• 12 distinct credits,  life science,  programs

    all my homies hate the 12 distinct credits rule

    hi! i ended up switching programs after first year so figuring out requirements has been crazy. i’m aiming for a human bio major with two minors, psych and imm. the issue is that the immunology minor doesn’t have a lot of required classes and almost all of the listed ones are also in the hmb program. how does this work with the distinct courses thing? thank you for any help!

    hey there,

    ok, maybe “hate” is too harsh a word but let’s face it, it’s just confusing.

    i also wanna preface this post by saying i am so sorry for the late response… the blog post backlog has been real, but hopefully this still helps someone out there :’)

    so anyway, back to that pesky 12 distinct credits rule. the whole idea is that your program requirements should add up to at least 12 different FCEs. for example, the human bio major is 8.0 FCEs. if all of the 4.0 FCEs in your imm minor end up overlapping with human bio, then you’d need to make sure to take 4.0 FCEs in your psych minor that are all distinct from your human bio/imm courses — that would get you to 12 distinct credits.

    of course, psych probably also overlaps with human bio/imm/other life sci programs, so it might not be possible to get 12 distinct credits just by meeting the minimum requirements of the programs. for example, even if you take your 8.0 FCEs for human bio and they all overlap with imm, you could take a few more eligible hmb or imm courses beyond the overlapping ones in order to fulfill 12 distinct FCEs for your program courses. alternatively, you could try to enrol in a different combination of programs to make it easier to get those distinct credits.

    i know this all sounds incredibly convoluted, which is probably why utsc has a whole worksheet on the rule. personally, i’ve just planned things out on degree explorer just try to plan out your program courses and count them all up to make sure that they add up to at least 12.0 FCEs in total.

    hope that helps!


  • admissions,  conditional offer,  Transferring

    i am once again asking you to ask enrolment services

    [Asking for a Friend] He’s a transfer student from UK and failed a course during his spring term. Will his admission offer be revoked by UT? Is there any way to prevent this?

    hi there,

    so… i’m a bit confused. is your friend in high school and transferred from the uk to canada? is he transfering to uoft from a university in the uk? or neither? i have so many questions.

    anyway, i’ll just assume it’s one of those two… if your friend’s in a canadian high school (although similar criteria apply for international schools, like in the uk), it’s possible that his offer will be revoked, especially if the course is a prerequisite for the program he was accepted for.

    conditional offers made before your final marks are out will usually have requirements to maintain your marks, but they can be super vague. unfortunately, i can’t say if uoft will rescind his offer but i’d recommend contacting enrolment services directly to ask, if you haven’t heard from them already.

    if the offer gets rescinded, your friend might be able to further explain his situation to the admissions office to see if any exceptions can be made, or if they would accept a retake of the course in summer school, private school, or any other options available to him.

    if your friend’s transferring from a university/college, the failed course could also be an issue since conditional offers for transfers do emphasize your cgpa and overall academic performance. again, prerequisites probably matter the most, but you’d also have to pass the cgpa cutoff which is generally around a B average, according to the requirements. to be safe though, i’d still recommend asking enrolment services.

    it might seem like i’m just outsourcing every other question to enrolments services at this point, which… well. just trust me, they know best.

    good luck (to your friend, that is) and hope that helps!


  • major,  programs

    major changes

    Can you change or decide to double major in your 3rd year?

    hey there,

    yup, speaking from experience, you definitely can. honestly, this is probably one of the most redeeming qualities of POSt (especially for us indecisive students).

    you can switch between programs in the “program change groups” directly on acorn without any application or approval (see the list here), and for other programs you can try to request the change on acorn or contact the department for approval.

    program changes are usually available on acorn in march/april and july/august each year. in fact, this year’s program change deadline is august 23rd, so if you already have a program in mind, you might even be able to get it done this summer!

    of course, the success of your program change may depend on the courses and programs you’ve completed so far, and how related they are to the programs you’re switching into. competitive programs would also still be evaluating you by their POSt criteria.

    anyways, hope this helps. be free! go find the program of your dreams!

    good luck,



    utaps got ur back

    Hello, do you know if my grades impact the amount of UTAPS I could get? Or does UTAPS only look at my OSAP application and financial situation? How do they count the UTAPS amount? Thanks!

    hi there,

    from what i know, utaps is based on your osap application and does not depend on grades. other bursaries/awards might look at your marks, but utaps really is based on need, and typically pays out any amount of your financial need (calculated by the government) that wasn’t covered by osap.

    the one potential exception is if you’re failing a lot of courses. usually, for undergrads, osap requires you to pass 1.5 FCEs per term, or 3.0 FCEs for every two terms. dropping below that would put you on osap probation, which means that if you miss the requirements again in the next year, you’ll be restricted from getting more osap. this could also affect your utaps application, but in this case i think utaps would probably be the least of your concerns… so if this is you (or if you’d just like some more support in general) it’d be best to just get advice from your registrar.

    anyway, enough of the spiraling osap hypotheticals. if you’d still like to read more, here’s some info about osap and utaps, including a utaps estimator.

    good luck, and i hope you get that bag!


