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the answer is yes. and no.

Hi Aska! I have a question regarding the psych graduate program. In order to get into the psychology graduate program at uoft do you need to major in psych or do a specialist in it?


hey there,

not necessarily. however, if you are interested in uoft’s master’s program, for example, you would have to have completed at least 6.0 credits in psychology (including statistics and lab work) – which may as well be the psychology major.

however, you don’t actually have to have ‘psychology specialist’ or ‘psychology major’ noted on your transcript, as long as you do the courses.

also, the department of psychology at uoft notes that “[s]tudents with a strong background in mathematics, physical or biological science, neuroscience, or computer science are especially encouraged to apply even if they have fewer than the suggested number of psychology courses.

so basically, you do have to have a strong background in psychology, but you don’t have to be a psych major or specialist. as always at uoft, the answer’s always more complicated than a simple yes or no.




psychology here or psychology there

I’m a looking at universities in Toronto and I’m trying to figure out which is best. I’m looking at doing my undergraduate in psychology and my graduate in child psychology. So I’m wondering which school is the best for doing that. UFT or York? I know that UFT has both programs I’m looking at but I’ve been told that it’s on the harder side of the universities and I’m and IEP (Individual Education Plan) student. But York is higher on the list of best schools in Canada for psychology.


hey there,

i can’t speak to how good york’s psychology programs are. i’ll let york’s people take care of that (not that i’m implying that i’m “uoft’s people”; i just stumbled into a back closet here and no one’s thought to ask me to leave yet. i have jam on my pants. this uoft sweater i found smells like mothballs).

i will say that the psychology programs at uoft are very, very popular (hence the constant stream of questions i get about them), and that while uoft is a strong academic and research university, that doesn’t mean it’s not for you.

don’t let an IEP get in the way of studying where you want to study. if you have the grades to get into uoft, then you have the ability to thrive here. also, uoft has plenty of academic support services, including accessibility services, the academic success centre, and plenty of writing and math aid centres.

finally, here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you think about your decision: i see that york has the option to complete a B.A. or a B.Sc. in psychology. uoft, meanwhile, is one of the only schools where psychology can only be completed as a science program (cognitive science is the closest thing we have to a humanities-based psychology program).

so, if you were looking to do a B.A. in psychology, uoft is probably not be for you.

also, high school calculus is a mandatory requirement for all three of psychology’s programs (the specialist, the major and the minor), so if you didn’t do or really struggled in grade 12 calculus, you may want to reconsider uoft.

not having done calculus isn’t a reason not to do psych at uoft. just be aware that if you didn’t do calculus in high school, you’ll have to do it at some point, either through night school or uoft’s not-for-credit PUMP program.

so those are a couple of things to consider. ultimately, there’s no right or wrong answer. do some research into the actual classes you would be doing, visit both campuses, and, if you’re planning on living in residence, your student housing accommodations. these alumni profiles from the psychology department at uoft might also be helpful to you.

best of luck; i hope you make a decision you’re happy with!




the mad dash for courses CONTINUES

Hi! My name is [redacted]. I am a second year transfer student starting at Uoft this year. I want to pursue a Specialist Program in Psychology. I’ve already enrolled in almost every required course (including STA and 1FCE from second year Psychology courses). BUT, since I am not a first year student, I could not get in PSY100H1 and my rank on wait list is 312. Do you think there is any possibility I can get in this fall? Because if I don’t, I would have a huge delay in my studies, it would be like I am in first year, plus, I’d have the same problem to get in PSY100H1 next time? Any advice?

Thank you in advance 🙂


hey there,

you probably won’t be able to get into the F section of PSY100H1 with a spot that far down the waitlist. however, the winter section of PSY100H1 still has spots left – i would recommend enrolling in that one ASAP.

even if you have other courses that conflict with PSY100H1 in the S session, i’d recommend shifting your schedule around to make room for the PSY100H1. you can’t apply to the psych specialist without having taken that course, so it’s really important you take it.

the priority has dropped now, so add it as soon as you can. otherwise, your next best option would be taking it in the summer. and that would just suck.




course enrolment, or, a short story of a fight to the death

How big are 2nd year psych courses?? Specifically psy220.. I’m just concerned that because I dont have priority for the courses they’ll be all filled up by the time priority drops !


hey there,

well, the fall lecture section has 188 spaces, 51 of which are now taken. i’m guessing that once second year course enrolment starts, those 137 spaces will fill up pretty quickly.

