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seminars, first year, exams, oh my!


I am currently enrolled in VIC108H1 it is a VIC first-year course. I am enrolled in VIC110H1 in the winter term, I am also enrolled in a first-year seminar course (CCR199H1) in the winter term. I just wanted to make sure I am allowed to take these courses. I read somewhere that said you have a limit. Hopefully, you guys answer before the winter term! also, when is the December exam schedule coming out? Will it be emailed to everyone?

Thank you so much!



surprise, a relatively quick response!

according to this link about the first year seminars, you can take both first-year seminars and vic one hundred courses, but you can only take up to one full credit (1 FCE) of either. since each of the courses you’ve listed above is worth 0.5 FCE, you’re currently in a total of 1.5 FCE. this means that you need to drop one of the seminars you’re enrolled in for the winter term so that you are only in 1 FCE total.

the december exam schedule is usually posted online on the faculty of arts and sciences’ website. i’m not totally sure when it’s posted, but it’s usually around sometime soon-ish? don’t quote me on that.

don’t worry about missing it, though. profs will usually highlight in class when and where the exam is, if there is one. if your prof doesn’t bring it up, i’m sure SOMEONE on facebook or whatever will share the link. people always freak the eff out when the exam schedule is posted.

the muppets panic GIF

hope that helps, good luck!




199 vs flc vs ones showdown


I’m a newly admitted student to life sciences, and I’m kind of in a predicament. I’ve applied and been accepted to one of the Ones program, (UC one – Gradients of Health in an Urban Mosaic). However, I’m also interested in the FLC program for my college, and I read that I can’t do both/it would be hard to and probably interfere with my timetable. I’m going to be living off campus, and taking the typical science and math courses along with a psych, so I’m honestly not sure which would benefit me more? Do you have any personal experience with either? Or have you guys heard of any really good things about either option?? I’m really confused and I’m not sure what is best

*(on another note what is the difference between a 199 course and a Ones course? Would I be able to do a 199 and a FLC?? do i need to apply to take a 199 course like the Ones program??) *

Hope that’s not too much to ask ahh thank you!!



congrats on getting in and welcome to the university of toronto!

the FLC website says that they don’t recommend doing both a FLC and a first year foundations program since it might be a little hard to balance your time and sort out your schedule as you’d have to juggle many inflexible slots on your schedule. so you technically can do it, it’s just not recommended.

personally, i haven’t done a FLC, but i did a ones program in first year. i thought that it was a pretty cool experience and i liked that i got to form really great relationships with my profs and classmates. i was also super interested in the course content, which obviously makes everything better. however, some of my classmates found that the program took up a little bit too much time in their schedule (we met four times a week so trying to schedule other classes or commitments around that was a little difficult). it’s really about balancing what you see as the positives and negatives and seeing if it’s worth it for you. as much as i’d like to enforce my opinions on others, this is really your call. something that i might find positive (like small classes) you might see as a negative.

as for the difference between a 199 course and the ones programs, well it’s in their names. a 199 is just one course and a ones is a program usually with multiple courses whereas a 199 course is just one course totalling 1 FCE or 0.5 FCE depending on whether it’s a full year course or only a semester long. you also don’t need to apply to take a 199 course, you just enrol in it on ACORN like a normal course.

i think you can be in both a 199 and a ones program, as long as that ones program isn’t vic one. at least that’s what it says in the artsci calendar. all hail the artsci calendar.

enjoy the rest of your summer and try not to stress too much, bruh. we will see you on campus in september!





