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Archive for the ‘arts & sciences’


it wasn’t me (clean version)

You said the UofT English courses are very traditional, but I was wondering what exactly that entailed. I know there are probably a few hundred pretentious schmucks out there that’ll swear by their life that there’s nothing they’d enjoy more than rereading A Midsummer’s Night Dream, but that’s just not me. I have a friend in the states that’s doing a BA in English and they had courses like Zombie Literature and etc. Is there anything as fun and interesting as that at UofT?



uhhhhh not sure who said that, but it wasn’t me! i am (believe it or not) the 15th aska running the site and i’ve actually never taken an english course at U of T. thank you, IB credit!

thank you for offending all the pretentious schmucks reading this- i’m sure they’re angrily shaking their berets at you. *lowkey high five*

k, but seriously, shakespeare can be good sometimes. (i’m saying this as someone who doesn’t read for pleasure) i’ve definitely watched some very interesting sparknotes vids on shakespearean plays… “to be, or not to be”… that’s a thing, right? i only pretend to know shakespeare because of michael fassbender and oscar isaac’s portrayals of shakespearean characters.


U of T is just as hip as any school in the states, okay? we’re such a huge university, it would be a shame to not have some good classes.

in our english department, you can take classes on graphic novels, children’s literature, detective novels, science fiction, and fantasy and horror. if you want to check out the full list of courses that are offered, you can find them in the calendar.

if you can’t find ‘fun and interesting’ courses in english, there’s always mus321perhaps you’ll find some more down-to-earth mustachio’d fellas. (p.s. it’s MOVEMBER now, i’m so happy)

hope these courses are fun and interesting enough for you!




waffling is a great word


I am a little older, and thinking of returning to do further coursework and
possibly a second bachelor’s. But am waffling between nondegree and part

For part time: is there a minimum course load per term? Or can you skip a
term or two?

For nondegree students: can you apply at some point to switch to degree


hello there!

i never knew that waffling was a word. thanks for adding that to my vocabulary!

doing further coursework?!! well, to each their own.

i’m kidding of course. there’s nothing wrong with furthering your education, i’m just jealous i don’t have that drive (or the GPA)… but that’s a story for another time

if you are thinking of pursuing a second bachelor’s degree, there are guidelines that U of T provides- found here, but honestly, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

the only thing to take away from the above link is the fact that you can’t pursue the same degree, meaning if you have already received a bachelor of arts, you’d have to come back and do a different bachelors (e.g. a bachelor of science).

the process of coming back for a second degree is pretty straight-forward. you should first set up a meeting with a registrar at your college (same college you were at in your undergrad). before making any big academic decisions, i always recommend speaking with your registrar first, just so you don’t get screwed over by some random rule or exception down the road.

with the registrar, you’ll discuss if coming back for a second degree is really necessary or if there are other options that you can consider (a different career path, pursuing grad school/ a masters program). if you and your registrar come to the conclusion that indeed, coming back is a practical option, you’ll have to go through a petition process.

if your petition is approved, you’ll be granted 5 transfer credits, 4.0 at the 100-level and 1.0 at the 200-level, meaning your second degree can be completed in 3 years as opposed to 4 years.

part time students can be enrolled in anything from 0.5 FCE’s to 2.5 FCE’s per fall-winter session, meaning you could be enrolled in 0.5 credits in the fall and 0 credits in the winter, and still be considered a part time student. you can also be enrolled in 1.5 FCE’s and 1.0 FCE’s in the winter (totalling 2.5 FCE’s), and still be considered a part time student. if you are registered with osap, it might be worthwhile to double check with them what their definition of part time status is.

if you are an international student, you may run into some immigration/ visa issues, so we urge you to check with the centre for international experience before enrolling in part time studies.

non degree students are typically students who are taking courses to fulfill certain requirements (GPA cut-off, required courses) for grad school or masters programs. for example, some students may need to come back for an english requirement and therefore would enrol as a non degree student.

the question of “what’s the difference between part time and non degree” doesn’t exactly apply because you can, in fact, be a part time student AND a non degree student at the same time.

