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post it

Can I apply for a first request period for my post even if my marks aren’t in? Will it say like pending ?


hey there,

well, no. you’ll probably just be straight up rejected from the POSt if your marks aren’t in on time. BUT being rejected in the first round doesn’t really mean anything, because you’re more than welcome to apply again in the second round. you may as well apply, on the off-chance that your marks become available in time for you to be considered.




read more, write more, fight jane austen more,

After 2 years in UT my GPA is real bad. First year, I joined as Life science major, and I did horrible to extent where I got academic probation. Second year, 3rd year was OK, but then I was still clueless. I had no clue what I wanted to study on and what to do after graduating. While there are some people who can press forward without having clear goal, i wasn’t like them. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do, so I literally ditched studying. My first 2 years are done, and coming into 3rd year. I now have clear goal – to go into law school. Now, this isnt just one of those dreaming goals which I decide hey it looks cool to be attorney so lets try to be one. I want to be lawyer to help those around me because many takes

advantages of my family who doesnt know much about law. Also, I love reading/writing/discussing, and wouldnt mind spending days/night reading different cases and help family/client, so I figured that its the one dream I have to chase on. To be realistic, however, I think it will be too hard. My overall GPA is about 1.7 ish. I have some courses in which I got 75~80%, whereas some of the courses I took i failed. I know some law schools do take note of struggles that student can face when coming into university and therefore take the best 2 years / or last 2 years of the GPA for student. So My goal right now is raising GPA and getting good LSAT mark. To be honest, I am not that worried about LSAT as much because it looks like the test is fairly straightforward (dont take me wrong, I didnt mean it to say LSAT is easy. I meant that LSAT is the test that you can do well if you spend enough time/efforts on it.) What worries me the most is classes that I will be taking on upcoming September. Its not too rare for student to improve significantly coming into 3rd/4th year, but at the same time I know it wont be easy. I am trying to use every single thing I can do to well in upcoming semester. I went to get advices from learning centre / registrar and so on. Still I feel like I need more help if I want to succeed academically. While I do not want to put too much details about my personal information in here, I am History specialist atm (to be more precisely, East Asian studies), and im not really sure what will be the best way to succeed next two years. I have been East Asian specialist for last two years (and some courses I took in EA, I did really well), but I cant figure out how can I do well upcoming semester. If the subject were say, Math or Physics, solving more problems and memorizing equations will help. IF subject is about say, language, memorizing/practicing will help. However, East Asian studies are not quite the case. Most of the courses I took in EA take reference to history, but does not directly ask questions about history. Instead it will ask you to apply the knowledge to write the essay. While sometime writing essay instead of exam is fun, right now I find it much more difficult, because there is no direct guideline given. You wont be tested for some materials you studied, instead you will be expected to use knowledges about all the papers you read through classes and make your own view to persuade professor/TA. So right now I am on the point where I know I need to improve and prepared, but I just dont know how. Can anyone help me with this? 1. EA Major, what is best way to improve your mark for classes that focus on alot of reading/writing? 2. What are the courses that I should take to improve my mark? (I mean there are no ‘bird’ course, but I am just asking your general opinion, some classes you found it pretty easy to go through – doesnt mean I will find it easy, but I want to just take note-)

3. What are the best ways to improve your GPA? – What helped you the most? 4. What are the some of minor that you found entertaining/easy to take (i mean easy as not the materials, but doesnt require much prerequisite courses) I finally made mind up and I feel pumped up real hard. However, I know that I need actual plan than just go like ‘hey I am gonna work hard and do well.’ So I need every help I can get, even small advice would be real nice. Thanks people!


hey there,

i think you hit the nail on the head when you said you need an actual plan rather than just a blind commitment to working really really hard – whatever that means. obviously, whatever ‘working hard’ boils down entirely to how you work. i don’t know that the suggestions i give will be revolutionary. they may even be things you’ve heard before or thought yourself. but i never said i was a genie* – this is the best I can do.

1. the only way to improve your reading and writing is by reading and writing –  big surprise. if you’re not taking courses in the summer, take advantage of that by reading as much as you can. read things you like. read things that challenge you (DON’T read any jane austen, for the love of god. that won’t help. and yes, austen fans, this is a public invitation to fight me).

if you want to practice your writing, there are lots of ways to do so. sometimes freeform writing is great to keep your writing muscles warm. something that I used growing up was ‘Wordly Wise’; see if you can get your hands on a couple of books and start practising. they may even be available at your local public library.

