• art,  career choice,  suspension

    a stable job? oh boy

    Hi, I currently graduated with a 2.53 gpa. I was suspended for one year and managed to graduate! I realized school is not a thing for me in long term. My major was in art history, but jobs like museum curating require you to have a masters degree. I aspire to become a writer one day, but want a stable job to support that. What career would you recommend that is close to my major and requires no grad school and no social media?


    hey there,

    buddy, i know next to nothing about art history. but i wear many hats around here, apparently, so lemme put on my career advising cap and see if anything changes.

    all right, all right, let’s see. stable jobs, hmm.

    oh, what’s that? no such thing as a stable job in this economy? cool cool cool cool cool, okay.

    in all seriousness, i can’t tell you much more than a simple google search will be able to. i would recommend that you contact career advising for one of their lovely advising appointments, which you should still be able to take advantage of as a recent grad. they even seem to have revamped their website and offerings to continue to support students virtually, which is cool. kudos to them. last time i linked to them, they didn’t even have a phone number listed and it felt like a dead end. you’re in luck, i guess. go for it! go talk to them! pursue your writer dreams while bagging that stable income! but good luck dodging social media lol, i’ve had no luck so far (exhibit one: i run this website and all its attached accounts).

    good luck!!

    be Boundless,



  • art,  clubs

    i kinda want to do everything help

    hi is there any room for exploration of creativity and art at u of t bc I kinda want to do everything help




    ahahhah this is such a vague question but i totally get the mood. it’s fantastic that you’ve got that drive to explore, and i hope it’s something you hang on to throughout uni.

    these are some of the options i can think of. i’m assuming you don’t mean programs, so i’ve focused on things you can do outside the classroom:

    join clubs: there are tons of options– and this is probably your best bet.

    are you musical? we’ve got gospel choirs, acapella, and more. if you’re into illustrations, i’ve got a friend who joined a sticker selling club– dunno what it’s called tho. photography and cameras? got it down. drama? ballroom and latin dance? just want to release stress through art therapy?  are you an engineer AND a poet?

    you can check out the full ulife arts clubs list here. 

    i would encourage you to go to the clubs fair during frosh– wander up and down the booths, especially in the arts section, and see if anything catches your eye. joining them is a great way to make new friends as well– nurturing a sense of community is super important as a first year.

    check out your college: most, if not all, colleges should have some sort of arts programming. i know uc has a theatre troupe, innis shows free movies on friday nights, and trin/vic both have choirs. see here for more.

    explore hart house: there’s some kind of hart house art committee that seems to be involved in actual curation, as well as the hart house theatre where donald sutherland used to perform. if you’re into books, check out the literary and library committee. more hart house clubs here!

    use that breadth requirement 1: take a creative writing course, or something in cinema studies. study some chinese art in EAS199. anything in FAH should be artsy as well.

    it’s really easy to get absorbed in academics, especially at u of t, but you seem to already have the right idea. so best of luck with it all!

    be Boundless,


  • admissions,  applying for U of T,  art,  getting into U of T,  keeners,  Uncategorized

    let me in already

    Hi oki so im in grade 12 and i applied for the art and art history course around a month ago, but all of my friends who applied to different colleges and universities are now getting acceptances, so like I guess my question is is how long does it take for the applications to be reviewed and to get a response? Cause all I have so far is a letter saying “thanks for applying” and a “pending review” so I’m kind of worried.


    hey hey!

    i’m assuming you applied to UTM, yeah? or at least i can only find one art & art history program, which is a joint one with sheridan. two schools for the same buck. and they’re both sane campuses that close when the godforsaken floodgates of heaven decide to open and turn toronto into the depths of siberia.

    chelsea peretti wtf GIF by Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    mmmm, utsg can’t relate. i want a snow day that doesn’t begin in the late afternoon. but i digress.

    when you’ll hear back from u of t depends on where you’re attending school right now! if you’re from ontario, the UTM website indicates that there are three rounds of offers in february, march, and may.

    however, if you attend school elsewhere– whether that’s in canada or otherwise– admission looks a little different. officially the rounds are the same, but some decisions are released as early as january, which is before the february document deadline.  so for some reason if you wait til the deadline to send your documents in, they probably won’t consider you til the last round in may.

    if it’s not the UTM program you went for and you mean the st. george art history program, that falls under the faculty of arts and science so the timeline should be about the same.

    nothing to worry about, is the bottom line. it’s only halfway through february, so really the first round of admissions have only just begun. obviously i have no idea how long it’ll take the school to review your specific application. they’re sorting through piles of stuff right now, and i bet they wish they could get through it faster, too.

    man, i remember how long it could feel, waiting to hear back when it seemed everyone else was already getting news from their schools. hang in there. your time will come.

    over n out,


  • art

    vis-a-vis VIS

    Dear Aska,

    I’m at my third I’m in my 3rd year at U of T, and I’m currently double majoring architecture and fine art history. I got transferred to the architecture department through internal transfer last year, hence it looks like I would have to delay my graduation in order to complete all my programs.

