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a Parent Post

My son finished his first year of Humanities at McMaster with very decent marks, high 80s and higher. He applied to McGill and even though his marks are apparently good enough, it’s seeming more and more likely that he won’t be accepted. I’ve suggested that he return to McMaster ( where he wants to specialize in Philosophy and History ) but he’s convinced it would lock him into McMaster for the next three years. He’s sure it’s too difficult after two years to switch schools. He’d consider another year at Mac if it meant he could then transfer to U of T.

Could you enlighten us as to how possible this would be?

Many thanks,


hey there,

i think this is the first time i’ve ever received a question from a parent! it’s kind of exciting. what rabbit hole of the internet did you have to go down to find me? i kind of feel like a bartender at a run-down pub on the bad side of town, and some person wearing tails and a Rolex has just walked, bewildered, through my front door.

lucky for you, i’m a nice bartender. have a scotch on the house, just because you’re new. that’s the aska welcome.

as for your question: yes, it’s possible to transfer to uoft after two years at McMaster. transfer students can receive a maximum of 10.0 transfer credits, which typically takes two years to complete. for that reason, it usually makes the most sense for students to transfer after year 1 or year 2 of their studies at another university. after that, it’s still possible to transfer, but it makes less sense, since you won’t be able to transfer over all the credits from your first university.

other than that, your son needs to have a competitive GPA (at least a ‘B,’ which shouldn’t be a problem if he’s getting 80s and 90s), AND completed prerequisites for whatever program he’s interested in applying to, in order to be considered for admission to uoft.

as someone who transferred to uoft after their first year, i completely understand that sometimes, you just have to get out of your current school. i’m curious though, about what else may be going on here. why does your son want to transfer? what can’t he get at Mac that he can at McGill or uoft? if it’s just a prestige thing, i would advise you to do the Parent Thing and talk with your son about his expectations. McMaster is a good school, and the opportunities for a grad from Mac will probably be very similar to those offered to a McGill or uoft grad – and he wouldn’t have to do the whole transferring thing, which is not overly difficult, but can be a bit lonely sometimes.

i don’t know the backstory to this question, and i don’t want to make assumptions. it’s just that my back automatically goes up when i can only hear the voice of a parent, and not of the student. i appreciate you taking the initiative to ask this question, don’t get me wrong – i just want to make sure your kid is happy with their decision in the end.

best of luck to the both of you!



a particularly early panic

I’m a transfer student, admitted as a second year student. ACORN won’t let me enrol in any first year course (because they are restricted to first year students) and it won’t let me enrol in second year courses (because they have first year courses as prerequisites). Will I be able to enrol in ANY first year course after they lift the priority restriction? I’m worried about availability (in courses such as MAT135H, BIO120H or CHM135H). What can I actually enrol in???? HELP!


hey there,

the definition of a priority is that it does lift, which is good news for you. beginning on August 5th, all priorities lift, which means that anyone in the faculty of arts & science can get into a course, as long as there’s space and you meet any prerequisites. all three of the courses you listed have priorities (as opposed to any other kind of enrolment control), so August 5th is the golden date for you.

yes, it’s frustrating that you have to wait so long. yes, it’s possible the courses will fill up, and for that reason you should have backups. trust me; i’ve been there. i’ve lived it. however, all of these first-year life science courses are very large, so there will be lots of space, in multiple different lecture sections (and in some instances, in both semesters).

the other thing i would recommend you do if you haven’t already is to take a look at whatever transfer credits you may have received from your previous college or university. depending on your program over there, you may not have gotten too many relevant credits, but you should definitely check; maybe you don’t have to take some of these first-year sciences because you already have credits for them!




sad keanu

Hi Aska, I’m set to graduate with my double majors in 3 years. However, since I want to do grad or law school and need to figure my life out, I want to do a 4th year of undergrad. I’m frankly miserable at UofT and am not keen on doing the whole 5.0 credits/another traditional school year. Any advice on studying at another school for a year, interning and being a part-time student,etc.? Besides registrars and my depts’ advisors (whom I’ve consulted), who can I speak to on campus? Thank you!



honestly, most people take 4 years to complete their undergrad, so don’t feel as though you need to finish in 3 years (if that’s what you’re thinking).