2. honestly – and this isn’t just me holding to a party line or whatever – i don’t think there are any courses at this university that i’ve found significantly easier than others, and i’ve taken everything from BIO260 to JPD439. i find that courses are constantly surprising me by how easy or difficult they are. my marks in courses surprise me. i’ve often done well in courses where i thought I’d do very badly, and vice versa. that being said, knowing what kind of courses you thrive in (for example, you mentioned that you do well in East Asian studies courses, which tend to be essay-based, so perhaps more East Asian/History courses would be up your alley) can help guide you towards similar courses, where you’re likely to be successful.

otherwise, you can see course reviews on Portal (un-aska-sanctioned, university unofficial website alternatives are also available – often featuring more colourful language).

3. i feel like I can’t answer the first question, but i can give some anecdotes about the second. everything i know about doing well in school comes down to two things: first, do something you love. if you’re doing something you don’t love, figure out a way to stop doing it. second, treat your degree like it’s a full-time job.

i don’t want to push any unhealthy ideas on you: family and health are important and you shouldn’t sacrifice those things for school. i also understand that students often have to work at jobs to survive, and have to juggle those things with school. barring that, however, try to prioritize school as much as you can. i spent an average of 40 hours a week on school (that’s classes + studying/work outside of class). that’s as much as a full-time job. try to take the initiative to ask for help and suggestions. collaborate with classmates. be fully engaged in what you’re doing. that should help.

4. again, I’m not going to grade POSts based on level of difficulty (see this tag for for meandering musings as to why i think assessing difficulty is useless), but i will tell you that you can find type 1 minors here. type 1 POSts are POSts that you can enter automatically after completing 4.0 credits. they have no prerequisites other than that. you may want to browse that list and see if any of the type 1’s interest you.

i wish you all the best with all of this. keep working hard. you can get through this, my friend.



* just an alien.


you’ll really know your tree-hugging the second time around

I’m enrolled in architecture and I’m taking the Env222 course. Due to difficulties with that course, I used the CR/NCR option for it. However, I just realized that a minor that I want to pursue in environment and energy has env222 as a requirement.
So, what should I do to satisfy this program requirement? Am I allowed to repeat env222 next year to enroll in this program again?

On a side note, can I still enroll in a program next year? Also, can I enroll in three majors if I’m able to manage all the required courses within 20 FCE? Lastly, can EXTRA courses satisfy a program requirement?

Thank you!


hey there,

if that’s the only course that can be used to fulfill your program requirement, then you would just have to go to your registrar’s office and ask them to re-enrol you in it as an extra. and yes, extra courses can be used (and indeed, are almost exclusively used) to satisfy program requirements.

you can enrol in programs pretty much whenever you want (between April and September), excepting after you put through a graduation request – changes have to be made at your registrar’s office after that. just keep in mind that making changes to POSts later may mean that it’ll take you longer to complete your degree; that may or may not be something you’re willing to undertake.

you cannot enrol in three majors. the maximum number of specialists and majors you are allowed to enrol in is two.





Hi there. I have a question regarding UofT medical school as well as the current neuroscience major program. Any help would be appreciated,

So I’ve been doing some planning on medical school and my career path and needed some elaboration on graduate school applicants.  I understand graduate students are welcomed with a lower gpa (the plus side) but what constitutes for a graduate student? Is a masters degree required or does taking several courses at the graduate level count? Basically, after
completed my undergrad and entering grad school what would be expected of me? It would be helpful too if you could compare an undergraduate and a graduate student’s process for applying to medical school.

