your student life specialists

Archive for the ‘international relations’


Glow Bell Eyes Eh Shone.

Hey, what would be the best courses to take in first year if I am applying to International Relations, I don’t really want to take calculus because I am afraid it will lower my average. Also, what mark would I need to ensure acceptance into the program?


My advice will assume that you are interested in the International Relations Specialist Program, cause it covers all of the Major requirements too. So, what should you take? Let’s start by combing through Calendar (pg.498)…


1) ECO100Y or 105Y. Considering your distaste for Calculus, I’m guessing you would prefer 105: “Principles of Economics for Non-Specialists” (a.k.a. for NON-Commerce/Eco kids).


2) HIS103Y or some random Trin and Vic One courses. If you aren’t from either of these Colleges, then your decision is pretty easy. If you are… you have a little more option.


3) Calculus or an introductory modern language course

I can think of very few reasons why anyone would take Calculus on their own free will. I never took I.R., but I seriously cannot figure out how Calculus would be as beneficial as a language in the pursuit of International Relations. Doesn’t it seem arbitrary that they threw that one on the list? Perhaps they just wanted to inflate the apparent credibility of their program (…they ARE from Trin). Then again, I suppose math is a more universal than any spoken language. What about art? Isn’t that ‘the universal language’? Or is it just dance? What about love?!! Hmmm…


Maybe it’s a trap!! Those who are foolish enough to choose Calculus will get a GPA $h!t-kick and resultantly never make it into the I.R. program in the first place. Damn they’re good…


So, what was the question? Oh yeah. So, take a ‘modern’ language. I’ve ranked the hypothetical possibilities here, according to their global popularity:

Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, Japanese, German, French, Korean, Tamil, Italian, Persian, Turkish, Swahili, Ukrainian, Polish, Serbian, Czech, Hebrew, Croatian, Finnish, Macedonian, Estonian, Welsh, Irish

a) You have no idea how long that just took me.

b) I didn’t even know that Irish was a distinct language. Isn’t it just a thick accent?

c) Estonian?! Come on U of T. It’s the 243rd most popular language in the world. Priorities people, priorities.

d) I contacted the I.R. Program Officer (and they got back to me with great haste!). I was informed that IR traditionally considers a “modern language” as Western European, with languages such as Mandarin and Arabic becoming acceptable pre-requisites in more recent years.


This irritated me at first, but now I suppose “modern language” should be defined by its relevance to contemporary International Relations, e.g. Hindi over Polish, Spanish over Welsh. You get the idea. I am devilishly curious to hear if anyone has been refused on the basis of not having an acceptable “modern language.” Speak up people!!


4) The website recommends taking a Poli Sci course, and suggests POL103 or 108. I can attest that POL108Y: Global Networks is many kinds of awesome. The Profs, Stein & Deibert, are legends.


5) For your (potential) fifth credit – you can take… anything. Try to open up doors for potential subject POSts if I.R. doesn’t work out. Maybe you want to take a first-year seminar. Maybe you wanna get that nasty science distribution requirement out of the way. Whatever.


Finally, dear asker, if you make it out of first-year with a CGPA of 3.0, including at least a 67% in the required courses (1-3 above), then you will be considered for Phase 2: The Interview (!). And for that, you are on your own. Or… maybe watch this in preparation.


welcome to the world’s largest closet

Maybe this question will appear to be a waste of time. I’ve talked to the people in admissions and one girl involved with the Theater Department about studying acting at U of T but I’m not sure if the information was closer to fact or sales pitch. She says double majors (I like international politics because I’m a closet dork) are common with Acting. Is this so? How are the productions there? How are the performance spaces (they were closed when I toured, I’m an American resident)? I hear it’s a pyramid-structured program; is it like if you lack that je-ne-sais-quois they kick you out, or do you get canned if they detect a lack of effort/development?
Have I mentioned that your sparkling wit stuns me with its sheer hilarity? Does ass-kissing make you more inclined to answer my question? I’ve found it quite effective in the past.



this is getting a little awkward…

So I’m a grade 12 student from Atlantic Canada who will be applying to U of T St George in the next week or so.? I’ve ranked Trinity College as my #1 choice on the OUAC application form, but I’m feeling a little bit nervous about my chances of being accepted here, seeing as its standards are higher than other colleges on the campus.? I’ve chosen Trinity because of its affiliation with the IR program, which is what I plan to study.
On my latest report I’ve had the following marks:
English- 92
French- 88
Theater Arts- 91
World Issues- 93
Trig (12 math)- 65

I’m obviously not a math or science person.? My grade 11 marks reflect that, with an 11 physics mark of 61, part B of 11 math 68, and an 11 chem mark of 70.? The rest of my marks are in the 80’s and 90’s.
At the other universities I am applying to, there is almost always a place on the application where you can include past achievements and participation in any activities, and I’ve noticed that there is nothing like this on the OUAC apps, which was something I was really counting on.? So I’m just kind of nervous about applying whenever so much is dependent on my marks.
Do I have a reason to be so nervous?? It took me a really long time to convince my parents to let me apply to UofT and one thing we could really agree on was Trinity, so I’m really really hoping to be accepted here.? How do you think my chances are, considering?
Thanks in advance, and sorry for the novel.? 🙂



I Fear the Unknown

Hello aska!
Sorry to interrupt your studying, especially now that it’s exam season and whatnot, but I really need your help! I’m a grade 12 student and I’ve received an acceptance from Trinity.However, all I’ve heard about it are negative things, and I feel kind of discouraged. Is it really THAT bad?

Additionally, I’m interested in applying for the Major or Specialist International Relations program and it says that all I need is a GPA of 3.0 if I’m not mistaken.

Given the competition though, I doubt that it’s a realistic mark to actually be admitted to the program. What mark do I truly need to actually get in?

It means a lot to me, because I can’t seem to make up my mind on where to go!

Thank you for your time, I really, really appreciate it! 🙂


? (more…)


is international relations the opposite of peace & conflict studies?

How do the programs in Peace & Conflict Studies, International Relations and Joint IR-PACS differ? Which has the best reputation? Which is easiest and hardest to get into?

  • Caution! student content ahead

    This site contains candid exchanges between students. Prepare yourself for vivid language and opinions.
  • Categories

  • Archives