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as many 400-level courses as your heart desires <3

Hey aska,

A few questions for you on degree planning:

1. I am enrolled in a History and Classical Civ double major. In total the 300+ credits that I will accumulate between majors is 4.5 credits; however, according to the faculty’s degree requirements, I must have at least 6.0 300/400 credits to graduate. To accomodate this, I plan to do an additional 1.5 300 credits distributed between the majors (1.0 to HIS, 0.5 to CLA) that keep me within the 15 ‘three-letter designator’ limit but take me to 6.0 300/400 credits total. My question is, do you know of any problem with going above the required credits for a program in order to accomodate additional 300/400 credits? I am aware that for both majors I cannot do more than 0.5 400 credits, but I see no problem doing more 300 levels, unless ACORN bars me from doing so. I cannot think of any other way to gain more 300/400 credits as I wouldn’t take electives at so high a level. Any thoughts?

2. How is it determined which courses are counted towards a particular program (major)? On degree explorer I’ve seen CLA160H counted towards the HIS major sometimes as a Related course, and at other times I’ve seen other applicable HIS courses count. As long as I have an acceptable combination of courses to complete a program, it shouldn’t matter which courses are counted towards which program, right? I would like to count CLA160H towards the HIS major – is there a way to indicate this on degree explorer?

3. This is probably obvious, but CLA160 will not count as a three-letter designator course towards History, right? It doesn’t start with HIS…

Many thanks!


hey there,

1) that’s not a problem at all. also, i think you’ve misunderstood the calendar requirements: you need to take a minimum of 0.5 400-level FCEs for your history major, not a maximum. you are totally allowed to take more than 0.5 400-level FCEs (though maybe don’t take too many if you?still want to be sane in your fourth year).

2) you can learn all about which courses count as related courses here. HIS courses won’t count as related courses, because they already count towards the degree, but CLA160H1 should count.

i think your confusion is mostly about how degree explorer functions: degree explorer uses as many credits as needed to satisfy a requirement, and then it stops. from what i can tell, which credits it uses is mostly arbitrary – so even if CLA160H1 could be used to fill a program requirement, but you took some other course that also fills it, degree explorer may use that other course instead of CLA160H1. that doesn’t mean you did anything WRONG – it’s just how the program works.

for example, let’s say you took 1.5 credits in pre-modern history – the major only requires 1.0 credits, so degree explorer is going to discard 0.5 of your credits, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t filled the requirement, or done anything wrong. so, to answer your questions: no, it doesn’t matter which courses are used for any requirement, as long as the requirement is met.

if you want to make certain that all your requirements are being filled and degree explorer is being confusing, you can always book a ‘grad check’ appointment with your registrar’s office in your fourth year, and the advisor will make sure you’re filling all your requirements.

3) like i said, it can count as a related course in a few capacities. you may want to ask the history department whether it can be used to fulfil whatever specific requirement you’d like it to fill.

hope that helps, amigo ~

wishing you a merry merry exam season,



staying back for a fifth helping of history

Hi aska,

I have asked so many questions of you and you have always come through; I hope you can do the same in this case.

I will be entering my 5th year in the fall. I currently have a major in history, but I have applied to switch into a history specialist. The history specialist allows students to take up to 2.0 FCEs in courses related to history.

I was wondering: if a student has taken more then 2.0 history related courses, is it possible for them to choose which ones can apply towards the requirement in the specialist program?

For example, I have POL200Y1, SMC413H1 and ENG385H1 that apply towards that particular requirement; Is it possible for me to take VIC440Y1 in the next year, and have that replace POL200Y1 in the related courses and apply towards the 9.0 history credits requirement? If possible, this would allow me to take only 5.0 credits in the next year rather than 6.0.

Thank you in advance for all the help.



Glad I’ve been helpful. 🙂

Students don’t really choose what courses count for what requirement if they have a surplus of them. Basically if I took three half-credit courses in pre-modern history where I only need 1.0 FCE, Degree Explorer or whoever will be looking at your grades just takes whatever it feels like to satisfy the requirement.

So in regards to your situation, I’m a little confused.

Yes, VIC440Y can “replace” POL200Y (depending on how Degree Explorer feels) when looking at whether or not you’ve fulfilled your requirements, but why would taking it next year alleviate your course load?

Doesn’t it make things worse? I mean you’re taking an extra credit which you don’t need…

Am I missing something?




the horror of history

I am suffering from a huge dilemma. I really wanted to minor in English this year but due to circumstances I wasn’t able to add it, so I had to keep doing a history minor as I already had 2 credits in history. BUT I HATE HISTORY. Okay, I do not? HATE it, but I am not passionate about it. I’m taking this class on the Middle Ages and well, it sucks. I don’t want to bash my professor, but I do not understand him/her. Nothing is getting through to me and I’m sure I will be lost during the exams. The textbook is so dense and takes much time to read. There is an assignment which I do not understand, and I really suck at the research. there is no research in english.. i wish i could be doing that but its too late. I’m pretty sure I will fail this assignment because I’m not putting any effort into it and it’s very complicated to understand – basically it is a “revision of a wikipedia article”. should i drop this class? can i stick through it? if i drop it, there might be repercussions with OSAP (yay!) and i need the credit for an upper year credit for the history minor. (mind you, i didnt pick any good classes this year.. so im suffering a lot. cant concentrate) partly, this has been a vent more than a question, but still, should i drop it or not? this is my last year and im so scared to fail due to lack of interest and be embarrassed and not graduate.