    However I recently found out that the visual studies program, which is also?offered by the John and Dennis faculty appeal to me a lot. (I have always been an avid drawer as I took interest in visual representations and?drawing in general since I was very young,) and I’ve also noticed that I’m more interested in the visual studies program than the final then the art?history program. (Though I’ve never took any of the VIS courses)

    Since the John that is faculty doesn’t offer visual studies as a minor, if I were to take visual studies then I would have to forfeit my fine art?history as a major. This definitely poses a problem since it’d take me even longer to graduate. My question is, could anybody who is now in the VIS program, tell me briefly what their curriculum is like, and what are some?of the other resources via which I could get similar training and education?required for becoming a better visual artist.

    Thanks and keep up the great work.

    Best regards.


    hey there,

    you can read about the visual studies programs at the daniels faculty here?and take a look at the timetable here. you can read about requirements for the VIS minor program here.

    however, i agree with you that it might be smarter?not to start messing around with your programs at this point. imho*, this might be a good time to start looking into a second degree, or different ways to get into art outside of school.

    i’d recommend taking a look at the different programs offered by OCAD. also, you may want to think about a Masters in Visual Studies at uoft after your bachelor’s.

    if you’re not really into the idea of doing a whole other degree, the toronto school of art offers courses in drawing and painting for about $460 for a 12-week course. the AGO also offers courses (including yoga, which is…unexpected…), and the school of continuing studies at uoft also offers courses. there’s also this, this and this.

    lots of opportunities to help pay artists something close?to a living wage in the city! hopefully you can?find something to suit you.



    * now THERE’S a piece of internet lingo that hasn’t been used by someone under the age of 30 before.

  • art,  degree requirements,  subject POST

    the times (and subject POSts) are a-changin’

    Hey aska, how much credit should I give to what the degree explorer says. Would you happen to know if it’s supposed to take into account exclusions? For example It has my art history major listed as incomplete because I haven’t taken VST101, but I already took the exclusion FAH105 in my first year before they got rid of it. Should I be worried or is it just a glitch type thing?


    hey there,

    the mystery student strikes again, giving me NO INDICATION that you’re at utm except oblique hints to courses and programs. it took me 20 minutes to figure out you weren’t on the downtown campus. anyway…

    i guess you must have entered the POSt in the 2010/2011, when FAH105 was last offered, or earlier. at that time, it was a requirement for the major. you’re only expected to meet the requirements of any subject POSt as explained in the course calendar, and in fact, there should be a time stamp on your degree explorer that shows when you enrolled in the subject POSt.

    however, when courses start being cancelled and new courses start being introduced, it can be really tricky for degree explorer – and the department – to figure out what they’ll allow and what they won’t.

    i think this is a case where you have to call the department (the undergraduate counsellor will be your best bet) and ask what, if anything, you need to do. you might be fine, but just in case you need to take another bridging course or even VST101 itself, it’s safe to call the department, especially if you entered the POSt before Fall 2003.

    best of luck,


  • art,  courses,  UTM

    how much learning is enough learning

    hey I’m entering the program for UTM’s art and art history program and I was just wondering what would be the recommended number of courses I should take? Should I take the full work of 5 in one semester or should I take a few because of the studio workloads?


    hey there,

    this is kind of something you have to figure out for yourself, so keep that in mind before you take anything i’m about to say as gospel. also, first year is the time to figure these things?out, so if you don’t get it right this year, don’t worry: you’ve got three more?tries left.

    if you decide to enrol in fewer than 5.0 courses for Fall/Winter, you will probably end up taking summer courses. for someone?like me who’s?allergic to working on nice, summer days, that’s not the best idea. on the other hand, if you want to spread?out your course load over a full year, taking a couple credits every summer, then maybe it is.

    that said, UTM didn’t design the program to be impossible with a full course-load. according to this PDF, the studio courses are restricted to tuesdays and thursdays, leaving mondays, wednesdays and fridays for art history and other UTM courses. also, keep in mind that it costs more to take 4.0 courses during the year and 1.0 in the summer than it does to take 5.0 all in one go.

    if you’re really uncertain, plan out a hypothetical weekly schedule with 5.0 FCEs (include?professional hula-hooping or whatever other commitments you may have) and see if it looks manageable for you.?if not, start cutting things out of your schedule (ideally NOT sleep or eating).

    and remember that no matter how many courses you enrol in, if it turns out to be too much when school starts, you can always drop a few classes – just make sure to do it before september 21st.



