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Archive for the ‘arts & sciences’


aussies love aska, aska loves aussies

I am currently in my first year at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and I am looking at going on exchange at the University of Toronto next year (second semester here – first semester over there), and I am looking for what individual subjects that I can do. Is there a list somewhere? Also, where is the best place to stay? On campus in a dorm, or off campus?




Hi Chris, or should I say, G’day! (I know, that?s terrible, but you’re gonna get it a lot)

Toronto is an awesome place to do an exchange and we have a good relationship with your Uni and many others. So welcome! You may have already found it, but there’s lots of information for potential exchange students available from the Centre for International Experience.

U of T has literally hundreds of programs, so it can be a bit intimidating glance at a list of subjects. It?d be easier to point you to information relevant to you if I had a better idea of what you’re studying, but information about each program is buried deep under hyperlinks on the Programs of Study page. Most of that information is more germane to students looking to do their whole degree here.

For an exchange student looking to pick courses for one semester, you’re probably better off taking a glance at this year’s Calendar? from the Faculty of Arts and Science. Unless you’re in a professional faculty like Engineering or Music, this is the pool from which you’ll pick your courses. It has descriptions of every course offered? by the Faculty of Arts and Science, though not all of the courses in the calendar run every year. It can be a fun read if you?re a nerd like me, so have at it!

Hope that helps and hope to see you on this side of the Commonwealth!



wait me up before you go go


I am a polisci major and i need a canadian politics course, it’s part of the requirement. However my course registration started when I had to be at? work , where i normally don’t have acess to computers, so I had to borrow it from somebody else… i was in a rush to give it back because i was interupting thier work.. long story short in my rush I entered the wrong course code , signing up for us politics instead of canadian and it was two weeks before i caught my mistake. by the time i dropped the us poltics and signed up for the canadian politics i was 36 on the waitlist of 250. now i moved up to 14 but with only 5 days left for waitlists to dropp what are my chances of getting in before
than? thanks



Hi Harini,

Girl, I feel you on this one! At my lowest of lows, I was doing course registrations on a borrowed cell phone, stealing wi-fi from the Whitney Museum of Art seven hours after my start time. On another occasion, I dropped the wrong course because two of my course titles contained amphersands (thanks, Literary Studies, for the worst course titles ever). What I?m saying is, we?ve all got stories like yours, and we’ve all felt pretty hopeless about our waitlist position.

I seem to have misplaced my crystal ball today, so I can only surmise about your chances of getting into the course. Like you said, waiting lists drop away on September 16th this year, and 14 spaces is a good bit to move before that happens. However, I’ve heard of much dimmer prospects coming through, so it really could happen! If you’re still not enrolled after the waitlists drop, watch ROSI like a hawk and jump on that space when it inevitably opens up- that’s also been done! Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about waitlists, minus whether you’ll actually get off of one.

Additionally, it’s really a great idea to go to the first day of class, introduce yourself to the professor and get his or her email address. Unfortunately, profs are pretty helpless when it comes to getting you into the class, no matter how much they like you. Still, it’s important that if you do get in, you’ve already had access to readings and lectures you might have missed. I also feel like you get some kind of karmic priority by being a goodie two-shoes like that.

Good luck, and remember that you can always take the course the next time it’s offered, at which time you’ll have more credits and a better shot at getting in. And remember, you’re not the only one suffering from this same issue! Solidarity forever!



two in one


As an upcoming student to UofT, I was wondering if taking 200 courses as a first year would be too difficult. In the orientation they had mentioned that yes, since there were no pre-requites for some of the 200 courses, it was obviously possible, but not recommended (and of course the usual “But if you really want it, then by all means…) However, I would like to hear such information/reflections/opinions from the mouth of a student instead of an instructor.



p.s. I’m planning to take some 200 courses in English and Political Science.



as course selection dawns, i was wondering if taking a second year course in first year would prove to difficult. I want to take geography, but of the two half courses i want, one (GGR124H1) interferes with another mandatory course. I thought I could take GGR216H1 (Global Cities) instead (no prerequistits). Do you think this would be manageable? Or is this just my eager, first year brain trying too hard?
yours faithfully



Dear MD and faithful, if unnamed, asker,

Well, course selection has past dawned. in fact, since August 9th has passed and program-based priority has been removed for course enrolment, I’d say we’re at high noon. But since more than one of you asked about whether doing a few second year courses in first year is too difficult, let’s take a stab at it!

While you may have felt discouraged from trying your hand at upper level courses, the truth is it’s totally normal to take second and even third year courses in your first year, as long as you’re following all of the rules around pre-requisites or language requirements. There are a few reasons it’s actually a pretty swell idea, especially for humanities and social sciences students, whose program tracks might not be quite as strict as science and professional subjects.