What 199 seminar class did you take and how was it? I trust your say 🙂 I’m trying to pick a 199 course and I’m stuck



i personally didn’t take any 199 seminar classes, but i did a ones program, which is like an extended version of a 199 seminar class. i really enjoyed my seminar classes and developed a lot of meaningful relationships with some super fancy profs and my classmates. our facebook group was poppin’.

i’d imagine that you’d have a similar experience in a 199 class. though i personally haven’t taken a 199 class, my friends who did all really enjoyed them. it’s a really great way to have a small class experience before third/ fourth year and fulfill the breadth requirement in an interesting way.

because i’ve never taken one, i don’t think i can recommend one, but there a tons to pick from. i wouldjust  read the descriptions and pick ones that interest you!

unfortunately, the artsci website with the course descriptions hasn’t been updated yet for 2017-18, but if you use the artsci timetable and type in “first year seminars” in the search bar, a list with the course descriptions and when they are pops up.

hope this helped, see you on campus in september!




please don’t call on me

Hi AskA,

I’m going into my third year at UTSG and I was wondering what history and
American Studies 400 courses are like. I’m more so curious about
assignments, difficulty, and these foreign things called small “seminars”
that take place in lieu of lectures.

I’ve taken 300 level courses in history and American Studies and really
want to see how they (and I) stack up against something as unknown and
seemingly daunting as a 400 course.

Thanks a million!



my sincerest apologies, for i have never taken courses in neither history nor american studies. however, as someone who has taken 400-level courses, i can definitely offer you some perspective on what they’re like!

disclaimer: this is based solely on my own experience and may not apply to all 400-level courses.

what to expect: (in no particular order)

1. smaller class sizes: my 400-level classes were very small, usually no more than 30 people. this was slightly scary for me because i always try and make myself invisible when i’m in class in case i doze off. i don’t want to offend the teacher, y’know?

2. seminar style: profs will give shorter lectures and emphasize the importance of in-class discussions. there will probably be lots of time sectioned off specifically for discussion.

3. prepare to talk: you will probably be required to talk in front of the class at some point during the course.

4. great, intellectually stimulating discussions: you’ll find that most people in your 400-level courses are super interested in the course material, meaning that you’ll have some great discussions with your classmates.

5. ‘meeting style’ seating: in my 400-level courses, the tables in class were positioned in a circular formation, which definitely made in-class discussions easier since we could all see each other.

6. you need to keep up with readings: since you will need to talk in class from time to time, you really need to keep up with your readings so you will know what you’re talking about. every time i didn’t finish my readings, i would get a lot of anxiety about talking in front of the class or participating. do those readings!

7. participation marks: you will probably be graded on participation. some people forget this, but the thing to remember is quality over quantity.

8. the prof will know your name: prepare to be called on by your prof because the class is small enough for him/her to learn your name.

9. group projects: you will probably need to do some kind of a presentation with a group in your class. if you have the option to choose, choose your group wisely. there’s nothing worse than having a terrible group.

10. assignments: you’ll still be writing essays. sorry!

11. profs love feedback: i found that my profs were very open to feedback about the class. i had a prof who let us decide how we wanted our tests to be formatted and another prof who let us choose what we wanted our last lecture to be on. smaller class sizes make it much easier for students to bring up any grievances they might have without feeling intimidated by a speaking in front of a large group.

in conclusion, my impression is that if you make an effort to engage in discussions and course material, a 400-level course is not difficult. you just have to put in some time!

good luck! you’ll be fine.

peace and love,






on feet

Another question: The first year seminar ON FOOT is on the 2015=2016 timetable description page but when I go to the timetable, the title is missing from the box next to the #L0212 and so it looks like The World of Heroes is offered twice, where I think On Foot is offered… can you confirm that the On Foot first year seminar (which sounds really interesting!) is indeed L0212 – Y – W2-4 – C. Anderson?? Thanks very much for your response! 🙂


hey there,

seems like it’s up on the timetable now! i’m not sure what you mean by ‘timetable description page,’ but it’s definitely on the timetable, so the seminar should be offered as it is described on the timetable.

hope you get in! enjoy your seminar on feet or…whatever it’s about. (sometimes it’s more fun to not read the course description and just imagine what the course will be about. though i wouldn’t recommend doing that for courses you’re actually interested in taking. taking a ‘blind dating’ approach to classes isn’t the smartest idea).




disappointed in the course calendar, @ uoft

Hi there,

The timetable indicates that First Year Seminar *Nomos Basileus (‘Law the King’): The Idea of Law in Ancient Greek Thought* falls under Breadth category #2 and the course description puts it in Breadth category #1 so wondering which one is it for real.