  • colleges,  university-college

    commuter’s guide to colleges

    sorry if you’ve been asked this before, but I just got accepted to University College (Humanities) does the college mean anything if you’re a commuter? like how does it work? can I still use services like libraries at other colleges? does the college actually mean anything i’m kinda confused?

    hi, hello and welcome!

    ah yes, the age-old question of “i’m a commuter and does college actually mean anything”… (and also on that note, does anything even actually mean anything? but i digress.)

    as a commuter, your college doesn’t really matter as much but it does come in handy for some admin stuff, student life, and pretending you’re in a hogwarts house.

    it’s not really a restrictive thing, but more like a way for uoft to somewhat organize the absolute barrage of artsci kids here, imo. you’ll get access to pretty much all the other college libraries and buildings on campus, except for some dining halls which have been restricted to their own college’s student during covid. fun fact, uc also has their own commuter student centre with a kitchenette and lounge. i’m not sure how much people actually use these student centres, but i did drop by once for an event and there were free donuts, so that’s one positive review.

    your college registrar is also pretty imporant (the uc one is here!). they would be your go-to for admin things like academic and financial advising, getting transcripts, paperwork, stuff like that. other nice college perks include writing centres, mentorship opportunities, and some scholarships and awards (uc has a bunch of annual writing awards which are pretty cool). uc is also one of the colleges which offers independent research courses for their students, if that’s something you’re into.

    there are also lots of college-based clubs and events. most are open to all students, except for frosh, which is organized by college and also basically the loudest, most obnoxious poster child for “college things”. but honestly, if you’re not staying on res it’s really up to you how much you’d like to get involved with your college. you can parade around campus bleeding uc red and chanting to your heart’s content, and you’re also free to just… not (i mean, there’s nothing stopping you from literally just leaving). or, more likely, it’ll be something in between, and you’ll get to know your college in a way that works for you 🙂

    hope that helps,


  • admissions,  criminology

    the psych/philosophy to criminology student pipeline??

    Hi! I am considering pursuing the criminology program at this university. However, I have questions about the prerequisites. I took 2 psychology courses and a philosophy course. Do they take the marks of the 2 psych courses to make one average? Also could we, for instance, use our marks from one psych course and our marks from one SOC class to calculate an average with the other psych? course?

    hi there,

    well first of all, that’s a lot of psychology courses! at least for high school, which i assume that’s what you’re talking about, but then again that was a while ago… anyway. the first thing i do have to kind of clear up is whether those courses you’ve listed are from grade 12 or previous years.

    that’s because uoft usually calculates your average from your top grade 12 courses, including any mandatory required courses for your admission category. in ontario, for example, that would be your top six grade 12 courses. for criminology, you’d be applying for the sociology admissions category, which just lists english as a required course.

    the courses are all treated separately, so if your philosophy and two psychology courses were taken in grade 12, and were among your highest marks (other than english, which has to be included), then they would all be included as individual courses to calculate your average.

    so to be clear, your admission average is going to end up being the average of a bunch of your top grade 12 courses, which may or may not include all your philosophy and psychology courses, although english would be mandatory.

    anyway, i hope that helps and wish you all the best in your future criminological endeavours.


  • courses,  minor

    a minor issue

    do i have to take every course required for a minor in my first year to be able to declare it?

    hey there,

    probably not. most minors that i know of are open enrolment and only require at least 4.0 FCEs completed by the time you apply. other than that, there are no restrictions on the year that you complete the program courses, as long as you complete them all by the time you graduate. although courses might be 100-level or listed as “first year”, in most cases those are kind of just recommended, not required.

    some exceptions would be the computer science minor, for example, where students in the CMP1 stream would need to complete the required courses in their first year, but even for out of stream students, there isn’t really any restriction on having to complete courses in a certain year, you’d just need to have them ready by the time you apply for POSt.

    you can search up the minors you’re interested in on the artsci calendar or email the department to see if there are other restrictions.

    hope that helps!



