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Archive for the ‘other schools (boo!)’


no secrets


I started at the campus of UTM in 2010 and got to second year by 2014 – I
know, not something I’m extremely proud of. In 2014, I got suspended for
one whole calendar year for failing too many courses. Subsequently, I also
got suspended for a plagiarism allegation for 3 and a half years. Right now
is 2017 and my suspension is up in the summer of 2018.

Would it be wiser for me to just ditch U of T and apply to another
university with my high school grades? Or is that not allowed?

Thank you!



wow, sounds like you’ve had quite a wild ride. school ain’t easy, that’s for sure.

if you choose to ditch U of T, you can’t apply to another university with just your high school grades. if you try applying for another university, you’ll need to show records from every previously attended institution, and if you refrain from disclosing information, there will be pretty severe consequences.

your best bet, if you still want to pursue your degree, would be to wait out your suspension and continue on at U of T. we still want you if you want us too!

hope everything works out for you!





u of t questions only please!

Hey Aska,

I’m super worried right now and need your help. I’m currently in first year in U of T and am an architecture student. I have a couple of problems I need to discuss with you guys and please don’t mind the fact that i am about to go on a somewhat emotional rant. So, here’s my story:

First thing I did in my fall term was that I decided to choose 6 courses for my double major, 4 architecture related and 2 actuarial related, and to add to that, each one was extremely difficult, but I learned that the hard way. Now, apparently 2/6 of the courses were on wait-list and i got in them after 1-2 weeks into the term, so I had to catch up. Initially it was going well until BAM, the course load hit me hard, like a meteor, and I returned that with a punch. however, meteor>punch, so yeah it didn’t go so well. I had to juggle between written assignments, readings (TONS of readings ), quizzes, Practice problems, Problem sets (I HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE Problem sets) and practical work and it was a huuuuuuuuuuge mess. I did one thing, left the others, did another thing, left the others and this was technically my routine. After a while, it got so bad that I had to drop one arch course (the practical bit) cause i was being late on my deadlines, and had a discussion with my prof. about my situation. It was only after he said that what I was doing was reckless and super difficult  that I figured out that I was messing up stuff. At the end, I was just trying my best to survive in the courses. My results have come out for Fall term and I really hate myself… (My GPA is 1.4). So in conclusion, I messed up really really really badly and it feels so not good……

Right now, after a lot of discussion with my parents, siblings, and stuff, I decided that i am going to drop architecture and solely focus on actuarial science. I am planning on transferring to western university doing an actsci course over there that im really interested in. According to western, i need a min of 70% GPA overall and a good first year or semester grade, plus my highschool transcripts. Now, i want to ask is:

1)I am in my winter semester right now, and planning on starting as first year in western fall semester 2017. I have found out that if I do good on both winter and summer terms that i am taking, i can get increase my GPA to 3+. Can I transfer to western for fall 2017 provided that i am taking a summer term of 2017?

2) How does the whole transfer thing work anyway, can someone give a brief view on that.

3) Also, suppose I don’t get accepted in western, can I continue at UOFT provided my GPA increases?

4) when is the deadline for the transfer application?




dude, i got so stressed out just reading this.

since i am not affiliated with western, i won’t be able to answer any questions about admissions or transferring there (questions 1, 2, and 4). so sorry. my suggestion for you is to contact the school directly with any questions you might have. i technically could do all the research on the western website and link it to you, but i wouldn’t be able to provide any advice aside from what is written on the websites.

i wish i could answer all of your questions but because it is about another school, i am not clear on their policies and processes. don’t worry, it’s not because we don’t want you to leave, we have your best interests at heart and if leaving is going to benefit you in the long-run, you absolutely should. U of T isn’t going to stop you!

if you need support from us in your transfer process, i would recommend going to your registrar’s office to discuss your options. they’ll be able to guide you through the process since they do work with students that are transferring out.

i am, however, able to answer one of your questions!