i’m sorry to hear that you’re miserable at U of T; it is definitely possible to become a part-time student, but i would highly recommend that you talk to your registrar’s office first to discuss how going part time would affect things like student loans or completing your degree.

besides registrars and department advisors, you could consult upper years who have gone through similar experiences as well. honestly though, i know you’ve consulted registrars already in the past, but they are probably the best people to talk to when you’re thinking of transferring or going part time.

if you do decide to transfer, i encourage you to do tons of research on the websites of other universities. they usually have a section that has information on how to transfer to their school.

you could always think about doing an exchange at another school! it might be more interesting and not as miserable as dreary ol’ toronto. definitely look into the CIE. there are tons of exchange options available at the CIE and you can try to attend one of the many info sessions they hold during the year.

i hope things start looking up for you!



“JOINuoft” – but WHEN?

Hey aska, I’m a first year student currently in UTSC’s City Studies program (technically going to 2nd year as finals are over) however I reapplied to UofT’s St.George’s architecture program for an internal transfer. I submitted my application during January and the only update I have received on the status of my application (via joinUoT portal) was that my final transcript is needed. This was in the beginning of April. I know results won’t instantly be given right after finals happened but I received all my marks and my final gpa last 2 weeks and the final transcript box in my joinUofT portal still isn’t checked in and still has the “Finals Required” note there. When can I expect a notification on my acceptance for the architecture program? I’m still on the fence on selecting courses for summer school as I already finished my breadth requirements and I don’t want to waste money on courses I won’t need in the future as architecture is still a possibility. Thanks!! An anxious student awaiting for his UofT JD acceptance


hey there,

unfortunately, these things can take a while. according to this page, the deadline for schools to submit supplemental documents is June 15th. I can’t find anything that concretely states when you might expect to hear back by, but to be honest, that’s not surprising to me. these admissions deadlines don’t tend to be widely publicized. you can call enrolment services for that info, but i wouldn’t be surprised if you had to wait until past June 15th to hear back.




from Hamilton to the 6ix


i am kicked out from Mcmaster university last year because i didn’t reach their grades, and now i studied at college one year program, and get averages 80s for midterm, can i apply university of Toronto Mississauga social science program after i finished college? will UT refuse me because my bad university transcript?


hey there,

technically, you might be eligible to transfer – if you keep up these current marks – based on your college transcript. according to the official uoft literature on the topic, a B average in your college program makes you competitive to transfer (assuming you meet program prerequisites). however, you will have to send in all of your academic transcripts with your application, which means the McMaster marks can’t just be swept under the rug.

snow white sweep under rug

you may be tempted to try and hide your marks. you cannot.

depending on what those university marks actually are, you may or may not be eligible. i would say that the further away your university marks are from a B, the less likely you are to be accepted.

however, as always, i can’t say yes or no for certain. i hope you went ahead and applied, because you can never know these things for sure. all you can do is apply and see.




a stitch in admish

hi there, i’m currently a first year student at a different university looking to transfer to uoft. i know that they look at my high school marks (which are really good) and also my current gpa – however, i did really bad this year and i’m currently in the process of petitioning my marks off my transcript. what are my chances of getting accepted if i write a letter explaining my situation?


hey there,

it all depends. if you had a rough year for a particular reason and you can explain in a letter what exactly happened that affected your marks, then yeah, they may consider admitting you. having a good high school transcript helps bolster the idea that you can do well, you’ve just had a hiccup along the way.

that being said, uoft does require a GPA of at least a B in order to consider you. the further you fall below that, the less likely your chances of being accepted. that being said, “really bad” is not a term i can quantify, so i can’t say exactly how good a chance you stand, but you can make the assessment yourself based on the ‘B’ baseline.

and finally – i’ll keep repeating this ad infinitum, or as long as people keep asking these kinds of questions, whichever comes first – please keep in mind that admissions is unpredictable beyond certain generalizations. also, i have no control over it, so i will not always be right. if you want to apply, you should apply. yes, it costs a little, but i would argue that the chance to get in is worth it. without getting too grossly starry-eyed about a large, for-profit institution, the experience is worth it.




goodbye uoft, hello…uoft

Is it possible to change what program I?ve applied for in an Internal Transfer Application after I have already submitted the application?

