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Archive for the ‘programs’

May15

not so easy as 1- 2- 2L- 3

When is it time to choose programs? And what are the different types of programs (Type 1,2,3)? Thank you!

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hey,

ah yes, it’s that time of year again. i really hope that in the time it has taken me to respond to your inquiry, you’ve tried googling this yourself…

…but if you haven’t, that’s fine, i’ll answer your question anyways! all of the below information applies to the faculty of arts and science at UTSG.

this information is illustrated really nicely in this link right here but i’ll reiterate it for you and all my wonderful readers because that is what i do.

behold.

when is the subject POSt enrolment period? depends on your program type. (fyi: i am using program and POSt interchangeably.)

how do you check what type of program you want? you use this handy little (or not so little) list.

type 1 programs: the period to enrol for type 1 programs is april 1st to september 20th (a.k.a. now) there are no enrolment restrictions on type 1 programs. if you have completed 4.0 FCE’s you will be able to enrol into any type 1 program. all you have to do is go to ROSI or ACORN and enrol yourself. (just plunk the code on the left side of the column into the subject POSt module, et voila!)

type 1S programs: these are basically the same as type 1 programs except the enrolment period is different and students in these programs pay higher fees. there are no restrictions or applications for 1S programs and the enrolment period of july 3rd to september 20th (a.k.a. later).

type 2, 2L (the L just means limited), 3 programs**: this is where things get a little funky. read carefully.

there are two request periods for these types of programs because the first period is if you completed the program requirements by the end of the 2016-2017 fall winter session, while the second period is if you are hoping to have completed the program requirements by the end of the 2017 summer session.

the first period to apply is april 1st to may 17th. you will need to apply during this period, check your result on june 30th, and then if you have been invited to enrol, enrol by august 2nd.

the second period to apply is july 3rd to august 27th. you will need to apply during this period, check your result on september 15th, and if you have been invited to enrol, you’ll need to enrol by september 20th. be sure to check your ROSI during this period (put it in your calendar!) because you don’t have much time to enrol!

**type 3 programs: these differ slightly from type 2 programs because program enrolment is limited and you will require an application. some applications do not accept applications from the second request period. if that is the case, it will say 3-no.

again, the steps to applying and enrolling are all outlined nicely in the link i attached above!

***something important to keep in mind is that if you’ve completed 4.0 FCE’s, you won’t be able to add any courses until you apply to a program. if you are applying to a type 2 or 3 program where it is possible that you may not be accepted, it is very important to secure a backup POSt so you can continue to enrol in courses. my advice to you would be to enrol in a random type 1 specialist program simultaneously along with your type 2/2L/3 program applications just in case you don’t get into to the type 2/2L/3 programs. don’t worry, you won’t need to have taken any courses in that department, pretty much any type 1 POST will do. that being said, you could also enrol yourself in 2 type 1 majors/ one type 1 major and two type 1 minors as place holders, but that just overcomplicates everything once you need to drop them. it’s better to just use a type 1 specialist as your placeholder because if you do end up getting into a type 2/2L/3 program, you’ll only need to drop one POSt (your random type 1 specialist) as opposed to two type 1 majors/a type 1 major and 2 type 1 minors.***

does that make sense? are you one of these flamingoes?

that’s okay! i realize this post may be a little convoluted and wordy but if you need more clarification, please comment below!

good luck and i hope you get into all your desired programs!

peace and love,

aska

May09

compsci conundrum

I am planning on attending UTSC (but I think this question should be
applicable to the other campuses) this September, and I am looking for
advice on whether I should aim for a major + 2 minor or (software
engineering) specialist program in Computer Science.

I am leaning towards the major + 2 minor option for the following reasons:

The specialist program requires some additional courses that I think would
make it more difficult than the major. For example, it requires both Linear
Algebra II and Intro to Probability, whereas the major program let’s you
choose one of them. Another math course that is required is Calculus of
Several Variables I, which just sounds terrifying. And I know that math is
important in CS, but, I am only okay in math (ended with 83 in functions
because trig killed me [I probably wouldn’t have done that well on it in
the first place, but I planned poorly for other subjects, and so did not
have time to study for the unit test]; calc seems much more interesting,
though), and so I would like to skip some of these math courses.
Additionally, I am not sure how useful or hard some of the additional CS
courses like Intro to Numerical Algorithms for Computational Mathematics or
Computability and Computational Complexity will be—they all seem very
abstract and not-practical.

Another reason I want the major + 2 minor is that I would get two minors. I
am taking Writer’s Craft this year and have realized that I quite enjoy
creative writing. It just so happens that UTSC offers a minor program under
English called Creative Writing. I think taking this minor alongside the CS
major would be a great way to lessen the workload and pursue something I
enjoy, while also pursing something else I enjoy that can actually earn me
money. Having only math and theory-based CS courses besides a small number
of electives is not too appealing to me. I realize that those courses are
better than practical programming courses in the long-run, but having them
make up the vast majority of my degree seems a bit painful. I don’t have a
solid pick for a second minor yet, but I don’t think it would be hard for
me to choose one (linguistics and food science are top contenders).

Here, then, are reasons I might want to go the specialist route:

I’m special.

I think some of the courses the specialist has you take would be pretty
beneficial. For example, since my goal is to get a job as a programmer, the
courses that seem to teach you how to do stuff in a real-world environment
like Intro to Software Engineering and Engineering Large Software Systems
could really be useful, and I might be missing out if I opt for the major.
There are also a few other courses like Programming on the Web and Intro to
Databases which could add to my skill set and make me more marketable for
co-op and post-post-secondary jobs. I am of course just predicting how
valuable these courses might be form their names and descriptions alone;
that’s why I’m asking you! The major program only allows you to take 1
credit of additional C/D-level (300/400-level) CS courses, which means
missing out on some potentially useful courses. I am guessing that it is
not possible to take more as electives, but is it?

