what happens when I get accepted into my post…. how do i know what courses to pick
nothing happens. as with most other things at uoft, all the work is on you. you need to sort out which courses you should be taking in your (i’m assuming) second year, in order to get on your way to completing your program(s).
fortunately, the university has provided this handy, handy tool called the course calendar, which lists every program and course offered by the faculty of arts & science. what you have to do is find your program(s) in the calendar, and figure out if there are any second-year courses that they recommend you take.
for example, the European Studies major recommends that you take EUR200Y1 in your second year, as well as 1.0 credits from a list of courses that they provide.
other programs, like for example the African Studies major, will only list all the courses you need to take in your higher years, and not differentiate between them by year.
finally, some programs, like the English major, will not differentiate by year at all, but simply list the courses you need to take during the course of your degree. you figure out when and how.
in all three instances, the calendar is only providing recommendations. ACORN will not force you to take any course, ever. still, you should probably do your best to follow the calendar recommendations as closely as you can. if they are listed based on year, it’s probably because the courses you take in second year will be requirements for courses you need to take in third year, and so on. if you don’t get ALL the courses you need, though, it’s not the end of the world; you can always catch up later.
even if you do manage to take all the second year courses for your program(s), you will still probably have space left over for at least one or two more courses in your schedule, if not more. you can fill these any way you want. you can take a course or two (or four) for general interest, or to fulfil a breadth requirement, or for graduate/professional school purposes.
of course, you will also need to make sure all of these classes fit together in a schedule that makes sense for you, with no timetable conflicts. you may have to fit them in around work, extra-curriculars, or other out-of-school commitments. some courses might fill up before you have a chance to sign up for them, due to a pesky little thing called enrolment controls.
all of this, you must factor in and negotiate during course selection. is it overwhelming? yes. but thousands of people still manage to take all the courses they need in order to graduate year after year, so it’s not impossible. here are aska’s top tips to make it as productive and pain-free as possible:
1. choose your courses well in advance.
this is not only a solid piece of advice, but can also be really fun. looking through the timetable and searching for the weirdest, wonkiest courses you can find can sometimes lead to the discovery of a course or even a program that you love. spend a Sunday afternoon with an iced tea and the timetable and course calendar, just browsing your options.
2. have a backup schedule.
after you’ve done all your browsing, you should eventually assemble the courses you’d like to take next year (the new timetable has a timetable planner tool that you can use for this purpose). this is the ideal, fantasy dream of a schedule. your actual schedule will most likely not end up looking exactly like the dream, or at all. that’s why you should have a backup schedule of courses that you can use to modify your ideal schedule should some or all of it not pan out.
3. be ready to go in advance of your start time.
as you may have experienced in first year, ACORN crashes a lot during course selection. even with staggered enrolment, there’re a lot of people trying to sign on on those first days of enrolment. being at your computer 10 minutes beforehand, with your schedule (and backup schedule!) ready to go (ideally on a piece of paper, because paper can’t freeze and crash on you), you maximize your chances of getting out of course enrolment incident-free.
and that’s everything you should keep in mind during course enrolment! go forth and prosper, my friend.