Thank you in advance ?


hey there,

not usually. according to enrolment services, you can only make changes to program choice by the deadline to submit your application, which was Februrary 8th for the faculty of arts & science. i’d recommend you contact enrolment services and see what they can do for you, because they do spend a lot of time/paperwork making sure you are admitted into the program you request.

if all else fails, it’s always possible?to get into another program after you’re admitted, assuming it’s 1) not rotman and 2) you have all the correct prerequisites.

let’s say you applied to biology, and you get in. that means you’ll be entering uoft in a biology specialist. let’s say you want to do an ecology and evolutionary biology specialist instead. what you would do (once you’ve been accepted to uoft) is go in to ACORN and change your subject POSt (program of study). you can only do this from april-september, so make sure to do it in good time.

now, i did give a pretty simplified example. you may want to do a combination of POSts, and the POSt that you want to get into may not accept you automatically. the examples i gave are both type 1 POSts: that means that there are really no admission requirements, and the POSt has unlimited enrolment. so if you apply on time, you’re in no matter what.

the program(s) you’re interested in, however, may be type 2’s (they have certain academic requirements you must meet in order to be accepted), type 2L’s (they have academic requirements but meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission) or type 3’s (academic requirements, meeting them does not guarantee admission, AND they require a supplementary application outside of ACORN). you can see which type(s) the POSt(s) you’re interested in is/are here.

if you did NOT apply to an arts & science program, i would recommend contacting the relevant office for further information – UTM’s registrar’s office, UTSC’s office of admission and student recruitment, the engineering undergraduate admissions office for the faculty of applied science and engineering, etc.

if you have any further questions about this process, don’t hesitate to e-mail me, or contact the registrar’s office at the college/faculty/campus where you’ve been admitted.

good luck!



from Queen’s to King’s College Circle

I’m a first year student at Queens University, thinking of transferring and am having trouble finding the concrete date to transfer. If the deadline past can I still apply to transfer for sept 2016?


hey there,

most of the deadlines – including that for the Faculty of Arts & Science, which you are most likely applying to – were extended until february 8th. unfortunately, that deadline has passed now. sorry about that. i’d recommend talking to an academic advisor at your school to see what your options are, and whether there’s some other option that may work for you, or whether you will have to stick it out for another year at Queen’s.




gettin by with a little help from my transfer credits

hi! I was just wondering, and this might sound dumb but I’m at western right now and the drop date for full-term courses is Nov 30, and i want to drop one of my courses. I want to transfer to u of t for my second year but i’m not sure they’ll accept me with 4 credits. So, my question is, can I drop a course and make it up in the summer, or do I have to have all 5 credits in order to get in to u of t?


hey there,

if you transfer over as a student with 4.0 credits, and those credits transfer as some combination that can get you into a subject POSt (subject program of study), then you absolutely do NOT need to take a fifth credit in the summer before you come in.

if you have between 4.0 and 8.5 credits, you are a second year student. you’ll probably have to make up that fifth credit at some point?- either by taking more than 5.0 credits one year, taking a credit in the summer, or doing a fifth year – but it doesn’t have to be right away.

so if you think the course in question is going to negatively impact your average, it is much smarter to drop it than to get that sinker mark on your transcript just for the sake of having 5.0 credits.

that said, your credits may not transfer over as a combination that can get you into a program. if that’s the case, it doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically be banned from uoft. it just means that you may be admitted as a program-less student, and you’ll need to take a few credits while at uoft before you’re eligible to pick a program you’re interested in.

you can figure out whether you’re likely to get into any of the program(s) you’re interested in by checking what uoft credits you’ll (probably)?get for your western credits on transfer explorer, and taking a look at the prerequisites for whatever subject POSts you may like to take on the course calendar.

you may want to?talk to a registrar/academic advisor at western and see what they advise. if you think you’re definitely going to fail that class or do very poorly, then dropping it might be a good idea. otherwise, maybe you want to hang onto the course.

finally, here’s a handy list of the requirements to transfer into uoft.

best of luck with your application! you’re gonna love it here. it’s so much harder to walk across campus and our school spirit is stunningly?low. we love it, though – it’s endearing despite its slight lack of functionality. like a three-legged dog.




where oh where should i go?

I am a second year biochem student at Carleton univeristy, and now I have?realized that I really want to transfer and have applied to transfer at?utsg for their biochem program.?I only have 70s and one 60 :(?do you think i would realistically get in as a transfer student?

