• enrollment,  enrolment,  first year,  one programs

    baby’s first uni course selection

    I’m going into first year Life Sciences this year at U of T in the fall. I know three courses I want to take because of certain admission requirements: BIO120, BIO130, CHM135, CHM136, MAT135, & MAT136. I am not sure to take PHY131 and PHY132 for first year. I want to keep my options open for other programs, but I’m not sure. I have an interest in taking PSY100, but I’m not sure if I could take it. I want to do 5 FCEs but I am not still sure. Course selection is very overwhelming. Any advice?

    ——————————————

    hi there!

    course selection. my favourite time of year. it’s like christmas.

    do i have any advice? hmm. let’s see. if you’re certain about your bio, chem, and math courses, those should occupy 3.0 FCEs. which means you have a few course slots to play around with, even if you choose not to take 5.0 FCEs. i found the adjustment from high school to university a little challenging, so i didn’t take 5.0 FCEs and found it helpful. whether or not that’s the right decision for you is something only you know. i will note, though, that uni can be quite different, and taking a lighter courseload will give you more space to figure things out, like how to prepare for exams and how to use the libraries.

    if you’re undecided, you can always register for 5.0 FCEs and then drop courses later on. u of t has pretty generous course-drop periods, so you’ll have a good amount of time to decide whether or not you want to stay in your classes. plus, that’ll give you a chance to sus your courses out to see if they’re actually worth taking — if you decide to drop down from 5 to 4 courses a few weeks into the semester, you can just drop the elective you like the least.

    regardless of courseload, i always recommend that first years take either a first year foundations seminar or something in the ‘ones’ program, just because i personally had really good experiences in both. the idea of these courses is that they’re meant to help you transition from high school to university. the classes tend to be smaller, the program material is specially selected to be super interesting, and the assignments are more fun/less difficult. you can only take these courses in your first year, so they’re definitely something to take advantage of now. something to note, though, is that you won’t be able to apply the credit/no credit designation to these courses — i assume because they tend to be easier to do well in.

    here’s something else for you to consider: first year is a great time to get your breadth requirements out of the way. if you’re a life sciences kid, chances are you’ll have breadth 4 and 5 knocked out, but you’ll need to take a few classes that are breadth 1, 2, or 3. you can use the calendar to filter through different breadth requirements, in order to find the relevant courses for each category.

    here are my personal recommendations, either drawn from experience or conversations i’ve had with other students. none of these have prerequisites, so you should be able to take them in first year:

    you can also check the u of t reddit or the first year foundations seminar listings for other ideas!

    other than that… first year is a good time to explore different interests and take a few risks! i wish i’d done that more when i was in first year. it’s easy to be drawn to the big, generic classes like PSY100, and miss all the quirkier offerings like “introducing religion: blood, sex, and drugs” or “how to study video games.”

    you mentioned keeping your options open for other programs, and that’s a smart consideration to make as well. if you know what backup programs you might want to take, it’s a good idea to squeeze some of their prerequisites into your schedule, especially if they overlap with some of the courses you’re already taking.

    i know course selection can be overwhelming, but if you use the tools at your disposal— the timetable, the calendar, degree explorer, etc. — hopefully it will be a little easier! that’s about all the advice i can think of right now. i hope this helped, and feel free to send another question in if you’re confused about anything specific regarding course selection!

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • admissions,  scholarships/bursaries

    everyone has that one course, tbh

    Hi there!! I was wondering if University of Toronto looks at all Grade 11 grades, even those which are just electives. See, I plan on taking up Life Sciences in U of T, and all of my required courses are high up in the 90s, while I have this one elective course (one I didn’t even want to do) that’s a 52. Will that render my acceptance or chances on getting any scholarships?

