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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,



christmas cheer prevents me from sassing you too hard

hi, im looking into doing a minor in psych. only problem is, i didn’t take the grade 12 calc prerequisite (im now a first year). is there a way to go back and get that course, or take some kind of equivalent now? or am I just s.o.l.? thanks in advance!


hey there,

i’m gonna try not to hold it against you that you didn’t check the psychology tag, where i’ve answered this question PROBABLY A THOUSAND TIMES, before sending in this question. but hey, christmas is in 11 days. i’ll employ some holiday forgiveness and make it a thousand and one, just for you.

if you have not taken grade 12 calculus and you want to apply to a psych POSt, you are able to take the PUMP program to satisfy the POSt’s calculus requirement.

PUMP is a non-credit course at uoft that basically covers the material in grade 12 calculus, so that you’re on parr with your calculus-knowing peers. you can take a look at their website to see when it’s offered and when registration starts, so you can start figuring out how to fit it into your schedule.

another option is taking courses in night school/summer school. there are also some online options that the psychology department has endorsed.

i hope you have lots of fun with it,



be warned: toronto is not as pretty as montreal

Hi Aska! I forgot to ask you something! Is there any preparatory year to sciences at the university of Toronto? because I would like to study psychology and I didn’t have a lot of maths and sciences in high school. I know there is this option at the UdeM but it’s only available in french and I reaaaally want to study in Toronto


hey there,

ok, i have to go through a few things before i answer your question:

i’m gonna assume you’re coming from Quebec. most students admitted to uoft from Quebec are admitted as second year students, because their CEGEP transfers over as the equivalent of a Year 1 from uoft.

however, if you want to study psych, then your admission becomes a bit more tricky. once you were admitted to uoft (let’s assume that you were admitted as a second year student), one of two things might happen:

1. you would be admitted directly into a psychology program, since you have the equivalent of Grade 12 calculus and PSY100H1 in transfer credits.

2. you’d be admitted to uoft as a general student, since you DON’T meet the prerequisites for psych, and you’d have to pick a subject POSt to stand in lieu of psych until you can fulfil the prerequisites to apply for psych (second year students HAVE to enrol in a POSt – any POSt – in order to be able to enrol in courses).

ok. now we come to your question: assuming you don’t yet have the math and the psych, how can you go about completing those prerequisites in your first year at uoft, so that you’re eligible to apply to a psych program (either a specialist, major or minor)?

there’s no such thing as a “preparatory year” here, but we DO have a preparatory course which students can take in the place of grade 12 calculus. that course is called PUMP. PUMP is a preparatory calculus course that you can along with your regular studies at uoft. you can use PUMP to fulfil psych’s calculus requirement.

you’ll also need to take PSY100H1 (again, assuming you didn’t take an equivalent course at your high school/CEGEP).

once you’ve got your calc and your psych, you’d be all set to apply to a psych program as you enter into your third year (second year at uoft).

i hope that was somewhat clear. i tweaked it like 17 times, so it better make at least a bit of sense. don’t hesitate to lemme know if you need further clarification, though.

a bientot,



calculus is the bane of everything

I am currently taking PSY100 and hopefully I could end up with enough marks for majoring in Psychology. However, I found out that you have to have high school calculus for this major. I am really suck at math and I do not have credit in calculus. Also, I am really avoiding to take it in summer school. Is the credit necessary? Can I apply for psy major without it?
Thank you :p


hey there,

no, you cannot apply without calculus. it’s a harsh world we live in, my friend, a world dictated by integration and series. i know it’s hard. sure, i’ll hold you.

fortunately, uoft offers an alternative to summer school. the PUMP program is basically high school math in university, and it can be used to bridge the gap between high school math and first-year calculus at uoft.

normally, PUMP can’t be used to fulfil program requirements, BUT it IS an acceptable alternative to the high school calculus requirement for psychology programs.

if you’re interested (which, why wouldn’t you be? it’s a pretty awesome program and much better than having to do school in the summer), you can register for Winte 2015 PUMP classes at the bottom of this page.

best of luck with your POSt applications!



