• admissions,  applying for U of T,  life science

    pros and cons list


    I’m a grade 12 student who’s been interested in U of T for a long time. I’m really focused on getting the best quality education and research opportunities and I know UofT is amazing for that, but I’m concerned about my GPA. I (currently) aim to pursue graduate studies after undergrad and I’ve heard a lot about U of T being a terrible school for prospective grad students since they don’t focus on undergrad and kill your GPA. If it’s relevant I’m somewhere from 10-20% above class average in all my courses and I work extremely hard in school. In your opinion do I have a chance at a high enough GPA in U of T life sci for grad school? Or should I just go to an easier and less prestigious school for undergrad that I may enjoy less but have a better chance at grad school?



    so, like, this question is a little bit impossible for me to answer. which is definitely not what you wanted to hear, but we out here.

    snoop dogg peace GIF

    yes, u of t has a reputation for being really hard on your GPA which can negatively affect your grad school applications. at the same time, u of t has amazing research opportunities as well as extracurricular and academic opportunities for undergrads that look great on a grad school application. i also know people in life sci who have excelled at u of t, more so than they did in high school. ultimately, it’s up to you. you need to make your own pros and cons list and weigh all your options.

    that being said, if you need any information regarding the actual application process, you can take a look at this FAQ from the faculty of arts and science.

    i hope this helps!




  • admissions,  life science,  math

    you gotta math no matter what

    I am currently a high school student in grade 12 and considering Nursing at UofT. I’ve noticed one of the prerequisites for nursing is life sciences. And to take life sciences, I need to have advanced functions and/or calculus and vectors. The thing is, I was a little late in realizing this and I am taking data management (MDM4U) this year only because I took college math in grade 11 and therefore don’t have the requirements to take advanced fuctions/calculus (MHF4U/MCV4U respectively) in grade 12.
    Do you know if UofT makes any exceptions to these situations? Would I be able to take some sort of introductory course or something during first-year? I am open to options!

    I’ve searched the internet high and low for answers but it seems like I’m the only one with this problem 🙁



    whoa! a grade 12 student thinking about their POST GRAD ambitious? damn, i’m in third year and i barely know what i’m doing with my undergrad. but good on ya.

    let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. i’m only going to address the whole getting into life sciences thing in my response.

    so, unfortunately, if you don’t have grade 12 calculus and vectors, you will not be admitted into the life sciences stream. you can check out this link to see the specific grade and course requirements for each admission stream.

    something that you could possibly, maybe, potentially do is to apply for u of t under a different admission stream, like humanities or social sciences, that only requires grade 12 english. the admission categories (life science, humanities, etc.) are only really important in first year (you actually declare your majors/minors/specialist after first year) and you can take courses outside of your admission stream (ie. a humanities student could take life sci courses).

    i don’t know if this is necessarily the best option, though. basically, students who are in a certain admission category get first dibs (or priority) on courses that are associated with that category. so, life science students would get first dibs on life science courses. this means that even if you wanted to take those courses, you might not get into them because you wouldn’t have first dibs as a non-life science student. also, most life science programs require some sort of first year math course and the prerequisite for those first year calculus courses is… high school calculus.

    new girl ugh GIF

    unfortunately… you’re gonna have to do grade 12 calculus at some point some how if you wanna do life sci here. i’m sorry, i wish i could’ve told you otherwise, but we here at askastudent are committed to the truth.

    good luck.



  • admissions,  life science

    the N to your BSc

    How can a Life Sciences student become a Nursing student?



    i’m assuming you’re talking about the bachelor’s program? the website has tons of info about how to get into the bachelor of science in nursing program hosted by the faculty of nursing.

    according to the website, it’s a two year program and you need to have 10 FCE before applying. it also says that you need a 3.0 GPA, a personal statement, an academic reference, and a work-related reference. there are also some prereq courses that are outlined on the website, so i would check those out too.

    basically, i would just check out the prereqs, take those courses in your first two years (or first 10 FCE), then apply after! the application itself can be found here.

    good luck!