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    when i was in high school i had the answer to this but boyyyyy i am getting old and had to look it up. lucky for you my memory sucks, because it was only once i looked it up that i realized things changed.

    back in my day, i think (????) they used to only consider your top 5 or 6 grades, and there were a whole ton of courses they explicitly said they wouldn’t look at. it’s kind of whack that the policies are so different now.

    get to the point, aska. if you’re not a domestic student, you should look up the admissions info for your specific country.  but if you’re a canadian high school student, according to the future utoronto website, u of t will consider all your grade 11 final grades as well as any available grade 12 final grades/midterm grades. they’ll emphasize grades in classes that are relevant to your program (ie. bio and chem courses if you apply to lifesci) but i guess this means they’ll incorporate your 52% into their considerations.

    if it helps, i don’t think that 52% will wreck your chances at getting admission if you have high 90s in the rest of your classes, but it could… potentially… affect your admission scholarship chances? which is really just speculation on my end, i feel like scholarship considerations vary so much between awards, and there aren’t really any blanket statements to be made there.

    anyway, maybe it’ll help to remember that not all scholarships will consider your full academic record. from the time you begin your applications process, u of t has this cool new award explorer that should help you find scholarships you’re eligible to apply for, often with other criteria that may take weight off of your high school grades. after you become a u of t student, u of t also has these snazzy automatic-consideration in-course scholarships that won’t consider your high school grades at all — basically, they’re awarded to students who do well in their u of t classes, or have particularly high CGPAs. on top of all that, if you find yourself part of a generous program or college (as i am), you may find yourself eligible for program-specific awards or leadership awards. my point is that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get an admissions scholarship.

    my point being: there will be plenty of other opportunities to get that cash money!

    don’t get too down about your 52%. it happens to the best of us. sucky teachers suck, what can ya do about it?

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • chem,  prereqs,  UTM

    check yourself before you (pre)req yourself

    Hi, I am a first year going into the chemical and physical sciences program at UTM. I am looking to take a specialist in Biological Chemistry after the first year so I looked at the classes I should take. The problem is that many of the math courses require a minimum of 70% in Advanced functions and this past year I had an awful teacher and received my worse high school mark of 66% in her class. I also took Calculus and got an 83%. Will I be able to take the math courses?

    ——————————————

    hey there!

    congrats on committing to u of t and starting the lil adventure that is university!

    for a question like this, i’d recommend reaching out to the UTM chemistry department (probably the undergrad program administrator, specifically) and asking about your case. i’m not sure how they deal with situations like this, and it would be best to go directly to the source. there’s a chance you might need to take an online high-school level advanced functions course and get a higher grade in order to meet the prerequisite? but they’d be the ones to confirm that.

    i wouldn’t recommend registering in the course without the prerequisite, because departments will usually go into your records to check that you’ve met the requirements. if they find out that you don’t, you’ll be removed from the course with no warning, which will cause you a lot of unnecessary stress. 10/10 would not recommend.

    i hope the chem department is able to shed some light on what you should do! good luck with this.

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • enrollment,  timetable

    i also want to know when the timetable will be out :(

    do you know when the timetable will be updated?

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    unfortunately i do not! i wish i had access to that kind of information, lol. i’m not high up enough in the bureaucracy for that.

    if you want to be alerted when it is updated, i’d recommend following the arts and science student union on twitter. they tend to be pretty on top of these things, and i get a lot of my faculty-related news from them before i hear it from anyplace else.

    otherwise, i anticipate the update will be released soon! course enrollment is coming up next month, and they’ve already released the preliminary timetable with info about course offerings/delivery/synchronicity. if you haven’t checked the preliminary timetable yet, it may at least be able to give you a sense of which courses will be offered!

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • enrollment,  keeners

    5 courses is already a lot for me lol

    Hi! Am I allowed to have only 4 FCE in my fourth and final year? I will have 21 FCE total if all goes well by the end of the fourth year. Basically, 5 FCE in my first year, 6 FCE in my second, 6 FCE in third, then 4 FCE in fourth, thus totaling 21. Stay safe and healthy bros. Sincerely, a stressed out freshie.

    ——————————————

    hey there, stressed out freshie,

    even if you didn’t tell me, i would definitely know that you were at least a little bit stressed out with a plan like that.

    the short answer for you is that yes, you are allowed to only have 4.0 FCE in your fourth year! this is super common, and i am totally planning to do something like that for my final year at u of t.

    the one thing you should note is that taking 4.0 FCE will probably not save you anything in terms of tuition– this goshdarned school charges the same tuition if you’re taking anything between 4.0 or 6.0 FCE. or at least, i think that’s pretty standard. if you’re not in artsci, i would check that over with your registrar.

    here’s the longer answer i really want to give, though. apparently i consider myself an advice columnist without any of the glory.