PUMP the bank

Hi! I sat in the PUMP lectures/tutorials for the summer but I didn’t pay the fee, so I won’t be given a certificate to show proof that I know high school level math. I want to take first-years maths, but they have pre-reqs. Does the math dept actively check to see if you have the pre-reqs? Thanks.


hey there,

the math department (like every department at uoft) definitely checks up on prerequisites. it depends a little bit from department to department how quickly they make these checks, but it can be done any time between course enrolment and the start of school (“students enroled in courses for which they do not have the published prerequisites may have their registration in those courses cancelled at any time without warning).

basically, there’s no way to sneak into a class.

and since we live in a capitalist society where services are exchanged for monetary compensation, you do have to pay for a course to receive credit for it, just like any other student.

before you join up with zombie Marx and Engels to protest the unfairness of it all, i would contact the people behind PUMP to see about making a late payment.




a rock and a hard course

Hi I’m starting uoftSG as a humanities student, however I love biology and i might want to major in that as well. I took chem/bio in high school but when I checked the prerequisite for chemistry on the uoft site it said I needed functions & calculus as well??? When I took chem in high school I never felt that I needed math. Is there any way around this???


hey there,

speaking as a former life-sci student turned liberal arts bum, math really can be important for bio. if you really want to skip the math, you can, but it’s tricky.

you don’t need to take calculus in first year as a biology major, but MAT135/6 are recommended corequisites for CHEM138/9, which are required. so, you don’t HAVE to take the maths, but they’re recommended for a reason.

secondly, there’re these things at uoft called enrolment controls. enrolment controls are basically a horrible horrible thing that make it a lot more difficult for you to get into that cool course you found randomly one lazy Sunday on the course calendar.

if you take a look at the enrolment controls for BIO130H1, BIO120H1, CHM138H1, and CHM139H1, you’ll see that they all have ‘P’ enrolment controls. that means that certain students get to enrol before everyone else, leaving the rest of you poor souls?to scrounge for spots?on August 9th. lucky for you, these first year bio and chem classes are ENORMOUS, so you’ll probably get into them, but it’s not guaranteed.

there are a lot of pesky obstacles here, and probably more i haven’t thought of. that’s why you should probably discuss all this with your college registrar’s office once you get on campus. you guys can chat and figure out whether the major is for you, if you can go it without the math, or if you should spend some time catching up, either in night/summer school or in uoft’s PUMP program.

anyway, take the first-year bio and chem classes – after a year of slogging through lectures, labs and exams, you’ll know what you want to do.




psychology’s a tough cookie, man, what can i say.


I’m a grade 12 student who is interested in taking psych in ut However, I don’t have calculus and I didn’t take Functions (U) in grade 11( I came to Canada last yr and I have no idea that the course is important). Is there any other way that I can still take psych? Such as taking Calculus in 1st yr? Or should I take something else in 1st yr and then switch to psych in 2nd?



hey there,

Basically, you’ve got two options here. Since you’re missing three math courses, there’s no way to finish them all in order to be considered for September 2014 admission. The admission decisions are made by June of every year, and after that it’s GAME OVER until the next admission cycle.

Lucky for you, aska’s here to tell you all is not lost. What you can do is take a year off after you finish Grade 12, get your three credits at your high school during a victory lap (that is, a fifth year), and then apply for admission for September 2015. Easy-peasy, plus you get a year to work and think about your future and do all that mid-twenties soul-searching stuff.

However, if you’re not up for any soul-searching garbage and you really want to start university right after you finish high school, you can apply to a general social science program for first year, take PSY100H1 (the only required university course for a psych major), and complete the calculus requirement through uoft’s PUMP (preparing for university mathematics) program during your first year, or through other alternative courses. Then you have your requirement by the time you apply for the psych major at the end of first year. This is a great way to meet the psych requirements, explore all your interests and make sure psych is really what you want to do, all in your first year.



say “no” to numbers!

Hi i am from Dubai and have been accepted for social science category at innis college i have not done math in 11th and 12th grade ( replace it with psycho) but i am interested to the do the following

political science ( requires no math i think )
social science ( requires no math i think)
economics ( require math )
Psychology ( require math )

i would also like to do begginers french

can u advise how i cant take eco and phyco with me not doing math at high school is there a way



Hey hey!