With the Neuroscience major, there is a bit where it states that enrollment into the program course is possible without the required gpa to the extent that “laboratory spaces are available”. if i were to apply and be accepted minus not meeting the gpa requirement, does that mean my position is only temporary until someone meeting the requirement arrives or would it be set in stone?

thanks again!


hey there,

let’s do these Q’s in order, shall we?

first off: i don’t know if you mean taking graduate courses as an undergraduate, or dropping out of a graduate program after completing a couple of courses. if it’s the former, you would still be assessed as an undergraduate, regardless of your having graduate courses on your record. as a graduate student applying, you do need to have completed your graduate degree by the time of admission in order to actually be eligible to enter into the MD program.

it would be difficult for me to further compare and contrast a graduate student’s application process between an undergraduate and a graduate student. the reason for that is that there are SO MANY factors that can affect an application. first off, there is no one undergraduate or graduate experience: people have different degrees, programs, transcripts, etc. secondly, the application process itself is variable (with the MCATs, interviews, etc.). if you’re an undergrad, the best place to go with these kinds of questions is really your registrar’s office. if you’re a grad student, talk to the medical school(s) that you’re interested in – they will know the subtleties of this stuff better than i do.

second: i’m not sure where exactly you’re reading that bit about the lab spaces, but the neuroscience major (assuming you’re talking about human biology: neuroscience, the major at the undergraduate level) is a type 1 program. that means that as soon as you’ve completed 4.0 credits, you can enrol in the program on ACORN. no GPA requirement in sight.




school is great except the school part

My first year at UofTSG was amazing…except for the marks. I failed one credit and now I only have 3.5 credits to end the year off with. To make things worse, I missed the summer school deadline. Does this mean I continue first year a second time? Would I be on academic probation? If I get that 0.5 credit in my first semester of second year, can I apply for my subject posts again? And would I still be able to graduate in four years?!?! Thank you!


hey there,

you would only be on academic probation if your GPA falls below 1.5. keep an eye on your ACORN account for updates on that. CGPA has been calculated by this point, so you should know for sure now. if you are put on probation, you have one term (either Summer or Fall/Winter, whichever one comes first for you) to get your CGPA back above a 1.5 in order to continue in good standing. otherwise, you would be suspended in the following term.

if you do finish with 3.5 credits, then yes, you would be considered a first year student until the end of the next term in which you complete 4.0 credits (either Summer or Fall/Winter). that doesn’t mean much, practically speaking, except that signing up for subject POSts and courses will be a little bit different for you.

you would not be required to sign up for POSts this summer and would have to wait until the following April-September period. unfortunately, you can’t just sign up for POSts as soon as you hit 4.0 credits, whenever that happens during the year. it’s kind of like unlocking a level of Candy Crush when you’re really cheap; you have to wait 24 hours between quests, you can’t just blow through levels as soon as you complete them.

finally, yes, you can still graduate in four years; praise be. you will have to take courses in the summer or a few extra courses during your future Fall/Winter terms to manage it, but it’s doable. that being said, taking an extra year or semester is not the end of the world. try not to worry about that right now. just take it one step at a time, and you’ll be at graduation, panicking about getting a job and finding a place to live, before you know it.




try try and try again


I’m having to take PHL245 as a requirement for my Bioethics Major and have been really struggling. I’ve taken the class once to get through about two thirds of it, only to drop the course. I’m retaking it this semester and have once again been struggling and am about to take my final in which I need a fairly high grade to just end with a 50%. Because of this, my confidence in passing is a little low and I’m feeling the doubt settle in.

I was wondering, how many times can you retake a course? Also… Is there a way to petition a required course if one cannot find themselves passing? What would happen if I was to take it as many times as I could and still not be able to pass (hypothetically)… Can I talk to the Program Director about my situation and have them remove it as a requirement for me?



hey there,

you can retake the course as many times as you need to as long as you’ve failed the course in your previous attempts. if you pass the course but didn’t get the course you need for your program, you can retake it, but your registrar’s office will have to put you in the course. however, your program just requires you to pass the course, so you probably don’t have to worry about that.

it is very, very unlikely that a department would waive a requirement for you. you can always speak with them about it, and in fact, i would encourage you to do so – your registrar’s office is another good stop. both of these offices will be able to advise you on realistic next steps. they will probably not, however, just drop a requirement for you. still, it may be helpful to talk.




