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pros and cons of an extra semester


So I’m in my third year and I am currently behind 1.5 FCE due to dropping out of courses I was doing really poorly in the last couple years. I know that to graduate with distinction you need a cGPA of 3.20. I’m wondering if it is still possible to graduate with distinction [assuming I have a 3.20 GPA still] if I take the summer after my fourth year to complete the remaining credits? Would I still graduate with honours? What is your opinion on the pros and cons of taking that extra summer to finish and graduating in the fall of 2018?

Thank you so much!!



you can graduate with distinction as long as you get a GPA between 3.20 and 3.49. it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to complete your degree!


the pros of taking an extra summer:

-you’ll have more time to pursue a higher GPA if your goal is to graduate with distinction

-you can spread out your course load and have a more chill semester during the year

-courses are more sped up during the summer and will take less time

-if you got a bad haircut at the beginning of the year, it’ll have grown out by convocation

-studying outdoors with squirrels running around is a possibility!


cons of taking an extra summer:

-having to study during patio season

-if things go wrong again (god forbid), you’ll be paying more tuition for the same result

-courses are sped up so you’ll need to work really hard to keep up with the course materials

-convocating in november means it’ll be really cold when you’re trying to take photos outside of conhall/ UC with your family


regarding your question about graduating with honours: if you are pursuing a bachelor’s degree in science or arts at U of T, your degree will be called an Honours Bachelor of Arts or an Honours Bachelor of Science degree.

if you are still not sure about what to do, it’s always a good idea to go see your registrar’s office to look at how you are progressing in your degree. if you are financially capable of paying for an extra semester, it’s definitely a good option to consider!

hope this answers your question!

peace and summer lovin,



don’t go

Hello! I’ve tried looking for this answer but I can’t seem to find it. Is there a limit to how many years you can do to complete your undergrad? I’m on my 5th contemplating doing a 6th. I’m also hoping to change 1 of my majors as well. My GPA is terrible and am very slowly reaching the minimum requirement to graduate but I’m really starting to wonder if I should take another year instead. I feel like I would really regret leaving the school with the bare minimum GPA required since it’s so final


hello there!

there is no limit! you can take as long as you want to finish your undergrad. if you want to stay behind and boost your GPA, that’s perfectly fine. unless you’re an international student, then you’ll have to make sure you have the right visa allowances.

you can definitely change one of your majors if you meet the requirements, you just have to do in within the appropriate program switching period.

if you leave school with the bare minimum GPA, it might be hard for you to apply to grad schools (if that’s what you’re interested in). if you see more school in your future, it would be a good idea to stay behind to get a better GPA.

it’s very common to take longer than 4 years to do your undergrad, so don’t worry about it!

you got this!

peace and love,




If my last semester at uoft is in the Summer which convocation ceremony would I be a part of, November or June? And what about if my last semester was in the Fall? Also when should I start with preparing for things like convocation tickets, grad pics, would it be the semester before your last semester or during your last semester?



congrats on almost graduating! you’re almost there! if your last semester is during the summer, you’ll be part of the november convocation ceremony (hey, me too!). if your last semester is in the fall, you’ll have to wait until june.

don’t forget to request graduation! check out the sessional dates here to see when you can request graduation on ROSI/ ACORN. has all the information about when to get tickets. since your expected graduation date is not the upcoming one, the deadline for RSVP won’t be available yet, but you’ll have quite a long time to RSVP and reserve tickets on ROSI/ ACORN when the time comes.

contact your registrars office to see when grad photos will be taken. each college has different grad photo slots, and you can even get yours taken outside of your college at any studio of your choice. at each college, there is usually one grad photo slot for people graduating for both june and november. if you’ve missed the photo-taking period in your college, you can try contacting the studio which does U of T’s grad photos.

good luck with everything!

peace and love,




but i thought being outstanding was a good thing

I’ll (hopefully) be graduating this coming summer.

I was wondering though what will happen if I cannot pay off my current
tuition by the end of winter term? Will they prevent me from graduating,
attending the ceremony, getting my degree, etc?

