askastudent

your student life specialists

Sep 19

POSt to play

Do you have to choose a program second year or can I still be undeclared

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hi!

once you complete 4.0FCE, you must choose a program of study. in general, this happens at the end of your first year. if you don’t enrol in a valid POSt combo (ie. a specialist, two majors, or a major and two minors) after finishing 4.0FCE, ACORN won’t let you add courses. which is a big time uh-oh.

if you finish 4.0 credits, but you haven’t completed the requirements for your desired POSt, you can add yourself into a placeholder type 1 (the kind with no application or specific course requirements) program. as i mentioned before, if you’re not in a valid POSt combo you won’t be able to add courses. by adding yourself into the placeholder POSt, you’ll be able to add courses on ACORN, avoiding the big uh-oh.

now you may be thinking “but aska, now that i’m in this fake POSt, do i have to take courses in that POSt?” no you don’t! adding the fake POSt just ensures that you can add courses. basically, you can take the courses you ACTUALLY want, finish the requirements for the POSt you ACTUALLY want, then drop the fake POSt after. no harm, no foul.

i hope this all makes sense, it can be a little hard to follow.

confused GIF

xoxo,

aska


Sep 17

askanI.T.

Hellooo, how do I add my utoronto email to Apple’s Mail app? I read the FAQ on the u of t library site but I can’t find my configuration number.

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hi!

do i look like I.T. to you? yes, i literally live in front of my computer and yes, i do seem like an omnipotent all-knowing/ all-seeing tech god, but i am NOT I.T.! sorry for getting so heated, maybe it’s that #millenial thing of being treated as tech support by my older family members that has made me bitter towards anyone who asks for tech help from me. but i shouldn’t have taken it out on you, and i apologize for that.

awkward schitts creek GIF by CBC

SO! you wanna put your utoronto email onto your phone. that’s a good idea, tbh, so you won’t miss any announcements from profs or u of t in general.

i’m not sure what FAQ you were looking at, but this page that i found from the info commons help desk provides a step-by-step guide to adding the u of t email service to your ios device– without the “configuration number” whatever that is. that should work, but i know that the u of t email service sometimes just…. doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. if it doesn’t work, you could talk to the people at the info commons help desk. they’re located on the first floor of robarts library.

another thing that you could do, though this wouldn’t get your utoronto email to the mail app, is to download the outlook app. since the utoronto email is run through microsoft outlook, you could sign in through outlook directly. i personally don’t do this (i have my utoronto email linked to the mail app), but it’s definitely a possibility. i know a lot of people who do this because they find apple’s mail app ugly or less intuitive or whatever. it’s all about your preference.

confused adam devine GIF by Apartment Guide

i hope this helps. good luck!

xoxo,

aska


Sep 14

a breadth of breadth courses

Hi,
I’m a first year student and having a hard time choosing a simple Breadth requirement course that doesn’t involved Math under the 4-5 category. I’m worried if I don’t do it during my 1st year it will be too hard 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year…
Any suggestions would be really appreciated!

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hi!

ah, the time-honoured tradition of avoiding math. i know it well.

i got moved you never seen comedy central GIF by Broad City

a great way to look for courses is the faculty of arts and sciences’ timetable. you can click on “advanced search” and look up courses based on which breadth requirement they fulfill. you can also see other course information such as when and where the course is held, any enrollment blocks that may be on the course (priorities, exclusions, etc), how many people are in the course or on the waitlist, and who teaches the course. since you’re looking for courses to fulfill breadth 4 and 5, you could filter your search by that and look through the courses and see if there’s anything that interests you.

you mention that you’re worried about doing breadth in the upper years. though it’s true that a lot of students fulfill their breadth requirements in the first year, it won’t be “too hard” to do it later on. first year is transitional, and the transition can be difficult. if something in the sciences is super out of your comfort zone, there’s no harm in waiting until you’re more comfortable with university life to do breadth.

and since you asked for suggestions… here is my PERSONAL (and i greatly emphasize, PERSONAL), suggestions for breadth courses that look interesting that still have space:

this is a survey course designed for non-scientists and assumes that students have no background in math or science at all, so this sounds perfect for what you’re trying to do. the course outline also mentions that the course explores popular scientific topics, so it might be stuff that you’ve heard of before. also, the course title itself sounds pretty dope.

these are astronomy classes designed for students with no background in science. they explore “our place in the universe.” i feel like everyone i know has taken these before for breadth; it’s super popular. i mean, tons of people take it and they manage to fill con hall every semester so… it’s gotta be aight, right? plus, space is pretty cool.

a course about ancient civilizations and how they responded to where they lived. if you’re a history buff or want to learn about the truly stark environmental crisis we are currently in (compared to the environmental changes that the ancients experiences)… then this is the course for you!

the title is a tad misleading, and i promise you (and your concerned parents) that this isn’t a class about narcotics. this is a class about pharmacology and the creation of pharmaceutical drugs. it looks like it could be super interesting, especially if you’re interested in the health sector or how pharmaceuticals are made but not necessarily the SCIENCE and CHEMISTRY behind it.

breadth can be really daunting, i know that the thought of having to take a university-level course outside of my comfort zone terrified me– in fact, i didn’t do breadth until my second year.

meryl streep hunter GIF

that being said. i hope this helps!

xoxo,

aska

PS- don’t forget that the last day to add F or Y courses are september 19th! 


