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Archive for the ‘economics’


just give me a stRAIGHT ANSWER, MAN

Hello!! I’m somewhat seeking advice on what I should take this upcoming first year at UTSG with many worries… First question: Is MAT133 extremely difficult? I’m having a hard time choosing a second major (Stuck between English or Economics) and it seems that MAT133 is a requirement for an eco major. Second question: which one seems to be a better major, Economics or English? I did very well in HS english and have req for any math programs but im afraid i wont do too well? pls halp pls


hey there,

i always tell people not to ask me how difficult stuff is, but then i answer the question anyway, so maybe i’m bringing these questions upon myself.

listen, there’s not much i can tell you that can be truly helpful. trust me: i GET that you’re afraid, and you just want someone to tell you how it is so you don’t have to go in blind. unfortunately, i really don’t think i can do that.

i could tell you that i found first-year calc pretty difficult. i could tell you that i finished with a 96% in grade 12 calculus and got a 77% average in MAT135+136. however, those things reflect one person’s experience. i couldn’t tell you if it’s a typical or atypical one, and there’s no guarantee that you will have the same experience. you may be smarter than i am (probably), or less smart (less likely).

besides, there were all sorts of factors that affected that mark – by December, i realized i didn’t want to continue in a life science program, so i did worse in 136 than i had done in 135 because i wasn’t invested anymore. also, the class was really early in the morning, which is never easy for me, meaning i missed more than a few classes.

also, MAT135/6 is not exactly the same course as MAT133, so it’s not a perfect comparison.

what might be more helpful is to look over some materials from the actual course and decide for yourself how hard it looks. fortunately, MAT133Y1 is well-documented online. here’s some great information including average text marks in 2014-15. here is the syllabus.

look those over. reflect on how difficult you found calculus in grade 12, and on how well you did. finally, think about whether you enjoyed it.

at the end of the day, if you really enjoy the material, you WILL be motivated to succeed. it’s that simple. so if you don’t really like math but you feel like you have to do it, don’t. if you sign up for MAT133 and sit through the first couple of classes and find you’re not liking it, just drop it (the last day you can drop Y courses from your academic record in the Fall/Winter is February 12th).

loving it won’t make it easy, but it will make it doable.

and from one esoteric question to another: what qualifies as a “better” major in your eyes? easier? more enjoyable? more interesting? more employable? because that all depends on you, and your interests, and how well you do, and luck, to a large extent.

not to beat a dead horse, but if you like something, you will do well in it. and if you do well in it, opportunities will come your way.

ALSO, if you REALLY can’t decide, you can always do a double major. actually, you’re not allowed to do just one major. you could do an english specialist or an econ specialist, but one major isn’t enough to get you a degree. so if you can’t decide between the two, that may be the way to go.

oh, and by the way – you have all of first year to make these decisions. so if you just wanna take some first-year econ and english courses just to see which you prefer, that’s okay. you have until next summer to figure it all out. you can do it.



a yorker within our borders!

I have just completed my 1st year of studies in Economics at York University. I am e-mailing because I am hoping to transfer to the University of Toronto, however I am uncertain as to how the transition would happen considering my circumstances: I am currently on academic probation at York University, my high school marks were also not very good, and I have also not taken MCV4U. I have looked into retaking MHF4U and taking MCV4U in adult school, however my options are extremely limited or do not work well around my schedule.

I am aware that there are university courses that can be taken to either further improve and strengthen my current knowledge and skills in mathematics or act as a replacement for MHF4U and MCV4U, and I have also looked into retaking a few of my courses to improve my average, however I am uncertain which options are best to consider and which are best to avoid.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide me with advice on how to transfer smoothly from the Economics program at York University to the Economics program at the University of Toronto.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing back from you.


hey there,

ah, the super formal question strikes again. i love people who address me as if i’m some kind of SUPER OFFICIAL DIGNITARY of the university. maybe when i’m able to afford rent, i’ll get somewhere close to that. maybe.

anyway, i don’t know what economics is like at york, but at uoft, it’s something of a holy grail. a lot of people apply to economics programs every year, and few people get in. i haven’t seen your marks, and “not very good” is super relative as a descriptor for marks, so i’m not gonna pass a judgement on how competitive your transcript is without even seeing it.

however, transfer students typically need a B average to be considered for admission to the university of toronto. if you’re on academic probation at york, it might be a bit difficult for you to transfer, and i think it would be a good idea to talk to an academic advisor at york.

first year is by no means an indication of how successful your degree will be, but if you’d like to make a change, it’s always a good idea to talk to someone about it – someone besides me, i mean. someone with, like, real qualifications and silk blouses and a place that doesn’t always smell vaguely like ham.

in order to transfer into econ here, you’ll need to complete the equivalent of uoft’s ECO100Y1 – which at york is ECON1000 and ECON1010– with at least a 67%.