3) since your GPA is 1.4, that means you are currently on academic probation, but:

-if improve your grades up to a CGPA of 1.5 or higher and annual GPA of 1.7 or higher you’ll be back in good standing, meaning that you’ll be able to continue at U of T! 🙂

-if your grades continue to be lower than a CGPA of 1.5 but your annual GPA is 1.7 or higher, you’ll continue for another year on probation. :/

-if your grades fall under a CGPA of 1.5 or an annual GPA of 1.7 after one year of already being on academic probation, you will be suspended for one calendar year. 🙁

get those grades up! i believe in you!

for more info about how the academic probation thing works, check out the calendar rules on academic standing.

hope this helped you!

good luck with the rest of your semester and the summer! don’t feel discouraged by bad grades, it definitely took me a very very long time to figure out how to do “just okay” in school. it’s going to take time and a lot of discipline. keep pushing forward after obstacles gets you down and you’ll find that, in the end, you’ll have the strength to climb up obstacles that you never knew you could climb before! (sounds like a disney song lol)

peace, love, and solidarity,




inauguration day/ come back home


I completed my first year at UTM in the 2015-16 school year, in good academic standing. I had to move at the end of my first year to the U.S., and so transferred to an American University. Turns out I may be returning around Fall 2017, though! So, my question is, would my one year off just count as a gap year? Would I be able to transfer my American credits back to UTM? I checked transfer explorer, and it doesn’t even recognize my American Uni’s name, lol, so I don’t have much context for my courses.

I hope you can maybe provide some insight here? Has this happened before?

Any light you can shed on the situation would be greatly helpful!



An unintentional and unwilling exchange student who regrets moving




welcome back, maybe!

there isn’t really an official term that designates a ‘gap year’ at UTM, but basically if you’ve been gone for 12 consecutive months, you’ll have to reactivate your student record.

you can do that by going online at this link if you’ve been away for 12 consecutive months. once you reactivate, you need to make sure you pay tuition with 12 months or else your reactivation will expire.

in terms of your transfer credits, i’m not exactly sure why your university doesn’t show up, but you’ll be applying for a slightly different kind of transfer credit: a post-admission transfer credit.

a combination of these two actions should get you back on the right track, however, it would be best to contact your registrar at UTM to make sure you’ve done everything correctly and to confirm that you have indeed reactivated your student record.

hope this works, and hey, you’ve picked a good time to move back to canada!

peace and love and hope for america,



final destination

For undergrad, can someone do two years at York then transfer to UofT for the last two years? Is this difficult to do? Honestly thinking of doing this as I really want to go to UofT but I’m an international student and cannot afford 40k tuition each year for four years.



it is definitely possible to transfer to U of T from york but it’s a whole process. not a terrible process, but a process nonetheless.

first, you need to be in pretty good academic standing, and by pretty good, i mean a solid B average. if the program you are trying to enter is more competitive, you might need to contact the department for a more accurate average.

second, you can’t apply if you are more than 2 years into a degree, meaning if you were to transfer into the same program after 3 years of york, you wouldn’t be able to, you’d have to apply for a different program.

third, you have to meet all the high school entry requirements as well as university requirements for your program.

the application process will be through OUAC105 since you won’t be applying as a high school student, and after you are admitted, you will need to have your transfer credits assessed by U of T. the university can grant you a maximum of 5 transfer credits (1 full year).

the whole transfer process is outlined nicely at this link, so take a look!

basically, it’s not that difficult if you meet all the requirements and are in good academic standing. however, all things considered, transferring to another university is a huge change and you might want to think about whether or not you want to leave your already established group of friends and community.

hope you make the right decision!

peace and love,



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,



york needs an aska


So I’m a York student (you may get your fork jokes out) and I’m in a bit of
a situation.
In 2014 I had a family situation that mighhttt have caused me to get really
sub-par grades in a couple of courses. I already retook the courses and
everything, and fixed up the grades.
Finally, in 2016 and with part-time student status, I got the time to
petition the initial attempts at those courses. Unfortunately, the
committee refuses to look at it since it’s a request past the deadline,
regardless of my reason to petition them.
I’ve already made one appeal that I did not have easy access to the
documents throughout the 2 years (seeing as the court case pertaining this
event is still ongoing, and it’s more important my family deal with that
than some Uni petition). They rejected the appeal, again on grounds that I
still don’t say why I decided to petition so late.
I have one last chance to appeal, and I was wondering if you had any advice
on how to do so successfully? This was a really bad time for my family with
several economic and medical issues, in addition, it’s really important for
me for post-grad opportunities, so it would be ideal if the courses got

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Thank you.



