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Archive for the ‘international relations’


another pitbull reference

Hey Aska!

So I’m a Grade 12 student who got accepted into the UofT, and I’m looking at doing a double major in Economics and International Relations.

The course plan is
for sure

I also applied to Munk One (which is still pending a response) and Trinity One IR. The folks are Trinity One put me on a waiting list, and said it’s “very unlikely” that I’ll get into the IR course for first year. However, they offered me spot in the Public Policy first year courses.

I’m totally lost on how I go about organizing the rest of first year. I’m probably not gonna do Public Policy, but if I get into Munk One, I definitely want to take their courses to boost my IR application. Problem is, Munk One is two half year and one full year (2.0FCE) and unlike the Trinity One, does not replace the HIS103/102Y requirement for IR.

If I take ECO, MAT, HIS, and the two Munk One courses, I’ll be at 5 courses. That leaves me without a backup in case I don’t get into IR (which I intended to take POL101Y for). I emailed the IR folks and they told me just to not take POL if I get into Munk One, and to relax about it all, but I’m still skeptical just in case I don’t get into IR 2nd year.

What’s left for me Aska?

Thanks dude.


hi dude!

another IR question. why is it always the people who are in IR/ prospective IR students that ask the most questions? y’all are such catherine keeners.

okay, in all seriousness though, it’s good that you’re thinking so far ahead and that you have a clear game plan for your first year. just keep in mind that plans change and that it’s okay for plans to change. whether it’s because you don’t get into IR or because you change your mind, i think it’s really important for all first years to remember that something ends up changing at some point; i know that it would’ve saved me a lot of stress and heartbreak if i had known that diverging from the plan almost always happens and that it’s not the end of the world. that might sound a little harsh, but i guess that’s what i’m here for. to deliver the harsh truths.

anyways, back to your question. according to the IR admissions website, you just need ECO100Y or ECO101H/102H and HIS103, HIS102, or a trin one/ vic one FCE. it also says that MAT133 is a prereq for higher level econ courses, so it’s good that you know that for your econ major.

i’m assuming you wanted to take POL101 for the polisci major? i really don’t know what to say, my dude. while i think that doing munk one and a ones program in general is a good experience and would help with your goal of getting into IR, i also think that having some backup options is the smart and responsible route.

what’s left for you? i guess you just gotta decide if you want to do munk one or not (if you get it). if you do, great! one step closer to IR! if you don’t… well then you have two free credits to play around with! POL101! maybe a breadth course! maybe a different first year seminar class! and if you don’t get into IR after first year, you could enrol in a placeholder program (which i guess is what you want polisci/ POL101 for) and the econ major, then reapply after second year. like i said earlier, plans change and it’s more about how you adapt to it and what you do to get back on track.

i really hope this helps! good luck m’dude. and maybe you’ll be mr. worldwide soon enough.



ps- yes, i’m trying to reference to pitbull every time an IR question is asked now.


you could be pitbull

Hi Aska!

I was wondering if you know how many students are accepted into the international relations program each year. I’m worried that if I don’t make it into a One program during first year I won’t have a good shot of being accepted into IR for second year.

Thanks very much!!!



bad news, kid.

so, unfortunately, departments don’t allow us access to information on how many students get accepted into the program each year. it’s just not something undergraduate departments tend to release to the public. you can always try contacting the department directly if the question is really bugging you!

because international relations is a type 3 program, we can assume that the program enrolment is quite limited and “finite”. in addition to submitting a separate application, remember that you’ll need to take the courses listed here and meet the minimum grade requirements in order to even be considered.

if you don’t get into a One program, it’s not a huge deal. they indicate that you have the option of taking HIS103Y1Y or HIS102Y1Y instead of VicOne or TrinOne. don’t worry about getting screwed over by limited enrolment/ application deadlines!

this could be you in a year!:

don’t sweat it too much. just work hard and make sure your grades meet or exceed the minimum requirement. if you don’t get into the IR program in second year, you can always try again in third year!

good luck, my friend!

international peace and love,



long time reader, first time asker

Hello Aska!

First – You are utterly brilliant!
I will be applying to UofT this fall, and scrolling through your blog has
saved me many a panic attack! Within this wall of flesh, there is a soul
that counts thee its creditor.

P.S. I went through the tags before writing this (true fan here) so don’t
worry – this doesn’t have ‘another college question’…..(or does it…..?).