you’ll also need a full year of first-year university calculus. if you haven’t completed high school calculus, you wouldn’t be admitted straight to econ here. if you were admitted, you’d likely come in as a general, program-less student, and then have the opportunity to apply to economics once you’re at uoft.

i’d strongly recommend PUMP as an alternative to night school/adult school. if you’re admitted to uoft, you can take that before enrolling in MAT133Y1/MAT135+136/MAT137 – from there, you could apply to econ.

finally, while it’s totally possible to complete your degree as slowly or quickly as you need to, i’d recommend thinking about this before proceeding. if you have an extremely limited schedule or your situation is a bit tricky right now, it might be best to prioritize other things in your life that may need more attention.

obviously it’s entirely your call; if you want to apply, you should. keep pursuing what’s right for you. but just remember: you should always be your number 1 priority. econ will always be there when you’re ready, graphing stuff, talking about the bottom line, optimizing things. don’t you worry.

all the best,



economics is the beyonce of subject POSts

Hey askastudent,

I have just completed my second year, but messed up royally my first year. So royally that after taking a booster year, at the end of second year, my CGPA will still only be 1.97: 0.3 under the require CGPA for the economics major. I had dropped math first year, and got a 0.7 when finished it this year. Now I have to retake MAT133Y1 in the summer, and I was wondering if the Department will consider that grade when deciding whether or not I enter the econ major since it is 0.3 away from the required GPA. Thanks for your time.


Messed up


hey there Messed Up,

the thing about economics is that it’s really, really, REALLY popular.

on the one hand, that means that it’s a really competitive program, but on the other hand, it’s also very difficult to get into, which means that the department makes allowances for things. they even have a specific rule that you’re only allowed to retake ECO100Y1/105Y1 ONCE, presumably because so many people were retaking it twice, even three times, to get the mark necessary to get into the POSt.

what i’m saying is this: a lot of people have to retake courses to get into this POSt. if the fact that you retook MAT133Y1 does factor into their decision, then it’ll have to factor into their decision for a lot of folks. so it’s not the end of the world.

also, the better you do on your second attempt, the more likely the department is to consider your first year a fluke, and be confident that you’re ready to meet the demands of the economics major now. so go out there and KILL IT! i know you can.*



*look at me being all positive. and i haven’t even had my morning coffee! wow. well done to me.


eco150y1 is one hot commodity

I’m freaking out. I am going to major in Equity Studies and International Relations, but I couldn’t get into ECO105Y1 and Intro to Equity Studies because the courses are full. So basically if I don’t get into these courses I can’t start my majors next year. I don’t want to end up doing 5 years because of that (would be way too costly for me). I don’t know what to do. Do you think if next week during frosh I go see the registrar and tell them I need those classes they would let me in?
Thank you so much!


hey there,

yes, i do think you should talk to your registrar. however, i’m warning you now: they may tell you to remain on the waitlist (and if you’re not on the waitlist, to get on it) until we get closer to the day the waitlist drops (september 14th for F/Y courses).

after the first week of classes, a LOT of people are going to drop courses. they’re just waiting to test run the first class, and then they’ll make a decision.

to prove it to you, i’ll let you in on a secret: i’m enrolled in 6.0 credits, and i’m only planning on staying in 5.0. no, i won’t tell you what i’m hoarding (it’s not ECO150, don’t worry).

that said, it doesn’t hurt to talk to your registrar’s office about it now; who knows, you may have extenuating circumstances which mean they might be able to stick you into the course. also, the registrar might know of some alternative options you’re not aware of. a trip to the registrar’s office is always helpful, is what i say.




100 or 105?

I’m a first year student starting this fall at u of t – hopefully majoring in international relations. I didn’t take a senior/ gr. 12 math course because I was not planning on specializing in international relations (so I would only need to take ECO105Y rather than ECO100Y) and math really isn’t my strong point (I took gr. 11 university math and managed to pull of a 75 but other than that I’m usually in the mid 90’s). Now I’m reading that it is strongly recommended that all international relations students take the higher level economics class. I guess my question is… Can I take the higher level economics class without any of the “recommended” prerequisites (and pass)? Or am I better off to just take the lower level class. Economics is interesting to me but I’m not sure if it’s worth the suffering.