  • academic offense

    academic misconduct: second time’s not the charm

    I have been charged for unauthorized coloration during the final exam and got a warning as a result, but a month later, I’ve been charged for the second academic offense because they said they find similarities in my midterm exam in the same course. Is it possible to let them combine this into one case? Because I thought the second offense need to happen after the first offence not before.

    hi there,

    after some digging around, i haven’t been able to find anything on how first vs second offenses are technically defined. it’s possible that your second offense doesn’t necessarily need to have occured after your first offense, it might also be based on the order of when they were noticed by the instructor and reported.

    in any case i don’t think it’s common to combine multiple offenses into one case if these were two separate instances of misconduct. then again, the info i have is mostly limited to the code of conduct published on uoft’s website, and there might be other nitty gritty details i’m not familiar with.

    i’d recommend reaching out to downtown legal services asap as they frequently provide help to uoft students on academic offense cases and will definitely know more about Actual Law Things™ to help you out, including the details on whether this would count as a second offense, and what you can do next.

    sorry i couldn’t be of more help with the first vs second offense stuff (i do have my limits you know), but if you ever need other support on this or other things you can always reach out to your registrar too, to get one-on-one advising (also anything you share with them won’t be used against you in academic offense cases).

    best of luck,


  • courses,  enrollment,  tutorials

    i am confusion

    im so confused should i enroll in lectures or tutorials help please!!

    hi confused (sorry i had to),

    me too. i’m confused too.

    i’m gonna assume you’re starting first year in september (or have otherwise avoided enrolling in any lectures or tutorials this year somehow??) so here’s a quick rundown of how lectures and tutorials,work. lectures (LEC) are the actual “classes” you’ll be attending, while tutorials (TUT) are smaller workshops, Q & As or problem solving sessions. there are also practicals (PRA) which are things like labs for science students.

    you’d have to enroll in everything your course requires, so if a course says it has lectures and tutorials, then yeah, you’d have to enroll in both on acorn. (and yes, they’d both be mandatory, unless the instructor says otherwise.)

    if you’re at utsg you can check the artsci timetable to see if they offer lectures/practicals/tutorials. you can also search up your courses on acorn right now and there’ll be options to add lectures or tutorials if they’re available.

    just as a heads up, i’ve also had some profs who held tutorials at times that were actually different from the ones on acorn, or added optional tutorials outside of class time which you wouldn’t have to enroll on acorn either, but usually the lecture/tutorial schedule follows what’s on acorn.

    hope that helps,


  • wait list

    waitlist woes

    Hi, I’m fifth on a waitlist for a class of 25 people and I was wondering if I’ll have a chance of getting in since there are three weeks left before waitlists are over. I just need some encouragement:(

    hey there,

    i’m sure you’ve heard of that handy rule of thumb where if your spot on the waitlist is within 10% of the class size you’ll probably get in. unfortunately your spot is more like 20% of the class size so it’s kind of hard to tell. it’s not impossible, of course — you’d just need 5 people to drop the class or leave the waitlist which could totally happen from now till july 6th, but it really depends.

    people might also drop the course after the waitlist closes. since the last day to enrol in a summer S session course is july 10th, if you’re dropped from the waitlist but still really want to get in the course you might need to obsessively check acorn for a few days in case something opens up. (a pain… i know. but just so you’re prepared)

    sorry i can’t give you a straight answer but i can send encouragement so there you go. it’s possible! believe in yourself! don’t lose hope!!!!! and if you don’t get in, there’s always next sem, hopefully.

    good luck!


    p.s. to anyone planning to drop a course, this is a psa to do it asap for your fellow students :’)

  • psychology,  subject POST

    utsg psych major: the saga continues

    i didn’t make the psych major at uoft sg and that was my main goal. i don’t know what to do now. i have to retry but not sure how that process works. and i don’t have financial means to take an extra year so i’m worried i’m off track. what are my next steps…

    hi there,

    ok hooold up. i gotta say this sounds… awfully familiar.

    since it looks like everybody and their mother is applying to the utsg psych major, let me just rehash some of the important stuff from that previous post which might help.

    1. you didn’t get in. sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. from my experience, there are lots of chances to apply later on — as long as you makes some real solid changes to your studying and academics going forward.

    2. to reapply in second year and above (9.0 FCEs or more completed), you’ll need marks from psy100, grade 12 calc and bio, as well as psy201 and 1.0 FCEs of the 200-level psy courses listed. retaking psy100 could certainly help your grades for POSt, but it’s up to you to decide if/when/how to do it. lucky you, i happen to be a bit of a degree explorer aficionado, so let’s just walk through how you could plan this stuff out.

    since the grade cutoff is listed at around 77-79%, if your current psy100 and grade 12 calc/bio marks are lower than that then it might be safer to retake psy100 next year. if you need to graduate in four years, the most straightforward ways to do that would be to either take psy100 in the summer (still $$, but at least it’s not $$$$…) or take more than 5.0 FCEs in one academic year (likely 2nd year, if you want to have the best chances of getting into the psych major right after). you can take 4.0 – 6.0 FCEs in the fall/winter semesters for the same program fee, so there won’t be any extra costs (finanically, at least) but it could be more difficult to balance things and get the marks you need. taking a summer course isn’t a walk in the park either, since things are going at 2x speed, but (hopefully) you won’t be taking other courses at the same time too.