Firstly, first year courses can be dishearteningly huge in any discipline. we’re talking hundreds of students in some lectures. Unless you were lucky enough to have gotten your foot into a one of those quaint first year seminars, which are under 25 students, taking upper year courses is a good way to remind yourself that in the years to come, courses will be smaller and, if you’re extra good, professors might even learn your name.

Similarly, first year courses sometimes can be a bit broad, repetitive, and, dare I say it, too easy. For go-getters like yourselves, you’ll look forward to having a more focused and more challenging class in the middle of what can be a slow schedule. Second year courses are also much more likely to be half-year courses, meaning you can get away with taking a wider variety of courses in your first year. This might be preferable to getting tired of your full-year courses by December with no end in sight.

Lastly, unless you’ve planned out courses for your whole degree already, taking a few 200- or 300-level courses your first year is good insurance against using up your 100 level credits. Students at U of T are only able to put a maximum of 6.00 100-level credits towards your degree. If you use 5.0 of those your first year, and then realize that you need to take 2.0 more 100-level courses to get where you need to be for your major or minor Subject POSt requirements, you’ll have to give up some of those other 100-levels. And nobody likes to give up hard work! Worse, it doesn’t occur to some international students (read: me) that a lot of those high school AP credits that transfer into your degree transfer as 100-level credits already.





Hi askastudent!
My name is Jack and I’m currently enrolled in BBA program in utsc but i’m not really happy in the program. i’m in 2nd year atm and i’m thinking about switching my major to political science but i heard alot of ppl saying if i do liberal arts degree i will never find a good job! is this true? should i just stick through it and do bba? please give me some advice and i have ask the academical advisor but all they do is tell me to take test! THEY ARE USELESS!!!! i just want your take on it and your knowledge of ppl in liberal arts and if they have found good jobs or not!
Thank you!!!!


Hi Jack,

What kind of a test is this, exactly? Is it an IQ test?? Because I’m pretty sure you just made up the word “academical.” That’s kind of cool, though, because it means that you’re creative and out-of-the-box of real words. I’m getting a soft, marshmallowy liberal arts degree, so I’ve often wondered which of Toronto’s fine bridges I will one day be living under. The Prince Edward Viaduct is a clear front-runner. Let’s consult a list of famous liberal arts graduates, shall we?

Prince Charles of England has an anthropology degree; Martha Stewart has a history degree; and Hugh Hefner has apsychology degree.

As you can see, Jack, graduates in the liberal arts grow up to lead successful lives in royalty, celebrity crime, and the adult entertainment industry. If any of these fields interest you, I would advise immediately switching into the arts.

This list also tells us that, in the liberal arts, your degree isn’t tied to any one specific job. Instead, employers focus on what skills you have and on how well they fit into their job description. According to the Career Centre’s helpfully misleading?list of “careers by degree”, a political science degree can lead to work as a lawyer, police officer, or member of the clergy! You should totally drop out of business school and adorn the devout and divine robes of righteousness.

Or, you can make this decision rationally. First of all, what is it that you dislike about your Bachelor of Business Administration? Is it the heavy workload or is it the course material itself? If the former, you might be clonked over the head with hard classes in other degree programs. Second, why is your alternative political science? Why not international development studies, french, or even the celestial studies of astronomy??

You seem to care most about getting a job. If that’s the case, having a BBA degree will be a direct route into the business world. While a liberal arts degree certainly won’t get in your way of growing up to be the next Mick Jagger (anthropology), your path to career rockstardom will be less straightforward and more windy. Like the yellow brick road.

Either way, you’ll always be a rocktar to me.



waterloo sunset, i am in paradise

Hi Aska,

I have been reading your site for some great advice and now have my own questions. I recently completed my first year in Commerce at UofT. However, I discovered where my true passion lies and decided to switch into Engineering. I recently received an offer of admission from Waterloo for Environmental Engineering and gladly accepted it. I am for sure leaving UofT next year. But will I be able to keep my utoronto email address? If so, for how long?

Second question. Do I need to go to my registrar’s office or the Rotman Commerce department to decline the guaranteed admission into second yr?

Thanks in advance for your response!


Hello there! Congrats on your exciting move from U of T to Waterloo, land of sunsets and dirty old rivers. (At least, according to the Kinks’ song.) You will be happy to know that your U of T email address will long outlive your death. It is the only thing that you can keep for free from this university after your graduate! (Other than knowledge, of course.)

You should probably inform your registrar’s office that you are switching to a new school, if you haven’t already. Did you also contact the Transfer Credit Office to see if any of your courses taken this year apply, even for a breadth requirement? Do so. Basically if you don’t choose any classes from U of T, you won’t be considered a student, but they will keep your record on file. Contact your registrar’s office anyway. IT’S FUN!

xoxo, Askastudent


you are making me stressed out just from reading this

Hey Aska,

Sorry if I missed the answer to this, but I was wondering – do you think it
makes a difference if you double major or take a major and two minors? In
any way at all? The only thing I could think of is having a double major may
offer a bit of a leg up in job searching because you’ll have a major in two
topics. I’m not sure how much employers really care about that though.