Bob Ross wants you to succeed


*I am starting the specialist international development program at UTSC in the fall, and I was thinking of also doing a major in studio. I was wondering, how feasible is doing both a specialist and major? Has it been done before? I am thinking of taking 6 courses per semester to achieve this, would that be extremely difficult? I am in no way extremely academic or anything, my grades are above average.*


*a Bob Ross fan*


hey there,

people have definitely done specialists and majors together. you’re allowed to take up to two majors or specialists and up to three programs altogether, so one specialist and one major is totally within the allowed scope of programs. some specialists only require a few more credits than a major would, so sometimes, there’s not really a huge difference between doing a double major and doing one major and a specialist.

the difficulty level does depend on which specialist and major you’re interested in, however. the thing about the programs in which you’re interested is that the IDS specialist (i can only assume you’re not doing co-op) requires 13.0 credits, while the studio major requires 8.0. that’s 21.0 credits, which is 1.0 credits above what is takes to get your degree, and that’s not even accounting for breadth requirements or any electives you might like to take. it’s a lot.

similarly, you are allowed to take 3.0 credits every semester (past that, you need to make a request to the registrar’s office). that being said, it is very difficult. you’ve been in school for a year; you can probably imagine it. i would say it’s doable if you don’t have a job or any other significant commitments, though even then, it’s not fun.

all this considered, i would say that it might be smarter to downgrade one of the programs you’re considering. a double major (16.0 FCEs altogether) or a specialist and a minor (17.0 FCEs altogether) would be much more manageable. since you’re asking this question, you must have a very specific reason for wanting to do a specialist and a major (hopefully it’s not that you think it sounds impressive, because literally no one – and that includes employers – will care).

i would ask you to interrogate your own motives carefully, and also seek second and third opinions – from advisors, the registrar’s office, etc. ask yourself what you’ll be able to do successfully. there’s no use in overloading yourself and then not doing particularly well in IDS or studio.

in summary: it’s all doable. but it’s hard. definitely seek out more advice before making a decision.

finally, i couldn’t figure out a way to incorporate bob ross into this post, but here’s a motivational .gif to inspire you to figure out the best path for you:

bob ross motivation

you can do it.




clear for another year

Due to some family issues during reading week, I’m really failing in my winter semester right now and I may be put on academic probation.

I’m in my first year and I’m supposed to apply for my subject post after 4.0 credits but what happens if I fail a course and only get 3.5 credits?

I want to repeat a course or two if I fail them and do them next fall semester. I just don’t know the process to enrolling in repeated courses.

If I have 3.5 credits does that mean I’m still a first year? Does that mean I don’t need to be in a subject Post?

I know I’m capable of doing much better so I’m going to try to redo my courses. Any help for this would be much appreciated.


hey there,

you got it. if you finish this term with 3.5 credits, then you’re still considered a first year and don’t have to sign up for a subject POSt(s). if you go above 4.0 credits in Fall/Winter 2016-2017 (or any subsequent Fall/Winter), you’ll have to sign up for a program(s) in Summer 2017 (or the following Summer in whatever year it happens to be), between April and September of 2017.




changing track before you even start

I recently got admitted to UTSG for studies in life sciences. However, I recently realized that I don’t want to study life sciences, and that I would rather study humanities/social sciences (intl. relations and Spanish). How do I go about switching this? I emailed the New College registrar just because I didn’t know who else to email, but it’s been a week and they haven’t emailed me back yet.


hey there,

you can’t switch into the humanities or social sciences right now. you’ve been accepted into the life sciences, and there’s no way to change your offer of admission. the silver lining is that you’re not actually in a program (what we call a subject program of study or subject POSt) at this point. you’re in a degree POSt, which is the general stream of life science. you’ll be required to pick a program (or programs) in the summer after your first year.

the good thing about being in a life science degree POSt in your first year is that it doesn’t mean very much at all. no one will force you to take any life science courses in your first year. you’re free to sign up for SPA100Y1 and ECO100Y1 and HIS103Y1/HIS102Y1 (all of which you will need to be eligible for the Spanish and international relations majors in your second year).

the only thing that could cause a minor hindrance is that some of those courses that you need may have a priority, which means that you would have to wait until a later date to enrol into them. since course enrolment goes so fast, it’s always possible that those courses that have priorities might fill up before you get the chance to enrol in them.

however, not all courses will have a priority, and many of these first-year, introductory courses are very, very big. that means that they are less likely to fill up, and also that lots of people are likely to drop them one week in, and free up space for YOU to sign up.

and one final tip: priorities (and other enrolment controls) are why it’s a good idea (for everyone, not just for you) to have backup courses. try and arrange as many different schedules as possible that still allow you to complete the prerequisites for your subject POSts of interest. you may not get your ideal schedule, but you’ll get one that does what it needs to do.