**disclaimer, this post is filled with tons of shade. opt for another one of our lovely posts if you can’t handle the shade.**

so i’m a u of t student (you can get your #uoftears jokes out of the way) and i’m in a bit of a situation.

so in 1999, one of my predecessors launched a site called, intending it to be a website which answered the many questions of stressed out U of T students. since then, a significant number of york students have decided that utoronto stands for any flippin’ university in toronto and not JUST the university OF toronto.


so my question is this. why doesn’t york have a blog like this? sounds pretty good to me, doesn’t it?







okay. all jokes aside, it seems like you’re in a really tough situation. while we do have a reputation of being really tough on our students, i don’t want to start a stereotype of us being terrible people, so i will say this. i REALLY wish i could help but since you don’t go to U of T, i’m not familiar with how petitions work at york. i’ve never even set foot on your campus… like, how do i even get there? we may be all-knowing on all things U of T related, but we definitely know as much nothing as jon snow when it comes to york.

the best thing for you to do would be to keep talking to your registrar’s office. at u of t, registrars are the ones that help you with the petition process.

i’m sorry that you guys don’t have this kind of ‘ask a fellow student’ resource at your school, but hey, maybe this would be a good time to start one? we could even entertain a healthy aska rivalry! let us know if you start one!

good luck with your situation, again, i really wish i could help.

peace, love, and solidarity,




Hello, so I’m currently on academic probation after my first year and due to personal family issues, my father asked me to transfer for a year to St Marys university in Calgary, and then come back to utsg. Will I be able to get transfer credits for the courses I do at the other institution and do I have to reapply or can I just re-register for courses for the semester I come back for?

Sincerely, a very sad confused person


hey there,

as long as you have a mark on your transcript (and you must have, because you can’t be put on academic probation if you don’t have any marks), you’re officially in uoft.

wow, how vague. what do you mean by that, aska?

i mean that once you’ve received a mark at uoft (specifically, in the faculty of arts & science), you can come back to uoft anytime you want. so if you leave, get into another university, and come back after a year (or two, or five), all you have to do is get re-registered (and cough up twenty-five bucks) and sign up for courses.

that being said, if you are on academic probation at uoft, you cannot receive transfer credits from another university. that means that if you were to follow through with your plans to transfer to St Mary’s, none of the credits you received there could be transferred back to your UofT degree.

a little bit of unsolicited advice for you: don’t plan so far in advance. if you think it’s a good idea to transfer to St. Mary’s, do it. maybe you’ll really like it and decide to stick around there. that’s great! maybe not. maybe you decide to come back to uoft. that’s great, too! try to take life as it comes to you. changing schools is always a scary thing, but it’s going to be ok.

and uoft will always be here (very like another ancient school), if you ever decide to come back. i hope that makes you a bit less sad and confused.

best of luck with all of it,



a Parent Post

My son finished his first year of Humanities at McMaster with very decent marks, high 80s and higher. He applied to McGill and even though his marks are apparently good enough, it’s seeming more and more likely that he won’t be accepted. I’ve suggested that he return to McMaster ( where he wants to specialize in Philosophy and History ) but he’s convinced it would lock him into McMaster for the next three years. He’s sure it’s too difficult after two years to switch schools. He’d consider another year at Mac if it meant he could then transfer to U of T.

Could you enlighten us as to how possible this would be?

Many thanks,


hey there,

i think this is the first time i’ve ever received a question from a parent! it’s kind of exciting. what rabbit hole of the internet did you have to go down to find me? i kind of feel like a bartender at a run-down pub on the bad side of town, and some person wearing tails and a Rolex has just walked, bewildered, through my front door.

lucky for you, i’m a nice bartender. have a scotch on the house, just because you’re new. that’s the aska welcome.

as for your question: yes, it’s possible to transfer to uoft after two years at McMaster. transfer students can receive a maximum of 10.0 transfer credits, which typically takes two years to complete. for that reason, it usually makes the most sense for students to transfer after year 1 or year 2 of their studies at another university. after that, it’s still possible to transfer, but it makes less sense, since you won’t be able to transfer over all the credits from your first university.

other than that, your son needs to have a competitive GPA (at least a ‘B,’ which shouldn’t be a problem if he’s getting 80s and 90s), AND completed prerequisites for whatever program he’s interested in applying to, in order to be considered for admission to uoft.