  • admissions,  applying for U of T,  life science,  math

    much mystery, such confusion

    I’ve applied to life science and have a 70 in advanced functions. I see the the prerequisites are only English and calculus. How much would you look at that mark if my overall average is around a 86



    *as a student blogger, i won’t be the one looking at your mark at all, so don’t hold me to this answer*

    they will definitely consider your overall average, but they “reserve the right” to look at specific courses depending on what you’re applying for.

    since you’re applying to lifesci, your science grades should be on the higher side. i wouldn’t be toooo concerned about your advanced functions grade if your science grades and overall average are high. keep in mind though, admissions will consider tons of things when they look at your application, not just your grades, so you’ll never really know why you got in or why you didn’t get in. so mysterious.

    hope this was somewhat helpful,


  • admissions,  applying for U of T,  averages,  life science,  summer,  UTM

    summer, night school, same diff

    So I am currently a grade 12 student and am planning on applying to UTM for Life science. Please give me a good grasp on this, because I’ve been hearing inconsistent feedbacks from different people, but what is an average that most life science admitted students get around? I have people telling me it is super competitive where you must have high 80s at least, but I also have family friends on their 4th year saying as long as your average is above 80 and around low to mid 80s, there is nothing to worry about? So what do you think it is?

    Also, how focused are they on individual marks instead of averages? because my other courses are in low to high 80s but my advanced functions is stuck in the 70s. So I was wondering if you could give me info on that too.

    Last question, is there any discrimination against courses taken in summer or night school?

    Thank you



    the life science average is available right here and it states that you’ll need low to mid 80’s.  when information is spread from person to person, it can become quite skewed, so it’s always a good idea to go right to the source! keep in mind that admission averages change from year to year and some years can be more competitive than others.

    my understanding is that individual marks aren’t as important as your average, but if you are applying to Life Science and happen to have a high average because of A’s in humanities classes, yet you got a C in Biology, they might see that low biology mark as a red flag. enrolment services will definitely take into account classes that you took which are relevant to the program.


    and finally, according to the UTM admissions FAQ: “All courses are considered equivalent, whether it is day school, night school, summer school, private school or online, as long as it is completed through a Ministry of Education recognized institution and it is your first attempt at that course.”

    sound like you’re good!

    peace and love,


  • GPA,  grad school,  grades,  jobs,  lab experience,  life science,  lost

    don’t lose hope, youngling


    I am a life science student in the second year. After completing the fall term studying, I feel that it is very difficult to get a high GPA. I wonder if I get 3.0 cumulative GPA after graduation, what can I do? what school accept me? what work opportunities do I have? Thanks.




    *as askastudentuoft, i hope you understand that i am knowledgeable about all things U of T, and that’s about it, so this post will be very U of T centric*

    while a 3.0 GPA is great, many of the life science graduate programs available at U of T require averages which range from B+ to A- (with the exception of the occupational science and occupational therapy program which looks for mid B’s). but, keep in mind, these are just life science programs available at U of T. there are plenty of other schools which offer similar programs which may require different averages.

    you’re only in second year, which means you don’t ACTUALLY know if you’re going to end up with a 3.0 average. you seem to have already lost hope in yourself. don’t stress out right now about what your work opportunities will be and just try your best to get the best grades you can. i can’t really tell you what kind of work opportunities will be available when you graduate because we don’t even know what program you’ll be pursuing for grad school!

    a good place to start is the career learning network. it’s a great tool for current students and recent graduates. you can use it to find research positions (i hear the life science people like those) and postings by companies looking for recent U of T graduates. logging onto the career learning network website is definitely the first step you should take when looking for work opportunities for students like you!

    for now, focus on school and building up your resume with work and volunteer experiences. they can be relevant or irrelevant to your field, but having experience is definitely an asset when applying for any kind of job. volunteer at a hospital from time to time or make some money tutoring kids grade 10 science! whatever it is, just make sure you work hard and build up a good collection of references in case you need them for grad school.

