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Archive for the ‘prereqs’


the consequences of failing a course


I wanted to ask that if I fail a course which I do not need for my program
of study and have just taken it as a breadth requirement, what will the
consequence be?
will I have to retake the course? will I be put on probation? will I be
kicked out of uni?
So I just wanna know what exactly will happen since I don’t need it as a
pre req for my program of study!




great question. since it’s not required for your program, you won’t have to retake the course unless you really wanted to retake THAT specific course. in terms of how many times you can retake the course, you’re allowed to the retake the course as many times as you want until you pass the course (but why would you do that unless you need to). once you receive a passing grade in the course, you won’t be able to retake it to achieve a higher grade without the permission of a registrar.

if you fail a course, a grade point of 0.0 will be assigned for that course, but you’ll only be put on academic probation if your CGPA is lower than 1.5. academic probation is a whole other story but they have a helpful chart to show you how it works.

don’t worry, you won’t be kicked out of uni!





transferring + that calculus requirement

Hey Aska, I had a question regarding the calculus requirement for Life
Science programs. I haven’t took high school calculus, and am moving soon
and want to transfer to U of T. I am currently taking a first year math
course here at York.  The U of T website says “A suitable community college
or university course in calculus” counts,  but I’m not sure if the course
I’m taking, “Mathematics for the Life and Social Sciences” will count since
it’s not strictly calculus  (though it covers Biocalculus for at least 85%
of the course.) please let me know if I can fulfill the requirement with
the course I’m taking (and if so, what mark is satisfactory, since I don’t
think I can pull off an A atm). If I can’t fulfill the requirement I’ll
just take PUMP or night school.

Thank you Aska, I appreciate your help!!



so U of T has a great resource called ‘transfer explorer’ where you can plunk in a course taken at another institution (in your case, york) to see what its U of T equivalent would be. when you put in  ‘MATH1505: mathematics for the life and social sciences’ in transfer explorer, it states that the equivalent (last assessed in 2014) is U of T’s JMB170.

the course description of JMB170, doesn’t give me the impression that it is a calculus course. i’m not sure what life science program you’re trying to get into, but from my point of view, MATH1505 doesn’t seem like it would carry over and be considered as a valid calculus course.

just out of curiosity, i took a quick look at the department of psychology’s calc requirement and couldn’t find anything that would include JMB170. if i’m not mistaken, calculus courses at U of T generally have MAT course codes. my recommendation for you would be to contact your chosen life science program directly.

contacting the faculty of arts and science may also be able to help you with this issue, since they are the ones who decide ultimately which courses transfer over.

if worse comes to worse, PUMP is definitely a good option. you’ve done your research!

good luck with everything and i hope you have a smooth transfer process!

peace and love,



malfoy voice: “i didn’t know you could read”

Hi. I’m taking both MAT232 and MAT244 this semester but I am planning to drop MAT244 and take it next year instead. However the prequisite for MAT244 says MAT233 or corequisite MAT232. Does that means that for me to take MAT244 next year I have to take MAT233 too? Or taking MAT232 is fine?


hey there,

so, maybe i’m missing something here, or maybe you just can’t read, but as far as i can tell, the prerequistes for MAT244 are either MAT135+136/137/157 and MAT223/240. as far as i can tell, MAT233 is not a course that exists. neither is 232.

if you mean MAT223 or 240 – then yes, you would only have to take one of the two to satisfy the prereq requirements.

essentially, you would need to take one of the classes from every ‘group’ in the prerequisite line to fulfill the requirements. for example, if you were to take MAT137 and 240, you would be good. you would not also have to take MAT135+136, MAT157 and MAT223.

basically, any time there’s a slash, that’s an “or,” rather than an “and.”

also keep in mind that you will have to take one of the listed corequisites while you’re taking MAT244.

just follow what it says in the calendar listing, and you’ll be A-ok.




try try and try again


I failed a course that is a prerequisite for my program ( I got a 45) and the next offering of the course is not until the next school year, i.e 2015-2016 fall semester. Will I have to wait an entire school year to retake the class or is their possibly anything I can do during this school year?