  • art,  book and media studies,  breadth requirements,  transfer credits

    transferring terrors


    I am coming from a CEGEP in Quebec for my first semester this upcoming fall. Meaning I transferred 5 credits. I am double majoring in Book and Media studies and Art History. I have no clue what I’m supposed to sign up for. What i’ve heard is 3 book and media studies and 2 other courses. But does that mean I take no art History courses???

    What should I take, how do I make my schedule, what is a breadth course?! HELP




    Don’t freak out. You’re fine. Sometimes it can be hard to manage all the freedom you’re allowed to have and the discipline you’re expected to have.


    Question 1: “What should I take?”

    Things related to your program, of course!

    The Art History major is quite lenient in letting you take whatever courses you’d like here and there, and they all sound pretty interesting. Now if you don’t have some sort of “Intro to Art History” transfer credit coming over, you should definitely take FAH102H The Practice of Art History. But aside from that… just heed the major’s requirements and go crazy!

    Now I consulted another student who took a good chunk of Art History courses for what he thought would be super interesting for you and got:

    FAH246H Art Since 1900 – “Because you have such a short span of time to go over, memorizing all the dates is a lot easier. Also, it’s pretty fun to see the art’s influence on pop culture today. And lastly, if you ever want to sound like a pretentious art snob, this course will definitely set you up for it.”

    FAH230H Renaissance Art and Architecture – “It gives a whole new meaning to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But it’s just a little bit church-y.”

    FAH252H Intro to the History of Photography – “This one is new, but it sounds soooo interesting!”

    And his last comment: “Minimize the number of medieval courses you take.”

    As for your major in Book and Media Studies, I have a feeling you won’t have gotten any transfer credits for that one, so you’ll just have to take a good look at the requirements list.

    You’re going to have to take SMC219Y Mass Media in Culture and Society, SMC228H and SMC229H, so I’d recommend getting those out of the way.

    Question 2: “How do I make my schedule?”

    Step 1: Make a chart going hours of day by days of week.

    Step 2: Consult timetable.

    Step 3: Make sure nothing overlaps!

    Step 4: Enrol on ROSI and pray you get your courses.

    Question 3: “What is a breadth course?”

    So a breadth requirement is the university’s way of making sure you’re like cultured and stuff and that you’ve taken courses in a variety of topics. There are five “groups” that you need to work with. You need to either get 1.0 FCE in four of the five groups, or you need to 1.0 FCE in three of the five groups and then 0.5 FCE in the other two groups.

    Since you’re double majoring in two humanities, I’m going to assume your difficulty will be fulfilling groups 4 and 5, so take a look at this post for some ideas on how to conquer them.

    Annnnnd I guess that’s that.



  • art,  residence

    … and he left his deer behind.

    Hey aska!So i’m a first year at UTM, and while its been a great experience i’m applying to transfer to st george because i want to be somewhere where more is happening, not that i’m not a fan of the deer in my back yard. thats not a joke. assuming i get in, i’m applying to residence and i’m wondering which would be the best for getting involved and overall community.
    i’m just looking for lots of opportunity to get established in student life since i’ll be a second year in a first-year situation.so which would you recommend? or if its easier, which ones WOULDN’T you recommend?
    and also, i was told by someone that there are art studio courses offered at St. george but haven’t found any online. do you know if this is true? i’m a psych major but art still interests me, so i’d be interested to knowcheers
    My deer whisperer,
    Right off the bat, <high five> for not bashing UTM … I know I do it sometimes, but every once in awhile they deserve not to be kicked when they are down.

    So I know there’s a chart in this world that shows how many spots are reserved for upper years per residence, but all traces of it seem to have been destroyed or my mind has completely invented it because that would be a very useful resource.

    In anycase, I know that 40% of spots are reserved for upper year in Innis Residence.
    Ok, so here’s my general deal with residences. Although I would like there to be ones that are deemed party monster zones, it really depends on the year, the students and the don. For example, I heard Chestnut was craaaazy fun one year and then a dud the next.Here are some things to maybe consider:
    1) Chestnut is not on campus but is in a pretty awesome location.