    in all seriousness, i’m graduating later this year and i don’t even know what work opportunities will be available to me! i can’t even see into my own future, let alone yours!

    anyways, hope this was somewhat helpful!

    good luck, work hard, and try your best at everything you do.

    peace and love,


  • biology,  life science,  sociology,  subject POST,  UTM

    majoring, minoring, and all that jazz

    Hi Aska, I’m a first year at UTM and am currently majoring in Sociology. I have a couple of questions hope you will be able to answer them, it would mean a lot! I was wondering how double majors work? When do I have to say that I am double majoring? Or do I have to? Also if I want to make my 2nd major Life Science do I have to have all the prerequisites from high school and the average?
    the whole major minor conundrum is this thing we call subject POst or program of study. there are three different options you can pursue:
    1) a specialist
    2) 1 major + 2 minors
    3) 2 majors
    when you’re applying for a subject POst, you should go to this link to see the complete listings of every subject POst available.
    let’s say you want to do a double major in sociology and biology (this is just an example)
    you’ll see that both sociology and biology are type 2 subject POSTs.
    type 2 means that you will need to submit a request via ACORN, make sure you have taken the required courses and also make sure you have met the GPA/ grade requirement. the first request period will be from march 14th to may 1st. mark it down so you won’t forget like i did in first year. i made these mistakes so you could learn from them, my young padawan.
    still confused? here’s a guide to understanding the different types of enrolment.
    unless it is otherwise indicated, most life science programs won’t require any high school prereqs unless you’re thinking of pursuing psychology, which requires grade 12 biology or calculus.
    a good idea is to check out the calendar to see exactly what you need to take for each program. you can do that here.
    the calendar will tell you everything you need to know!
    hope this cleared some stuff up for you. enjoy your first year and remember that your registrar is the best place to go if you have any questions regarding academics
  • life science,  psychology,  science,  UTM

    sorry they don’t care about you

    Hello, with regards to priority enrolment at UTM I was wondering if a psychology major gets priority with classes such as Biology, Chemistry and Math. I know that Life Sci students are the main priority but do psychology majors also fall into that group since it is a Science?



    you are definitely right, students in life sciences will get priority if they are in majors such as chem, bio, or math. as a psych major, you’ll only be getting priority in psychology courses.

    the only kind of exception ish (cue paramore) to this rule i could find is that that there is one bio course listed in the psych major (pg. 325) that you could put towards your degree:

    BIO304H5: Integrative Animal Physiology (located in the Biological Bases of Behaviour Section)- but even this course has prerequisites that you have to take to which leads you to a seemingly endless loop of other courses with prerequisites. i’m assuming the biology department peeps will know that psych students can use this for their major and while still giving priority to actual bio students, they might take your major into consideration.

    if you are determined to take these courses, you can probably consider doing one of those subjects as subject posts.

    basically, psychology is in a completely different department than all of the other subjects that you mentioned and there would have to have a better excuse than “it’s also a science” to give you secondary priority.

    i hope this helped!




  • admissions,  life science


    Hello there,
    I’d first off like to say that what you’re doing is great and I’d imagine it has helped many students relax.

    I’m currently in grade 11 and hope to get into the Life Sciences program on the St. George campus. I’m concerned with my marks as my average is currently an 82%. I know the cut off is listed at 85% but I’m sure I’ll have higher grades come grade 12. My first question is, what are the odds of acceptance with an 82% average?

    The second part to my question has to do with acceptance in a different regard. My mother went to UofT and my sister currently goes there, will that increase any chance of acceptance? I also do have pretty good extra curricular’s to add (Jr. A hockey, city championships), will the admissions board even take that into account?