Are you interested in pursuing academia, or just the general job market? Because in academia, depending on the field, your marks and the program you’re applying to, two majors could make you a more viable candidate than two minors. If it’s just a general job search, just having a degree might be good enough. What are you looking to do, man? As always, you should contact the head of your department if you are looking to pursue further graduate study in that field.

xoxo, Askastudent


switching from engsci to IR with first year credits to spare

Hi Aska,

I have just been accepted to UTSG, Faculty of Arts and Science. For the past two years, I was an Engineering student at U of T. The Transfer Credit office granted me 4.0 credits for 100 levels, and 0.5 for 200 level. How exactly does “no more than 6 100Y courses” mean? I plan to do a major in International Relations and another major in something else. Would a programme admission consider an Extra for programme requirements?


Basically in your 20-credit life as an arts/sci undergraduate at the University of Toronto, here are the rules to live by: no more than six 100 Y credits, at least six 300 + courses, with no more than 15 classes with the same program title (ENG, INI, etc.). There’s also some junk about breadth requirements and stuff that’s gets a little tricky when it comes to Specialists and Majors, but it’s all detailed on pg. 23 of your Calendar.

You can, of course, do more than 6 100 classes, which given your switchover from Engineering to International Relations might be necessary if you haven’t fulfilled the first year introductory courses for the program. (These look to be either ECO 100/105, HIS 103 or of TRN 150/151 or two of VIC 181H/183H/184H/185H, an introductory language class or MAT133Y/137.) And we’re not even talking about your mysterious second major!

You can take as many first year classes as you want, but only six are going to be counted towards your degree and your program. In the interest of completing your degree before you are 40, and not spending more money than you have to, I’d recommend meeting with your college registrar to advise you on picking the best classes for your program. You can contact the International Relations department here. Tell them do something about that stupid G20 ridiculousness we just endured, will ya?

xoxo, Askastudent


doozer blues

Hi, I’ve been browsing through this site and it looks great.
But there’s a question that I haven’t seen.
I’m in second year engineering (computer). But as I have found out, I’m not cut out for the engineering life. Which is why i want to transfer to Arts and Science for a Math Major.
I was wondering, will I get the transfer credits required, and is engineering math on the same difficulty as a math major program? I took MAT196/MAT 197 and looked at the math course website, and there are equivalent for some first year courses.
Sorry, One more question, I have a CGPA of 2.52, what are my chances of getting in?



i wanna know my exams, man

Hey anyone know where this summer’s exam schedule is posted?Thanx

according to this website, the summer exam schedule will be posted online on july 20th. sucky i know (will have to plan that trip to cancun later rather than sooner), but sometimes, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

cheers, askastudent


big ups from dean Naylor

when can i get my dean’s letter? (more…)


woo-hoo transcripts!

Hi aska! This has been like my 1 000 000 000th question on here lol…I have a question regarding transcripts and things…you know how we can order one for a fee of $10…what exactly is the point of that? is it not the same as if we just printed it off ourselves? I think it would be….Do we get a transcript mailed to us or something at the end of the academic year? (more…)


aska – pick philosophy! parents to aska – die, just die.

Today I signed up for university.
I have a bunch of interests, so I picked some artsy stuff, some science stuff, all sorts of stuff.
It just so happens that in the case of UoT I picked neuroscience, thinking that since arts and science is a big faculty, there’s a lot of flexibility. Doesn’t seem that way now that I’ve read the fine print. I like science, sure, but I want all that artsy stuff too. In fact, I think I’d love to go to UoT, but not for science. Not at all.
1) what are my options? can I wait a few days for that OUAC thing to process, then go in and totally rearrange my picks for universities?
2) Now that I’ve realized how the colleges selections work, I think I may have picked the worst possible run-down of colleges. Please tell me I can fix this. I picked Vic 1st, trinity last, and the rest was random. I think the one with the ikea res was high up. No good.
Again, can I edit gritty details on my application, like college choice? and hopefully program choice?

wow, neuroscience. that is impressive. as a first student, whatever category you’ve been admitted to when you gain acceptance into U of T is actually pretty meaningless. as a science student, you may have a better start time, but it won’t stop you from signing up for whatever classes you’re interested in – artsy or not. at the end of your first year, you’ll sign up for something called a subject PoSt – which determines your major. that may limit your course options in eventual years, but you can always change it up if you have the right criteria.

cheers, askastudent


calendars for everyone…

I was just wondering if I could be mailed a course calendar for the Arts and Science faculty!


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