    So its cool in the sense its right near Dundas Square and Nathan Phillips?but lame for having to walk to school and for being apart of the U of T campus crowd.2) I would personally choose one that is on St.George street. For no better reason than that’s what I associate as the core of campus.3) I’ve heard good time stories from both Innis and University College … and no terror stories from Woodsworth and New (which both house upper years)

    4) I have no justification for this, but I want to rule out St. Mikes. I met a chick who lived there and she loooved to party, but I think it’s kind of on the outskirts of campus and I associate dark and scary houses with it.
    5) Vic and Trin have alot of “woohoo we’re Vic and Trin” spirit, if that’s your cup of tea go for it.
    6) Have your eyes go to the left of the homepage and down a bit and there should be a catgory thinger, click on ‘residence’ and see some other wisdom that has been offered.
    And for the record, you’re going to miss the deer.
    AND YES (sorry for the excitment, but I feel like Visual Arts Studies are a bit of a secret at St.George). In the Art section of the course calendar … here … there is the information on the Visual Art program. Skip past those FAH courses and go closer to the bottom to check out the VIS courses. Warning: I hear these classes fill up quick.
    your homeless person whisperer,
  • art

    Hey Soul Sista, I want to do some art


    I’m a first year student who is in constant deliberation with myself about his major(s). One thing I definitely want to study in further years is art, yet I have little experience with it on a high school level and only draw in my spare time! Yet, my mind-nay, my spirit-grumbles and yearns to release its creativity, break its confines from this putrid colourless study of whatever the hell I take now because I surely don’t know or care anymore (it’s history and I hate it). What I’m asking I guess is whether it would be tough to take VIS120 and VIS130 without any formal teaching other than by self with the aid of books? Or is it merely recommended? If so, how hard are these courses to an inexperienced chap?



    Right off the bat
    Side Bar Ted
    Top 5 ‘Set Me Free’ songs (or possibly the only 5)

    Set Me Free – The Kinks

    Set Me Free – Velvet Revolver

    Set Me Free – Xavier Rudd & Izintaba

    Set Me Free – Patti Smith

    I Want to Get Away – Lenny Kravitz (close enough)

    Alright, keep in mind when reading this, that I have not taken this course (but seriosuly considered it). Anywho, I think if they expected you to have previous art experience an entry portfolio would be required.  Looking at the course calendar, they don’t even recommend previous expereince.
    Personally I think that if you have the creative urge in you, that you should do something with it or you will go crazy sitting lecture halls for eight months.
    Both of those classes are relatively hard to get into. So when choosing your courses this summer, I would just make sure?that you make them your first choices.
    Don’t worry about not having formal training, this could be the start you’ve been looking for.

    Yes, I will pose for your first portait (not naked, ew)

    Tender thoughts,

  • art,  fees

    let’s get visual

    I’m trying to find the difference between the Visual Studies program offered at UofT and the Visual Culture and Communication program offered at UTM. Besides the course codes they are basically the same except for the pricing. The one offered at UofT is regulated is approx. $5,000 and the one at UTM is de-regulated approx. $10,000.
    whyy?? thanks 🙂

    Stephanie ..


    Hmm… I think it’s because the Visual Culture and Communication program at UTM is a joint program with Sheridan College, which means that you are shelling out more for professional supplies and a joint college degree. (There is also a mandatory internship!) It also takes in digital photography, media and filmmaking, and god knows, those things can be expensive. The Visual Studies program at U of T proper is a strict studio art program, with less expensive supplies. Judging by both of their (horribly ugly!) websites, these things seem to be the major differences.

    There’s a contact for the CCIT program, if you have any more specific questions.

    xoxo, Askastudent

  • art,  campus,  choosing

    a would-be potter debates U of T and UBC


    I was just wondering if there was a pottery club or a pottery studio on campus such as one in UBC? Also, for the radio station at UBC, they have a self published magazine, so I was just wondering if there were any magazines for U of T that mainly focus on students artists and bands? Thanks!


    It sounds like you should really be going to UBC, what with their pottery clubs and studios and artistic radio stations. I searched high and low for a pottery club here on campus (which we should have, since this school has friggin’ everything), and nothing came up! I know that there’s an installation for Visual Arts Students, which must mean there’s a studio somewhere – but nowhere, even Hart House, seems to list anything accesible to the whole campus. Luckily the Gardiner Museum is right next to Victoria College which does offer a bevy of sculpture/pottery classes open to the public if that’s your thing.

