• admissions,  architecture,  internal transfer,  transcripts,  Transferring

    “JOINuoft” – but WHEN?

    Hey aska, I’m a first year student currently in UTSC’s City Studies program (technically going to 2nd year as finals are over) however I reapplied to UofT’s St.George’s architecture program for an internal transfer. I submitted my application during January and the only update I have received on the status of my application (via joinUoT portal) was that my final transcript is needed. This was in the beginning of April. I know results won’t instantly be given right after finals happened but I received all my marks and my final gpa last 2 weeks and the final transcript box in my joinUofT portal still isn’t checked in and still has the “Finals Required” note there. When can I expect a notification on my acceptance for the architecture program? I’m still on the fence on selecting courses for summer school as I already finished my breadth requirements and I don’t want to waste money on courses I won’t need in the future as architecture is still a possibility. Thanks!! An anxious student awaiting for his UofT JD acceptance


    hey there,

    unfortunately, these things can take a while. according to this page, the deadline for schools to submit supplemental documents is June 15th. I can’t find anything that concretely states when you might expect to hear back by, but to be honest, that’s not surprising to me. these admissions deadlines don’t tend to be widely publicized. you can call enrolment services for that info, but i wouldn’t be surprised if you had to wait until past June 15th to hear back.



  • architecture,  first year,  residence

    when you’re at uoft and you’re blossoming like a flower

    Heya Aska!

    So I’ve navigated successfully through the Daniels site and gotten myself an offer for Architectural Studies! Yay! Since I’m most likely going to accept, I got a few questions for you!

    1) How big is the Daniels faculty? Around how many undergraduates get accepted each year? I’ve tried looking but I can’t really find a solid number and I really want to know approximately how big my class sizes might be!

    2) Which residence is most popular for Arch students to live in? I don’t live in Canada so I can’t come to residence tours to see what it’s like and feel the vibe…

    3) (A more general question but) How can a super shy introvert like me get involved in dorm life, making friends, life around the campus etc. etc? I really want to work on improving myself as a person but at the same time it takes a lot of effort to shove me out of my shell :/

    Thank you so much! I always love reading your responses!

    – A smoll high schooler from across the globe


    hey there,

    1.   the reason you won’t find any numbers on this is because it’s not reallypractical information in the way that you probably think it is. it’s true that Daniels is a faculty separate from the faculty of arts & science, but since the undergraduate division only offers one specialist (visual studies), most Daniels students are also taking a program (or two) in the faculty of arts & science. that means you’ll be taking courses with artsci kids, which means that the class size kind of just depends on the class.

    most first-year classes are pretty massive; i’m talking several hundred students, sometimes close to a thousand. if you take a more obscure class or a second-year course, it may whittle down to under a hundred. i don’t mean to imply that there isn’t a separate culture and hub of community and resources at Daniels – because there is. it’s just that there’ll be a lot more crossover than you think.

    2.   again, because architecture is so small, i don’t know that there’s a specific residence for architecture students. there is certainly a vibe, as you put it, to each college residence (plus Chestnut), which is very hard to articulate. since that vibe is so ephemeral, i think it makes the most sense to make a decision based on concrete things, especially if you can’t come to campus for a tour.

    bad vibes american horror story

    sometimes, a residence tour can help you get a feel of where you’d prefer to live

    some questions you may want to ask yourself include: do you prefer dorm- or suite-style? what’s your price range? where is the residence located in relation to your classes, libraries, and other amenities? would you rather live in a tall, modern building like Woodsworth, or an old, castle-esque building, like those at Victoria and St. Mike’s? do any of the residences or colleges run an activity or program that particularly interests you? these things can all help you make a decision.