1. Oh all seeing eye, how do you know everything that’s happening at UofT’s
massive campus? What are some of the best ways to keep on top of student
events, displays, Disney serenades, aska fan-fests, food trucks etc? (Most
importantly – food trucks!).

2. Slightly beyond UofT – which are the best natural sites to explore in
and around Toronto – hikes, trails, hidden Narnias perhaps?

3. Innis is one of the only apartment style residences on campus, and as
far as I can see this style of residence (and Innis in general) seems
perfect. But, as an Innis insider, what are some of the disadvantages of
apartment style living?

4. I have been looking through the PolSci and International Relations
department pages, and although I found a massive list of internships
offered to PolSci students, I could not find a similar list for
International Relations. Does PolSci generally have more available
internship and exchange opportunities in general?

Finally, I feel like I am compelled by tradition to put this question here,
if only as a symbol:
‘Innis or UC?”

May the odds and even be ever in your favor.



thank you so much! i am always humbled and delighted to meet a fan like yourself.

since you’ve asked me a five-part question, here’s a five-part answer:

  1. first, you could check out the student life website. they have a lot of stuff on events, displays, clubs, anything you may desire! if that isn’t enough, you can also check on facebook- lots of clubs and societies post when they’re hosting events (and whether or not there’ll be free food). you could also check out hart house (they always have a bunch of stuff going on), the utsu (university of toronto student’s union), your college’s student society, and the clubs fair during orientation week.
  2. there’s lots of nature-y stuff to do in and around toronto. so much so, that i’ll just redirect you to this. in all seriousness though, there are a lot of places to go hiking in toronto, check out this article.
  3. it all has to do with your personal preferences. however, you’ll have to think a lot about things like food (innis doesn’t have a dining hall, but you could still get a meal plan) and cleaning (you’ll have to look after a kitchen and a bathroom and a common area AS WELL AS your own room).
  4. i don’t know if there are MORE internships for polisci students as opposed to international relations students… it just looks like the IR department’s student experience page hasn’t been updated as recently as the polisci department’s. you could get in contact with the IR department and they’d probably have way more information than me, a humble not-IR student.
  5. innis or uc?






programs ‘n such

Hi Aska, I am a grade 12 student who just applied for INternational
Relations at UTSG, however I was wondering if it is possible to undertake a
double degree in IR and Anthropology at U of T? If so, what would the
course load be like, similar to majoring in both subjects or harder? As
well as, how long would it take for me to complete both degrees, would it
be the standard timeframe of 4 years or longer?




at U of T in the faculty of arts and sciences, we have programs, which are basically your major and minors:

  1. a specialist (one discipline) e.g.  specialist in international relations
  2. a double major (two disciplines) e.g. majoring in international relations and anthropology
  3. one major and two minors (three disciplines) e.g. majoring in international relations, minoring in anthropology and … english?

if you specialize (option 1), you’ll be going more in depth with one subject, but if you pick option 2 or 3), you’ll be able to dabble in more disciplines, but at a more shallow level. does that make sense? it depends on how deep you wanna go into the subjects you are studying.

what you’re referring to is a double major in international relations and anthropology, which is definitely possible.

each option is equal in terms of difficulty and course load, meaning that you can complete any of the three options in the “standard” 4 years. some people finish their degrees under 4 years by taking courses during the summer, and others take longer to complete their degree because they take a smaller, more manageable course load throughout 5+ years. both options are pretty common!

i hope this answered your questions!

peace and love,



Yet Another Anxious High School Kid TM

Hey Aska,

Firstly, thank you so much for this site! I’ve been checking it every few days since i found out about it, and thanks to you I’m slightly less likely to have a full on panic attack when i apply to uni.

I’m starting grade 12 in an Ontario high school in the fall, and i want to apply for social sciences at uoft, probably for either International Relations or Peace, Conflict and Justice. My grades aren’t /amazing/, but I’ll probably have an average in the mid to high eighties when I have to send them in, so…ok?

I do a lot of extracurricular stuff- I’m the president of a social-justice-y club, the editor of the school newspaper and I will have
been a “senior mentor” for two years, and I know I can get recommendation letters from each of these. (sorry if this sounds like the pretentious part of a resume, I can’t help it) Even if these positions would be irrelevant with regards to admissions, would they (or recommendation letters) help me with anything else, like getting into the college of my choice, school clubs or scholarships?