If not, would it be better to apply for utsc’s life sci program? Would i?have a better chance of getting in.

Thanks a bunch!


hey there,

obviously, i can’t provide a definitive answer to this question. however, according to uoft, you typically need a solid ‘B’ average to be a competitive applicant. depending on how high your 70s are, you could be right at that benchmark, or slightly above it. i’m not sure. you’ll have to calculate your own GPA.

this applies to all three campuses, by the way, so you may not have a much better chance at utsc than at the downtown campus. however, it never hurts to increase your chances. if there’s a program at utsc that you like, then go for it.

you should note, however, that life science is a program area, not a subject POSt proper. so, if you apply to the general stream of life science at UTSC, but not to any particular POSt, then yes, you might have an easier go of getting in, because you’re basically applying to enter as a general, program-less first year.

after two years in university though, you probably don’t?want to come in without a subject POSt. take a look at which programs are available, and apply to one that interests you.

that aside: i really don’t think you’re going to have a significantly higher chance of getting into one campus over the other. you are just at the benchmark for being competitive in terms of GPA, so giving yourself options is useful.

if you’d like some advice straight from the horse’s mouth, i’d recommend talking with enrolment services. they’re the people who handle admissions, so they might be able to give you a more definitive prediction.

best of luck with your application!



as long as none of your questions are “which college is the best college,” you’re ok

Hi Aska,

I’m a student at another Ontario university right now, and I’m interested?in transferring into UTSG to do a double major in comp sci and cog sci. I?have a few questions to ask:
1. Would I be able to transfer into these programs right away if I finish?all the courses by the summer? (I need to take CSC148 in the summer) Or?would I need to apply for Arts and Sci first and remain there for a year,?and then apply next year?
2. Is the transfer explorer accurate (ie does it guarantee that the courses?listed as transferable will be transferred over?)?
3. The site says summer courses are around $1000/course (not the exact?number). does this mean a course with 0.5 credit or 1.0 credit?
4. Would I be able to transfer over courses that are unrelated to my?degree, but may fill the breadth and depth (something like that)?requirements?
5. Is it not recommended to do 2 majors? I’m thinking that most people do 1?specialist and a minor, so I’m wondering if I could apply for graduate?school or jos with just 2 majors.

Sorry for asking too many questions, but I’m quite confused by all this,?haha. Also, I really like your blog, it’s very helpful!

Thank you!


hey there,

  1. both options are possible. if your credits transfer over and you have all the requirements necessary to enter both majors, then you could be admitted into them. alternatively, you may be admitted into just one, or as a general, program-less, first-year student.
  2. it’s not a guarantee (“Student Transfer Explorer does not automatically guarantee the transfer of credit for courses taken at other institutions“), but it’s typically pretty accurate.
  3. this past summer, it was just over $600 for 0.5 credits, and about $1200 for 1.0 credits for a regular, Arts & Science course, though it creeps up a little every summer. which is JUST LOVELY.
  4. yep! you can transfer over up to 10.0 FCEs, and if they have some kind of equivalent at uoft, they will transfer, regardless of whether they go towards any particular subject POSt. they may transfer?as a specific credit – for example, your first year calculus course may transfer over exactly at MAT135+MAT136 – or it may be unspecified – for example, MAT1**Y1, which means you would be getting?a 100-level, unspecified math credit. if you have more questions about the intricacies of transfer credits, i’d highly recommend this PDF, which has been a lifesaver for me.
  5. actually, 1 specialist and 1 minor – while allowed and possible – is an irregular combination. the three standard subject POSt combinations that can get you an undergraduate degree is 1 specialist, 2 majors, or 1 major and 2 minors.

not at all! they were all pretty easy questions, actually. good on ya.




a nomad

hey I’m currently a first year student at utsc (life science if that?matters) and was wondering how hard it would be for me to internally?transfer to utsg for my second year into the health studies program or?criminology without having to start again from first year at utsg. I’m?mostly just wondering how hard is it to just transfer from utsc to utsg?after first year.

The reason why I want to transfer is because utsc doesn’t really offer what?I want in terms of my personal education (not a lot of course?selection/programs) and also that I’ve matured greatly over the summer and?I have realized what I actually want in life vs what my parents want from?me in life.