the university doesn’t give you a strict timeline in terms of how long you take to complete your courses. you can technically take as long as you want, with as many breaks in between as you want! yay!

you can definitely switch from non degree to a degree stream, but again, you’ll have to petition this process with your registrar.

hope this is enough info for the time being! if you have any follow up questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment on this post, and i’ll do my best to answer it!

good luck!




google is a great tool that some of us use from time to time

What month do undergraduate students go on semester break and when do they return back to university?


kudos to you for taking the extra effort to send us a question when it probably would’ve required less effort to just google it!

the december exam period is for this year (2016-2017) is from december 9th to 20th, which means everyone will be done exams by the 20th of december and the university will be closed following these exams.

classes start up again on january 5th for arts and science students and january 9th for engineering students.

information regarding engineering and arts and science sessional dates can be found here!

for future reference: feel free to google the following words: “u of t sessional dates” to find what you’re looking for!

u of t is a great place to learn how to google things- you’ve come to the right place.

cheers and #sorrynotsorry for the saltiness,



gold or painful, agonizing failure

Hi! Can you take a psych major if you’re in humanities? Like, if I take a double major in linguistics and psychology, will I graduate with a BA or a BSc? Or is it even possible for me to major in psychology if I didn’t apply for life sciences?
I’m at St. George by the way, and I’ll have completed PUMP by the time I apply for the psych POSt.
Sorry if you already answered this, I did my best to look through all the relevant tags!


hi there,

if you are double majoring in linguistics and psychology, you can pick whether you want a BA or a BSc.

in the arts and science calendar under program requirements, it states :

  • “A student completing one Major in a science area and one Major in an arts area have a choice of either the Honours Bachelor of Science or the Honours Bachelor of Arts.”

you’re good to go! choose wisely!


thanks for making an effort to check the tags! we appreciate it!





lul bye artsci

hey aska,
I’m planning to attend utsc next year for co-op public policy. I originally chose this program because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but recently I decided that I actually want to study economics. is it possible to transfer into the co-op economics for management studies (BBA) program during my first year? I took the required math courses but I know there is a supplementary component so I’m not sure what to do.
also a friend told me that there are courses all management students take first year, so if I must transfer the second year, are there any prerequisites that I need to take during my first year? Do I take these courses and public policy courses since that’s my program for the time being?



first of all, kudos to you for knowing what you want to do!

friends jumping excited

most of us deny that we hate our subject POst until after we graduate yayyyyy *sobs in corner*

so it looks like you may be able to switch into your BBA program in second year if you take the appropriate first year management courses. it says here in the calendar:

“Students admitted to Arts & Science Co-op from secondary school will request a specific Co-op Subject POSt, or program, at the end of their first year, after achieving any necessary required courses for that particular area of study.”

if you take the courses required, you may be able to switch, however i would highly recommend (in fact, just do it) that you double check with the contacts i have provided below. since this is such a specific question, i feel like you would benefit a great deal from getting in touch with the program because you may need special permissions to switch.


deanna burrows- (one of the many artsci co-op people) (416) 208- 2681


christine arsenault- (management co-op person) (416) 287- 7112


you can find these numbers and more in the utsc telephone directoryand it’s almost always more effective if you call instead of emailing.

i wish i could tell you more but it is really up to the co-op directors to decide!

(sorry about the late response as well, we’ve been undergoing changes here at aska and some of our answers were deleted and had to be rewritten)

good luck at scarbs!




human geography and humanities

I haven’t even received an admission offer yet and I already want to change my major. I applied for the Social Science program majoring in Human Geography. But now I think I want to major in something in the Humanities program. I understand that you don’t really have to declare your major in first year, and that would be a great if i still wanted to stay in the Social Sciences but if I want to change faculties, what do I do?



So you want to change faculties do you?

I think you mean streams.

Fact: if you are accepted, you will be joining the super massive Faculty of Arts and Science which basically dominates all of the University of Toronto. Or well, not all of it, but a damn good chunk of it, that’s for sure. Like I’ve said many a time on this site, as long as you’re within the Faculty of Arts and Science, you can mix a whole range of programs of study — those in the humanities and social sciences included.




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

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