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Archive for the ‘sociology’


i just want to know what i’m up against

Hi, I’m a first year student at UTSG and I’m worried that I might fail a course (even though I put it down as credit/no credit) I obviously want the credit cuz it’s a full year course but i worry I might fail. I don’t want to spend this summer in school obviously,  but I’m thinking of making up for it next summer. I was wondering how does summer school work if I take one full year course? Do we meet every day? Are lecturers typically 2hrs? Are there tutorials? How many days a week would we meet?

Also I’m thinking about majoring in sociology, It says u need a combined mark of 65% for SOC102 and 103. I severely underestimated first semester and got a 64 in 102 and I’ll probably finish in 103 with around 75. Do u think I’ll be admitted into the program with a 70% overall? How competitive is sociology? I can’t find this info anywhere!



first of all, i hope you didn’t fail the course! we’ve all been there at some point in our undergrads, so don’t sweat it too much. you’re only in first year and you have plenty of time to catch up if you do end up failing. fingers crossed!

i actually prefer summer school to fall/winter school (?) because i feel that i have more energy to get up and go to class when it’s nice outside as opposed to when its dark and gloomy. it’s not the worst thing! a summer of relaxation can get boring! might as well do something productive!

*my most sincerest apologies if this information is completely irrelevant at this point in time- i’m really bad at getting to time-sensitive questions on time*

every summer Y course is different. i’ll show you different examples of what to expect. since you’re pursuing an arts degree, let’s go with something like anthropology. as you can see below, you’ll have 2 two hour long lectures and one hour long tutorial per week,

but for another Y course in arts, let’s say cinema studies, you’ll have 2 four hour long lectures and no tutorial. (the lectures are usually very long because they sometimes include screenings)

if we look at yet another example coming from east asian studies, you’ll have 1 two hour long lecture and 1 hour long tutorial per week.

so you can see that it really depends on what course you decide to take. some classes come with tutorials and others come with screenings. there’s no set amount of class time that all Y classes have per week.

a question about sociology, yay! you’re talking to someone who just completed their sociology major! (humble brag, but hey, it was a lot of work and i’m glad to be done)

there really isn’t a way to find out how competitive a program is, (trust me, i even asked the registrar) but at least you know you’re above the minimum average needed and that you’ll be considered. it does say on the calendar that getting a combined average of 65% will not guarantee entrance into the program, but really, it varies every year depending on how the averages are skewed each year. maybe you’ll have a lot of overachievers this year which will bring the entrance standard up, who knows?

anyways, i hope this helped a bit. i’m sorry that i wasn’t able to provide you with any concrete answers.

i hope you have a wonderful summer and that all your exams went well!

peace, love and hope,



majoring, minoring, and all that jazz

Hi Aska, I’m a first year at UTM and am currently majoring in Sociology. I have a couple of questions hope you will be able to answer them, it would mean a lot! I was wondering how double majors work? When do I have to say that I am double majoring? Or do I have to? Also if I want to make my 2nd major Life Science do I have to have all the prerequisites from high school and the average?
the whole major minor conundrum is this thing we call subject POst or program of study. there are three different options you can pursue:
1) a specialist
2) 1 major + 2 minors
3) 2 majors
when you’re applying for a subject POst, you should go to this link to see the complete listings of every subject POst available.
let’s say you want to do a double major in sociology and biology (this is just an example)
you’ll see that both sociology and biology are type 2 subject POSTs.
type 2 means that you will need to submit a request via ACORN, make sure you have taken the required courses and also make sure you have met the GPA/ grade requirement. the first request period will be from march 14th to may 1st. mark it down so you won’t forget like i did in first year. i made these mistakes so you could learn from them, my young padawan.
still confused? here’s a guide to understanding the different types of enrolment.
unless it is otherwise indicated, most life science programs won’t require any high school prereqs unless you’re thinking of pursuing psychology, which requires grade 12 biology or calculus.
a good idea is to check out the calendar to see exactly what you need to take for each program. you can do that here.
the calendar will tell you everything you need to know!
hope this cleared some stuff up for you. enjoy your first year and remember that your registrar is the best place to go if you have any questions regarding academics


Hi there,

Love your blog, you are a remarkably entertaining human, and if you are ever looking for anyone else to write for this blog I would be so very interested. Anyway, here’s my actual question:

I noticed on the artsci course calendar under Sociology that you can only take 0.5 FCE at the 400-level in sociology if you are majoring in it, or only 1.0 FCE if you are a specialist. It says that you need written permission from the Undergraduate Program Director to take anymore than that. You may not have any knowledge of this, but if you happen to know, how would I receive this permission? (I’m assuming an e-mail would do it, but is it based on marks?) And if it isn’t common, if I’m specializing in sociology, what on Earth am I supposed to take fourth year if not fourth year sociology courses? They all look so interesting, I don’t want to take just one or two! Should I worry about making sure I have pre reqs for other fourth year courses in other subjects? I realize the answer to this most likely requires asking the department, but I wanted to know if you or someone else on the blog possibly had experience with this.