BUT don’t start punching your computer screen and tearing your hair out by the fistful just yet. there are still two lecture sections left in the winter session, in case you need to resort to them. both of them have 188 spots too, and they’re almost completely empty at this point.

realistically speaking, i would make sure to have a backup, but there are three lecture sections of almost 200 spots each, so if you log into ACORN at 6am on August 7th, you just might get in.

and in this time of stress and peril, i’d just like to remind everyone to breathe deeply and evenly and try not to get too worked up by course enrolment. remember: no matter how excited you are about whatever course it is, come December, you’re going to wish you never signed up.

all the best,



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,



BREAKING: someone does well in PSY100

Hi aska,

I just finished my first year and now applying for Psych specialist at UTSG, I wanna be absolutely sure I can get in since all my back up plans are not working out (thank god for cr/ncr ).
Anyway I got my mark back this morning, 97. What are my chances here? I know psych is super competitive and popular, plus my prof boosted our marks so 27% of us got an A. I need to know in case I have to take summer courses for my backup plans.

Thank you in advance.


hey there,

are you telling me you got a 97%…in a first year psych course? or is 97% your average? either way – holy cow. looks like we’ve got another Freud on our hands. prepare your greasy little hands with alumni banners, uoft, I think you’ve got yourself another celebrity scholar in the works.

i can’t tell you if you’re going to get in. that goes for everyone. it’s just not something I’m able to predict. which, yes, is annoying, because some variation on this question is like, every second question in my inbox. sorry, folks.

HOWEVER, a 97% is a very good mark, even for people applying to the psych specialist. if that’s your PSY100 mark, then i’d say you have a very good chance of getting in (assuming you’ve met all the other requirements for the specialist).




psych you out

Hi,1) I am second year student at the UTM campus and I plan on applying to the psychology major in the coming weeks. I already meet the psy100 grade(completed in first year) and the first year entry psy requirements. i just decided to pursue a major in psychology this January. I know there is a requirement that second year students need to meet in order to apply to the subject post. with a combination of grades. I am currently completing psy210 . what do i need to get into the program now


hey there,

alright, the website is a bit confusing, so i double-checked this info with the lovely lovely people at the UTM psych department, and this is what you need:

1. PSY201H5

2. at least 1.0 additional FCE’s of the upper-year requirements for the psych major

3. at least a 63% average in the above courses

4. an AGPA of at least 2.0

5. BONUS: and yes, just in case you were worried, it is a type 2 program (see page 12), which means that as long as you meet the requirements, you should be admitted to the program.

and voila! just mix your ingredients together in a large bowl, leave to cool for 2 hours, and you’ll have a DELICIOUS psychology major (serves four). then just add tuition to taste (the university’s taste, obviously. not yours).

best of luck with your application bro,



the eternal psychology question

I am a second year student tryin to get in the Psych program (Major or Specialist). My PSY100 mark was 73, which obviously is not enough for them to accept my subject post request, not even a minor. I am now hoping that I could get in using my second year mark that I have. Their requirements for applying after first year are completion of PSY100 (which I have), and an average of 73 on 1 FCE psy 200 level courses. So far, I have a 72 from PSY210 and 80 from PSY240. What I am really worried about is that, I feel like if i dont get in this year, i am basically done. I am taking all psych courses this year hoping that I could use as many marks as possible to get in a psych major at least. But courses from 2nd semester seem pretty heavy and I dont really feel confident about it. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I CANT GET IN PSYCH?! Are they gonna be easier on me this year and let me in …. sigh I am really worried…. please help….

