uoft med admissions).

focus on your GPA. take advantage of utm’s academic resources (before you object: 1. you’re paying for it already, you may as well use it; 2. no it’s not an admission of defeat to ask for help).

get a tutor, if you think it will help. if you’re taking some pretty specialized courses that don’t often get tutored, ask around the department of the courses you’re having trouble with to see whether there are any grad students willing to help you. go to your profs’/TAs’ office hours. put aside one more hour of the day for studying. there’s a lot you can do.

you’re already doing a great job – all you need is to make one or two small changes that can push your academic career from ‘really good’ to ‘competitive.’ try and figure out where you need to make some improvements, and seek out help in those areas.

to see how your grades would convert on the AMCAS scale, take a look at the very last table on the last page of this document.

best of luck with it!

aska


Jan 22

just tell me how bad it was. i want to know.

Hi aska

I still can’t see my statistics final grade on rosi. Is there a problem with my rosi account or something? Should I go somewhere to ask about that or send an email to a specific department?

I’m so anxious for my grade and have been waiting for half a month:(

Hope you can give me some idea what I can do right now..

Thank you

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hey there,

well, it’s been nearly a month now. if you still haven’t gotten the mark, you should definitely talk to the statistics department. e-mail your prof, too.

(p.s. this is one of the VERY RARE TIMES that your local superhero – your college registrar’s office – will not be useful. marks get submitted to departments, and then the faculty of arts & science registrar. so save yourself some time and a phone call and go straight to the department).

cheers,

aska


Jan 20

i’ll give you one more chance, to say we change or part ways

Dear Aska,

I completed my undergraduate degree at St. George in 2013. To be honest, I was a terrible student. I eventually pulled it together enough to graduate (it took 6 years) and thought I wouldn’t have to look back.

Now, I am (a little) more grown up and after working shitty jobs for too long I have found the motivation I have been missing all this time and I want to go to graduate school. This might seem misguided but I am capable, I swear. I realise that especially for me, this will be a long process. I am interested in doing a Masters of Information at U of T and becoming a librarian in the end…so, what should I do?

I am planning on taking some courses to boost my GPA and then eventually applying for graduate school…but how are my chances? My GPA at the moment
renders me irrelevant. Less than irrelevant, even. But, if I take a few 300 and 400 level courses and prove that I can indeed work at the necessary level am I still screwed? Will my really shitty GPA render my admittance to a MI program at U of T totally impossible? Will I have to take a full 5.0 courses to prove my worth or will that be insufficient?

Please help! I am desperate to do this, I must find a way.

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hey there,

*puts on crotchety old man voice* listen here, sonny. in my many decades at this insti-too-shun we call askastudent, i have learned a thing or two. one of those things is that the questions people ask and the stories they tell are subjective. also, get off my lawn.

what i’m getting at is that saying things like “i was a terrible student” and that your GPA is “irrelevant” means close to nothing, because everyone has a different idea of what that means.

without giving me an actual number or some other kind of qualifier, i have no way of telling how reasonable a goal grad school is for you. what i CAN tell you is what uoft says.

iSchool requires that you have a CGPA of at least 3.0 and, ideally, at least a B+ (3.3) in your last year.

so, if you don’t have that 3.0 CGPA – that may be a problem. however, taking some 300- and 400-level courses to boost it, and get a really polished AGPA for your ‘last year’ could help you.

like i said, it kind of depends on what shape your CGPA is in right now. if you want some more nuanced advice, i’d recommend you talk to admissions at iSchool. they can take a look at your transcript and give you the DL on your chances.

try not to feel too desperate! it won’t help you any at bars, ygm?

cheers,

aska

P.S. “ohh aska, where can i find the song whose lyrics you quoted in the title?” i hear you ask plaintively. here you go.