Thank you!


hey there,

you are correct: you would have to e-mail the undergraduate administrator for special permission. however, I think that you’d need more significant reasoning to back up your question than just “I want to.” if they created that rule, it’s because lots and lots of people were trying to sign up for courses with very limited space. they won’t undo the rule for you just because you asked. i know that’s harsh. aska’s all about the tough lovin’.

as someone whose department didn’t have a rule like that and who took a grand total of 3.0 400-level courses in her fourth year, i honestly don’t recommend it. 400-level courses are great because they tend to be much smaller (I’m talking 15-20 people), seminar-style courses. they tend to have fewer, bigger assignments that are worth more, which some people prefer over lots of smaller assignments. also, because of the small class-size, your input counts more. i’ve experienced professors making decisions about course readings, course schedule, etc. based on opinions of class members.

that being said, the expectations are so much higher. with flexibility comes an expectation of independence that is far beyond what is expected of you in 100-, 200- and even 300-level courses. if you have a big assignment due in March for a 1.0-credit course, and nothing due before then, you will likely receive no guidance about that assignment, unless you seek it out. most 400-level courses i’ve taken are about amalgamating much of the knowledge you spent the last three years learning and doing new and creative things with it. they are very much preparation for grad school in that way.

SO, with that hopefully balanced description of 400-level courses, i would like to suggest that spending your fourth year taking one 400-level course along with a bunch of 300-level, and maybe even one or two 100- or 200-level courses, is a perfectly fine way to go. lots of people do it. you will still be academically challenged by your classes. if there are a couple of courses you feel you absolutely MUST take for x or y reason, then yeah, you can totally talk with the undergraduate administrator about it. otherwise though, there’s no need to feel as if you’ve fallen behind.



P.S. applications for askastudent are always advertised on the CLN! if you want a job, that’s where you should look. just a sneaky little tip from aska.


if statistics tests throw you a curveball with 98% frequency…

Hey!! So I wrote to you earlier and here I am again 🙂 so a little back ground info before I ask my question. Three years ago I hit a really rough spot and failed three courses, because of this I was academically suspended for a year. My CGPA was at a 1.07… Yeah, it was bad. However, last year was my first year back and after this past semester I am at a 1.46 🙂 which is obviously really low ahahah but I’m just proud of myself for turning things around. I brought myself up and by the end of this semester I should be above a 1.50 🙂 anyways, for anyone out there who asks if you can bounce back after a suspension, yes you can!! So here’s why I’m telling you this, I’m going into crim (I’m not in it yet but I’m bringing up my grades so once I reach 2.0 hopefully by next year I’m applying!)… And I’m calculating all my credits right now and I’m currently at 5.0 credits. However what I’ve noticed for BOTH crim and sociology you have to take stats. Me, being the idiot that I am, decided to look up some notes for it on ONEclass (a site for notes) and I pretty much just freaked myself out :/ I worked so hard to try and get into crim and graduate with what I’ve always wanted to pursue and I’m scared that I won’t pass the stats course. I haven’t taken math since grade 11 :/ that was five years ago…. Do you have any advice?? Should I hold off before taking it and maybe wait till my other courses are finished and take it last?? I’m sorry if this seems weird considering I’m not even in the program yet haha but sociology courses is what I’ve mostly taken so I don’t really have a choice and I don’t want to major in anything else. Help! Thanks 🙂

To add a little more info, I suffer from anxiety so this is the norm for me! I freak out over stuff. I guess because I’m not good at math at all I’m scared I’ll fail and my grades will drop resulting me in never graduating. Hopefully you don’t think I’m crazy. 🙂


hey there,

this is going to be such a let-down after i made you wait SO LONG for your answer (sorry about that – i wish you never have to deal with the kind of inbox aska’s tackling), but i feel like this is something you have to sort out for yourself.