PS: How long does it generally take for people to complete their undergrad? I don’t think I’ll be finishing in 4yrs and I’m pretty bummed about it tbh.



hey there,

ahh man, i’m sorry. that’s never a fun experience. you can contact the department to see if there are any other options (like taking an equivalent course at utsc/utm, taking it during the summer – the summer timetable isn’t out yet, so it still may be offered, etc.). but it’s possible you’ll have to wait until next fall/winter.

you also may want to reflect a bit about whether the subject POSt you’re interested in is the right one for you. maybe contact your college registrar to make an appointment and chat about it.

as for how long it takes, i have two things to say about that:

1) lots of people take more than four years to complete their undergrads. people take breaks to work, people do make-up years to boost their GPA, people sometimes want to take more courses at the undergrad level about something that really interests them…the list goes on.

also, one failed course does not automatically add a year to your degree. don’t resign yourself to a fifth year yet.

2) even if lots of people DIDN’T take fifth years, that shouldn’t stop YOU from taking one.

listen, the earlier you learn this lesson, the better it’s gonna be for you: do what you feel most comfortable with. one of the best things about uoft is how flexible it is (EVEN BETTER than the cold, the old buildings with wonky heating, the huge first year classes and the fact that there’s no subway station midway between Queen’s Park and Museum).

it’s in your best interest to take advantage of that flexibility and make your university experience make sense for YOU. i know failing is never fun, but there are lots of options for you, and if an extra year is something you WANT to do, you shouldn’t let anything stop you. POWER TO THE PEOPLE! or person. singular or plural.




fulfilling prereqs, prefilling fulreqs

Hello! I have a question that I cannot seem to find the answer to, hopefully you can help me out! If the prerequisites for a winter semester course are that 4 credits have been completed, can I take it if I have 4 credits completed by the end of the fall semester?


hey there,

yes! two things, though:

1) make sure that you have completed 4.0 credits, as opposed to just 4 courses. there’s a big difference.

2) departments can pull people from courses who haven’t completed the prerequisites at any time. they shouldn’t pull people now from winter term courses, but just in case it does happen by accident, just contact the department that runs the course, explain that the prereq will be done by the time you start the course, and have them put you back in.

and that’s all! i hope you enjoy your class.





Hi aska,


So, I was supposed to be going into 2nd year but I slacked too much last year and I only completed CSC108 & 148, therefore I am considered as a first year still.
This year I want to take STA220 but the prereq says Grade 12 math and “one University course in the physical, social, or life sciences”
What kind of specific courses do I need to have in order to fulfil the requirement? Will CSC courses do?
And if I did enrol in that course without the prereq, would I get kicked out? I have Grade 12 functions calculus & data btw.

Thanks in advance 🙂


hey there,

if you take a look at this terribly secret document i like to call the course calendar, you’ll see that CSC108 (as well as CSC148) fulfils the ‘physical and mathematical universes’ breadth requirement. in ‘distribution requirements,’ both courses say: ‘this is a Science course.’ also, they are both called computer SCIENCE.

uoft’s documents can be infuriatingly vague a lot of the time, but this is not one of those times. they’re both university physical science courses. science. physical science at university. university physical science.

grade 12 calculus and data are both grade 12 math courses. again, this is not a tricky one to interpret. those courses are grade 12 mathematics courses, so you would meet the requirement. if you didn’t have the prereqs, they would kick you out, but you do!

woo! you get to take stats. excited?



ROSI isn’t magic

Hey there!

So I’m planning out my courses for Fall 2015, trying to prepare for the impending bloodbath of Course Enrolment. There is a course I don’t meet all the prerequisites for that I wish to enrol in, and I have obtained permission from the professor to take it. His only concern was that when enrolment comes around I might be automatically be flagged by ROSI as not having the prerequisites and therefore not allowed to add the course, he wasn’t sure but wanted me to find out in case he needed to do anything on his end to let me in. Do you know if I will be automatically blocked by ROSI? Does it have some kind of self-monitoring system?

Thanks 🙂


hey there,

you already talked with a prof about a course you’re taking in Fall 2015? can’t you just…take the prerequisites…this year?

i’m gonna trust that you just made a typo and meant Fall 2014, but otherwise, this is an entirely different question. anticipating the bloodbath pretty far ahead, you know?

