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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!




UWO uwu

I go to King’s College at Western University (UWO). My previous grades were poor but my fourth year average is very high and I will be taking fifth year for undergrad in September to raise my GPA. I am interested in applying for graduate school in Criminology after I finish my fifth year. However, I have some questions:

1) For 5th year, I want to retake a couple courses that I took in the previous years/summer school because my grades were low and I wanted to retake them to improve my grade. Will the new mark be still counted in my GPA and will I still have a chance of being admitted to Grad school if I repeated some courses as long as my grades are very high?

2) For the criminology graduate school admission requirements, is there any specific undergrad courses that needs to be taken in order to be admitted? Or can it be any criminology/sociology undergrad courses, as long as the grades are very high? The UofT website did not mention anything about specific undergrad course requirements for admission to graduate programs.

3) Also, I’m not in honors specialization of criminology. I’m in double majors of Childhood and Social Institutions and Criminology, Bachelor of Arts 4 years Degree. I have taken the required cours for the Criminology major and I will be taking criminology and sociology courses in my 5th year before graduation. Do I still have a chance of getting esin if I’m in major of criminology and my grades are very high?


hey there,

as much as i appreciate the enthusiasm, there’s no need to send me this through all my different inboxes, dude. it’s not gonna make my answer annny quicker. aska’s stubborn that way.

1) i don’t know how UWO does it, but if the old marks appear on your transcript, they will likely be considered along with thenew marks. according to criminology, admission decisions are based on a holistic reading of applicant files by a committee of graduate faculty. This includes grades, reference letters, statements of intent, and courses taken.

2) nah. “To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the minimum requirement in a four year University of Toronto Bachelor’s degree with a social science background or a law degree, from another recognized university…The courses in the program are designed with the expectation that students have a sound understanding of social science methodologies, are capable of writing research and analytical papers, and are conversant with criminological theories.

as long as your undergrad degree was somewhere within the ballpark of criminology, it should be fine. they do say they look at your courses as part of their admission consideration, but they haven’t specified any courses that they prefer. my guess is that they’re just looking to see whether you’ve taken any criminology courses, and how many, and also if you’ve taken courses that might be relevant to the field, like law courses, for example.

3) see above. if your fifth year bumps up your CGPA over your last 2-3 years of school to the range they’re looking for (at least an 80%) and you’ve taken relevant courses, based on the “holistic approach” the department advertises, i’d say you have a solid chance (obviously i’m not on the admissions committee, so i can’t say for sure, etc. etc., but, you know. that’s my educated guess of an opinion).

best of luck in applying! i hope you become a master criminologist. just…don’t visit my house…once you do…




There’s other uni choices than U of T … hmm

so I?m a grade 11 student and I’ve started looking into different universities. U of T, York, Ryerson and Laurentian (LU only because I?m from Sudbury … home of the big nickel, holllla) are the ones I?m leaning towards for Psychology or something similar. What’s your take on my prospective choices? Have any insight on majoring in psychology? Right now I’ve got high eighties and low nineties, and I know I’ll be able to meet the minimum admissions requirements for each school.
– Kaydee (:


Yo Kaydee

Are you asking my opinion because subconsciously you know that I will recommend U of T and that’s secretly what you are leaning towards? (there’s a little Psychology preview for you)

Your grades are looking pretty good for most schools, but if you’re thinking U of T, I would definitely suggest aiming for higher than the minimal requirement. The competition could be higher for your year.
I’m assuming you want to be in the city based on your prospective schools, so lets just bump LU. We all know the cool kids are in Toronto.
Now, if you’re are looking into Toronto schools I would narrow it further down to Ryerson or U of T just because they are downtown and close to all the happening shiz. York would probably be a good school if you want to hide in your room and study.

U of T has a cooler building.