obviously, you’ve proven that you can improve and do well even after being suspended. you’ve gotten used to university, and worked on improving your study skills. you have a goal in mind. all of these things are good signs! if you are absolutely determined to do either or both of these POSts, then believe in yourself! you are gaining the skills you need to accomplish this stats course. you are – in colloquial parlance – killin’ it.

some strategies to make it a bit easier on yourself might include taking the course in the summer (all by itself) so that you can focus on it fully, or take it in a semester with fewer credits than you would normally take. may i also recommend the Math and Statistics Aid Centre at new college, in case you need some help along the way.

on the other hand, if you feel that this is too big of a task and will send your GPA (and motivation)back down the rabbit hole, then maybe you can consider some other POSts that are similar to soc and crim, but don’t require you to do any math. consider, for example, the ethics, society & law major.

also, you can always test-drive the course by signing up for it, seeing how it goes, and, in the event that it’s too much, dropping it before the deadline to drop courses from your academic record.

i hope that’s somewhat helpful. congrats on how well you’re doing so far!




POSts sociable with sociology

Hi! My question is regarding a sociology major. I’ll be starting my first year this fall at the St. George campus and don’t want to specialize in soc but am having trouble deciding on what to double in. I can’t double with psych because I did not take calculous (which is a prerequisite), and the St. George campus does not offer communications as a major. What would you recommend as a good major to double in with sociology? Ps, I’m horribal at math


hey there,

the good thing about uoft is that you have one year to figure out what your subject POSt will be, so if you don’t know right now, that’s kind of…like…the point.

i mean, having a plan is great and all, but the reason first year is special is because you don’t need a plan. right now, you have the really rare opportunity to make a decision based entirely on your own, personal preferences. and you can use first year to figure out what those preferences are.

other than just waiting the year out and seeing what happens, another great way to discover cool new POSts is by searching through the course calendar to see if anything is especially interesting to you. for example, while we don’t have a communications program, we do have a semiotics and communication minor you may be interested in?

you also might wanna contact the Undergraduate Sociology Students’ Union. i know they’re more about organizing events and stuff, but maybe one of the staff will be an upper-year sociology student who’s willing to share their experiences with you and counsel you a little. (if someone from USSU is reading this and you guys really hate counselling younger students, i’m sorry. have a consoling cake).

finally, an end goal can often clarify things. i don’t want you to feel under ANY PRESSURE to contort yourself academically in order to get on a certain career path, but if there’s a job you’re really interested in, taking courses related to that field can help you see if that career is right for you.




POSt rants: the SEQUEL

need advice- don’t know if i should do a major in sociology or political science? i’m going into second year….what if i want to switch after if i don’t like the one i choose? will it add time to my program?


hey there,

well, political science and sociology are both type 2 subject POSts, so if you haven’t applied to get into them yet, you’ll have to wait until the second request period to apply. which puts you in the same situation as this person. just a head’s up.

you do have the opportunity to change subject POSts after second year – to a certain extent. if it’s a type 1 POSt, you can enrol at any time. additionally, quite a few type 2 subject POSts (including politics, by the way) will allow you to apply after second year. uoft’s good that way.

whether you’ll have to do a few extra courses in the summer, or even during an extra term, to fulfil the requirements for whichever POSt you finally choose, really depends on which one it is. what i would do is sketch out a plan of all your undergrad years (including all the courses you’d want to take) for every possible combination of subject POSts you’re considering. then you can figure out which ones are doable, and how long it would take to do them. alternatively, you can make an appointment with your college registrar and do more or less exactly that together.

regardless of how adamant you are about taking sociology or poli sci, both of them are type 2 POSts, which means you’re not guaranteed enrolment yet. so, if i were you, i’d make sure i was enrolled in two type 1 majors already, just so that you have programs to fall back on if either poli. sci. or soc. don’t work out.

finally: which one should you pick? geez, man, i don’t know. i don’t know what you like, or what you’re good at. do you have another major your heart is set on? because otherwise, you could just double-major in soc and poli sci. if it’s just a matter of not knowing what you really want, yesterday i wrote a HUGE block of text advising someone on how to pick subject POSts, so i’d recommend you read that if you’re really feeling torn.

i know there are so many POSts it can sometimes make your head spin, but don’t worry, you’ll figure it out.




how to start off in soc


I was wondering if you know if there is much difference in course content between SOC101 and SOC102/SOC103? I was under the impression that SOC102+SOC103 were slightly more focussed in terms of depth, etc., but I might be wrong.