    is there a specific reason you’re doing this to yourself? taking six courses can be really rough, and i fully respect your decision to do what’s best for you, but i want to make sure that you know what you’re getting into as you make these plans. i do have friends that have managed six courses all right, but none of them have taken that many consecutive semesters of six courses, and most of them don’t have any extracurriculars or responsibilities. u of t is an amazing, vibrant school, but it does demand a lot of you, especially if you want to do well in your classes and be involved outside the classroom. is there a specific reason you want to be taking 4.0 FCEs in your final year/21.0 FCEs total? is taking summer school going to be an option? can you play around on degree explorer and see if there’s a better way to plan out your courses?

    if you’re dead set on this four-year plan, i would really recommend that you book an appointment with an academic advisor at your registrar, just to make sure it’s really your best option and that you’re well-equipped to make it through.

    anyway, hope u stay safe and healthy too, bro. don’t stress too hard </3

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • subject POST

    didn’t make post? you’re not (m)alone.

    Hello! I was wondering if it is okay if I don’t make it into post in my 2nd year as well? In fall 2020, it would be my third year attending the university, but I would still be a 2nd year student because i don’t have 9 credits. Do people usually judge? I’m not on academic probation or anything but I feel like I won’t be able to make the cutoff this year as well for a different post.

    ——————————————

    hey there!

    i understand your anxieties, and want to say that it’s perfectly all right not to make POSt after your second year. what i’ve learned lately is that everyone operates on their own time– everyone’s doing school under unique circumstances, so it doesn’t really make sense to compare yourself with others. some of the coolest people i know aren’t doing their degrees according to the “average” timeline, but instead pacing themselves the way they know is best for them!

    will people judge you? hopefully not, but they may. either way, it’s not worth your time or attention, buddy. i get that it can be hard to feel good about yourself if people are giving you a hard time about these types of things, but remember that you’re not getting your degree for them. you’re getting it for yourself. they should all just go… deal with their own problems.

    for practical reasons, though, you’ll need to register in the minimum POSt combination (specialist, two majors, or a major + two minors) in order to enrol in courses for the upcoming academic year, given that you’ll be entering it as a second year. i’ve been told that your enrolment will be blocked otherwise. you can pick anything– i’d recommend type 1 programs vaguely similar to what you’re interested in– and just replace those placeholder programs later when you make POSt. if you’d like to talk to someone for advice with this, or if you have any other questions about POSt, you can reach out to your friendly local registrar who will do their best to help you!

    i hope this helped, and i wish you all the best!

    also, my sincerest apologies for the title of this post, it was the best i could come up with after half an hour of trying. this job do be hard sometimes.

    be Boundless,

    aska

     

  • computer science,  UTSC

    here’s some unsolicited advice for you instead of an actual answer to your question

    Hello. I wanted to know about pros and cons of CS program in UTSC. I’m deciding b/w CS program in UTSC and Engineering I in McMaster. I want to know about professors, and some other pros and cons. Also I want to know if someone who’s getting 94-97 in math gr12 courses can get into actual CS program after 1st year. I haven’t taken any cs course. I used to compare myself with other students with high grades so I put in a lot of effort to become first or achieve higher and higher grades.

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    as someone who’s not really super familiar with compsci or utsc, i’m not sure that i’m a good person to be advising you on this. i’ve never met any of the compsci profs at utsc, and have heard next to nothing about the compsci program there. i hate recommending reddit as a resource because it can often be super unreliable, but for something like this, it’s probably your best bet. it’s likely that there, you’ll be able to find someone in the UTSC compsci program who will be able to shed a little light on what it’s like for you. apart from pointing you in that direction, i feel kind of (read: absolutely) useless when it comes to your question.

    as well, i can’t really tell you what your grade 12 math marks mean in terms of your likelihood of getting into the CS POSt, since grading can vary super widely between high schools.

    here’s a word of advice i do want to leave you with, though: from what i’ve seen, heard, and experienced as a u of t student, i worry that your mindset of comparing yourself to other students is going to hurt you at university. regardless of what institution you end up choosing (and maybe you’ve made your choice already, by the time you see this), you’re only going to burn yourself out and discourage yourself by comparing yourself with the other people in your class.