There’s no actual “social science” program, so take a look through the calendar and see what you’d like in place of it. Your ideal first year would probably have you taking:

1. POL101Y, the intro course for poli sci
2. SOC101Y or SOC102H+SOC103H, the intro course(s) for sociology, which is probably the closest you’ll get to “social sciences” — but my own personal little tidbit is that asjfhlghsakl I absolutely positively hated SOC101Y, so like… Maybe take the later combo since it’s less of an investment of your time… 😉
3. PSY100H, intro to psych
4. FSL100H or FSL102H, both of which are first-year french courses
5. ECO105Y, the intro to economics course you should take — I recommend this one as opposed to ECO100Y which uses more math since it’ll be viable for a major, but it won’t be for a minor, just to be clear

Now none of these courses actually REQUIRE you to have taken calculus or that you do so at the same time. Considering you haven’t touched it in the past two years, I’d recommend taking these courses and seeing if you actually like them before delving into programs that will require some strength with numbers.

But in the long run, you can only do a combination of three programs of study anyway, so you could very well just not use either your psych or economics. This means that if you ARE set on the two, you’ll have to get through the PUMP program to get some math prep since psych requires high school level calculus, which PUMP will allow you, and economics is going to require 100-level MAT courses, which PUMP will serve as the prerequisite for.

tl;dr, you can take the 100-level psych and economics courses, but if you want to make them your programs of study you’re doing to need to take the PUMP course at least.




Get your booty on the floor tonight…

Hi there,

I have a question regarding major/minor requirement/admissions.
I am a SOC major and a PHL minor student – hence needing another minor.

I really want to take Statistics as my 2nd minor, which I’ve read has no minimum GPA requirement. I recently e-mailed the stats dept to double-check and received the following reply from a very helpful individual: “I am not aware of any restrictions on enrolment in the stat minor.” Not satisfied with such reply I did some more research and found out that I need some grade 12 high-school math for Stats(or something along those lines).
The things is – I am a 3rd yr student, simply neeing another minor and really want to do STATs the only problem is that I never took math in gr. 12 high-school. I’m good at math I simply have not taken it in my last yr of high-school because I wanted to do Humanities in University. HELP! Can I even do a STATs minor now without some high-school gr 12 math? Or, does that matter?



That “very helpful individual” (not sure if you were implying sarcasm there) at the Statistics Department did NOT lie. Nor did they give you the whole truth given your high school circumstances. You do not need a Grade 12 math course to enroll in the Stats Minor. However, taking either MAT135 or MAT137 is required to complete that Minor (Calendar, page 493). On page 342 you will find that you need Gr.12 MCV4U (Calculus & Vectors) or MHF4U (Advanced Functions) as pre-requisites to enrol in either of those 100-level math courses.

Whew! That was fun! It was kind of like a “choose your own adventure novel,” except that you don’t have to sell your soul to the bank to buy a paperback.

So, the question becomes: how can I enroll in MAT135/7 without the Gr.12 math pre-requisite?

There are a few options.

  • a) Enrol in a high-school summer course. I’m not sure where you are living during the summer, but this link from the Toronto DSB Continuing Education (esp. page 7) may be useful.

  • b) Enrol in the Preparing for University Math Program (P.U.M.P.) offered by the Department of Mathematics here at U of T:

This is a preparatory course that students may take in order to ease the transition from high-school math to uni math, or as in your case, to catch students up on pre-requisite high-school coursework. They say that homework and assignments are minimal, and examination is based on tests and quizzes. It costs 600 bucks, and you can register right up until the course begins on 06 July 2009. It ends on 21 August.

Now, your bizarre and masochistic desire to slap a Stats minor onto your plate suggests to me that you would see no problem with something like P.U.M.P. However, as a humanities student with an energetically critical view of the world, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about P.U.M.P., the acronym.

PUMP?!? Really Mathematics Department? PUMP?!

I think I can swallow the intended connotation of “pumping up students’ math abilities for first year.” However, to reveal the dirty thoughts that flew through my mind when I first came across the website… let’s just say I would be straddling the already fuzzy threshold of professionalism.

No, I won’t go there. Instead, I will leave you with my vote for PUMP’s new theme song.

P.s. I hope it’s still stuck in your head when you wake up tomorrow morning.

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