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
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!