    3.   i’ve used a handy little schematic (pictured below) to demonstrate this question. what it’s illustrating is that there is a good way to push yourself, and a bad way. if you can push yourself just a smidge past your comfort zone, you enter into your challenge zone. in the challenge zone, you gain skills and confidence by trying new things that are challenging but still doable. if you regularly enter your challenge zone, it starts to expand. those things that were previously found challenging become part of your comfort zone. and voila – growth!

    however, if you push yourself too hard and end up in situations where you’re very uncomfortable, you may find yourself in the panic zone. in the panic zone, you feel completely unequipped to handle the situation at hand, and you begin to panic. after getting yourself out of the situation, you feel nothing except a greater aversion to that type of situation.

    the key to getting out of your shell, i think, is engaging your challenge zone as much as possible, but not pushing yourself into your panic zone. maybe the thought of living with a roommate causes you to panic, but you can challenge yourself to meet everyone on your floor before the end of the first semester. baby steps, and you’ll get there.

    other general tips: get involved with extra-curriculars. not only can they lead to opportunities (even potential jobs!) but your network of friends will expand so, so quickly. on a similar note: get a job! you may get lucky and actually become friends with your colleagues. introduce yourself to the people sitting next to you in class. if your residence has a dining hall, sit with people. maybe you can start by sitting with your don, and then gradually add people to your group. finally, hang out in your common room. that’s just a general tip about residence. all you have to do is literally sit there and new potential friends will come TO YOU. it’s the LAY-Z-BOY of friend-making.



  • architecture

    BRIDGING to daniels

    hey aska!

    I’m nearing the end of my second semester in socsci, having been a transfer?student from art fundamentals at sheridan college, but I’m hating it. I?know I missed the deadline to apply to transfer to visual studies at u of?t, but as the Daniels site is a little confusing, I was hoping you could?help me answer a few questions!

    The reason I’m thinking of transferring to Daniels after second year of?socsci is because A. I’m miserable in socsci, and it’s reflected in my?grades right now, and B. currently, my top art school (york’s BDes)?wouldn’t take me with my u of t grades.

    I know most art programs base a good like, 80 percent of the application on?the portfolio, but I get the feeling that doesn’t ring true for U of T. Am?I right?

    I’ll end this semester with about 3.0 or 4.0 credits. If I take “easier”?classes next year to bring my GPA up while still staying under 10.0 credits?to transfer, will that help?

    Also, I’m trying to gauge the likelihood that I’ll get some of my credits?from Sheridan College transferred, like a first year 2D design, or a life?drawing class?

    Ps. What’s with this “One Idea” thing? Is it the same every year, like?should I be preparing my answer to this years question so I’ve got it ready?when I apply to transfer?

    Wow this was longer than expected, sorry and thanks for any help!

    – sad and covered in paint


    hey there,

    i feel like one day daniels is gonna up and revamp their whole website and it’s gonna be the best, most user-friendly website in all of uoft, and all these posts throwing shade at it are gonna make no sense. i await that day patiently.

    firstly: uoft doesn’t ask for a portfolio. they base admission on your CGPA and most recent AGPA, and your One Idea supplementary application. the One Idea application is not a portfolio (quote: “The One Idea supplementary application is not a portfolio“), and you shouldn’t treat it as such. it is very much an essay used to assess your?potential for success in the daniels program, rather than a measure of how successful you’ve already been.

    as far as i’m concerned, there are no “easier” or “harder” classes, per se. if you pick classes where you think you’ll do well, and then you?do do well (don’t you dare laugh that i just said ‘do do’), well that can only help your chances. just as long as you make sure to stay under the 10.0 credit mark, you should be fine. if you have any questions about how your uoft credits will transfer over from one faculty to another, you can look here.

    if you’d like to know what transfer credit you’re likely to get for your sheridan courses, transfer explorer is the place to go. it may just be my favourite uoft website in the ‘explorer’ suite (no shade, @degree explorer). you just type in your sheridan courses, and it spits out any possible transfer credits at uoft. just remember, it’s not a guarantee, just a prediction of the most likely outcome.

    i feel like the One Idea question is the same every?year, but to be honest with you i haven’t been paying enough attention to the daniels applications to be certain. what i would do is start preparing your answer when?the next application cycle opens, probably around October next year. definitely do not leave it to the last minute like this person.

    best of luck with your application!