Much appreciated.


hey there,

well, it’s generally less competitive after second year than after first year because, well, not to put too fine a point on it, but not everyone who makes it to first year makes it to second year. it’s rough out here.

still, psych is a VERY popular program. there are lots of people who don’t make it after first year who will then apply after second, or third year. so it’s still competitive.

as always, i can’t gauge your chances of getting in. you have definitely met the requirements (assuming you took PSY201), so DON’T GIVE UP HOPE YET. you’ve got a very real chance of getting in. however, i’m always a big believer in backup plans.

i can’t tell you what to do if you don’t get into psych, but what i can tell you is that it is in your best interest to have other options vailable. maybe you can explore other subject POSts, like cognitive science, for example, that might allow you to pursue your interest in psychology in a slightly different way.

otherwise, maybe your best bet would be to stay in the POSt you’re in currently and explore career options that you can pursue after your degree which might somehow incorporate your interest in psychology. just as an example, you might consider the master’s counselling and clinical psychology program (see page 20 of this document for requirements).

if you want some more advice, your registrar’s office and the psych department are two great places to touch base for more options and information.

and if you really, really, really just want a psych POSt and you don’t get in after this year: you can always try again after third year.




why oh why oh do i need to take bio?

Soooo stressed so I last year summer 2014 I applied for the psychology major at utm and I was told that inorder for my request to be granted I had to complete only highschool 4u functions before I could be granted acceptance into the program…fast forward now I am enrolling for a highschool grade 12 functions class at night school and i just found out I need grade 12 biology too..but I was only told I needed math what do I do now since I didn’t take science in grades 11-12 🙁 🙁


hey there,

at this point, i think one of the most practical things to do would be to take grade 12 bio at summer school. tdsb offers summer school courses to both tdsb students and non-tdsb students – keep an eye on this page for more information.

utm also lists the peel school board, independent learning centre and as acceptable alternatives.

best of luck,



some money math

Hey Aska,
So I’m now a fourth-year Psych student at UTSC who realizes how much I effed up over the past three years and would do anything to start all over again (not really)… but that’s not an option. My biggest dilemma now is D-levels. Fall semester is almost over and the one D-level program requirement I’m hoping to take in the winter is still listed as interim. The other D-level that should fulfill my degree requirements is quite unattainable for me at the moment since I never got to take one very significant B-level for my Bio minor (so not many C-levels available for me either, but manageable), and I’m simply done my English minor without having taken any D’s. Worst case scenario, I wouldn’t be able to get into any D-levels at all this year and I’d have to take another year. I probably shouldn’t say worst though because this would also very likely increase by GPA. But after I complete winter semester I’d have 18/20 credits so I only really need 4 courses next year (and summer wouldn’t be an option either because there are no courses offered that I need / have the prerequisites to take). Would it be possible to only take Fall semester full time next year if I manage to get into two D-levels then? Or would it be better if I only take two courses per semester and go to school for both semesters part time? Thanks a lot!


hey there,

both the scenarios you listed would be possible. i guess it’s up to you to decide which one would be more feasible for you. i’m not sure what you might mean by “better” other than “cheaper” and “quicker,” so i’ll just address those two adjectives in particular.

if you were to take 2.0 FCEs in one semester (i’m gonna assume you enrolled in or before 2011 because you’re in your fourth year), it would cost you $3,191.95.

if you were to split it between two semesters, 1.0 FCEs/semester, it would come out to $2935.12. so you’d save about $250 if you were to do 1.0 FCEs in each semester, but you would also be in school for one semester longer. (you can see where i’m pulling all these numbers here).

so i guess it’s up to you. and, partly, to when the courses you want to take are offered.

best of luck, my friend, and try not to beat yourself up over your situation. people’s university careers almost never go the way they plan – and that’s not always a bad thing. you’ll get through it.




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!



do you believe in life after psych?