Jan 20

admissions questions are my favourite questions. really. admissions questions are m -

I’m failing grade 12 math my average is a 48. However my other courses are 95+ will this affect me getting into U of t St George campus for social sciences

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hey there,

it may affect you to a certain extent, in that you need to pass a certain number of classes to, you know, graduate high school. and uoft kinda requires that you get your high school diploma before you come to university. crazy, right? i know.

however, in terms of your admissions average – as i’ve said time and again – only your top six 4U/M courses (including prerequisites) will be counted (provided you’re an Ontario high school student).

so the mark itself shouldn’t affect the average they’ll use to determine admission, assuming math isn’t a requirement for whatever program you’re interested in (which it’s probably not, because social science*), assuming you’re presenting more than 6 Grade 12 University/Mixed courses.

now, let’s all try to move past this question, shall we?

cheers,

aska

* i should add that, once you actually get to uoft, there are some social science programs – like economics – which require Grade 12 calculus (that’s MCV4U1), so math may be necessary for you down the line, EVEN IF it’s not calculated as part of your top six. just so you know.


Jan 20

architecture newbies

If I want to major in Architecture and minor in Art History, should I apply to both programs on my OUAC application or just the program I want to major in? Also, how would I pay tuition if I’m in two programs with different tuition costs? Thanks in advance! :)

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hey there,

according to the ‘high school students’ section of this page, you don’t apply to your majors or minors specifically. you either apply to the H.B.A. in Architectural Studies or the H.B.A. in Visual Studies.

you would select the Architecture option (code TLA). from there, you can participate in the architectural studies major program, and apply for any minors with the faculty of arts & science after first year.

as for tuition – that wouldn’t happen, because there’s not a different tuition fee for every major or minor (imagine what a nightmare that would be. SHEESH). fees are a bit more general than that, and tend to be based on how many credits you’re taking in a year. this table should help you make sense of it.

good luck with applications!

aska


Jan 19

your ranking swings both ways

Hey aska!  Hope you’re enjoying/enjoyed the holidays!!! :D  I just have one silly little question for when you get back: if my rank on a waitlist keeps decreasing, does it mean that people are dropping out from the course or the waitlist?  Thanks!

———————————————

hey there,

thanks! i hope you enjoyed your holidays too. i spent my holidays riding those rad inter-dimensional waves and breaking the light barrier. i had the sniffles, though, so. it can’t be all candy canes and sugar plums.

as to your question: it could be either one. people dropping out of the waitlist or out of the course will have the same effect.

i hope you got in the class, my friend.

cheers,

aska


Jan 19

integrity remedy

Hello,
I might have possibly taken a wee bit of extra time to finish after the invigilator said stop during my last exam- not above a minute. My counsellor at Accessibility Services wrote to inform me I’d be contacted about that by the Office of Academic Offences or some body that deals with them. One of my half-courses on ROSI reads reads GWR so I’m assuming that stands for Grade Withheld Pending Review and I’m assuming this is the course I’ve been written up for. I topped the previous assignment and have been doing alright in it so far. No one has contacted me yet. Will I lose some points on the exam? What’s going to happen to me?
Thanks,
A Careworn Student Who Just Wants a Reprieve From All the Worrying Over the Holidays

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hey there,

well, the holidays are over now. i hope you didn’t do too much worrying. if it helps, i got horrendously sick over the break, so i wasn’t having the jolliest of times either.

the golden document related to academic integrity at this school is the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters – which sounds very official and scary but is actually quite accessible and reasonable if you take the time to read it.

bear with me for a second. head over to page 4, section C.i.(a) Divisional Procedures of the Code. you’ll see that the first steps are meeting with the instructor and the dean, and then – at number 8 – they decide whether or not to impose a sanction.

the sanctions are listed in the next section, C.i.(b) and start off with relatively minor sanctions like an oral/written reprimand, requiring that you resubmit the exam, or a grade of zero (which is a bit more severe).

if this is your first offence, and you are honest during your meeting with the dean/whomever you meet with, the sanctions will likely not be too severe.

that said, academic offences are serious business for an institution that grants degrees based on academic achievements, so i wouldn’t say there’s nothing to worry about. but don’t beat yourself up about it – both you and the office want to figure out something that’s fair for you.

if you’re really nervous, you can make an appointment with your registrar to discuss the meeting and how you can expect it to go.

all the best,

aska


Jan 19

gimme an O gimme an S gimme an A…

Hey there, when can I start to apply for 2015-2016 OSAP?

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hey there,

i can’t find any documentation about this because enrolment services’ information (no disrespect, guys) is a teensy bit out of date, but my SECRET SOURCES here at aska HQ tell me that it’s typically not until may.

so don’t start freaking out about it just yet – you’ve still got some time.

cheers,

aska


Jan 15

the admissions website is actually pretty helpful ya know

does humanities at st george require any supplementary applications?