  • architecture,  GPA

    daniels secrets

    Hey there! I have a Daniels faculty question. At the end of 1st year I decided that I’m really going to try and transfer to the Daniels faculty for a double major in architecture and visual studies. So I must wait until this January (halfway through my 2nd year as an artsci student) to apply to the programs. I’ve tried asking Daniels faculty staff what the chances are of getting in according to my CGPA, no answers. Do you have any idea what my CGPA should look like?


    hey there,

    firstly, i’m sorry for making you wait so long for this answer. the only reason i made you wait was because i was looking for an answer and couldn’t find it, and i kept putting it off because i thought the answer would turn up. turns out i was wrong.

    this information is not published anywhere that i can find, and if daniels won’t tell you, that’s probably because they don’t want you to know.

    moreover, the fact that you also have to complete a written application complicates things, because it means that GPA is not the only factor considered in your application. an exceptionally strong or weak one idea essay will affect your chances as well.

    all i can recommend is that you do the best you can and try to put the competition out of your mind.

    sorry about that.



  • architecture


    Hey there, thank you for keeping up with these questions.
    Architecture requires you to take a double major or a major and two minors from art and science. Now if I take a double architecture major, in architectural design and history, art and criticism, will I still be able to enroll in different courses from art and science majors? Do I get to choose whatever course I want to enrol into? and can I take engineering courses or are my choices limited to art and science programs?
    Your old dead pal, John Snow


    hey there,

    RUDE. didn’t you spare a thought for those poor souls who are behind in their TV viewing before posting a merciless spoiler like that? how dare you. how. DARE. you.

    i’m gonna try to move on from my moral indignation to answer this question. because aska is nothing if not professional. oh – and beautiful. i’m also very beautiful.

    ok, so i haven’t been able to find much on that accURSED DANIELS WEBSITE that?explicitly?states that?you’re able to take FAS courses, but everything points to it. if you can enrol in FAS subject POSts, you have to?be able to enrol in FAS courses (ROSI’s really not smart enough to discriminate between people enrolled in a FAS POSt or not). also, it would be impossible?for you to fulfil your breadth requirements without access to non-architecture courses.

    the ONLY explicit reference i could find to the fact that daniels students can take FAS courses is this one little sentence on the faculty’s credit/no-credit page:

    “Due to the unique relationship between the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design (Daniels Faculty) and the Faculty of Arts & Science, and because Daniels Faculty students are eligible to pursue Faculty of Arts & Science courses and programs of study (Subject POSts), the Daniels Faculty will be following the Faculty of Arts & Science academic practices and procedures in relation to the CUPE strike.”

    there you go. found it in writing. Daniels Faculty students are eligible to pursue Faculty of Arts & Science courses. i should be a detective.

    as for engineering – nah. you’re stuck with artsci, dude.

    xoxo to you, John Snow,


  • architecture

    architecture doesn’t mind if you have a POSt on the side

    hey yo aska. wondering if you could answer thing question for me: i’m currently an artsci student wanting to transfer to the architecture faculty. i plan on doing a double major (archi + artsci). now i know i’ll have to apply to transfer later this year an then will probably get a reply next spring/summer so i was wondering if i finish my artsci major this year, will the credits transfer over when im hopefully in architecture? hope this makes sense. ty.


    hey there,

    man, this would’ve been like twenty times easier if you’d just told me what year you were in. but i get it. y’all wanna stay mysterious, ask your questions anonymously, not provide any identifying information that would make your question easier to answer. that’s cool. i don’t need details to answer your questions. i’ll just READ YOUR MIND through the screen.

    ross fine by me

    aska is totally fine with general and obscure questions

    here’s your blanket answer: if you’ve completed more than 10.0 FCEs already, you won’t be eligible to transfer?to architecture. so if you’re going to have more than 10.0 by the time you want?to apply, you may want to change your course plans around a little bit.