Also, do you think International Relations or Peace, Conflict and Justice would be more relevant to a career in human rights?

Thank you so much!


hey there,

i’m glad my sass and bad humour calm you down, kid. i mean, it’s kinda weird, but i’ll roll with it. what’s your deal? are you a sucker for pain? if so, uoft will be the perfect choice for you. it’s a match made in a 9am calculus class!

while i appreciate the vagueness of your question about admissions and the probably unintentional john green reference, i still can’t give you a straight answer. i’m not about to risk going against a decision made by admissions. all i can do is point you to this chart right here; feel free to compare and contrast, and draw your own conclusions.

as for your extracurricular experience, you’re exactly right. it will all mean diddly-squat in terms of admission to the university, but it will come in handy for scholarship applications, the experience may be valuable when it comes to joining clubs in university, and it can – potentially – be useful for college applications.

not all colleges in the faculty of arts & science require supplemental applications. in fact, most don’t. the only colleges that actually require an application are victoria college and trinity college, because they’re kooky like that. if you’re interested in either of those colleges however, their student profile application forms will be your chance to shine.

finally, your program question: IR and PCJ are two peas in a pod. you can’t go wrong with either of them. i wouldn’t worry so much about which one will be more relevant (especially since ‘human rights’ isn’t that specific a goal in itself). a better way to narrow them down is to look at the practical implications of each choice.

for example, you’ll need to determine is whether you’re after the specialists or majors in IR/PCJ. the difference between a specialist and a major is that a specialist asks that you complete more credits (13.0 for IR and 12.0 for PCJ), and therefore, one specialist is enough for you to obtain your degree. majors require fewer credits (both IR and PCJ require 7.5 FCEs for their majors), and therefore if you’re in an IR or PCJ major, you’ll have to supplement it with either one other major, or two other minors.

content-wise, all four options (the IR specialist, PCJ specialist, IR major, and PCJ major) are pretty similar, but there are subtle differences in terms of which courses you would need to take for each. study each program on the course calendar to get a feel for which would be the best fit for you.

if you really can’t decide, consider a double major in PCJ and IR. they complement each other wonderfully.

my final piece of advice is this: keep your options open. all of these programs are type 3 programs, which means that even if you meet all the prerequisites in first year, you still may not get into the program, since there are limited spots for enrolment. what i’m saying is: backups are non-optional, and be ready for plan B to become plan A.

but don’t worry about ANY OF THAT right now, because you still have a year left of high school and subject POSt enrolment is at least two years away. a lot can happen in two years, so take it easy. enjoy your summer break. play pokemon go. try to be a kid again.

you can start by closing this tab and looking at prom outfits in the next one.



P.S. thanks for providing the perfect title for this post in your e-mail subject line. i love the self-deprecation. keep it up and you might even be as great as aska, one day.


trinternational relations

Hello aska,
So i’m going into my first year at Uoft (Studies in Humanities) and hoping to major in IR (International Relations). In high school, I was that kid who didn’t know what I wanted to do so i kinda freaked out and applied to like 10 different programs (including the life sciences and engineering) at a bunch of other universities. My first choice at that point was not UofT and so on the OUAC application….I kind of ranked my college preferences randomly and without any real consideration (really stupid, i know, please bear with me).
After a lot of guidance appointments, career aptitude tests, and tears later, I finally decided that I really wanted to go the IR/Law route- and so I ended up choosing UofT. I happened to rank New College as my first college, and so that’s what I got into. I have since, however, learnt that Trinity College is the hub of IR. Now i’m a little terrified that because I’m not part of Trinity, I’m going to miss out on all the IR-related networking opportunities and clubs that Trinity offers. I have also heard that Trinity does not take any switches after first year, and does not take anyone who doesn’t rank it as their #1 preference when first applying.
Have I massively screwed up, and is there any way at all to switch into Trinity??? I’d very much appreciate a reply.
Thank you very much!



trinity college may be the “hub” of IR, but realistically, you can find out about these networking opportunities and clubs through connections and knowing where to look.

you’ll see here in the IR FAQ that you don’t have to be a trinity college student to get involved. the international relations society (a.k.a. the IRS lol) is a good place to start. the website is active during the school year and has a great deal of events listed that you can attend.

you could also join U of T IR groups on facebook and subscribe to notifications. remember that you’ll need to use your U of T email address to join!

if i haven’t been reassuring enough and you really want to switch to trin, you can try contacting their registrar’s office to apply for a transfer in second year.

don’t panic, you haven’t massively screwed up! if you don’t want to take my advice, at least take wise dolphin’s advice.