Thanks as always.



first of all, i love the “hopefully” graduating part. people keep asking me if i’m graduating this year and i’m always like:

anyways, this is a great question! thanks for asking it!

disclaimer: the following information is only valid for students in the faculty of arts and science.

there are definitely some real consequences of not paying off your fees. keep in mind, these fees fall under a category of other “university obligations” which you will also need to fulfill. (e.g. library fines, incidental fees; for a full list, consult this link)

you won’t be able to receive your diploma or any proof of completion of a degree, but you will be able to attend the ceremony. wooo!

some other notable consequences of not paying off your fees are that you won’t be able to order official transcripts or register as a continuing or returning student. it would be best to quickly double check with your college registrar’s office to see if you have anything else that’s outstanding just in case you’ve missed something!

unfortunately, at U of T, being “outstanding” in the context of fees is a bad thing. bummer.

all of this information is actually explained quite nicely in the link above, so i would recommend that you take a thorough look at that! hope this helped!

peace and love,





proud of you

I have 21 credits and a cGPA of 3.21; do I graduate with distinction? I’m pretty certain if I had 20 credits my cGPA would not meet the distinction threshold.
hey there,
the only reason why you wouldn’t graduate with distinction is if any of these 21 credits were considered extra. an extra credit would fall under:
-any 100-level courses taken after you’ve reached your limit of 6.0 100-level FCE’s
-any course that you have already passed and are repeating
-an exclusion for a course you’ve already taken
if none of your courses fall under this category, yes, you will graduate with distinction! your credits will all be considered in your cGPA! congrats for making it!

i feel bad for engineers, i do

Dear ASKA,

If you stop taking courses mid-degree to do other stuff, perhaps for years, can you come back and finish university?

The APSC faculty has this time limit in which you have to do all your courses:

“To qualify for a degree, a student must complete a full undergraduate program as outlined in the Faculty Calendar within NINE calendar years of first registration, exclusive of mandatory absences from his or her program.”

There doesn’t seem to be anything relevant in the A&S calendar besides this:

“Re-Registration in the Faculty Students who were previously registered as degree or non-degree students in this Faculty, who have completed at least one course in the Faculty, and who wish to return after an absence must submit a “Request for Re-registration Form” (charge $25) through their college registrar’s office. Re-registration is necessary for students who have not registered in this Faculty within the previous 12 months.”

So, what is the expiration date on taken courses? Or do all art-scis have all the time in the world?

This is the only concern I could think of – if there are others, please let everyone know!

(Category: degree requirements)


hey there,

you’re right, arts & science students have no time limit on their degree. they can take off as much time as they want, and come back to complete a degree at any point. if they are away for more than a year, they just have to pay a $25 fee to get re-registered.

as far as i can tell, the information you found is correct. looks like engineers only have nine years to complete their degree. so, you can take time off, just not an indefinite amount. i guess it’s more important for an engineer’s knowledge to be fresh in their mind than it is for me to clearly remember the finer points of Bezukhov’s character in War & Peace on convocation day.

so there you go! one more thing engineering students can add to their ‘woe is me’ repertoire. you’re welcome, nerds.



P.S. i know how to categorize posts, my dude. i appreciate the help, but there’s no need for backseat blogging here on askastudent.


a sad fifth year


I am sadly going to be doing my 5th year in the fall.

Is there any way I can graduate in June while taking my last course in the summer? I really don’t want to wait another year just to graduate.


hey there,

you’ll be taking courses until summer 2017, you mean? if so, then no, you can’t graduate in June 2017. the next best thing you can do is graduate in November 2017, which is a wait time of only 2 months after you finish classes. not too shabby, if i do say so myself.

and hey, if you get a job or something in those two months and you don’t yet have your degree, not to worry; after you finish your courses, the faculty can confirm that you are eligible to graduate and have completed your program requirements.