    Thanks in advance


    hey there,

    let’s go from the bottom to the top, because that’s how hercules did it.

    extra curriculars will not affect your admission to the faculty of arts & science. that’ll be purely marks-based. however, as a member of the faculty of arts & science, you’ll be required to join a college, and some colleges (*cough* trinity *cough* victoria) require you to fill out a student profile, where you can feel very free to brag about all the cool stuff you do outside of school.

    secondly: you accusing uoft of nepotism, son??? huh, punk??? no, acceptance is based only on marks – nothing else.

    HOWEVER, it’s super great that you have a legacy within your family that includes uoft! i’d recommend you ask them to show you around campus. listen to their stories about the university. ask questions. you never know what will be helpful to you, AND you’ll feel like you already have a connection to the university once you get here.

    an 82% is still within the range of anticipated admission averages for life science in fall 2015, so i’d say you’re doing fine. plus, you have a whole year to try and get your grade 12 courses to be the VERY BEST THEY CAN BE – final admissions decisions are based on your grade 12 marks, anyway.

    i can’t give you specific odds – and i doubt admissions can, either. it’s all very mysterious, and just depends on how good everyone else is in any given year. however, it’s within the average range for people starting in fall 2015, and that’s a good sign.




  • admissions,  life science

    life science and taking care of your ticker

    Hello there!
    I am currently a grade 12 high school student who applied to the Life Sciences at uoft. Howeverrrrr, my average is (accumulation of 5 courses so far) 83.2% AND I did not take the recommended grade 11 or grade 12 physics. I’m planning on taking grade 11 physics in summer school since you recommended to another individual that grade 11 physics would at least give me some foundation. Do you think I have the possibility of getting accepted into this program or should I worry?


    hey there,

    ***DISCLAIMER*** aska is only a lowly student and has no knowledge of the INNER WORKINGS of admissions at uoft. anything i say is just my opinion, and doesn’t actually mean anything. so you’re not allowed to sue me if you don’t get in and i said i thought you might.

    alright, now that THAT’S out of the way – an 83.2% is not a terrible GPA. you’ve got a solid chance with that. the anticipated admissions average of life science students for fall 2015 is in the low to mid 80s – and you fall right in that range. assuming you took all the required courses, i’d say there’s a fair chance you can get in.

    if physics was only recommended, then i wouldn’t worry too much about not having taken it. i mean, definitely still make sure to take it in summer school, because that can only help you, but there were lots of people in my first-year physics class who had never taken physics before in their life.

    finally: now that your application has been sent off, it’s out of your hands. try not to worry about it now. the only thing worrying is going to accomplish is to raise your blood pressure, and you need to make sure you’re TAKING CARE OF YOUR TICKER. take it from an old fogey like myself.



  • admissions,  life science

    why won’t life sci. be my wife, sigh?


    Lemme cut to the chase, cause I know you’re busy. I got a 63 in Advanced Functions, and I want to get into UTM’s Life Sciences program. My question is, if I bust my chops and do really well on my 5 other courses and manage an 85 average, do you think I’ll be able to make it into the program? They don’t look at individual marks, do they?



    hey there,

    i mean, i don’t REALLY know what they do at admissions. maybe they just toss all your names in a cup, and then whatever names the cup spits up are the ones they accept.

    however. given that utm’s life science program requires certain specific courses, i would say that it’s not entirely based on admission averages. that works for you and against you.

    it works against you in that they will notice that your math mark is somewhat weaker than your other ones, because they will be looking at individual courses. however, if you can manage to pull off very strong marks in all the rest of your classes (and especially in calculus) they might be inclined to treat advanced functions as an anomaly.

    tl;dr: the 63% is in the past, and having an 85% average wouldn’t hurt. so do keep trying. you can do it.