IRe over IR requirements

I’m in grade 12 now and really hoping to get into International Relations at U of T! I read online that math was recommended….but unfortunately I didn’t take it this year. It’s not my best subject, but I could probably switch into if I had too. I’m just wondering if I won’t get in unless I have that credit…like will I not be accepted? It would probably bring down my average a ton (93%), but getting in is super important to me. I’m not really worried about doing economics in first year without it, as I would take the lower level course. Please advise!! Thank you:)


hey there,

before we get started, a quick primer on how programs work at uoft: to get a degree from the faculty of arts & science, you need to be in one specialist, two majors, or one major and two minors. none of these combinations are better or more prestigious than any others – it’s all about how you want to organize your degree.

so, depending on whether you want to stick strictly (there’s a tongue twister) to IR, or add some other disciplines to your studies, you might be more interested in either the IR specialist or the major, respectively.

if you want to do the specialist, they do recommend that you take ECO100Y1 instead of 105Y1 (which is the less intense version of 100), so you would need to take advanced functions and calculus for that course.

since you don’t apply directly to programs in your first year, you definitely wouldn’t get rejected from uoft based on not having the math (i’m assuming you applied to the humanities or social science stream, which doesn’t require math) – however, once you get here, you wouldn’t be able to take ECO100, and therefore be eligible to apply for the IR specialist, UNLESS you had taken advanced functions and calculus in high school.

if you’re concerned about your average, one thing i might suggest is taking those two maths in summer school. keep in mind that you’ll still likely have to send those transcripts in to the university, so you’ll need to maintain a certain average, but hopefully there won’t be as much pressure as during the school year, and you can really focus on doing well.

if you want to do the major, things are a little different. the IR major will accept both ECO100Y1 and ECO105Y1, and doesn’t indicate any preference for one or the other. ECO105Y1 does NOT require or recommend that you take calculus beforehand.

this is a lot to think about, but don’t worry: you have time to think about it. take it slow, reflect on your options, and if you have any questions, aska’s here.




100 or 105?

I’m a first year student starting this fall at u of t – hopefully majoring in international relations. I didn’t take a senior/ gr. 12 math course because I was not planning on specializing in international relations (so I would only need to take ECO105Y rather than ECO100Y) and math really isn’t my strong point (I took gr. 11 university math and managed to pull of a 75 but other than that I’m usually in the mid 90’s). Now I’m reading that it is strongly recommended that all international relations students take the higher level economics class. I guess my question is… Can I take the higher level economics class without any of the “recommended” prerequisites (and pass)? Or am I better off to just take the lower level class. Economics is interesting to me but I’m not sure if it’s worth the suffering.

Oh and one more thing… I’m taking trinity one for IR. Some suggest doing the optional summer reading, others say it’s better to wait. Any advice? Thanks for your time!!


hey there,

it seems like you can climb your way up to required upper-year courses like ECO230Y1 and ECO342Y1 just by taking ECO105Y1 (make sure to do your own check though – i took a cursory glance at a few of the upper year classes, but you have to be exhaustive in your own research), so both versions of the course seem to be an option.

from what i hear, ECO is really challenging, so if you can fill all your prerequisites by doing the ‘easier’ (for lack of a better term) version, maybe that’s the best thing to do. the IR major requires at least a 70% average in its required first-year courses, so the better chance you have at doing well in every course, the better your chances of getting in. also, the economics department itself says that ECO105Y is an introductory course… It may also be used for some programs, such as International relations.

however, it could be that ECO100 will prepare you better for those upper-year courses. also, it is, strictly speaking, a social sciences course, so maybe comparing it to grade 11 math (which is essentially geared towards preparing you for calculus and, eventually, linear algebra) is not an entirely fair comparison.

ultimately it’s your choice, and as i have explained before, i am liberal arts trash, and so have very limited first-hand experience with serious business courses like ECO. feel free to contact economics directly for some more insights if you’re still feeling uncertain about your decision.

as for summer reading, that’s tricky. if it’s optional, obviously it’s not a top priority but it’s probably worth at least a skim or two – maybe read the opening chapter and scan the rest. if you do have the time, read the full thing. with these kinds of things (especially when you’re going into first year and you’re not used to the pace of university courses yet), it’s better to be safe than sorry.




trin trin…you got IN?