I’ve heard that in general it’s hard for students from utsc to internally?transfer to utsg. I was wondering (guess I’ve been wondering a lot lately)?if it would be easier for me to just drop out of utsc and use my?high-school grades from grade 12 to reapply to utsg this year or should I?just stay in utsc and transfer to utsg for second year? (If it’s actually?rather easy and what I’ve been hearing are just rumours)

(Okay I’ve just confused my self now with all my wording, I tend to do that?a lot)

Basically I’m trying to avoid starting from first year all over again (if?possible) since I want to transfer from utsc to utsg. However, if it is?indeed harder to internally transfer campuses and be accepted, would It be?better for me to drop out of utsc while I still can and use my high-school?grades to reapply to utsg?

Also if it is highly unlikely for an internal transfer between campus and I?do have to drop out and use my high-school grades for a better chance, is?it possible to enter utsg during the winter term (so something like a?deferred year I guess?) so that I wouldn’t just be at home wasting a whole?year. (if there is something like that, how does it work?)

Thank you so much for reading through my mini essay of complicated?questions.


hey there,

as usual, the answer to this question depends on a whole bunch of factors which i don’t know about you. so, i’m just gonna go through everything you mentioned point by point, and you can connect the dots depending on what your exact situation is.

  1. is it hard to get into utsg as a transfer student from utsc??

not particularly. at least, i wouldn’t say it’s significantly?easier than getting in from high school.

however, that depends on how good your grades are now, and also which program you want to transfer into.

generally speaking, you need to have at least a B average?to have a reasonably good chance of getting in from another university. is that easy? who knows. it depends on the person. but you can use that ‘B’ average as a benchline to figure out where you stand.

you would also need to fulfil any program prerequisites for the program you’re applying to. some programs have more prerequisites, and some have fewer, so that will affect the process as well.

you can take a look at the first-year requirements for health studies here, and for criminology here, and you can figure out if any of your courses could count as transfer credit for those prerequisites here.

2. should you just quit university and apply again from scratch??

i mean, you?could, if that’s what you wanted to do. you’re in charge of your own life. if you feel like you have more worthwhile things to be doing this year other than going to school, or you’re not ready or excited for school, then by all means, take that time off. do what is important to you.

but DON’T just take the year off because you think it will give you a better chance at getting into uoft again next year. it will likely be a smarter move to stay in school, do as well as you can, and then apply to transfer with a strong first year.

3. will you just have to do first year again??

highly unlikely. most people who transfer get at least some transfer credits from their first year of university – even if you’re changing?from life sci. to criminology.

you cannot defer your offer at this point. you also cannot come into utsg in the winter term. since the downtown campus has a lot of year-long classes, the only time you can enter is in the Fall term.

if you need more information or just want to mull this over a bit more with someone (which i always recommend), then drop by your registrar’s office.




second time’s the charm?


I recently received a rejection letter stipulating a list of possible reasons why I was not admitted into humanities. I have since spoken with an admissions officer which lead to more confusion. The conversation and responses given, were convoluted, and I found it difficult to receive adequate assistance in pinpointing the exact cause for the rejection.

I have taken a few secondary school classes more then once, in hopes of increasing the grades, and do believe this to be the only viable conclusion for my inadequacies in attending UofT.

With that said, I was curious whether I would be considered for admittance, if I enrolled in another institution then requested a transfer to UofT? Or will my high school transcript and the first application attempt, become the major determinant to the admissions office decision process.

I should stipulate that my current average is 90%, and will be attending first year undergraduate studies this Fall 2015, at York.



hey there,

as i’ve said time and again, admissions is one of aska’s biggest blind spots. i don’t know, and have no way of discovering, exactly how admissions decisions are made. and hey, that’s probably a good thing. i don’t need to know what giant clerical error or oversight allowed me into this university, to be honest.

however, i do know that if you’ve taken secondary school classes to increase your average, and you then go to york before trying to transfer to uoft, that can only increase your chances of getting into uoft – assuming you do well in your first year at york.

as long as you meet program prerequisites for the program you’re planning on applying to, and you have at least a mid-B GPA in your first year, then you’re a “competitive applicant.

best of luck with it. i would say, though, that if you are going to york: give it a chance! you may find that york has everything you need, and your plans for coming to uoft will start to seem?like nothing more than a bad dream.



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