  • first year,  life science,  med school

    medical school? what a HUMERUS proposition

    Hi there,
    Does first year of life science at utm count towards med school. What count towards the science gpa, and does it matter if i fail a course in my first year of life sci, will it ruin my chances of getting into med school, a Canadian med school.


    hey there,

    you can totally do life sci at UTM if you want to get into medical school. medical school in canada isn’t very restrictive in terms of what kind of program you need to take.

    for example, uoft medical school only requires that you take 2.0 life science courses and 1.0 social science courses. heck, i even qualify for that, and i’m in a humanities program.

    however, it all starts to go south for me when you take into consideration the other requirements, like a competitive MCAT score, letters of reference, an interview and a competitive GPA.

    with a few finicky exceptions, pretty much every course you take will count towards the GPA used to determine your admission average for medical school.

    failing a course in first year definitely won’t ruin your chances, but it will be a very low mark on your transcript which will lower your GPA, so, you know…try not to fail.

    however, at uoft medical school at least, if you apply directly after your undergrad and you’ve taken a full course load every semester, uoft med school will drop your lowest 4 marks from the admission GPA, so that’s kinda nice, isn’t it? admissions committees aren’t all bad.



  • life science,  St. George,  UTM

    utm vs. utsg – let’s get ready to rumbleeee

    Hey! 🙂
    Ariiite… I am in a huge dilemma right now… I’m in grade 12, and I want to get into Life Sciences at University of Toronto.
    People say that U of T (St. George Campus) is reeeeaalllyyyy competitive and hard and you’re dying every minute over there (as said by my friend who is a first year there). Other people say that Life Sciences at UTM is easier. It’s confusing… Which campus has a better Life Science program?? I want to make sure that I’m in a place where I’d be able to successfully complete my degree without having to worry about too much competition and all the crazy stuff first year students talk about. LOL

    Oh and also, I heard that if you take Life Sciences at UTM, your classes are going to be in both St. George and Mississauga campuses. Is that true?

    ~Thank you~


    hey there,

    alright, i’m gonna try to put this nicely: figuring out which program is easier is not what you should be doing.

    first year is hard, no matter the school. people who say “i work twice as hard as everyone else because i’m at uoft” are likely not doing very well and are trying to soothe a shattered ego. unfortunately, these people exist at all schools. they?go out every night and then moan to you every morning about how somehow, somehow, they’re failing chem. you can’t get away from their ego-stroking, asinine nattering. what you should do, whatever school you end up at, is ignore them.

    as for competition, it’s a bit like the flying spaghetti monster: it only exists if you believe in it.

    but you already know all that! you want to “successfully complete your degree.” i want that for you too; i also want you to get into a program you’ll really enjoy, because that’s the only way you’ll ever get through it. so let’s find out what it is.

    as a starting point, i’d recommend taking a look at all the life science programs for both campuses: here’s utsg’s, and here’s utm’s. if you know what area you’re interested in and only one school offers it, then your choice is already made! but let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you’re interested in a program offered at both universities – biology, for example. next, take a look at the kinds of courses you’ll take at both schools for that program (here’s utsg’s biology courses and utm’s biology courses, just to follow through on the example).

    are there some courses you’re not keen on taking? does one program offer more flexibility than the other, and you’re thinking you might want to double major or pick up a minor? do you really only want to do one program (as a specialist, for example), and you’d prefer the program that has more required courses? these are all things to think about.

    when you’ve properly thought about and researched all these things, you’ll be so well-prepared to make the decision that you’re likely to have a far better first year than your friend who is “dying every minute.” asking me for a second opinion was a great decision, and wanting to avoid the “craziness” tells me you really want to do well and not get caught up in pointless platitudes. now continue those great decisions by doing some real research and not trusting what a bunch of random people are telling you (not including me, of course. i am not a random).

    also, don’t worry if you don’t know the answer to any of these questions yet. it’s a lot to think about. lucky for you, you’ve got lots of time to think about it. and if you run into any more trouble in the process of your researching, don’t hesitate to come to me for clarification!

    sorry for the novel. hope that was helpful, friend.



    P.S. some utm courses are downtown, but it depends on the program! there’s no way for me to tell you exactly which classes are held downtown, but it may happen to you. there’s a bus that carries these people back and forth though, so i wouldn’t worry about it.