as someone who transferred to uoft after their first year, i completely understand that sometimes, you just have to get out of your current school. i’m curious though, about what else may be going on here. why does your son want to transfer? what can’t he get at Mac that he can at McGill or uoft? if it’s just a prestige thing, i would advise you to do the Parent Thing and talk with your son about his expectations. McMaster is a good school, and the opportunities for a grad from Mac will probably be very similar to those offered to a McGill or uoft grad – and he wouldn’t have to do the whole transferring thing, which is not overly difficult, but can be a bit lonely sometimes.

i don’t know the backstory to this question, and i don’t want to make assumptions. it’s just that my back automatically goes up when i can only hear the voice of a parent, and not of the student. i appreciate you taking the initiative to ask this question, don’t get me wrong – i just want to make sure your kid is happy with their decision in the end.

best of luck to the both of you!



strap on your toque, yankee, you’re in for a wild ride

Hi, I am a US student thinking of applying to U of T. I’ve heard many many rumors of the soul crushing undergraduate experience at U of T. As a hopeful medical school applicant, would I be better off grades wise in a top university in the US or is Toronto not as terrible as it seems? I’d really like to go to Toronto but I’m worried….


hey there,

that depends on which U.S. universities you’re thinking of, my friend. are we talking state universities or Ivy League? even within state universities, there’s a lot of variety in terms of quality. the comparison you’re making is going to be very different depending on which other schools you’re thinking about.

i can’t tell you how well you’re going to do at uoft. i wish i could, but it would be disingenuous. the best i can do is give you a couple of factors that will influence your experience here, and that you can consider before making your decision:

  1. uoft is one of, if not the, most academically intensive universities in canada. i won’t go so far as to say that it’s the “Harvard of the North” (because we gotta stay humble out here in the 6ix), but it is very academic. uoft is an institution focused on research, and that goes right down to the undergraduate level. from day 1, you will be required to treat your school like a full-time job. if you excelled in high school, if you’re willing to work hard, and if you’re interested in the material, that is by no means impossible. but it does require a serious commitment to focus on your academics.
  2. uoft is very big – and i feel like you can’t really understand the real implications of that bigness until you actually get here. it can be very isolating. there are lots of wonderful, small communities within uoft where you can feel connected and valuable (your college community, residence community, seminar courses, extracurriculars, etc.) but if you don’t search all that out, you can feel a little stranded. and, trust me, if you feel distanced from and unappreciated by your school – like you could skip class, not do the assignments, etc. and no one would notice – that can have a very real effect on your schoolwork. a lot of U.S. universities have that small, collegiate feel throughout the entire institution, but at uoft, you have to do some digging.
  3. two positive points now: keep in mind that if you are graduating from a world-class university, medical schools are going to know that your GPA will not be as high as people who graduated from less academically rigorous schools. they will factor that into the application; everyone’s GPA is not equal.
  4. second: GPA is not the only factor medical schools look at! MCAT scores and extracurricular experience are also important parts of your application. that’s where toronto is ideal. we have a lot?of hospitals here. a?lot. “hospital alley” is within walking distance of uoft, and there are lots of opportunities to volunteer and gain valuable experience at each of them.
  5. finally: i know that americans think canada is just, like…cold america, but keep in mind that culture shock can be a difficult thing to manage, especially in first year (that’s not to say that we don’t have people to help you deal with that – because we do). you’ll be moving far away from home all on your own, meeting all new people and learning to stand on your own two feet, even more so than domestic students, who might just be a car ride away from home.

i know that’s a lot of information, but keep in mind that you have time to mull it all over. uoft is a wonderful place to be. it’s in the middle of an amazing city, it’s a nexus of?research and innovation and exciting student life, we have cool people and exciting courses and i am so glad i’m here. BUT it’s not for everyone. so do think carefully about it.

one last piece of advice: if you can manage to get up here and tour the place a bit before deciding, i find that’s often helpful.




do you love literature or do you want a job

I wish to pursue an English degree (Bachelor of the Arts) at U of T. Any advice regarding my specific field of study? Also, I am debating U of T with Carleton, amongst others. Any suggestions?


hey there,

i can’t really compare uoft with carleton, because i’ve never even been there, let alone taken any classes there, so it would be unfair of me to try and compare it to uoft, which i know so well.

what i can do is tell you about uoft and its english program. then, hopefully, you can find some pretentious, narcissistic shmuck at carleton who’s the equivalent of me and can tell you about their school for probably longer than anybody cares to read.