Also, are there any advantages to taking one or the other, other than flexibility?





As someone who took SOC101Y, I say take SOC102H/103H.

But as for the differences between the two… well, past the whole “one is year-long, the other two are half courses,” I’d say nothing. I consulted with a bunch of people, and everyone basically says they’re not particularly different in terms of content.

I TRIED to consult with the soc department, but no one has gotten back to me.

(Hence the wait for this answer.)

Anyhow, I think the advantages of taking the two half credits are

a) Come April, you’re not scrambling to remember what the heck you learned in October.

b) The grading system is probably something different from this.

c) Not sure if this is an advantage of not, but there you get two different sets of Breadth Requirements. SOC101Y gives you 0.5 in Groups 2 and 3, whereas SOC102H and 103H are both Group 3s.

d) You’re not bound to something for a whole (academic) year. If come November you decide Sociology isn’t your thing, you’re free to drop SOC103H in the next term and replace it with something that might wow you.

Not trying to be biased — please don’t think I am. I just genuinely think that taking two half credits is easier than a Y course.




suffering through a 62

So basically I wanted to apply to Sociology or Criminology which requires a 63 in socio101, but I happened to get a 62…
Realistically what are the chances that I get in?



What calendar were you reading?? For sociology, you need at least a 65. And for criminology, you need at least a 70 average between 2.0 FCE in SOC and some other categories like ECO, PSY, and PHL.

To be honest, with a 62 I don’t think you’ll be able to get into criminology unless you have a pretty fabulous grade in, say, ECO100Y, to boost your average. As much as criminology calls for just a 70, it’s a competitive program and you should at least try to get higher than that. As for sociology… I’d like to say that requirements are usually pretty rigid — so if you don’t meet the 65 they ask for, then you have to wait until you get the 65 they ask for. BUT, there’s always that “oh, just appeal to the department” option sooo.

HOWEVER, sociology clearly states in the calendar that just having the asked for grade might not be enough, so don’t get your hopes too high.

But yeah, I took SOC101Y myself many moons ago and bam, 67. Let me tell you what, I hated that class with the fire of a thousand burning suns. Power to you for getting through it and then deciding sociology is what you wanted to be in. 🙂




the persisting problem of POSts


I am a transfer student from McGill university, currently completing my fourth year of studies. I was at McGill for three semesters, transferred to UofT? St. George, and am now in my fourth semester here! At McGill I was a sociology major (you only need one major + one minor there), and I now am short four sociology courses. I plan on doing these all this summer, but I am technically not enrolled in the Sociology major on ROSI. I took the equivalent of SOC102 at McGill and just completed SOC103 this semester. My average from those two courses is greater than 65%, so if all goes well, I should be able to enroll in the Soc major on ROSI. However, my question to you is: will I be able to request enrollment into the Soc major before the start date for enrollment in summer 2013 courses?! If this all works out, I will be able to graduate after the summer.


I just want to graduate already


Hey hey!

Okay so enrollement for summer courses usually begins around mid-April, while the first day to request a Subject POSt is usually at the beginning of April. Now since Sociology is a Type 2 Subject POSt, you’ll be admitted into the program (assuming you meet the requirements) any time between then and around the end of June — although I’m sure that’ll happen around May.

So yes, you’ll be able to request the POSt, but I don’t know if you’ll actually be invited into the program before the day enroll in classes.

However, I’m a little confused as to why you’re not in a Subject POSt yet if you’ve done four semesters here at UofT… Once you have 4.0 FCE you kind of need to have a Subject POSt declared.

gung ho for grad,


why is there no UTM anti-calendar?

im wondering if you might have knowledge/some book guide that would talk of the ‘preferred’ courses that are taken in second year for political sci and sociology at UTM?
any info would be helpful
guide as in ‘best prof to take or course’

thank you in advance


Apologies beforehand, as I am using your question as a jumping off point to discuss why UTM doesn’t have an anti-calendar. Normally I would be able to point you to the resource, which does offer criticism on instructors, easiness and cvetching with the course. However, UTM’s regular anti-calendar hasn’t been updated since 2005, and the only courses it does discuss are for programs in anthropology, biology, culture communication and technology and chemical and physical sciences. WTF?