Sep 10

good luck, young one

Hello!!

I am a first year student. I plan on majoring in English and Sociology. I have a couple of questions:

What is Type 1,2,3 program?  From what I understand type 1 program does not have any requirements. And does English and Sociology fall under any of those programs?

If English and sociology does fall under type 1 program that means that I do not have to worry about anything hopefully.

Can I enrol in my english or sociology major now or in second year?

Also how fast can i graduate? I am currently enrolled in 5 course. I plan on taking however much courses I am allowed in the summer.

Lastly, one of my friend told me about UTAPS. I will be receiving OSAP this year. Will i be eligible for UTAPS. And (if so, i hope so) when will I know if i am getting UTAPS?

Thank you

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hello eager first year!!!

since your question is in multiple parts, i will be answering in multiple parts.

1. program types

the program type basically indicates what the entry requirements are for that specific program. type 1 programs have no special requirements. type 2 programs require specific courses and/or grades in those courses and type 2L programs are programs with a limited amount of spots. type 3 programs require specific courses and have a limited number of spaces. some type 3 programs might require additional information (an application, an interview, etc). check out this link for more info.

according to the program listings, english is a type 1 program and sociology is a type 2L program.

2. enrolling in the majors

you don’t need to enrol in a POSt (program of study) until you’ve earned at least 4.0FCE (full credit equivalents). this is usually at the end of your first year.

for english, you will just need to add the program during the program enrollment dates and you will automatically be added to the major–easy peasy lemon squeezy.

for sociology, you will need to have a minimum of 65% in SOC101Y or an average of 65% in a combination of SOC102 + SOC103, SOC102+SOC150, SOC103+150, or SOC100+150. once you’ve completed that requirement, you will request the program on ACORN during the request period, and then wait for the response. if you are accepted, you will see an “invitation” to the program that you will need to accept to be officially in the major. keep in mind that because sociology is a 2L program, it means that just meeting the minimum requirement may not get you into the program.

check out this link for more detailed information about enrolling in programs.

3. how fast can you graduate

if you take 5.0FCE every year, you should graduate in 4 years (5 FCE x 4 years= the 20 FCE needed to graduate). if you take the maximum number of summer courses (2.0FCE) every year, you could graduate a little earlier (ie. if you were supposed to graduate june 2022, you can graduate november 2021). basically, that would look like this:

5FCE (fall/winter 2018-19) + 2FCE (summer 2019)

+ 5FCE (fall/winter 2019-20) + 2FCE (summer 2020)

+ 5FCE (fall/winter 2020-21) + 1FCE (summer 2021)

= 20 FCE needed to graduate for november 2021.

keep in mind, however, that summer courses move super super quickly and it isn’t a really good idea to take the max amount of summer courses– especially since you’ll be coming straight from a full year’s worth of school. personally, i can’t fathom the idea of three years straight of school– i need my downtime!

tropical grim reaper GIF by Dark Igloo

another option that you could look into is taking 6.0FCE (the absolute maximum amount of credits) per year. again, keep in mind that u of t courses are super intense and a lot of students actually take less than 5.0 because of how heavy the workload can be. it might be a good idea to see how first year goes and then decide if you wanna take a heavier course load (either in the summer or in the year after).

4. UTAPS

if you’re receiving OSAP, you will be automatically assessed for UTAPS. you can use their online estimator to see if you’re eligible and how much you could potentially receive.

according to the financial aid website, UTAPS is first applied to your balance on ACORN and any extra is sent to your bank account. it doesn’t say when you will receive the UTAPS if you are eligible.

i would get in touch with enrolment services, the financial aid office on campus, for more information.

phew, that’s a TON of information.

elaine benes relief GIF by HULU

i hope this helps! good luck, young one.

xoxo,

aska


Sep 07

yikes, fam

I haven’t been able to deffer my fee because I still have to deal with osap stuff so how long do I have.. are they gonna kick me out for not deferring the fee slash paying the minimum amount?

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hi!

yikes, fam. it’s getting a little late in the game to have not paid/ deferred your fees.

though the deadline to pay or defer was august 29th, there is a 10 day grace period before you will be deregistered (meaning you will be “financially cancelled” and removed from your classes). this means that while you are a little late, not all hope is lost.

there are basically two options:

1. make a payment.

you can make a payment ASAP and present proof of payment (bank receipt, screenshot of the confirmation page that comes up when you use online banking, etc) to your registrar’s office. once you show them proof of payment, they should be able to manually register you (meaning your status on acorn will go from “invited” to “registered”).