P.S. don’t be so sad about doing a fifth year! it won’t be so bad. maybe you can join a club or something to help the time pass? just a thought.


i have LOTS of problems

I have LOTS of problems I would like to ask…. but putting things clear, is it possible to finish 4th year in the first fall term and not attend any classes on the second winter term and still graduate? Next coming year will technically be my fifth year attending UofT (I know I’m a loser) and I rather end school earlier than later.


hey there,

well, i definitely feel you on the having lots of problems thing. i’ve got 99 problems and not knowing where my future is headed or how to make sense of my own finitude in an infinite universe is probably 1/0 of them.*

to answer your question: yes, that is possible! if you finish all your requirements to graduate in the Fall term, you would be eligible to graduate that upcoming June. unfortunately there’s no December graduation date (or maybe not so unfortunately? imagine how cold that convocation would be…), but you certainly don’t have to take any courses in the Winter if you’re all done by Fall. you don’t even have to be on campus. all you have to do is request graduation on time, and you’ll have your degree in July.

also, you are NOT a loser for taking five years to do your degree. lots of people do their degree in five years. guess what? it’s flippin hard to get a degree from uoft! however you get there, however long it takes, you should celebrate. putting yourself down will just add to your problems. so acknowledge your success!



*wow, a math joke! who would’ve thought i had it in me? Mr. Chen would be proud.


but i want to wear the nice gown

Do people who graduate with distinction or high distinction wear a seperate set/style of graduation robes? Does the uni give them any accessories to wear in order to make them stand out? Just wondering bc i noticed varying kinds of robes being worn.



unfortunately, graduation gowns are the same for all graduates regardless of their level of distinction. you may have seen varying types of robes being worn because they are graduating with different degrees, eg. doctorate, masters, bachelors, diploma/ certificate

just for fun, these are the robes U of T has for each degree. for more information regarding gowns, hoods and whatnot, check out the convocation website!




what petitions are and are not for

Hi,I failed a course last semester and I need it for graduating. This is my last year of school.Since I failed one course, I cannot graduate on time.I really wish to get a second chance for that course.Is it possible to make a petition of retaking the exam of redo the term work I am confused how the petition works.I’m not sure if we have to retake the failed course. Please help.


hey there,

you can’t petition to retake an exam or to redo the work. the only exam-related things you’re allowed to request are rechecks or rereads of your exam, which might result in a higher mark – though i would advise against doing these options if you don’t actually have a reason to think your mark should’ve been different.

if you were right on the cusp of passing (i’m talking 48%, 49%), you may want to e-mail your instructor explaining that you’re graduating, and asking if there was any way they might bump up your grade.

otherwise, you’d probably have to take that class again and pass it in order to graduate. hopefully, it’s offered in the summer, so you can do it then and graduate in November.

if you need some more guidance on this or your options generally, i’d highly recommend talking to your registrar’s office about it. there’s something about talking with someone face-to-face that can really help you sort through things.




hahaha….i have no power. ha


Got a couple of questions for ya! 🙂

1) I ended up deciding to add a physiology minor to my double major degree. I was wondering if I am able to drop this anytime or will I have to wait until the beginning of September again in order to modify it particularly if I’m deciding to graduate next year and may not have completed the minor requirements.

2) You probably heard something similar to this a thousand times but…. my motivation level is comparable to a sad stale piece of bread and has terribly impacted my grades; this term has been the worst for me yet. (Why’d I choose life sciences….) There’s a possibility of me failing a course especially after writing the exam. Are profs usually somewhat lenient in altering the marks to at least a minimal pass mark? Or are they just unbudgeable?

3) Lastly, by any chance could you somehow hack the school system to just let me pass and obtain my stupid piece of paper? (Thought I’d give it a shot:) )

Thanks in advance and Happy Holidays!!!


hey there,

1) subject POSts are only alterable (is that a word? it is now) between april and september. so if you’re planning on graduating november 2016 or june 2017, just wait until then to drop the minor, and there’ll be no harm done. if you’re planning on graduating THIS JUNE, then GET THEE TO YOUR REGISTRAR’S OFFICE asap, so they can drop it for you.