the english department at uoft is world-class. there’s no question about that. if you want to one day become a professor of english, you can’t do better in canada than an undergrad at uoft. we have world-class academics as professors, and a wide variety of interesting, relevant courses.

however, our english program is very traditional. you’re not going to get a digital/communications angle, a journalism angle, an editing/publishing angle, or a business angle to your english degree here. it is very specifically a degree in english literature: shakespeare. pope. faulkner. chaucer. other white guys who’d probably insult you at a dinner table.

that being said, uoft is very flexible in terms of programs of study. you can pair your english major with a book & media studies major, with a writing and rhetoric minor, with semiotics and communication studies, and so, so much more. or you can just stick on the straight english route and get a very thorough – if traditional – education.

everything you’ve heard about uoft being a big university in an even bigger city is true. yes, it’s possible to get kind of swallowed up by this place. however, it’s not inevitable. if you put in even the minimum amount of effort into connecting with your college or faculty community, you will be richly rewarded.

i don’t think uoft – and especially uoft english – is for everyone. however, i think that if you come here knowing what you’ve signed up for, you will absolutely love it.

also, toronto has so many literary-themed cafes, and it’s super cute to read your s’phisticated school novels in them and imagine someone will sit down across from you and begin a whirlwind romance by asking you about it.

come on. i know you think about that too.




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!




you’re in the wrong place, amigo

I had a question about transferring between 1st and 2nd semester… how does one go about doing this? I’m at Seneca and I want to go back to my hometown college (mohawk) or maybe humber or something not in this area….
Also, how do I deal with OSAP if I transfer in the middle of the year? Do I reapply, ask for a transfer..? sos I’m confused


hey there,

wait, lemme get this straight. you’re at seneca, and you want to transfer to mohawk or humber? so you’ve never attended?and don’t plan to ever attend uoft?

you know that this blog answers questions related to the university of toronto, right? if you have questions about colleges, you should probably ask them.




this should be fun

Convince me on why I should choose Toronto over McGill or UBC


hey there,

i’m so torn about whether to answer this seriously or not. um. ummm. ok i’m just gonna do both.


uoft, mcgill and ubc are all world-class institutions of roughly the same size. in fall 2013, uoft had 42 693 undergrad students on the downtown campus (plus 24 443 at UTM and UTSC) , ubc had 49 896 on its vancouver campus (plus 8 388 at okanagan), and mcgill had 39 349. all pretty big schools.

however, i would say in uoft’s favour that we divide our Arts & Science students by college, which is a great way to encourage small communities within a big school and bigger city. i’m sure both mcgill and ubc have some kind of similar organizing principle, but i’ve been to my fair share of universities, and in my opinion, uoft is especially good at encouraging small community.

whatever you’re interested in is probably offered as a program at all three schools. that said, feel free to browse uoft’s course calendar for a list of all the programs we offer. maybe one of them will strike your interest in a way that mcgill or ubc’s programs won’t.

when it comes to programs, uoft is pretty unique as canadian universities go in that you’re only required to pick a program after first year. also, you’re able to switch programs pretty much until graduation. it’s an atypical flexibility.

finally, you’re gonna have to move provinces for at least two of these schools. interprovincial fees are really expensive. seems like a no-brainer to me to take the cheapest option. like obviously if you live in B.C. don’t come to toronto, unless you want to live here after school.

that said, if you do come to uoft, there are lots of opportunities to work here, either on campus or in the city. something like 20% of canada’s GDP comes from toronto, so if you want to work in this city (which most people do, though i understand if you’d rather be in Vancouver), going to school here is probably a smart idea.


1. everyone at uoft is a dinosaur.

2. every wendesday, uoft students scale the towers of UC like the cornish pixies on that skeleton in harry potter.

3. if a uoft prof makes a grammatical error, every classroom has a bucket of tomatoes with which students can pelt them.

4. you may have heard uoft students talking about ‘ROSI.’ that’s uoft’s local demigod! he usually lurks at the bottom of ponds and will grant you wishes if you throw pennies into them.

5. upon graduating from uoft, alumni are granted the power of invisibility.

6. all three uoft campuses are connected underground by a series of chutes and slides.

7. uoft has askastudent, and that’s all you need, to be honest.

hope that helped you get closer to a decision!



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