ROSI isn’t like, a sentient creature, though it seems to have enough hang-ups and tantrums to qualify as one. it doesn’t know automatically if you meet the prereqs for a course. so you’ll be able to enrol in the course, but the department that administers it has total discretion to kick you to the curb at any time if you don’t meet the prereqs – usually near the beginning of the semester.

since the department’s staff are the ones who pull people from courses, they need to know who gets a free pass. i would go talk to the department that runs the course as soon as possible, preferably with a letter from the prof explaining why you’ve been allowed into the course. if they approve it, then you should be able to enrol in and stay enrolled in the course, no problem.




Quick question about minors (In terms of majors/minors, not little children haha!)

Hello aska! I just have a really quick question about the Minor in Professional Writing (sorry if that’s a bit too specific). It states that “4.0 credits are required including at least 1.0 at the 300/400 level”. Now I did the only course in second year ( Which was also a prerequisite, WRI203H5), but then the “Upper Years” section states that I need 1.5 to 3.5 credits. Wouldn’t I NEED 3.5 credits to fulfill the 4 credit criteria, or am I missing something? Sorry to bother you! and THANK YOU 🙂


hey there,

“sorry if that’s too specific”; honey, i LIVE for specific questions. any questions where i have to do as little work as possible are questions i love. i’m pretty sure i was a male lion in a past life, sleeping for 22 hours a day.

also, you’re not bothering me. this is my job. and answering questions is a much better use of my time than rewatching BBC sherlock with worrying frequency and falling asleep on my couch.

what happened here is that the people writing the calendar tried to be as specific as possible, but instead of clearing things up, it just got more confusing. so let’s try to detangle it:

let’s say you took WRI203H5 and the required 1.0 FCE 300- or 400-level WRI course (“4.0 credits are required including at least 1.0 at the 300/400 level“). then you started thinking to yourself, “i’m DONE with these WRI courses. they are silly and a WASTE OF MY TIME.” why you’d think that when you’re in the minor, i don’t know, but hey, maybe some other, non-WRI courses struck your fancy.

well, in that case, you are allowed to use “[a]?maximum of 2.0 credits of approved writing-intensive courses or writing-related elective courses” to fulfil the requirement for the minor – that is, non-WRI courses. as you’ll notice, if you take WRI203H5, WRI3**Y5/WRI4**Y5, and 2.0 “approved writing-intensive or writing-related elective courses,” you get 4.0 FCEs, which meets the requirements for the minor! so there you have it. that’s how you can only take 1.5 upper-year WRI FCEs?and still get a minor in professional writing and communication.

however, if you really do like your program, you can just take WRI203H5 plus 3.5 WRI FCEs, for a total of 4.0 FCEs, and also fulfil the requirements for the minor.

and of course, you can take only 0.5 non-WRI courses, and 3.0 upper-year WRI courses, or 1.0 non-WRI and 2.0 upper-year WRI…etc. etc. etc.

wow, that was a lot longer than i anticipated. i really hope it made sense.



P.S. i’m sorry, i had to use your e-mail subject line as the title of this post, because it is just too good. i hope you don’t mind. i just love it.


transparency is the thing to be

Hey aska,

I was wondering, if i were to be granted to a course by the faculty without taking its prerequisite, will the course still count towards my degree and fulfill any subject post requirements?



hey there,

i mean, yeah, as long as the department/professor gives you permission, i think it should be fine. just make sure you go about getting permission the right way, i.e. get it in writing yadda yadda so you have definite proof. when the people who check over all students for prereqs get to you, you’ll need to present proof that you are allowed to stay in the course.

if you do that correctly and pass the course, i think it should count. but you should definitely ask the department you’re dealing with about it. after all, they’re the ones who decide what counts towards their programs, and in situations like this, it’s always best to be completely transparent and have open communication with the people who are bending the rules for you.

stay groovy,



Ah, ah, ah, ah, staying alive, staying alive (and enrolled in a course)

Hi aska,

I recently enrolled in a course that was fully capped off after the professor talked to the faculty on my behalf. But now I am worried that I might be dropped from the course as I don’t have the necessary prerequisite. Who checks the prerequisite and who decides to drop students from courses? the Faculty? I asked the administrator and she said as the professor got me in it probably not a problem but that I should ask the professor. I just need information.


Hey there,

First off, I want to congratulate you on actually doing a lot of good work to try and figure this problem out. Speaking with the professor is always a good starting point if you’re having a problem with the course.