    3. if you do end up taking psy100 next year, i’d suggest first prioritizing your 200-level psy courses and courses needed for other majors/minors you want to complete (unless you’re ready to risk it all for the utsg psych major, it’s probably best to still keep up on your other programs). try to pick courses that you’re really interested in, where you can likely do well. the utsg artsci course evals are a handy way to stalk check out potential courses, including ratings by instuctor and year/session. remember to prepare backups too — course enrolment is already finnicky, and if you’re not a psych student it might be hard to get your first choice psy courses since you won’t have priority.

    once you’ve got your required courses down, i’d recommend adding psy100 in your lighter semester so that even if you’re taking 6 courses, it’ll still be manageable. another tip is to enroll in multiple courses if you’re not sure which ones would be a good fit, and just make sure to drop the extra ones by the deadline.

    4. i’d also recommend speaking with your college registrar to get support with planning, academics, or anything else you might need help with. they’ll be able to help with your study strategies, provide resources, and a whole lot of other things to get you on track.

    5. if you haven’t already, try applying to the psych minor next year too as a backup. it’ll allow you to enroll in courses as a psych student and could be a good alternative if getting into the major is still a challenge.

    now, follow these trusty steps and i guarantee you’ll… wait, what’s that? no guarantees? oh. okay. well unfortunately, i can’t say for sure that you will get into the utsg psych major even if you follow all these handy tips, but hopefully this gives you a better idea of what your next steps might look like.

    best of luck,


  • admissions,  scholarships/bursaries

    mysterious money box (aka scholarships)

    Hello, I was wondering how UofT calculates their averages for qualification of their admission scholarships. I got admitted to the faculty of Life Science and did not receive a scholarship. My average when I calculated it all my courses was 97%, and my friends said their averages were similar or less.

    hello hello,

    as far as i’m aware, utm and utsc have specific ranges for admission averages (e.g. grade 12 top six marks required for the program you applied to) for their automatic entrance scholarships, in addition to some extra requirements on the eligible courses. for example, neither campus will take the second mark for a repeated course, utsc won’t count grades updated after admissions or courses taken the summer right before university, yadda yadda yadda. i’m assuming you’re interested in the automatic, grades-based scholarships, by the way — don’t even get me started on the applications-based scholarships, because there are just wayyy to many factors to account for there.

    it looks like admission averages around the high 80% or 90% range would guarantee you scholarships at these campuses, so if you applied to utm or utsc, you can certainly send a strongly worded email to their admissions departments asking about your scholarships.

    i have a feeling that you’re asking about utsg though, which, uh…

    let’s just say they like to keep things mysterious. the uoft scholars entrance scholarship at utsg doesn’t seem to have any specific range in terms of grades. they do state that scholarships are specific to your campus/faculty/college, though, which does make everything more complicated. (great.) anyhow, to answer your question, i can’t really say for utsg, but it might depend on your college and what their cutoffs are for lifesci, too. if you find that your friends going to the same college/program with similar averages got an automatic scholarship, it might be worth asking the admissions department or college registrar about it, in case you were also eligible.

    either way, congrats on getting through high school with those marks! entrance scholarships can be fickle and competitive, but it looks like you’re doing great regardless and will hopefully keep it up in uni! if tuition costs are an issue at all, you should definitely also prepare to apply for osap (if you’re an ontario kid), utaps, or other financial aid from uoft.

    good luck!


  • residence,  woodsworth

    woodsworth why you gotta be so picky

    Hi! I would like to ask something about residency. I got placed into Woodsworth College but I’m not allowed to have a place of residency there as I place it as my second choice, and most likely they’re going to place me into Chestnut. I would really love to live within my college, their ensuite kitchen is what made me choose them. I emailed Woodsworth’s residency department but they’re not giving me a clear response. Is there anthing I could do? Were there any similar cases?

    hey there,

    it’s funny that you ask, because there was a similar case to this about 8 years ago… ah, the elusive woodsworth, swerving on student residence applications since 2014 (well, probably earlier than that too). i’m not sure if that poor kid ever did get into woodsworth res, but i’ll say the chances are probably veeeery slim.

    i would recommend to email woodsworth and plead your case, but it looks like you’ve already done that. so if the application portal and woodsworth residency department are both saying that you’ll probably be put in chestnut, well… that’s probably what’s gonna happen.

    if the lack of a kitchen is a real deal-breaker, you could also try looking into other housing options like campusone (although most rooms with kitchens look like they’re waiting list only right now), or renting a room off campus. on the other hand, you’ll have the rest of your adult life to cook your own meals — it might not be so bad to just spend your first year chilling at chestnut and mindlessly eating off the meal plan.

    best of luck,