Hello History Hater,

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but fun fact: English isn’t that different from history. It’s actually pretty similar! If you’ve ever taken an English course – which I’m assuming you have since you’re considering it for a minor – then you’ll know that you always get a lot of historical context to go with your reading. Likewise, there is usually a fair amount of research necessary, so I don’t recommend trying to be in that program simply because you think there’s no research. There is.

And as for your Middle Ages course, it’s up to you to gauge how well you’ll do. Will you continue disliking it so much that if affects your work ethic? Or will you decide that maintaining your GPA is more important and start working harder? I’d recommend taking a look at the Credit/No Credit option, but if this course is a requirement for you, that’s out of the question. For now, all you can really do is suck it up for the rest of the term since you need the course to fulfill your POSt.

For now, just make an effort to enjoy the course or at least find something interesting about it. I mean, if it’s a requirement, you’re not likely to drop it. Do the readings ahead of time, sit in the front of the class and listen carefully, ask questions when you’re confused, go to office hours — there are plenty of things you can do to succeed.

But there’s nothing wrong with not graduating in June. Lots of people return for fifth years and they definitely benefit from them!

specializing in english,



a semester at st. george


I’m looking at going on exchange in the fall session/semester next year and I am trying to figure out what subjects I can do and how many subjects I can do. I am majoring in History with a minor in Screen and Cultural Studies, and I have looked at the sites for History and Cinema studies, but I am still not sure how it all works. How many FCE’s is each subject worth and can I do 200 and 300 level subjects (I will be in my 2nd year when I go on exchange)? Any help will be greatly appreciated!!!



Hey there,

An FCE is a full credit equivalent made of 1.0 course. So a course that lasts for a full year (two semesters) is worth 1.0 FCEs, whereas a course that is just one semester is worth 0.5 FCE. So if you’re staying here for one semester, you can take up to 2.5 FCE, meaning you’ll take a maximum of five courses in the fall session.

Now with the History courses, a good number of the 200-level ones don’t have any requirements, but the 300-levels either have prerequisites or recommend some sort of preparation. With Cinema Studies, on the other hand, you’ll only be able to take the 200-level courses. But you’ll definitely have a decent selection of courses to pick from for both programs, so don’t worry.




1 course + 2 course codes = happy wittle students

Hey Aska,

I wanted your advice on something. I took a class this present year (at UTM), and it was a fourth year history class. This summer I was looking for a history class to take during the day because I work afternoons and I signed up for a second year history class. I just realized it’s the exact same class with the same teacher, except it’s course code is different. I’m wondering if there are rules against taking this class, because it seems like the exact copy of the class I took this year except for the course code.




Exclusions babe.

Check the course calendar and see if either course has “Exclusion” written under it with the other course in question listed! If you are still concerned I would just give the History Department a shout and ask their opinion.

If the courses are at different campuses (is that why you mentioned UTM?), then they might end up actually being the exact same course and not counting!

ice cream and waffles,


making history

Hi there,

I am crazy about history but UTSC offers about 1/1000 of the number of courses offered downtown.

Now being from UTSC means ROSI won’t let me see what courses downtown are full or what courses have a waitlist so I was hoping someone whose home campus is downtown could tell me what the situation was for the following courses.


On a minor note, is HIS301H1 a full credit?

I thank you in advance for your help 🙂


Ooh, a history buff! I hope along with your knowledge of the Cold War, you have a buff bod as well. (New rule on Askastudent, questioners must submit full body shots.) Uh, anyways here is the answers to your waitlist woes. HIS 301H1 for the record, is a half credit, hence the “H” designiation. (Full year courses are “Y” courses.) It is offered in the spring semester at St. George, time TBD.

Now the fun part!

HIS301H1 – “S”, 21 students on the waitlist for 75 spots
HIS314H1 – “F”, course has been canceled!
HIS345H1 – not being offered this year! Did you even look at the timetable this year?
HIS384H1 – ditto
HIS385H1 “S”, 18 students on the waitlist for 120 spots

Hope that helps. You so owe me, dude.

xoxo, Askastudent



Hi there,

I’m a UTSC student who wants to take the odd course downtown at St. George.
However, ROSI will not let me see whether the courses I want are already full
since it won’t let me register until August 13.

This might sound like a silly question, but I was wondering if anyone from
downtown could let me know if the following courses:

MAT390H1 S
HIS343Y1 Y

are full or how many spots are still available, just so I can see what the odds
are for me to get in.
I thank you for your time,



Hey Kat! Can I call you Kat? Or Kitty Kat? How ’bout I stop right there…

As of today (4:55, July 19th, EST) the availability in your desired courses are as such:

MAT 390H1 – S

Currently registered, 39 students. Total spots, 50. THERE ARE 11 SPOTS LEFT IN THE COURSE.

HIS 343Y1 – Y


So while you may be bummed, you may also be enthused. Remember that the waitlist drops after the first week of classes, when you will be able to apply to courses, hoping that someone has dropped it. Best of luck to you!

xoxo, Askastudent


Hanoi, here i come!

Do you know any courses, aside from the language courses, that focuses on things related to Vietnam?



drink until you pass out

One more thing, besides getting rid of the mouse, I also need a cure/remedy for insomnia. Do you have one? I’m dying of lack of sleep, but I can’t sleep.

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