So I’m from the us and I’m just kind of confused about the Canadian application system. Do I have to write an essay and if so do you know what the common prompts are? I read something about a “personal statement” and idk if that’s what the essay is or not and I’m just so lost please help haha
so, what i’m going to be explaining is not so much the “canadian system” as it is uoft’s very particular, extremely idiosyncratic system that we’re all forced to learn if we want to survive at all here.
first thing you do when you’re applying to uoft is apply to uoft. “i should think so, aska!” you snort sarcastically. “what else would i be doing when applying to uoft?”
well, you overly snarky applicant you, after you apply to the university – that is, to the academic faculty where you’ll be doing your studies – you apply to a college.
some colleges sponsor or host a few academic programs themselves, but you DO NOT have to be a member of the college that hosts your program of interest. there is no ‘science’ college or ‘arts’ college or ‘sentient leftover boxes of noodles’ college.* so get that idea out of your head now.
colleges are predominantly concerned with student life, residence life, and academic/financial student services, so that’s what you want to research when you’re trying to pick a college. i’d recommend browsing through aska’s ‘colleges’ tag and FAQ, as well as reading some of the literature published by uoft proper, to help make your decision.
some colleges require a supplemental application for admission to their college. most faculties, however, only require a transcript of your marks from high school (exceptions include the faculty of applied science & engineering, which does require a ‘Student Profile Form,’ and the faculty of music, which requires an audition).
it’s best to figure out what specific program, and then what college, you’re interested in, and then just follow their instructions, because it can varies from program to program and college to college.
the one commonality between all academic faculties and programs is OUAC, which provides an online form through which you submit your marks and apply to uoft. if you’re an international student, you’ll fill out the 105F application.
if your faculty and/or college DOES require any kind of personal statement on top of the 105F, they’ll stipulate exactly what that will be. it can vary from an academic essay about your topic of study to a cover-letter type explanation of your extra-curricular and work experience.
hope that eased your confusion at least a little bit.
* the ‘sentient leftover boxes of noodles’ college is just my apartment. and no, you don’t get to be a member there.