2) ummmmm. i’ll put it this way: it doesn’t hurt to try. you’ve got nothing to lose in just pleading your case to a prof. the smaller the class (and, i find, the higher the year), the more willing they usually are to listen to you and help you out. however, i make no guarantees. it’s a hard case to make. good luck? i hope you don’t fail.

3) the fact that you assume i have that kind of power is adorable. i’m just a humble cog in the machine, friends.

i hope you had a good holiday too! i hope the Big Red Man successfully broke into your house at night to leave you the nice Mystery Packages.




you just gotta drop the ‘H’

hi aska,
I am hoping to graduate this year, but my cgpa is below 1.85. i am wondering if its possible to graduate with gpa lower than 1.85? or do i need to take more classes just to pull up my cgpa? thank you.


hi there,

yes, it is possible! you will just be graduating with either a B.A. or a B.Sc., instead of an H.B.A. or H.B.Sc. make you sure you go to your college registrar’s office to fill out a form requesting that you graduate without the honours, and then you’re done.

if you do want that ‘honours’ designation, you can definitely stay an extra semester or two, and take more classes to try and get over that 1.85 benchmark. it’s up to you.




i just want to keep bees with other alumni

last year, i tried to give uoft’s graduating class of 2014 the most solid advice that i could, before they were dropped kicked out of con hall and into the so-called “real world.”

i still stand by that advice (especially the one about dr. phil). this year, though, instead of dwelling on all the horrible and scary-sounding stuff that awaits us all beyond graduation – poverty, under- or unemployment, unstable/temporary jobs, etc. – i want to remind graduates of some of the NICE THINGS about being a graduate of uoft.

(all of the things i’m about to mention are provided by the Office of Alumni and Advancement. take a poke around their website if you’d like to learn more.)

1. career help

so, you’ve graduated – you’re alone, you’re afraid, and you’re without a job. the familiar doom and gloom of the job market in the post-2008 recession that we’ve all heard before.

FORTUNATELY FOR YOU, little grad, the office of a&a offers a number of career services for young professionals. for up to 2 years after graduation, alumni have full access to their faculty/campus career centre for free. which is nice, because as a jobless person, you probably don’t have a lot of money that you can spend on services to help you find a job.

but if you DO happen to have a little money kicking around, you also have access to a large number of career coaching services at a discounted price.

if you’d like to do a bit of shmoozing – i mean, networking – why not attend one of Alumni’s Shaker events? they’re free, and they take place at “hip urban hotspots.” no more stuffy rooms in UC for you. now you’re FANCY.

2. the library

you don’t want to be one of those plebs who can’t get to the stacks at robarts, do you? after all, you’re really going to need easy access to that Welsh literary anthology from 1834 when you’re working 40 hours a week.

for just $22.60, you can buy an alumni ID card, which grants you access to the stacks until THE END OF TIME. alternatively, you can pay $70/week for an alumni reader card and you’ll be able to loan stuff from the library, too.

3. Continuing Studies

working can be a bit mind-numbing, especially if you’re used to the pace and rhythm of a university course. yes, i know that sounds ridiculous now, as you cheer and celebrate (read: drink copiously) the end of your time at school.

however, formal education can be a tough habit to break. besides, learning is a lot more fun when you don’t have a $30k degree hanging on the line.

to ease that transition from school to work, why not sign up for some courses at continuing education students graduating this year get a $750 credit to spend on one continuing education course. take a course in anything from business & professional studies to creative writing.

4. faculty club

ever wanted to feel like an overprivileged white man living in victorian england? well NOW YOU CAN, with your very own membership to the faculty club.

the faculty club is a great place to meet people who were successful in a previous era, sit down in fancy chairs in fancy rooms, attend events with other fancy people, learn valuable skills through varied etiquette seminars, and – this part is my personal favourite – be part of a beekeeping club!

if you’re a recent grad, your first six months of membership are free, and the next 2.5 years of membership are half-price. which is actually a pretty great deal.

congratulations, grads, and good luck out there!


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