    however, if you’re under the 10.0 mark, then you’re eligible to have all of your credits transferred over! note that i said eligible – they may not all carry over, but they’ll all be assessed.

    also, you don’t even have to finish your major before transferring – as long as you complete at least one daniels subject POSt?during your degree, you can do both.?isn’t that just?archi-tastic?

    keep an eye out for deadlines to transfer so you don’t miss it when the time comes. hope you get in ~


  • architecture,  exchange,  study abroad

    @ Michael Lee-Chin: fight me


    are there study abroad opportunities for architecture, particularly for undergrads?



    hey there,

    if you really want an EXCITING, URBAN experience, my personal recommendation is that you stand in front of the ROM – facing the shard side, of course – and yell really loudly about how bold and beautiful it is. scream “WHAT AN INSIGHTFUL MEDITATION ON THE CLASH BETWEEN THE ANCIENT AND THE MODERN” until someone stops on the street to pummel you.

    then fight them, illustrating in real time the historical struggles preserved in the ROM. punch yourself in the face. get an A+.

    buttttt if you’re more conventional (*cough*boring*cough*) and want something NON LIFE-THREATENING that’s organized by the university (snore), then you can always participate in the summer abroad program.

    summer abroad lets you complete a uoft course abroad during the summer. this summer, there are two architecture courses offered: FAH391Y0 in Italy, and FAH392Y0 in England.

    there is also an exchange program (different from summer abroad, this program is organized by the CIE) that allows you to complete a course at another university abroad. Yonsei University in Korea offers architecture courses.

    that’s about it as far as undergrad opportunities go, but keep an eye on the summer abroad and CIE websites, because new courses and partner institutions are always being added to the summer abroad and exchange programs.

    or you could go for my very helpful ROM suggestion. i think a bloody fight between some art enthusiasts is exactly what Bloor/Yorkville needs.

    happy travels,


  • architecture

    jon snow at the faculty of architecture

    Hello there,
    First of all, great work on all the questions you’re answering, it really helped me in many matters.
    So, my question is what majors or minors am I allowed to study along with architecture in Daniels Faculty? Can I study something like engineering or astronomy or are my choices limited to the art related courses; as there website is too vague you know and I know nothing.
    Thank you,
    -Jon Snow


    hey there Jon Snow,

    aw, thanks for saying that, man! honestly, you guys have gotten so polite. what happened to the good old days, when you would shout at me for not getting to your answer within 24 hours? come on, come at me! my fists are up!

    as to POSts, you’re pretty much allowed to sign up for whatever you want, as long as you have an appropriate combination of subject POSts. architectural studies only offers majors (which you can pair with another major or two minors – or another specialist, if you’re especially ambitious/crazy), but visual studies is available as a specialist, major or minor.

    so you’ve got a lot of options. feel free to explore! and then hopefully by the end of your degree, you will know at least a little bit more than nothing…like, a tiny little something…hopefully. i mean,?i don’t, but i have faith for you.



    P.S. i feel bad that the daniels website has become a sort of punching bag here at aska. to be fair, it’s not the only confusing uoft site. and it’s actually really pretty.

  • architecture,  first year

    architecture is…building…stuff?

    Hi aska!

    Been following your blog recently and just wanted to say that you’re really helpful!!!

    I’m currently a senior in a BC highschool and it’s been my dream to come to ontario uni. My current dilemma is that I’m struggling about deciding between Architectural Studies at UT and Planning at Waterloo.

    I received my acceptance for UT and I was completely floored that I got in. I began doing more research on UT itself and I love love love the campus. I accepted my offer literally the second I got my email. Now however, I’ve realized my short-sightedness. I don’t really know what Architectural Studies entails. LIKE ACTUALLY, WHAT IS IT. I’ve tried to scour the department website for more details but to no avail. Perhaps I haven’t looked hard enough, but it would really mean a a lot if you could help a gal out!!! I’m stressing out over my exams (darn IB) and the impeding deadline on May 1st.