2. defer your fees.

if your OSAP application has been processed, you can show proof that you will be receiving OSAP to your registrar’s office (this usually means showing them a screenshot of your OSAP dashboard and funding estimate). they can manually defer your fees and register you there.

if you don’t do this in time, you’ll have to visit your registrar’s office to be re-registered, pay a fee, and be put back into classes. the scary thing is that there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to be in all the classes you were in before if you lose your place.

panic omg GIF

to avoid that, pay or defer ASAP!!!!!

hope this helps!

xoxo,

aska


Aug 29

~*~online learning~*~

hello! are online lectures live or can i watch the videos any time? I’m enrolled in ggr107 and the online lecture starts right after my new job shift ends. i’m hoping the online lectures can be watched at any time so i don’t have to change my shift at work!

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hi!

in my own personal experience, online courses that i’ve taken have been recorded and uploaded online. that’s just in my experience, though, and the way that courses are run may differ between faculties, departments, or even individual profs. i suggest that you get in contact with the prof that’s teaching the course. that’s probably the safest bet!

YAY! learning! yay! back to school! YAY!

brain studying GIF

hope this helps, good luck!

xoxo,

aska


Aug 23

brave potential grad student

Hi Aska!

I’m currently getting a computer science bachelors with a math minor from another Canadian university, and I want to apply for a masters in mathematics at uoft. I think my GPA is high enough but I’m not sure I have an “appropriate bachelors degree” and haven’t made connections with any of my math professors for letters of reference.

So I changed my plan to:
– apply as a non-degree student
– take a year to do a bunch of math courses
– get letters of reference from them
– apply for masters
– ???
– profit

I’ve also emailed the graduate unit to ask for application requirements, so I thought as long as I could get the specifics cleared, ie. what courses do I need to take to prove I can do a masters in math as a computer science undergrad? things would go smoothly. However, I was looking at this and it says that full-time non-degree special students need at least two letters of reference. Are non-degree special students the same thing as non-degree students? Does this mean I need reference letters to apply as a non-degree student? Am I basically screwed because I need letters of reference to get my letters of reference? If yes, do you know of any alternatives? I don’t want to do another bachelors but I’m not really sure how I can get in otherwise.

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hi!

when i got your email i was immediately delighted. i. LOVE. plans! alrighty, lets get down to business (to get you into a math masters at u of t) (which sounds absolutely terrifying you brave brave soul math sucks)

shirtless disney GIF

according to the math department’s graduate program’s minimum admission requirements (which i think you’ve already taken a look at, but i’m just gonna regurgitate some info for you here), applicants must hold an “appropriate bachelor’s degree” with a final year average of at least a B-average, at least three reference letters, a letter of intent, and a CV.

as you mentioned, you aren’t sure if you have an “appropriate bachelor’s degree” nor do you think you have anyone who you could put down as a reference. in that case, applying to u of t as a non-degree student first in order to get some math credits under your belt/ meeting some profs for reference letters may be a good idea. the link that you had sent me is actually the info for applying as a non degree GRADUATE student, but if you wanted to just take some math courses in order to get into a masters program, you’d actually want to apply as a non-degree undergrad. you can check this link out for the application process, just scroll down to “non-degree applicants.” totally understand the confusion though, since you ultimately wanna be a grad student here.

i also took a closer look at the master’s admission requirements. they list some informal “suggested prerequisites” in this pdf. while they do list u of t courses, they also say that “there is no fixed or rigid list of prerequisites” and they describe concepts and topics that you should be familiar with, rather than strict course equivalents. take a look through their suggested prereqs and see how many of the topics/ concepts that you have covered with your math minor. maybe you already have all the requirements fulfilled. it would probably be a good idea to get in contact with the math department directly for more information.

so basically, tldr; you should look into applying as a non-degree undergrad student and look into the informal prereqs the math department has. then, decide your next move, whether that be coming as a non-degree student or applying for the grad program directly. it’s up to you!

point pointing GIF by funk

i hope this helps!

xoxo,

aska


Aug 14

butter up your profs

Hey aska,

I am currently a 2nd year student at Uoft and I know that I want to pursue graduate studies in the future hence, I want to start building relationships with profs. But the problem is that I am a terribly shy person and I never speak up in class. I am also really afraid to go to office hours as I don’t really know what to speak to professors about (i usually don’t have much questions to ask them). Do you have any tips on how to overcome my shyness around profs? And how much do you think profs will need to know u in order to write a good letter of recommendation?