Oh and one more thing… I’m taking trinity one for IR. Some suggest doing the optional summer reading, others say it’s better to wait. Any advice? Thanks for your time!!


hey there,

it seems like you can climb your way up to required upper-year courses like ECO230Y1 and ECO342Y1 just by taking ECO105Y1 (make sure to do your own check though – i took a cursory glance at a few of the upper year classes, but you have to be exhaustive in your own research), so both versions of the course seem to be an option.

from what i hear, ECO is really challenging, so if you can fill all your prerequisites by doing the ‘easier’ (for lack of a better term) version, maybe that’s the best thing to do. the IR major requires at least a 70% average in its required first-year courses, so the better chance you have at doing well in every course, the better your chances of getting in. also, the economics department itself says that ECO105Y is an introductory course… It may also be used for some programs, such as International relations.

however, it could be that ECO100 will prepare you better for those upper-year courses. also, it is, strictly speaking, a social sciences course, so maybe comparing it to grade 11 math (which is essentially geared towards preparing you for calculus and, eventually, linear algebra) is not an entirely fair comparison.

ultimately it’s your choice, and as i have explained before, i am liberal arts trash, and so have very limited first-hand experience with serious business courses like ECO. feel free to contact economics directly for some more insights if you’re still feeling uncertain about your decision.

as for summer reading, that’s tricky. if it’s optional, obviously it’s not a top priority but it’s probably worth at least a skim or two – maybe read the opening chapter and scan the rest. if you do have the time, read the full thing. with these kinds of things (especially when you’re going into first year and you’re not used to the pace of university courses yet), it’s better to be safe than sorry.




second time’s a charm

i am very stressed out about this situation. im trying to get into the economics program at uoft however i repeated the eco100 and fell just below the required grade. i am not able to switch into other programs based on the courses ive taken and im really passionate about getting into economics. is there any possible way to get in the program? can i take eco100 at another campus? freaking out!


hey there,

well, firstly, it’s just not true that you are “not able to switch into other programs based on the courses you’ve taken.” there are a whole slew of type 1 programs which have no required marks or courses. you may be passionate about economics, but it’s not your only option.

the university says that if you passed a course, you can retake it once if you wish, to try and boost your mark for subject POSt purposes. the university’s very strict about its wish-granting powers.

if you were to try and take ECO100 somewhere else or take ECO105, for example, that is technically possible, but it won’t help you get into the POSt. the economics department says that “students must have a combined total of at most two tries at ECO100Y1, ECO105Y1, or any comparable course (e.g., at UTSC or UTM). No third try will be considered in order to meet the minimum grade requirement for admission to a program.

predictably, they leave absolutely no space for wiggle room. financial folks can be that way.

i’d recommend taking a step back and examining why you did poorly on both tries at the course, whether this is what you really want, and whether there are some alternative options that might suit you better. as always, you might consider making an appointment with your registrar’s office to help out with that.




recon for econ

Hi, regarding admission to Economics Major, does this apply to transfer students as well? “All students who meet the minimum grades listed here will be able to enrol in the Economics Minor, Environmental Economics Minor, Economics Major, Economics Specialist, and Economics & Mathematics Specialist programs;”



hey there,

alright, a coupla things. firstly, that link you’re looking at is outdated! biiiiiig no-no. we’re in 2014 now, and you have to look at the current requirements on the 2013-14 calendar for economics. your second issue is that you should only be looking at the economics major, because the requirements for different economics programs will likely not be the same.

so, for 2013-14, admission to the major program requires completion of ECO100Y1/105Y1 with at least a 67%/80%, and MAT133Y1/135H1+136H1/137Y1/157Y1 with at least a 63%/60%+60%/55%/55%.

now if you’re looking at those course codes and you have no idea what they mean, that makes sense, ’cause you’re from a different school. however, if you want to transfer into the program, you still need to have completed the equivalent of those prerequisites in your school. “but i don’t know what the equivalent courses are??!?!1??” i hear you panic. well, ECO100Y1 and MAT133Y1 are very popular courses here at old u of t, and the school has graciously provided us with a chart showing course equivalencies from a few major canadian universities.

just scroll down to economics and mathematics – introduction to calculus, and see if your school has an equivalent course to ECO100Y1 and MAT133Y1. if it does, then you’re eligible to get transfer credit. if your school isn’t on the chart, read up on the uoft courses and see if any of the courses you’ve taken sort of match them. it’s not guaranteed, but you might still be granted transfer credit.

so, let’s say you have the proper course equivalencies and you’re on your way to getting the minimum required mark in both ECO and MAT. now you’re eligible to apply to transfer into the program, but you’re still not guaranteed to get in. economics is a type 2 subject POSt, which means that not everyone who applies to the program gets in – even if they’re from uoft.

i hope that cleared up your confusion! and i look froward to maybe seeing your lovely face at uoft sometime soon *waggles eyebrows*.

best of luck,



creepin’ on the economics study centre

Hi Aska,

I was trying to contact the Economics Study Centre at the downtown campus, and sent them an e-mail last week, but no one has gotten back to me. I was hoping you knew of this service, and whether UTM and UTSC students could access it, or if it’s exclusive to UTSG students.