Is taking Trin one classes like really good for your efforts to get in IR or is it just a waste… PS, if I’m taking a FLC IR and a First year class, is trin one still a good thing to have even if it’s not going towards a major? FInally, I know it’s a bit late to ask, but is there a huge difference if I major International Relations or Political Science?




Entry into the International Relations major is based on two things: (1) your grades in your first year economics course and your first-year history OR Trinity One course, and (2) a statement of interest.

So basically, taking your Trin One course is a “good thing” depending on how dedicated you are to it. 🙂 But I suppose being able to tell the world you got into a 25-students ONLY sort of club will be nice. Also, it’ll probably look pretty on your statement!

And is there a huge difference between IR and Poli Sci?

Ummm well I’m going to go with yes since the former seems to deal with international relations and the latter seems to deal with politics.

But I don’t see why this has to be an either/or situation.

Here, you have to complete either (1) one specialist, (2) two majors, or (3) one major and two minors.

So you can definitely complete a specialist in IR if that’s what you’d like, but keep in mind that there’s an additional requirement for entry in that case: either a language course or calculus.

But you can easily double major in IR and Poli Sci, which would be great considering IR does include some Poli Sci courses, which will mean overlapping credits, which will also mean more time for electives you can play around with.



a rant for ROSI

First of all, I am a second-year transfer student majoring in sociology and want to major in International Relations next year. Since I do not have any economics transfer credit, I have to take ECO 100/ECO 105 this year in order to major in IR by next Sept. And the following is my experience with ROSI today.

Today, I truly, madly , deeply fall in love with ROSI, which I believe is the most “reliable” system on earth. I logged in at 5:57am in the hope that I could get a spot in ECO 100 (there were 13 spots left at 5:30 in one section). Nevertheless, the wonderful ROSI logged me out immediately after I had clicked Course Enrolment. Then I could not log in again until 6:35am. All the sections had been full as expected, and the waitlists were fairly packed on which I am in the 45th and the 60th.

Now, I can only pray and sit in front of my computing, hoping that there will be enough students leaving the course. At last, I would like to ask, according to your experience, what my chance is to get a spot in ECO 100. Thank you!

Best wishes,

(p.s. sorry for venting my anger here!)


Mike I am proud of you. Instead of taking your anger out on yourself, your computer or a bottle of Jack Daniels, you did the right thing by coming to Askastudent here. I applaud your honest candour and emotion at one of the most frustrating course enrollment systems this side of the OUAC. If I had a nickel for every time ROSI screwed up and left a student devoid of a necessary course, or without a leg to stand on, I’d be knocking down old ladies with my sack of nickels.

Unfortunately, I can not do anything for situation, though I feel for you, man. I checked ROSI today and ECO 100 has 112 and 115 students on the waitlist for both sections. So you’ve gotta feel a little bit more secure that at least there are people who are worse off than you?

As of the second week of classes, the waitlists will stop and you will be able to try and register in the class the old fashioned way – by hoping that someone drops it while you are trying to add the course. Failing that, you could always try hanging around the lecture with a stack of twenties and seeing who you can pay off? That would make you pretty desperate, though.

I cannot tell you what your chances are of being admitted into the course, but I wish you good luck. Unfortunately, you may have to try applying for the IR subject PosT at a later date, or switch into a subject PoST (when you are able to apply for one next April as a first year student) that will make your IR courses easier to obtain. Consult your registrar for details!

Now say it with me folks: Everyone Hates ROSI.

xoxo, Askastudent


am i a diplomat, yet?

Hi aska, i just had a few questions that you could probably easily help me with 😉 for thw IR program is it 4 years long like a bachelor plus the first year of getting the prerequisites? And do you think trinity is a good place to stay? And do u think financial aid helps enough? Cuz id b moving from ottawa to toronto which i love but residence is surely lotta money, although i am willing to live the experience and what courses do you suggest for first year? I mean i want to be a diplomat and travel all around the world 🙂 anyways thanks a lot for your help!! Hopefully you wont get too confused with my huge and unorganized paragraph 😛


This is a huge block of text, my friend. Hopefully university will help you learn how to write, minus things like “:P”. Is that a smiley face with its tongue sticking out? Askastudent is pre-emoticon.