Warning: this is a heavily biased opinion.



waterloo sunset, i am in paradise

Hi Aska,

I have been reading your site for some great advice and now have my own questions. I recently completed my first year in Commerce at UofT. However, I discovered where my true passion lies and decided to switch into Engineering. I recently received an offer of admission from Waterloo for Environmental Engineering and gladly accepted it. I am for sure leaving UofT next year. But will I be able to keep my utoronto email address? If so, for how long?

Second question. Do I need to go to my registrar’s office or the Rotman Commerce department to decline the guaranteed admission into second yr?

Thanks in advance for your response!


Hello there! Congrats on your exciting move from U of T to Waterloo, land of sunsets and dirty old rivers. (At least, according to the Kinks’ song.) You will be happy to know that your U of T email address will long outlive your death. It is the only thing that you can keep for free from this university after your graduate! (Other than knowledge, of course.)

You should probably inform your registrar’s office that you are switching to a new school, if you haven’t already. Did you also contact the Transfer Credit Office to see if any of your courses taken this year apply, even for a breadth requirement? Do so. Basically if you don’t choose any classes from U of T, you won’t be considered a student, but they will keep your record on file. Contact your registrar’s office anyway. IT’S FUN!

xoxo, Askastudent


poke your professor

I’m considering living outside of toronto this fall and i was wondering if U of T offered
online courses? Or an alternative such as online courses through other campuses or
schools that allow credit transfer.


So you’re thinking about doing U of T long-distance, eh girlfriend? Unfortunately I’ve checked out the school’s options, and other than some “web option” online courses offered through UTSC, you’ve got to do something in person to fulfill the credit. (And even though UTSC has taped lectures, they force you to write the test and exams in person.)

Have you thought about doing an independent study for a class? You’ll have to put in a little face time every now and then with your professor, but this hands off approach lets you build your own syllabus and assignments. It might be your best option short of transferring to another school, and battling it out with the Transfer Credit Office to make your credits work.

If that’s what you’re thinking, I’d strongly recommend booking an appointment with your college registrar to make sure everything will correspond properly. Let me know what happens!

xoxo, Askastudent


first’s the worst, second’s the best


I’m currently finishing a undergraduate degree at U of T and I want to come back for a second degree. I plan on taking a year off to work full time.

How does it work- at u of t or elsewhere like Ryerson or York. what is the minimum average? I want to pursue my masters in the future but my current BA is insufficient. I have done poorly and the program is not something I want to pursue. Please Help!


The Arts and Science Calendar at UofT says:

Students must petition through their college by June 30 to begin a second degree. Before applying, students are urged to determine whether a second degree is actually required for their purposes; for example, a ?make-up? year as a non-degree student may satisfy admission requirements for graduate school. Students are governed by the rules of the Faculty in place at the time they commence their second degree. Students who already hold a degree from the Faculty of Arts & Science, the University of Toronto Scarborough or the University of Toronto Mississauga may complete a second degree only of an alternate type (i.e. if a student has a B.A. degree then he/she may not complete a second B.A. degree). The Faculty normally exempts students from the first year of the degree requirements (five (5.0) credits: four 100-level and one 200-level), regardless of the number of previous degrees held. Second degree candidates may not repeat courses taken in a previous degree; they may however, count such courses towards satisfying pre-requisite and program requirements, on approval of the department/programs office concerned. A new Grade Point average will commence with the second degree courses.

If I were you, the first thing I would do is contact your best friend on campus. No, I’m not talking about me, even though I am amazingly awesome and all. I meant your college registrar. If you want to do a second degree, you will eventually need to petition through your college anyway, so you might as well get your bottom over there and have a talk with someone about your future plans. Who knows – you may discover that you don’t actually need to get a second degree. There is no minimum GPA required (at least that I know of).

The second thing you must note is that your second degree must be of a different type than your first one. So if you got a BSc for your first degree, you’d have to do something else — say, a BA. Just keep that in mind.