Thanks for your help!


hey there,

i called up the lovely lovely people at classics and it is, in fact, a breadth 2 course.

shout out to the guy at the department who was majorly disappointed to learn that they made a mistake when he JUST CHECKED to make sure it was all correct like two days ago. we appreciate all your hard work, my man.

greek statue

the ancient Greeks, shown here looking at the course calendar




BIG courses and seminars

Thank you for answering my last question but I still have just one more 🙂 Are you able to take a BIG idea course (for example, BIG 102Y1) in second year? I would need it in order to fufill my breadth requirements because I have already chosen my 5 courses for this year. Also, would you have less of a chance of getting into the course if you are in second year as oppose to first? Thanks in advance!

Are you able to take 199’s in second year? I am soooo worried about completing my breadth requirements but I don’t have room for any seminar’s in my timetable


hey there,

unfortunately, BIG and 199 seminars are restricted to first year students. however, i’m not really sure what you’re worried about, because breadth requirements don’t have to be seminar courses??

the breadth requirements are just 5 categories of content – throughout your degree, you need to take a certain number of credits in each of the categories. every class in the Faculty of Arts & Science fulfils at least one category. for example, PHY131H1, Intro. to Physics I, fulfils the 5th breadth category, “The Physical and Mathematical Universes.”

you know, because it’s about the physical and mathematical universes.

i hope that made sense, friend.

good luck with your enrolment!



i love the people who say it like ‘breath requirements’

Hi Aska,
Can first year seminars (199 courses) be taken while in a Ones program? I want to try and fulfil most, if not all, of the breadth requirements in first years. Any suggestions for doing so? Thanks.


hey there,

you can take both 199 seminars and One courses unless you’re a Vic One student (sorry, Vic peeps).

as for breadth requirements, it’s hard to make specific suggestions if i don’t know what program you’re interested in or what you like.

if you’re in a humanities program, the 1-3 breadth req’s will be pretty easy to pick up. if you’re in life/physical/mathematical sciences, then the 4-5 req’s will be easier.

if you want to complete those breadth req’s that are unrelated to your program early, then a lot of people like taking introductory versions of classes in other streams. for example, a course like AST101H1 fulfils the 5th breadth req. category, but doesn’t require a physics background.

if you’re on the other side of the fence, then something like FAH101H1, for instance, would give you a pain- and artistes-free introduction to art history, and fulfil breadth category #1.

but please remember, these are just examples and guidelines. the most important thing is to enrol in courses you’re genuinely interested in* – filling breadth requirements is not hard, and usually happens without you noticing it. don’t feel like you have to stretch yourself or your schedule to meet all the breadth req’s in first year; it’s really not necessary, and you won’t be “ahead” of people who didn’t do them all in first year.

hope that helps! and whatever your stream, don’t be afraid of taking something that’s a little outside your comfort zone. the whole point of breadth requirements is that students become well-rounded and aren’t just automatons who only know how to think about their tiny area of expertise.



* bolding words means this is?serious and i’m not messing around.


aska tells you how to live a bomb-diggity life

Hi Aska!
So the start of the new school year is upon us and Universities have started coming to my high school convincing us their school is right for us. I am really interested in UofT Life Science program and want to become a doctor when I’m older. However I’ve been hearing horror stories from friends and off the internet about UofT and its Life Science program. I’m an 80% – 85% type of student. I’m confused whether to come hear. I just want to know if it is possible to get good grades in this school and if there are actually easy courses here that can boost my GPA. And What are these “easy” 1st year seminars i’m hearing about.



hey there,

Oh, man. I remember what it’s like to be in your shoes, my friend, and I’m glad you’ve come here for advice. See, the universities are all going to be telling you a variation of the same thing, because they want your sharp little brain at their school – but I don’t care one way or another (no offence xoxo) so I’m going to be straight with you.