    don’t get me wrong– it’s certainly possible for you to achieve quite a lot and succeed in your coursework, but it’s more sustainable for you to measure that achievement in other things– like how familiar you are with your course material, or how well your learning can propel you towards your goals.

    i would just hate for you to be one of those bright-eyed, ambitious students used to doing super well in high school, only to have their self-esteem crushed by first year or develop GPA-related anxiety. i’ve seen it happen way too many times. however, you did say “used to,” so maybe that means you’ve put that mindset in the past?

    anyway. if you’d like to talk your decision through with someone at the university, you could reach out to your registrar! wishing you the most wisdom and the best of luck as you make your decision and tackle first year wherever you decide to go!

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • internal transfer

    oh boY

    Hi! I am in serious need of some advice. I am officially a UTM student, but I only took 4.0 credits there in my first year. I took 5.0 credits at St. George during my second year. I applied to transfer this past year, but was declined because I did not make GPA. Should I try to transfer again in my third year once I boost my GPA? I have taken many classes that would contribute to a major that is only available at St. George. Is it worth it to keep trying to transfer? Thanks so much!

    ——————————————

    hello there,

    this is a bit of a situation you’ve gotten yourself in, huh?

    i’m a little bit stuck on this one as well because i’ve never encountered your circumstances before, and have no clue how i would proceed if i were in your shoes.

    i suppose if you’re super set on st. george, you can definitely try to transfer again for your third year. you’re familiar with the transfer process now, which will hopefully make it a bit easier for you. like you mentioned, your classes would contribute to a major that’s only available at st. george, so it may be worth another transfer attempt just to make those credits useful.

    however, if you’re not confident in your ability to transfer to st. george, you can also look into having those credits transfer to UTM as electives, so that they don’t totally go to waste and can still count towards your degree. i’m not sure how many of them will transfer over, but this may be worth looking into just so you can weigh your options with better information available. as you’re probably already aware, you can check their transferrability using transfer explorer, or perhaps by reaching out to the relevant UTM departments.

    that’s about all i can think of. i would really, really recommend that you reach out to your registrar and book an appointment. i feel like it would be much more helpful for you to talk this through with a real!live!person! who’ll be able to walk you through all your potential options.

    good luck :/

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • economics,  internal transfer

    what’s 90 dollars in the face of tuition, anyway?

    Hi so I’ve currently been accepted to social sciences and humanities as an alternative offer however i am more keen in BBA management or a Bachelor of Arts in Econ’s. Is it possible to accept my offer and switch later on in my course to a different faculty such as management ?

    ——————————————

    hey there!

    it is possible to switch to different faculties after admission, yes. i believe this would require you to complete an internal transfer, which costs $90 and is done through OUAC. the deadline’s usually sometime in the beginning of the calendar year, which would give you some time to test the waters in socsci/humanities during the fall semester before you ultimately make your decision.

    you can find info about doing an internal transfer from artsci to rotman here, assuming you’re a st. george kid. the rotman faculty that this particular internal transfer is quite competitive, so you should have a backup in mind, and make sure that you take the required first-year entry courses.

    meanwhile, if you decide that you’d like to take a bachelor of arts in econ, you wouldn’t need to do anything! that is, other than take the appropriate prerequisites and apply for an econ POSt.

    my advice would be, if you’re set on switching, to take the required courses for a rotman transfer as well as the prereqs for a major in econ. there’s some overlap between the two, which will make your life a little easier. that way, if your rotman transfer goes through, great! and if not, you have a backup path in a field of study that you’re also interested in.

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • economics,  extra courses,  repeating course

    ECO102 is that course for you, huh?

    Hi there, I took ECO102 in my first year and did LWD as I was unsure about University policies at the time… For my second year I was doing part-time job and did ECO102 but got a 50%. I am thinking of doing economics as a major as I am not much of a fan of others except for politics and geography. I am doing ECO102 but realize doing MAT235 with this course is a bit much for me, I dropped ECO102 before the drop date. Am I now allowed to not take ECO102 again? Do you have answers?