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hi!

as someone who self identifies as a “talkative keener” i have a lot of experience talking to (and buttering up) profs. let me pass down my wisdom to you.

participating in class and going to office hours is the best way for profs to know/ remember you, but i totally understand how difficult and intimidating that can be. i personally find that it’s a lot easier to speak up and make a personal connection with a prof if the class is a lot smaller. smaller classes are usually a lot more discussion heavy, which (personally!) pushes me to participate more and talk to the prof directly. plus, it’s not a faux pas to participate in a smaller class, it’s actually an expectation! while it is a lot easier in some programs to find and take seminar classes (for example, i’m in the humanities and i’ve been in small classes since first year), i think that seeking out small classes about things that you’re interested in and profs that you like can be a good way to get profs to know you.

going to office hours can be absolutely terrifying, i always feel like i’m in trouble and i’m to going to the principal’s office or something, but it’s a great way to develop a relationship with a prof. even if you’re not having issues with the class or there isn’t much of a reason to go, attending office hours just to talk about something that you found interesting about the course material or to chat up the prof about their research will really help them to remember who you are. also, it really butters ’em up.

corny tamela mann GIF by TV One

another way to get over shyness around profs is to work with them directly. seeking out research opportunities is a good way to get to really know a prof/ have a prof really know you. plus, research experience looks great on a CV, especially if you have grad school aspirations.

these are my suggestions, based on my own personal experiences. you aren’t me (unless there’s a serious glitch in the simulation) so these things may not work for you. stepping outside of your comfort zone can be scary and it’s easy for me from my anonymous student blogger pedestal to tell you what to do. hopefully these tips help you out and you get a great reference out of one of your profs.

design love GIF by lironrash

good luck!

xoxo,

aska


Aug 13

learning about learning

if I failed courses (first year) would you recommend not retaking them this year? or should I retake them? gpa is kinda awful right now.

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hi!

good news: if you want to take a course that you’ve already taken and failed, there shouldn’t be any issues for you enrolling in it on ACORN. keep in mind that you wouldn’t be able to enroll in a course that you’ve passed but wanna retake (let’s say, to get into a POSt) on ACORN by yourself. that’s something you’d have to see your registrar’s office about. those courses (courses you’ve passed but want to retake) will be marked as EXT (“extra”) which means it won’t count towards your GPA or your 20 credits needed to graduate.

i don’t know if i can explicitly recommend retaking or not retaking a course. that’s ultimately up to you; only you know why you’d wanna retake a course and only you can gauge whether or not you can boost your GPA by retaking the course.

i suggest that you should make an appointment with an academic adviser at your registrar’s office to discuss this. they can go through your academic record with you and help you come up with a plan of action– whether that be retaking courses you’ve failed or looking for new courses to take. they can also point you in the direction of some really cool academic resources. a resource that they may show you is the academic success centre. they’re awesome. you can attend workshops, make one-on-one appointments with learning strategists, and meet peer mentors. i highly suggest checking them out.  learning about learning and how you can learn better is a great first step in improving your marks. at least, that’s what i’ve always found.

i learned from that justin bieber GIF

i hope this helps!

xoxo,

aska


Aug 09

we got ourselves a transfer!

Hi there! This September I will be entering my first year at York University (Biomed Student). However, UofT has always been my dream school and unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut for Life Sciences in Grade 12. I’ve been thinking of transferring to UofT SG in my 2nd year. I did my research online and it said I had to apply through OUAC 105D and pay a fee of $30. My problem is that I used Transferex and some of the courses I’m taking at York apply as half credit, no credit or aren’t courses at UofT SG at all. This concerns me because some people are telling me I might have to spend an extra year at university to complete these courses (a total of 5 years).

Just wondering what I should do, thanks a bunch!!

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hi!

good job for doing your research! you have no idea how many vague and uninformed questions i get (hint: a lot).

it’s possible that you will have to take more time to finish your degree if you transfer. though that is a bit of a bummer (especially if you were planning on finishing in four years), just remember that it’s totally fine (and normal!) to take more time! go at your own pace! if finishing in four years is super important to you, then that’s possible too. you may need to take summer courses and/or more than 5.0 credits one year (5 is the standard amount of credits that u of t students take, though it’s a lot!) to finish in four years. it’s doable, but may be a little difficult. but if it’s what you want, then i’d say go for it!

have you looked at the programs available at u of t? i suggest that you take a look at the programs at u of t, find a few that interest you, and see what their entry requirements are. that way, you can see what if your york credits would transfer and fulfill the requirements of the program(s) you want to enter when you’re at u of t.

i highly suggest that you go see some sorta academic adviser at york. they should be able to give you more information about transferring and help you with next steps. i can’t really point you in the right direction since i don’t know what resources are at york (this is askastudent u of t, not askastudent york!!!) but hopefully you figure it out.

unsure kristen wiig GIF

hope this helps!

xoxo,

aska


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