The UofT Life Science program is great, and if you’re getting between an 80%-85%, the rule of thumb is that your average will drop 10-15% in first year (mine dropped from a 92% to an 82% between grade 12 and first year in a Biomedical Science program). That puts you between a 70% and a 75% – and that’s great! If you get out of first year with a mark like that, you should pat yourself on the back. As for keeping up your GPA, there are no secrets: just find out how you best study, and stick to it. It’s not impossible, trust me.

Next, and I can’t stress this enough: DO NOT pick a course because it “sounds easy” or because random people online (not counting me obviously) say it’s a bird course. That includes first-year seminars. First-year seminars are super cool because they are much smaller than your typical first-year class, which means you’ll get to engage more with the prof and your peers. You’ll all be best buds and sing kumbaya together. It’ll be beautiful.

However, if you just pick a random seminar you have zero interest in, the wonderful opportunities of first-year seminar will be a waste. If you find it boring, you won’t do the work, and you’ll zone out in class, and paying attention is a necessary component to doing well in any course, no matter how “easy.”

Finally, my last nugget of wisdom: high school and university courses are a good way, but not a great way, to determine if you want to be a doctor. You know how you figure that out for sure? By actually being one. There are lots of ways to do this: volunteer at a hospital, join the UofT Pre-Medical Society, and read up! If you’re finding that you’re not excited by doing any of this, then don’t do it. Just quit. There is absolutely no shame in that. Besides, no one likes a grumpy doctor.

I hope that helped, and just remember: don’t stress, and don’t feel pressured to make certain decisions because other people are telling you to. Do your own thing, and I think you’ll find that you’ll be awesome at it because it belongs to you.

Best o’ luck,



one is the loneliness class capacity

Hi there,By any chance do you know of any place students have written about their experiences with ENG390Y1/392H1/393H1? I’m interested in taking an Individual Studies course next year and am curious about what students who have taken it have to say.Thanks!



Strangely enough, there are no forums dedicated to English Individual Studies courses. I actually haven’t heard of any students who have taken those courses. I bet they’re awesome though.

No, I’m not being sarcastic. A course where you propose the material is bound to be a pretty awarding experience. That close-knit experience with a professor will be super beneficial too; both for a reference and to develop your skills one-on-one.

Sometimes silence is a good thing. Hearing nothing about these courses probably means there are no huge complaints about them,




come to think of it, classes aren’t shocking enough these days.

hi, this is kinda too late but when i logged in to select my courses today, all
my first year seminar choices were gone. I had to choose between ” shocking
artists, shocking art”by prof Legge or ” classics of the italian cinema” by
prof Katz. do u kno which is easier? i ended up choosing the art thing. (more…)


the real question: can you sit in a smallish room for 2 hours without falling asleep?

I’m going into my first year in life sciences. Are first year humanity seminars
an easy way to boost up my GPA, or is it just going to increase my homework? (more…)


i saw the sign, and it opened up my eyes

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get into any of my science seminar choices, better yet there were absolutely no spaces left in any of the science seminars by my 10:15 start time. Instead I chose “The Sun and Its Neighbors”, which seems like a good alternative. However, it’s only a half-credit course and I was thinking about enrolling in “Stars and Galaxies”. “Stars and Galaxies” is a second year course but, it does seems to complement “The Sun and Its Neighbors”. I am worried that because “Stars and Galaxies” is a second year course it may be too challenging for a first year student, although by reading the anti-calendar and the course description it does seem to be about the same in difficulty as “The Sun and Its Neighbors”. Am I wrong in thinking this?

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