Oh, and here’s Ryerson’s calendar… it doesn’t really say anything about second-degree students though… but you might do better to email or call their admissions office. Unfortunately, my reign of awesomeness stops outside UofT walls.


Friends AND school?!? Not in this recession.

Hey Aska!
I will be graduating from high school this year and am very keen on attending UofT for life sciences. However, i have been getting mixed reviews from people regarding the social life there as apposed to the social life at say queens or mac.

I live around 45 mins (on subway) from UofT but i am planning on living in residence nonetheless so that i don’t have to sacrifice my social life because i want the uni experience to be so much more than just studying and commuting.

Is this a stupid decision? am i simply wasting mine and my parent’s money here by wasting an extra $9000 here? or is it worth it?

Also which college has the best social life? I applied to UC college… does it have a good community feel to it? or would u recommend some other college for residence?

Thanks a lot!



Besides the fact that you are “very keen” I don’t know anything about you that could inform what you may value in a social life at U of T. In fact, I’m having trouble defining the incredibly ambiguous phrase “social life” in the first place. My working definition involves time, enjoyment, an activity, yourself, and other humans. I will refer to these other humans as cool, in the most relative sense.


You’re in Life Science, so you should appreciate my effort to use sciencey things like numbers:

67 000 students at U of T

21 000 students at Queen’s

At a liberal estimate of 40% “cool people” at Queen’s, that equals 8 400 potential friends (PFs). At the same rate, U of T would offer 26 800 PFs. To provide the same number of PFs as Queen’s, U of T only needs a 13% cool-people-rate.

Now, I did a 3 week stint in MAT135, so I can tell you that that looks pretty good for Toronto.


Perhaps you are thinking that the 8 400 PFs at Queen’s are more concentrated than those at UofT; that cool kids in Toronto are diluted amidst the sea of geeks, nerds, dorks and hermits. NOT TRUE. Coolness tends to cluster, and finding the clusters is just like Where’s Waldo.


To push this metaphor, finding friends at U of T is like finding those coloured books that Waldo drops – more discreet, but more diverse. Finding friends at Queen’s is like finding Waldo himself – more obvious, but totally homogenous.


You may find, however, that the social life at U of T is quite embedded in the city of Toronto itself, and Torontonian culture. The identity of Kingston, inversely, is formed more around the school. These patterns are both good and bad, but neither is definitively better. In Toronto you can take advantage of rich culture (e.g. festivals, concerts, museums, ethnic neighbourhoods). At the same time, the places you go out to will be filled with all sorts of age groups, unlike the 18-25 range you’re bound to find around Queen’s.


I can attest that living in residence may increase the likelihood of a university-based social life, by virtue of sharing the same space as others. It can be a lot like high school in this sense (for better or for worse). Whereas residence enables more passive friend-making, commuting requires more active engagement (e.g. clubs, sports, events, talking to classmates). No matter where you live, a social life won’t just fall on your lap. Now that you’re all grown up, you need to get out and explore to find all the cool kids.


I wouldn’t get too worked up about how social each College is. The range of opinions is really diverse across the student population. University College is big, and they have an active student society, so I would guess that your prospects look good there, but then again, maybe your ideal social life lies elsewhere.


define ‘helpful’

i just had a question a big rumor that i keep hearinggg is UTM HARD AS peoplle say it iss compared to WESTERN / MAC or is that just from peoplee who cant keep uppp and are sturggling? please email me let me know gotta make a decision between MAC WESTER AND UFT OR UTM thanksss



get out of my country!

studying abroad...with animals!

whats the deal with studying abroad (through woodsworth college)?


the people’s potato: delicious

Hi cutie
My friend who goes to Mc Gill was telling me about The People’s Potato, a student-run free vegan food type place.
If McGill is giving out free food and U of T isn’t, I’m switching schools. I’m too poor even for ramen today.
Is there anyone on/near campus dishing it out for no cost? Tell me there is.


distance education and UofT’s lack thereof…

where do i find out information about distance education?


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