ACORN is just nutty sometimes

When I tried to apply for my post for second year (fall 2016) is said requirement session: summer 2016. what does this mean?


hey there,

i had to stare at my ACORN screen for an entire minute before cluing in to what ‘requirement session’ means, but it’s actually pretty simple. all it’s saying is that, in the course of?your degree, you’ll need to?meet the requirements for your program?that correspond to the time that you entered that program (i.e. signed up for it on ACORN).

that means that if next year, or somewhere down the line, the program requirements change, you don’t have to worry. no matter what the new course calendars say, you only have to fulfil the requirements in the calendar?when you entered the program.

now the obvious question becomes: do you go by the 2015-2016 calendar, or the 2016-2017 calendar? the summer doesn’t have its own calendar, so it’s important to know which one to follow should there be any differences between the two. according to my HIGHER-UP SOURCE, subject POSts that are added in summer 2016 follow the 2015-2016 calendar.

hope that helps!


P.S. i had to pretend-add a subject POSt for this question, and since i’m graduating this June, i tiptoed on the very edge of messing up my entire transcript just to find out what you were talking about in this question. i hope you appreciate that.


a landscape of dead lines

Hey aska I’m a little confused about applying to posts… am I able to apply to the first round of posts before I get my final exam marks for this year? Or do I have to wait for final marks and in that case do they usually come in time for application in the first round?


hey there,

the first enrolment period for type 2 and 3 subject POSts is between April 1st and May 11th. SO if all your marks are up by then (and there is a good chance they will be), then you can apply as soon as they’re up.?if you don’t, it’s no big deal, because you can apply in the second request period.

if your marks do come in before the 11th, though, i would really recommend you apply for the first round. the big inconvenience about the second request period is that you only hear back from them?in September. that means that if there are courses that have restrictions or priorities for people in your POSt of choice, you won’t be able to sign up for those courses?until you get into that POSt in September, at which point they may be full. and that would just SUCK.




HP for health studies

Hi aska I’m interested in the health studies major at UTSG however it says 1.0 FCE in life science is recommended but not required. I have a half course in life sci and was wondering if that’s still okay?


hey there,

the health studies major (THANK YOU, by the way, for specifying whether you’re interested in the major or the specialist – that makes my job a billion times easier) is a type 2L program. that means that there are a limited number of spots in the program, so meeting the requirements does not guarantee you a spot.

which means, yes, you could still get in without having met the recommendations. do keep in mind, though, that they are recommended for a reason; completing them will give you a better chance at getting in.

don’t get me wrong: i would definitely encourage you to apply. you’ve got nothing to lose, and a half credit isn’t the end of the world if you’ve got a strong transcript. however, since it is competitive, it is also a good idea to come up with backups, ideally including some type 1 programs that you know you’ll get into for sure.

best of luck, and i hope you get in!



short and sweet

Hey aska.
Ok I have a ton of questions so I’m just going get straight to it.

1. So at this moment I’m not sure if I want to do a specialist, double major or a major and two minors. Is there one that is necessary/recommended for grad school? Also I know you can apply to as many Posts as you want but can I apply to the same one. For example can I apply for a human biology specialist and major and then decide after which one to do? Also Is it possible to do 2 majors and a minor or 3 majors or a specialist and a major? I want to go to grad school but Im not sure if I want to do bio, chem or physics cause I just love them all. *sigh*

2. I’m a first year student right now and I want to take some classes at UTM next semester that are part of my program so how do I do that? Do I have to speak to my registrar? Is there a limit on the # of classes I can take?

3. Me and my friends all became friends in frosh so we were like “we should all be frosh leaders next year!!!!” So i want to know how do we become frosh leaders? What’s the process and where do we apply? We’re at St mikes BTW.

Thanks homie G


hey there,

  1. nope. yep. yep, nope, yep. take a look at these programs maybe.
  2. all you gotta do is sign up for them on acorn and then find a way to get out there for class.
  3. applications typically open around April/May. i would recommend keeping an eye on these channels so you’ll know when applications are out. interviews/the application process generally happens through SMCSU, in collaboration with the Dean’s Office.

cheers my home slice,


P.S. thank you for specifying what college your from – that made answering your question UNBELIEVABLY EASIER. let this be a lesson to all those who might be tempted to send in VAGUE QUESTIONS that force me to make SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS that just don’t help out anybody.

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