Let’s break your questions down.

1. There’s no actual limit of how many years you’ll spending completing your IR program. The prerequisites for a Specialist are 13 courses (including two 400 level classes) and a Major merely seven courses. Study the calendar to see what courses you require. Some students manage to fulfill all their requirements in four years, some in six plus.

2. You don’t have to be in Trinity College or Trinity residence in order to major in IR. It depends on what kind of residence experience you’re looking for. Innis, Victoria and Woodsworth all offer residences that are apartment style, rather than single or double rooms. That might be preferable. I believe that Trinity has finally gone co-ed, which is still an improvement on St. Michael’s College uber-Catholic environs.The college you apply to will want you to stay in their residence though, so consider that.

3. It depends on what you can afford! If you are eligible for OSAP, it’s not a bad loan system. The interest rates are low, they sometimes forgive some of your cash and down the line, it will help you get “good credit.” (My credit is lousy.) Also look into scholarships and bursaries from the university. Your registar’s office and admissions and awards will help provide you with more information. If you are still in high school, check out

4. The requirements for IR first year are as follows: ECO 100/105Y1, HIST 103Y/TRN 150/151Y. Or two of VIC 181/183/184/185H1.

Don’t forget your damn breadth requirements and look into First Year Seminars.

Then, travel the world! (but don’t get caught)

xoxo, Askastudent


you make my antennae go beep

Hi Aska,

I actually emailed UT admissions with my question and they gave me a really vague and general answer like, go look at our programs website. So, I heard you’re the man to go to if I need any questions answered, and here goes!

I’m from Singapore (It’s okay if you don’t know where it is. It probably doesn’t even show up on the world map), graduated from a Canadian high school, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I have to do one and a half year of university in South Korea instead of enrolling straight into UT. My major here is International Studies, but when I transfer to UT in September 2011, I’ll be doing International Relations instead. Yes, I do know that I can’t bring over all of my credits, so I’m guessing I can probably only bring along a year’s worth of credits with me.

Problem is, I really want to do a double degree but there’s just no way for me to do that in a Korean university because everything else is taught in Korean except for International Studies.

My question is, is it possible for me to do a double degree program in my 2nd year? If it’s possible, how? Will I be like a second year student in International Relations and a first year student in whatever major that I want?? I do want to finish my university within 4 years.

That’s about it, and I also want to thank you in advance for being more helpful 🙂



Singapore? Of course I’ve heard of it. Isn’t that like, a city in Europa? Oh my goodness. I’m from Jupiter too! No wonder my antennae are beeping. Why HELLO! I never expected to meet you here! Wow, who would’ve known. I’m not surprised it wouldn’t have shown up on the world map. World maps usually don’t depict Europa at much or at all (perhaps you are new to Earth? Otherwise, you’d have known that.) They only show Europe. I know. Earthlings are so self-centred and arrogant.

Anyway, if you are coming to UofT, I suggest that you start familiarizing yourself with the Arts and Science calendar. The Calendar is basically a listing of the available courses and programs at UofT, as well as things like rules or requirements to graduate. If you look on the programs page and click International Relations, you’ll be directed here. If you scroll down to the International Relations section, you’ll notice that there are actually two IR programs: the Specialist program and the Major program. The difference between all of the Specialist programs and Major programs at UofT is basically their intensiveness. Specialist programs are around twice as intensive as Major programs, and require around 10-16 full credits. Majors require around 7 and have generally easier course requirements. Oh, there are also Minor programs (not for IR though), which require 4 credits. Together, your combinations of Specialist, Major, and Minor programs are what we call your “POSts” (Programs Of STudy).

So your question really depends on which IR program you plan to do. To graduate from UofT, you either need to complete (minimum) one specialist program, two major programs, or a major and two minors. I can tell you that specialist programs are usually offer more depth, and would better prepare you for graduate school. On the other hand, major programs offer you more breadth (since you must combine them with another major to graduate), which could serve you better in the workplace, as employers are looking for people with transferable skills rather than for people with in-depth knowledge of History of Modern Chinese Foreign Relations or Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis or Anthropology and the Intimate: Studies in Affect and Action? (geez. They have courses with ridiculously long names at UofT). Note that I am generalizing quite a bit; many people get into grad school with just a major program and many people go into the workplace with a specialist program. It really depends on your personal interest: do you want breadth, or depth?