    I know for a fact that The Varsity produces an annual arts magazine that is pretty damn incredible, which focuses on Toronto arts and culture (including bands and artists). You can read a past issue here. That issue is usually produced in January and would be a great thing to get involved with. Otherwise, there’s a ton of campus media and a tremendous radio station at U of T as well as a million other student groups and organizations. I recommend going through this exhaustive list to get started, though you can’t beat BC for rainforests, foilage and other special…er, greenery.

    xoxo, Askastudent

  • art,  choosing,  first year

    you’re out of luck, picasso

    Okay, so first thank you for being so awesome. Second, I have a (slight) problem. I’m going into first year. I want to double major in fine art and a science (biology?), but my admission category is Life Sciences. They told me to apply to life sciences (when I applied in november) to show that I have the pre-reqs. BUT the problem is that now I will potentially get wait-listed for my art courses and not be able to get in. This will not fly as I really only want to major in art. Is there any way I can plead my case and get into the art courses (VIS120 and VIS130) or will I be out of luck? Thanks, Melissa. (I hope this email makes sense.)


    Hey there, Melissa. Did you already speak to a first year counselor at the Innis Registrar’s Office? I’m afraid I will have to tell you the same sad news. 🙁

    Basically because you don’t have priority for the VIS classes (which fill up like crazy), you will have to register for your life science classes first, and you will be waitlisted. The only way around this (other than applying for the courses in your second year, which is probably the most likely reality) is to contact the Visual Arts Department with a portfolio, and maybe, just maybe, they will see your Jackson Pollock-like brilliance and let you in. This is a major long shot.

    Their contact info as is such:


    Undergraduate Program Director
    416 946-8153

    What I’d seriously recommend is waiting it out and taking the courses in your second year. Good luck!

    xoxo, Askastudent

  • architecture,  art,  courses,  victoria

    make your decisions without considering stereotypes

    Heyo aska,

    I’ve just applied for the Frye stream at Vic One and am wondering if the whole affair is actually worthwhile/fantastic vs. pretentious. I’m quite sure it will be at least a little pretentious, but the small class sizes and interesting seminars could make it absolutely marvellous. What is the general reception towards the program at U of T? Is there a “Vic One is smelly” stigma attached to it?

    Also, I’m hoping to keep my options for my major at least a little flexible. I hope to do a double major in Art History/to be decided…And have recently become interested in perhaps doing some intro architecture courses in my first year. Otherwise, I would be leaning towards human geography or history. Something along the lines of urban theory… So I guess the question is, if I take Vic One will some of these options be totally thrown out the window in exchange for a survey of Baudellaire and Derrida?

    Thanks a bunch.

    Your website is pretty much the bomb.


    Let me tell you right now that the affair won’t be worthwhile – not with that attitude.

    One thing I think you really have to train yourself to do is to detach yourself from the stigmas attached to your program(s). For instance, I’m in physics, and I’m sure that when I tell other people what program I’m in, a lot of them automatically label me geek or nerd (or whatever). Stereotypes like these really annoy me – sometimes, they make me question my decisions. But I do my best to ignore them, because I feel that studying physics, personally, a worthwhile pursuit.

    You have to decide yourself whether or not Vic One is personally worthwhile for you. Try hard to ignore the stereotypes (whether real or imagined). If you’re already starting to stereotype Vic One as being smelly/pretentious, there’s a good chance that you won’t enjoy the program at all. But if you instead look at Vic One as a unique opportunity to learn in a multidisciplinary environment, you may find that you enjoy it.

    A major program in Art History only requires 6 full course equivalents, and you only need a half-course in first year. For Architecture, you only need two half-courses (one credit). Even if you factor in your other distribution requirements (one science credit and one social science credit), that’s still only 3.5 credits. You can easily take your Vic One course, and still have another free half-credit you could use as an elective — or more, if you decide that you want to take more than 5 credits. If you’ve found that you’ve made a mistake and would like to add a major in math or something, you can always take a 100-level course in your second year.

    Another thing first-year students can feel disorienting to a lot of people because they are so huge (try sitting in a BIO151 lecture). A seminar-style course could be an opportunity to learn in a more personal setting in which the professor is able to pay a lot more attention to his/her individual students.

    That said, many students don’t take Vic One or TrinOne, and they’re still getting along just fine. So it’s not like Vic One is something that I think you MUST or DEFINITELY SHOULD do. If there’s a course that interests you more than Vic One – be it geology or Japanese or religious studies – then by all means, take that course. But I really advise you to make your decision without the influence of outside opinions/stereotypes – and most importantly, no matter what you choose, to keep an open mind.

    …so this post wasn’t funny at all, but eh… I’m running low on funny these days. In the meantime, go play this game and see if you can beat my score of 10840 (and leave a comment if you do!).