Hi there,

I’ve applied for a psychology major program during the second request period this past summer, and i got the results saying they refused me. i’ve completed all the requirements for the program so i had hope and it really sucks right now. they sent email to all the applicants saying, they only had space to admit approximately 1/4 of applicants for each program; thus the cut-off averages were high and we were unable to admit all of those who met or exceeded the minimum admission requirements. I planned my this year’s fall and winter courses around psychology thinking i’ll get into the program and i even planned to fulfill graduation requirement by end of summer 2015 so i can graduate in November. I’m thinking of applying to the minor program in April, but i really wanna get into the psych major and i’m very passionate about it. I’m already a 5th year student so i don’t wanna spend 6 years in school. To get into the major program do i have to take another course to even exceed the requirement so that i have a better chance? Please help, what i can do. Is there anywhere else i can take other courses to get into the program?


hey there,

man, i’m sorry you didn’t get in. psych is tough, and the awful fact of the matter is that a lot of very worthy people apply and don’t get into the POSt.

if you’re (justifiably) saying that you just don’t want to stick around for another year, then it might be time to graduate with whatever POSt(s) you do have, and look for alternative ways to pursue psychology.

you’ve already taken lots of psych courses, so even if you don’t graduate with that degree, you still have the knowledge. do you want to be a doctor? great, apply to medical school. grad school? great, apply there, too. maybe there’s a college program that suits your interests, or a job. the list goes on.

most graduate and professional schools don’t require that you have a specific degree coming out of your undergrad. they may prefer certain areas over others, but there’s usually some wiggle room there.

so maybe the best thing to do now is plan to graduate and start thinking about what’s next. how can you incorporate your passion for psychology into your future?

as for getting into psych in april, it may still be possible. as far as i know, it’s more important that you get high marks in the required courses, rather than that you take a surplus of courses to get into the program.

however, it may be worthwhile to take a few more psych courses, maybe to complete the requirements for a minor, or to boost your GPA for the next time you apply to the POSt (if you decide to do so).

whether that is a good or helpful idea, though, depends on your academic history, which is why you should probably make an appointment with…you guessed it…your registrar’s office.

the best thing is to chat with your registrar about all this, because they can advise you not only about courses and applying to psych again, but also about other possibilities for this year, and after graduation.




after psych


I’ve been reading your is for some time now and was hoping you could help me out. I am a 3rd/4th year student and I spent all of last year taking the required courses to graduate with a major in psychology on time. Even for this year I picked courses relevant to the major in hopes that I would have enough marks to at least get into the minor. What sucks is that i didn’t get into either. And it turns out that for the last 2 years, the average threshold has been pretty high so the calendar was wrong. I just don’t know what to do. I honestly hoped that I would get in and I really wanted to graduate by next November. I basically spent an year taking courses that I didn’t,t even need. Is there even a remote chance of getting 85% in a 200-level psych course at UTSG?


Lost and depressed


hey there Lost and depressed,

well, i hate to be that person, but the calendar isn’t wrong. psychology’s minor, major and specialist are all type 2L subject POSts, which means that there is a finite number of spaces in each POSt. so, even if you meet the prerequisites, you may not get in.

that said, don’t be too hard on yourself for it. psych is insanely popular in this faculty, so the competition that you were up against was not insignificant (to put it mildly).

i think now is the time to weigh your options and decide what you want more: to graduate with a psychology POSt, or graduate by next November.

if you don’t want to be here over four years, it may be wise to start planning to graduate with whatever POSt(s) you’re currently in.

as for whether there is the chance of getting in 85% in 1 200-level psych course: beats me.

people do it, so it must be possible, strictly speaking, but one person’s possible is another person’s impossible. without knowing your strengths, i have no idea whether it would be possible for you, and that’s what’s counts.

what i would do is make an appointment with your registrar’s office. they can take a look at your whole academic history and advise you on your options.

based on your transcript and chatting with you one-on-one, they can tell you whether they think that 85% is feasible, and also, whether it’s a good idea to pursue a psych POSt again.

if you had a specific question about a 200-level psych course, the undergraduate administrator at psych would be your first point of contact. you can also talk to them about the possibility of getting into a psych POSt in the next enrolment period.

best of luck (hoping you feel a little less lost and depressed),


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