Have a great weekend.


hey there,

great question! the economics study centre is really *intended* for downtown students, unfortunately. it’s also kind of centred around the specific course material in the downtown courses, so it probably wouldn’t be much use to you anyway. AND it’d be such a hassle coming all the way down here and taking the train and the subway and…ugh. just not worth your time, man.

there doesn’t seem to be an equivalent resource at utm and utsc (which is a real shame, sorry about that, really), so take as much advantage of what you do have available as possible. talk to your ta/prof about possibly setting up study sessions or meeting with you to talk over any questions you may have. go to their office hours and ask questions as often as possible. in one of my calculus classes last year, i went to the prof’s office hours every. single. week. to go over all my questions from lecture and the week’s work. it really worked out great for me, and i’d recommend you do the same!

i know it’s hard to work one-on-one help with instructors into your already hectic schedule, but just think about it this way – it would probably take just as much, if not more, time to come all the way downtown to the study centre here.





one of these programs is not like the other one….

I’m trying to get into the neurobio course and I have to choose between Stats or Ecnomics. Now I have taken neither course and I just need to choose one of them, and then never take ever again. Which one of the two is the less intense.




It sounds incredibly odd that a neurobio course would have some kind of economics prereq to it, so I’m assuming you’re talking about two STA and ECO courses that are exclusions of each other and both have to do with research methods or quantitative methods or something like that.

If that’s the case, then they mostly deal with the same things so it won’t make a huge difference which one you take. I suppose check which one is most convenient for your schedule.

HOWEVER, if that is NOT the case… theeeeen I say take stats.






making the most of the minimum


I am worried that I wont get into my economics major by just meeting the 67 in eco100. What are my options? Ca I reapply for the subject post next year (third year)? Or should I retake the course to get a more competitive grade??



Hey hey

Since Economics is just a Type 2 program — meaning you just need a certain grade to get in — I don’t see why your 67 won’t suffice. While it is the absolute minimum, it DOES still fulfil what’s required of you.

But you can certainly do either option.

If you don’t get into the program in this current round, just apply next year.

However, if you want to retake ECO100Y, since you passed it already, the course would be considered extra (listed as EXT, won’t contribute to your CGPA or credit count, etc.) but will still work for a program entry requirement. Likewise, you’d have to enrol in it at your registrar’s office.

Again though, I don’t think you’ll have to go through with either.

For now, just wait.




eager for the eco

Hi there, i am a first year commerce student, but i am waitlisted for the ECO100 lecture, i do not know if they are going to open anymore seats? what is going to happen since i am guaranteed a spot since it is a mandatory course for first years?





You are certainly guaranteed a spot, but that doesn’t mean it has to be in the lecture section you want.

Have you tried the two lecture sections that are actually restricted solely to first-year commerce students? Because I have and I see space in one of them. 😉

But if this is reaaaally stressing you out, I recommend having a chat with the people at Rotman. If there are enough students crying for help, it’s possible that they’ll either raise the cap on one or both of the Rotman sections, or they’ll even open a third section.




eco105y: principles of economics for dummies

Hi I am about to pick courses for first year life science. I will be taking bio120 , chm 138, mat135 a first year seminar, and I would like to take eco105. How difficult is Eco105? What are the chances it will affect my gpa?



Sadly, I am but a student and have not sampled every possible course that exists.

How difficult is ECO105Y?

Waaaah I hate those kinds of questions. “Difficulty” is just so subjective. I’m going to go with “damn difficult” because it’s economics so yes. But check out the anti-calendar to see what past students thought of their past lectures. Apparently in 2011-2012, the difficulty was more or less average, but the retake rate is a lovely 47%.

As for your GPA… well, every course affects your GPA. Duuuuh.



extra work for economics


This is the first time I’m writing to you and I guess I have a little problem. I’ve just finished my first year at UofT St. George and although I struggled a bit, I know where I went wrong and I’ve kinda figured out what i have to fix to do better academically. However, I did not get into the Subejct Post that I wanted: Economics. I want to Major in Economics but i didn’t get the required math grade as I took MAT136H1 and barely passed. I’m thinking of repeating the course again this fall, but my question to you is do you think its possible for me to take MAT133Y1 instead? I know that MAT133 is an excluded course if a student has received credit for MAT136, but I think i’d have a better chance of making the grade if I took MAT133 instead. I know a lot of people would say that maybe Econ just isn’t for me because I’m not good at math, but i think last year was more down to me being lazy and not having the foundation that I would have liked. So yeah, basically what I’m asking is: is it possible for me to do MAT133 instead of repeating MAT136 having passed MAT136?



Regretfully motivated,

It is possible for you to do MAT133Y, but the credit WILL be counted as extra, meaning it won’t contribute to your cGPA, and on your transcript it’ll just say “EXT” (for extra) next to it.

However, the grade you get will still be considered for a program requirement.

And, lucky for you, you won’t have to go through the trouble of bugging your college to enrol in the course for you since technically you’ve never taken MAT133Y before.

Just note that with MAT133Y, you need to get at least 63%.



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