Your best bet might be to go on the dreaded Rate My Professor, and see if any of the courses you want to take also match a well-loved prof. (Bonus points if there’s a chili pepper next to their name.) Otherwise, maybe contacting the Political Science or Sociology programs is the best thing to do? Both have academic counsellors there.

But hey Aska Readers, have you taken these classes? Any poli sci/sociology majors at UTM reading? Help a Aska out and comment with advice.

xoxo, Askastudent


is ROSI a social experiment?


I will be entering my second year in utsc and have (only seconds ago) logged myself onto rosi to enrol in the courses i plan on taking for this coming fall/winter. However, as i tried to enroll in Social Statistics and Sociological Theory II, a message appeared in bold letters – “You do not fit in any enrolment category”. I am uncertain of what this message may mean; i have recently applied to become a major in sociology but my status have not been approved yet. The two courses (in which i would like to take) are perquisites if i would like to presue my degree. What can i do??? I have heard from others that rosi will open the remaining spaces avalible on a certain date. Do you know when that may be??? Thanks.

Oh yes, and what does “The space availability information is displayed accurately (as of the time of access) for your enrolment category” mean? Your enrolment category? I don’t really get this…


Hey there. It’s cool if you don’t get stuff sometimes. U of T is a major quagmire of all intellectual reason, at least administration-wise, which is pretty ironic for a hollowed institution that prides itself on higher learning. But I digress…

The magic date, for all courses to open is as discussed, AUGUST 6TH. According to the Calendar, Social Statistics has prerequisities that you have to have taken in order to be eligible to take the class, as does Sociological Theory 2.

Here’s what they say:

SOCB06H3 Social Statistics
A consideration of elementary statistics including the summarizing of data, the logic of statistical decision-making and a number of common statistical tests. Statistics is a basic tool used by sociologists. An understanding of statistics is necessary for the student who wants to become an informed reader of social research. A working knowledge of elementary algebra is required. However, the lecturer will undertake brief reviews of mathematics as the need arises.
Breadth requirement: Quantitative Reasoning
Limited enrolment: 170
Exclusion: ANTC35H, ECMB09Y, ECMB11H, PSYB07H, SOC202H, (SOC300Y), STAB22H
Prerequisite: SOCA01H & SOCA02H

SOCB43H3 Classic Sociological Theory II
The development of classic sociological theory from the end of the 19th century to the eve of World War II. Special emphasis is placed on the work of Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Georg Simmel.
Breadth requirement: History, Philosophy & Cultural Studies
Limited enrolment: 170
Exclusion: SOC203Y
Prerequisite: SOCA01H & SOCA02H & SOCB42H

Is it possible you’ve either not taken the prerequisites or already taken the exclusionary courses? This would cause you not to be eligible for the course. It’s either that, or because you are not registered in the subject PoST, that other older SOC students have priority for the class. In either case, you must wait it out and try and register on AUGUST 6TH. Feel free to contact the UTSC Sociology program here.

xoxo, Askastudent


need help double major in soc and psych

i recently have been accepted to UofT st.George and i am preeety confused with the course selections could you please help me and tell me what courses are mandatory for me to take for this to happen


According to the 2010 Calendar (my super BFF), to enroll in the Psychology major, students must have a senior year high school Calc course or equivalent, 4 university classes in whatever, and received at least 70% in PSY 100H1. (Plus a GPA of 2.5 or higher.)

To enroll in the Sociology major, there are two sexy options which I shall detail.

Option 1! (the one that applies to you!)

1. Minimum grade of 65% in SOC 101y, or average of 65% in SOC102/103H1.

2. 3 full course in whatever (not only SOC.)

Option 2! (ignore this option as it doesn’t apply to you)

1. Mark of 72% in two 300 level SOC classes.

2. GPA of 3.0 (73-76%)

3. 3 additional credits in whatever.

Therefore young first year, you should take PSY 100H1 and either SOC101Y or SOC 102/103H in your first year of study. If you’re going full time, you have one to three classes more of your choice.

Additional helpful sites:

Psychology For First Years

Sociology For First Years

Justin Bieber’s Twitter Account

Hope that helps.

xoxo, askastudent


Your daily dose of misogyny.

I know you are probably sick of these questions about courses however I have a serious (in my opinion) predicament. I was thinking of taking Sociology this year however my brother and father both told me it is a useless girly course and that I should take Politics instead. So I am currently signed up for POL108Y1Y, I was just wondering… do you have to write a lot of essays in that course? No can seem to provide me with an answer. Also is Sociology really that bad???


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