    ——————————————

    hey,

    to my understanding, you should be able to take ECO102 again, yes! you meet all the necessary criteria in the rules and regulations for retaking a course:

    if you do take ECO102 again, it may be important to note that you won’t receive a record on your transcript for it beyond the notation “EXT.” in other words, the course will be counted as an extra course: the course won’t be counted towards your 20 credits required to graduate, and the final grade will not make it to your permanent academic record/will not be calculated into your CGPA.

    if you’re ever unsure about uNiVeRsiTy PoLiCieS again, feel free to reach out to me or contact your friendly ol’ registrar’s office. i hope this helped and that you have a solid saturday night!

    be Boundless,

    aska

     

     

  • internal transfer,  transfer credits

    transfer explorer are u ok

    Hi! I applied to transfer from UTM to UTSG for my second year and I just finished up my first year. I’ve been planning to do this since around the beginning of my time at UTM and so I planned my courses in a way that I knew they would transfer to UTSG. I made sure this was the case for ALL the courses I took. The problem is, checking on transferex now, it’s not showing some of the courses as transferrable to utsg even though it did at the beginning of the year. Do you know what this means?

    ——————————————
    hello hello,
    i don’t have a ton of experience with transfer explorer, and it’s a bit tough for me to check this over without any specific course codes. it does sound like you planned well ahead though, which makes this situation pretty strange.
    have you reached out to anyone about it? i know the transfer credit departments in general usually take a heckin’ ton of time to respond, but maybe an academic advisor at your registrar might know what’s happening. transfer explorer itself recommends that you speak with an academic advisor, so that’s probably your best course of action right now.
    sorry i can’t be more specific! i hope for your sake that it’s just an error, but i do know that on occasion, course equivalencies do change without warning. not to scare you without reason, or anything. don’t panic before you find out what’s going on!!
    be Boundless,
     aska
  • computer science,  internal transfer,  UTM,  UTSC

    ThEy WiLL nOt Be AcCePtEd As EquiVALeNts

    Hello there,I was wondering if I could transfer from UTSC CS to UTM. However, the POSt requirements for CS at UTM it says “Note that only CSC148H5, taken at the UTM campus, will be accepted. Please do not take CSC148H1(UTSG) or CSCA48H3(UTSC); they will not be accepted as equivalent for the purposes of program enrolment. “According to that, Can I still transfer?TNX

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    it sounds like you’d be able to transfer to the UTM campus, but possibly not directly into UTM’s compsci program. if you’re determined to be a UTM kiddo, you could probably try doing your internal transfer first, taking CSC148H5, and then applying to the compsci POSt at UTM. that’s what the situation seems like to me, anyway.

    to be 100% sure, i’d check this over with your registrar, or with someone at the UTM compsci department. maybe both. i’m sure they’ve seen this situation before. good luck!

    be Boundless,

    aska

     

  • academic offense,  online courses

    they’re watching you

    Hi, I recently had a Quercus online test, it was not open book. For one multiple choice question I checked my answer on lecture slides in a different tab, I know this was wrong and this would be my first offense. I was planning on dropping the course anyway and already have, and my test hasn’t been graded yet, but I’m scared I’ll be charged with academic dishonesty and I feel terrible. I don’t know if they will grade my test, but do I email the prof? Do I tell them or will I not even be graded?

    ——————————————

    hello there,

    i feel like i should have gotten to a question like this quicker, so sorry about the wait!

    i dunno if your situation has changed at all since a few days ago, but i’m not sure how helpful i can be anyway. i’m not sure whether your test will be graded if you’ve dropped the course (maybe not?? probably not??) and whether or not you come clean to your prof is your call. obviously, it would be the most honest thing to do, but i can’t really predict what the consequences will be. i don’t know what the academic integrity procedures are for courses that have already been dropped, which makes it kind of hard for me to navigate this for you.

    comedy central blake henderson GIF by Workaholics

    if you want some better guidance on this, i would really encourage you to get in touch with your registrar’s office. i don’t believe anything you say to an academic advisor can be used against you in an academic integrity case given that they’re not even part of the process, but i’d check that over with whoever you speak to just to be 100% sure. regardless, they’d be the best place to go to for advice in a situation like this.

    anyway, in case you’re not aware (but you might already be), your profs can see your Quercus activity. regardless of what you choose to do and what ends up happening, the most important thing you take away from this is to not make the same mistake again in the future.

    be Boundless,

    aska