Unfortunately, the profs aren’t the ones who decide who stays in a course. That’s the job of the administrative overlords who pull the strings of the university. They are like a cloud that always hovers above us, demanding obedience. All hail it; all hail the glow cloud.


Basically, if you don?t have a prerequisite for a course, the department that administers the course typically drops you.

To avoid that, I would go to your prof and get permission to stay in the course in writing. Then go back to the department that offers the course and speak to someone about your situation, with your note. That way, you have concrete proof that you can stay in the course and when the time comes to chop away all those ne?er-do-wells who are trying to sneak into it, you won?t be one of them.

Good luck, friend.



je suis confus

Hey Aska,

Two years ago I took FSL121Y1 and then last year I continued with french and took FSL221Y1. Now When I look at degree navigator, it for some reason does not count FSL221Y1 as part of my 20 courses because it says that it is an exclusion to FSL121. If the course does not count I won’t be able to graduate this year since I will be short one course. It however, makes no sense because you need to take FSL121 in order to be able to enrol in FSL221.

Thanks for your help,

Sooo confused.


Hey confused!

That’s super wack! And rightfully unnerving. But don’t worry, it ain’t you, it ain’t me, it’s the degree navigator. FSL121Y1 is only an exclusion if you’ve taken FSL221Y1 first, but not the other way around (logically). Unfortunately, one of the degree navigator’s most prominent glitches is that it can’t always recognize chronology, and so it’s giving you a false alarm because it doesn’t know the order in which you took those courses.

When time comes to request graduation, you should be fine. But if you’re worried, shoot an email to the French Department just to confirm.

Bonne chance!



waiver my waiver … waiverly

Hi there!

I am a first year student who took a few years off due to personal reasonsthat started when I was actually in Grade 11. I’m returning after a 3 year hiatus to continue my studies. However, when I was in school, I didn’t do too well. Average was in the 60’s and that was after I dropped a credit receiving an LWD (MAT135Y5), and failed another half credit (MAT102H5) due to these said personal reasons. I’m really excited to finally be back in school and I want to make the best of this opportunity. I’m actually a very
good student, my strengths lying in math. I’ve decided to continue with an Economics & Math major as originally planned. I think I can do a MUCH better this time around since Math has always been my passion, and my personal reasons are out of the way now. There really isn’t much stopping me from being at my full potential. Oh, I should also mention I’m a student at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Unfortunately, while looking into what courses I should be taking for my majors, I noticed that there have been some significant changes. When I was a first year (3 years ago), the prerequisite for MAT102Y5 and MAT135Y5 was only Advanced Functions. Now there is also a grad requirement — 70% in Advanced Functions in high school. Now, I don’t quite remember how I did in Advanced Functions as it was quite some time ago, but I have a growing suspicion that I did not get that 70% — mainly because I took this course during my personal battle years.

So let’s say I did only get somewhere in the 60’s for Advanced Functions; what are my options? I know I can get a waiver, but what is the likelihood they would reject this waiver since I have already taken both those credits and dropped the first and failed the second? Also, how strongly do they look at high school marks? Can I get away without a waiver, as long as I do well in these credits? Also, if they do withdraw me from the course due to a lack of a waiver or prerequisite, would they notify me before they
actually do so, so I can get a waiver or petition my case? And lastly, do they really pay close attention to what you write in this waiver, or as long as you have gotten one, then they leave it at that without investigating your transcripts further? Basically, what are my options if I NEED these courses for both my majors and I have already messed up in both and don’t meet the grade requirements for the high school prerequisite? I really don’t want to change my program — this is really what I want to do.

Switch to UTSG? They don’t have the grade prerequisites.

A more practical approach might just be to go to the Math department and explain your situation! From what I hear the Math department is very lenient with their prereqs.

I’ve actually heard at UTSG that they don’t really check the prereqs anyways. Saying that though, the fact that they have highschool requirements as a new prereq might mean that UTM is diligent on checking that students actually have what they ask.

I feel like I’m going in a circle with this answer … best option is to go to the math department and explain your situation (that you have been away for 3 years for personal reasons and how the prereqs have changed)

The only saving grace that you might have is if you enrolled in your subject POSts before you went on your school break. If you are enrolled in the Math and Economy majors, you follow the requirements of the year that you enrolled in the POSts. Graduation requirements can be followed from the year you enrolled in school, not Subject POSts.

May the luck be with you!

forever old and young,


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