My minors will probably also not help at all with my future career; I would
only be taking them to lessen the amount of math/CS courses and increase
the amount of enjoyable courses. Is that a bad thing to do?

So, to conclude, do you think the benefits for taking the specialist
program (additional useful courses) outweighs the cons (more un-fun
courses; less fun courses)? Both choices aid the mind, but in different
ways (i.e. one probably reduces chances of suicide).

Thank you and sorry for the long message; I wanted to make my points clear
🙂

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buddy.

i began penning a response to this question that went a little something like: “just go with your gut! it seems like you’re leaning towards the major and two minors option! why not pursue that?”, but upon further reflection, i’ve decided that we need to rewind a little, if that’s okay with you.

(just so you know, i’m not a computer science student, nor have i taken any computer science classes and i’m just as confused as you are about these programs. i’m speaking only as a seasoned upper year student)

before i start ripping into you, (it’s going to happen, i’m sorry) kudos to you for thinking this hard about what program you want to get into. it’s clear you’ve put a lot of thought into this, which is great. this response isn’t supposed to make you feel bad- i just want to bring you back to earth a little.

so, first- you’ve made some serious assumptions on what these courses are going to be like. i can tell you from experience that i’ve made assumptions based on course names and have been incredibly wrong. classes also vary pretty dramatically depending on the instructor.

*askastorytime* i took a class called urban geography, planning, and political processes. i thought was going to be super difficult and intense, but it ended up being super chill. for our final project, we created a zine and performed a rap for the class. for our group presentation, i contributed a sick drum beat and didn’t even utter a single word. moral of the story: do not judge courses by their names. linear algebra is probs super easy. (i’m kidding. math is never easy. math is very hard. we mustn’t joke about math.)

your assumptions that some classes are “abstract”, “non-practical” or “terrifying” are all based on the course name. the truth is, every program at u of t will require a great deal of hard work. sure, easy courses exist, but transitioning from high school to first year is a huge challenge and you need to take that into account. picking the major and two minors option over a specialist program doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be choosing the ‘easier route’. like i’ve said in previous posts, it really depends on how deep you want to get into a subject. a major and two minors allows you to explore a larger variety of subjects whereas a specialist will let you dig deep into one subject. which option are you more interested in?

while the university does have a breadth requirement which encourages us to take courses outside of our faculty, personally, if i were to choose two minors that were completely unrelated to my major, i feel like i would have lots of difficulty focusing on each one and feel like a scatterbrain. for others who are better at multitasking and switching between subjects easily, a major and two minors is perfect! it really depends on what kind of person you are. can you turn your computer science mind off and jump right into phonetics and phonology if you need to? you’ll have to test that out in your first year! p.s. don’t forget to take a moment to check out the requirements for your potential minors and their different application requirements.

that being said, from what i’ve heard, computer science is extremely math heavy. there is no easy way out. you have been warned.

for now, i think you should try picking courses that are prerequisites for the general computer science programs (if you are sure about pursuing computer science), and see how you feel about them. fear not, the utsc calendar literally says that it’s not meant to be difficult to switch between different streams within computer science.

you have plenty of time to discuss your options with an academic advisor as well! you can also talk to the program supervisor for computer science if you have more specific questions about the available compsci programs.

i’d also encourage you to reach out to current or past computer science alumni to get some different perspectives on how they chose their programs. hearing other people’s thought processes might help you figure out what you’re looking for!

hey, if doing programming for your whole undergrad sounds terrible for you, maybe computer science isn’t the right program for you. your first year is meant for you to explore and discover what courses you like. you don’t even necessarily need to get into your program by second year if you still don’t know what to do after your first year.

so in conclusion, specialist courses won’t necessarily be more useful in the long run, and if the idea of specializing in software engineering doesn’t sound colourful enough for you, maybe the major and two minor option will be better for you! again, you really need to take some university level classes to see what it’s really like here. don’t judge a book by its cover, yo.

good luck with your decision, i hope you choose a program you like!

peace and love,

aska

Mar24

programs ‘n such

Hi Aska, I am a grade 12 student who just applied for INternational
Relations at UTSG, however I was wondering if it is possible to undertake a
double degree in IR and Anthropology at U of T? If so, what would the
course load be like, similar to majoring in both subjects or harder? As
well as, how long would it take for me to complete both degrees, would it
be the standard timeframe of 4 years or longer?

Thanks

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hello,

at U of T in the faculty of arts and sciences, we have programs, which are basically your major and minors:

  1. a specialist (one discipline) e.g.  specialist in international relations
  2. a double major (two disciplines) e.g. majoring in international relations and anthropology
  3. one major and two minors (three disciplines) e.g. majoring in international relations, minoring in anthropology and … english?

if you specialize (option 1), you’ll be going more in depth with one subject, but if you pick option 2 or 3), you’ll be able to dabble in more disciplines, but at a more shallow level. does that make sense? it depends on how deep you wanna go into the subjects you are studying.

what you’re referring to is a double major in international relations and anthropology, which is definitely possible.

each option is equal in terms of difficulty and course load, meaning that you can complete any of the three options in the “standard” 4 years. some people finish their degrees under 4 years by taking courses during the summer, and others take longer to complete their degree because they take a smaller, more manageable course load throughout 5+ years. both options are pretty common!

i hope this answered your questions!

peace and love,

aska

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