If you choose the specialist program, let me just tell you that it will be hard for you to complete the specialist program and another major in a three-year timespan at UofT. A specialist program in IR is 13 credits, while a major is usually around 7 that’s 20 credits in total (and people usually do 5 per year). It’s worse than it sounds, because the courses in your specialist program and major program could conflict, and ALSO you have to fulfill distribution requirements.

If you’re looking for breadth, a major program in IR might be more suitable. If you choose the major program, you have to combine it with another major or two minors to graduate. You will not be a second year student in International Relations and a first year student in your other major. The year you are put in is determined entirely by the number of credits you have. Second year? students are those with 4-8.5 credits at UofT. So, if you get, say, 3.5 transfer credits, you will be deemed a first year student?. If you have, say, 5 transfer credits, you will be deemed a second year student. However, second year students can still take first year courses (and first years and take second year courses, provided that there are no extra constraints on the courses).

Note that to enroll into the International Relations program, you have to have to be a second year student? (so you have to have at least 4 credits). Also, you have to meet the minimum GPA and complete an interview. For more info, consult the IR department webpage. (They also have a good FAQ there you could check out.) If you somehow cannot enroll into the IR program when you transfer to UofT, you can still take the courses required for your desired IR program, provided that you have the prerequisites for those courses. In that case, you could try to apply for the program at the end of your second year.

PHEW! So, have I confused you yet? Yeah, sorry. UofT’s system can be a little confusing. If you have any other questions or need clarification, feel free to ask again. I also suggest that you contact your college registrar when you arrive at Toronto for the first time, so you can ask them more. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR RESOURCES!


So You Think You Can Summer School Economics?


I am A. Currently I’m taking Eco105(Prof.Hare). I find hard time to understand the subject and I feel I need more time to study it. I’m thinking to drop this course and take it next summer. I’m planning to do IR and the subject surely is required for the programme. Do you have any advice? Is it safe to take it during summer? I heard that the structure of the course depends on professor. Could my decision to drop will be risky? What is the key to understand economic concepts? Seriously I feel like disaster and horrible while having the lecture.


Hi A. So you’re taking economics, huh?

Well, I just checked the Arts and Science calendar for the requirements for International Studies, and there are really a few things that you might just want to consider. First of all, aska has been told that unlike most subject POSts, International Studies only considers applicants to its program once every year, and that’s only during the first request period (April 1 to May 19). So if you take economics in the summer, you might have to wait until the next year to be accepted in the program at all. You might want to double check this with Trinity though. So go email them. Nao.

Second of all, summer courses are DEMANDING. You have to absorb the material that’s thrown at you at twice the rate you normally would. And from experience, the nice weather certainly does not help with motivation. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take a summer course, just don’t expect it to be any easier.

Third of all, you’ll notice that admission into the program requires a 3.0 GPA. That’s a B average. So if your economics mark has been REALLY low so far and is going to pull down your GPA substantially, that should be a factor in your decision as to whether or not to drop it. But this is definitely an issue that you may want to bring up with your registrar before you do anything hasty. BUT WAIT! What is that on the calendar under “Second and Third Years” for International Studies? *squints* Help me read that for you, would you?

What’s that? The International Studies program will require you to take more economics courses? Geez. Well, who would’ve known. You know what though? If you’re struggling with ECO105, you’re probably not gonna find the higher year economics classes any better. If you feel terrible in class, imagine how you’re gonna feel after year after year of economics.

Maybe you should take a moment or two to reflect on your own goals and why you want to be in International Relations. What is pushing you towards that field, and are there any other options that would will help satisfy your interests and that may be better suited for you? There are many other programs offered at UofT that have an’international’ flavour: East Asian studies, European studies, and so on…

As for the key to understand economics concepts, I seriously have no idea. I’ve never taken an economics course in my life. In fact, my life has no purpose except to sit here answering questions like this for you people. Go talk to your prof, TA, and upper year students in economics.

As a last thought, your statement that you feel ‘like disaster’ worries me a bit. I hope you are not starting to feel depressed in class. If you are, again, talk to your registrar or make an appointment with CAPS. This is all I can do for you. Take care.

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