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assuming you’re an ontario high school student and you don’t need to prove english facility or provide transcripts from previous universities you’ve attended or any of those kinds of things…nope!

xoxo,

aska


Jan 15

probation gestation

Hi,
I’m a student in UTSC, and I’m currently on Academic Probation continuing from 2 semester again. If I achieve less than 1.60 on the FALL term, will I be suspended for 4 months? Or will I only be suspended after the WINTER term is assessed? Please answer!
Thank you.

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hey there,

this is worth saying once in a while, and i haven’t said it for a bit, so here goes:

as much as i wish we were, askastudent is not a professional, full-time department within the university of toronto. also, the “student” part of askastudent means that we can’t always answer things right away.

says right here that it can take up to two weeks, and that’s because we need to take time to, y’know, pass our classes and stuff. so if you’ve got a SUPER URGENT inquiry, always go to the appropriate uoft office first. they work a lot more hours to be able to get back to you faster.

onto your question.

UTSC’s timeline operates in terms of sessions, like UTSG. however, unlike UTSG, scarborough is divided into three sessions: fall, winter and summer.

academic standing is assessed at the end of every session, so if you were on probation for the fall session, your standing would have been assessed at the end of the fall session. if your GPA fell below 1.60 in the fall, then you’re “liable for suspension or refusal of further registration” for the winter term.

but you should have received an e-mail from your school about the exact terms of your suspension if you were suspended, so if you didn’t, i would e-mail the utsc registrar’s office and ask about it.

cheers,

aska


Jan 13

a cornucopia of majors

Dear Aska,

I’m a student half way through my 3rd year. I’m currently working towards a double major in Archaeology and Classical Civilizations with a minor in Art History. I’ve done summer semester for the last 2 years as well in order to keep my workload down to 4 classes/semester (fall/winter) and have everything planned on the ROSI degree planner through the end of my degree. The thing is, I really really would rather up my course load and get a triple major, as I really do love all of these subjects equally and each one is beneficial to my career/ academic aspirations. I’m just not sure how to go about trying for this. Is this possible at all? Do I petition my registrar? I was hoping you could point me in the right direction.

Thank you so much,

~ Tripledown

P.S. I’m really hoping for a response chock-full of great links and funny gifs.

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hey there Tripledown,

the faculty of arts and science is pretty explicit about not letting people do more than 2 majors/specialists. however, since they’re the ones who make the rules, they’d be the ones who could make an exception, if at all possible. i’d start off by calling them and asking.

i wouldn’t get my hopes up, but it’s always worth it to ask. also, if it’s just about really, really loving the programs, you can always take the courses required for an art history major, without actually having the ‘major’ designation on your transcript.

cheers,

aska

P.S. here’s one of my favourite gifs, completely complementary, just because you asked so nicely:

the office jim broken gif


Jan 13

engineer out of water

Question: Any academic / life suggestions for a engineering student on 1 year suspension? I really feel now there’s nothing I can call hope now. I cannot face my friends and also it’s a shame to my family. Also how can a person make decent friends in their age while he is out of school?

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hey there,

your friends and family can think whatever they want. if they think it’s shameful to be suspended (despite the fact that many engineering students are suspended/put on probation every year, many of whom continue on to successful degrees), that’s their prerogative.

fact is, only you know what engineering at uoft is like, and only you can decide how you want to feel about being suspended. obviously, no one wants to be suspended, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend the whole year feeling gloomy or beating yourself up about it.

suspension is a year-long opportunity to figure out 1) why you were suspended 2) what you want to do next and 3) how you can go about doing whatever that is. if you take some time to think about 1) and 2) and decide that you really do want to come back to engineering, i would recommend looking into these resources.

it might also be a good idea to get a part-time job or do some volunteer work. sometimes you can have the clearest thoughts about something while you’re away from it. do something different from engineering, and see if you miss it or not.

getting a job or volunteer position could also help a lot with making friends. i’ve made some of my best friends through extra-curriculars or jobs i’ve held. charity village is a great site for looking up volunteer opportunities in the city, and you may want to take a look here as well.

best of luck,

aska


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