    And to continue this long winded story, I got an offer from for Planning at Waterloo around a month after UT. At first I didn’t really think much of it, but now I’m starting to really consider Waterloo. This is unbelievably frustrating to me because I picked out my residence (innis hola) and I felt like I had my life planned out at UT only to find myself immersed in doubt.

    1. Is it possible to reject my offer after May 1st? Waterloo’s deadline is June 1 so could I possibly wait until then to decide? As I said before, I already accepted my offer for UT on ouac. Can I even change that…

    2. Any info and tips you have about Architectural Studies? I’m not really in to physics and math but I’ve always loved architecture.

    3. Do you happen to know what are? some jobs/ careers graduates from this program have? Do they continue and do a masters in architecture? Or go straight in to the workforce

    It would really mean a lot to me if you could answer even one of these questions!!

    Thanks aska!!!!!! ???? ???? ????


    a ponderous padawan


    hey there padawan,

    thanks for saying i’m helpful! it’s always nice to hear. helps me feel?like less of a disappointment to my parents.

    1. you can definitely cancel your acceptance to uoft on OUAC and then accept waterloo’s. you just have to make sure to cancel your acceptance?by the deadline stated in your acceptance package from uoft. easy-peasy.

    2. i get the frustration that comes around not being able to figure out?WHAT THE H*CK something is before you actually start taking classes about it. obviously you can’t know exactly what it’ll be like before starting, but here are some leads:

    i’m not in architecture and the daniels faculty is famous on askastudent for its vagueness, so i can’t give you too many concrete details. but the admission requirements don’t include?calculus or physics, and the supplementary oneidea application really emphasizes creativity in the visual arts. so i wouldn’t worry too much about not being a physics/math person.

    if you want a bit more insight about architectural studies at uoft and what daniels does, it might be helpful to browse the research projects the faculty has going on right now. here’s one thing they’re doing, and here’s another?and another. also, here are two tumblrs of current daniels faculty students – i’ve never spoken with them before, but it doesn’t hurt to send them a (polite) ask about classes, how they like the program, etc.

    finally, here is a page with past and current course timetables for the daniels faculty. browsing through courses might give you a better sense of what you’ll actually be doing once in school.

    3. according to the royal architectural institute of canada, “the professional degree [for architecture] is only offered at the master’s level.” so if you’d like to actually?be an architect (i.e. work for a firm and design stuff), you do need the M.A. (or M.Arch.) in addition to?the B.A. (or B.Arch.). the B.A. on its own might prepare you for other urban planning or design opportunities.

    as for what architects do once they’re out there in the working world, i can’t tell you much. all i know about architecture is what i inferred from the musical montage of joseph gordon-levitt in 500 days of summer – that is to say, not a lot. except i really want a chalkboard wall now.

    here are some links where you can?learn more about the profession: bam bam bam and BAM.

    ttfn and good luck making the right decision!


  • architecture

    what kinds of things do you guys think i know…

    Hello askas,

    I am an urban planning graduate applying to MA and MLA at Daniels and UBC.?Since high school, I have always wanted to study architecture, but wasn’t
    in the right environment (language barrier as an immigrant born in a?non-design family in Asia) to interpret creative stimulations until myundergraduate study. My portfolio was mostly projects from planning, with a?few handcrafts, drawing, and photography works. This is my second time?applying, I am hoping for the best, although quite intimidated by the works?from senior students in the master programs at Daniels judging from their?critique photos online.

    Through design studios I began to pick up many trends, ideas, and?principles that drive the creative process, and I am in constant amusement?of how unpredictable the methodologies to design projects are. Considering?the breadth of application through design in solving current issues, the?social, environmental, and creative responsibilities each proposal holds,?and the complex impact each physical addition would impose, I struggle to?understand the “whole” picture, let alone propose and justify my projects?with confidence. This is especially evident in the work field when almost?every decision was driven by cost, structural feasibility, and external?factors outside of our control as designers.

    I would imagine each individual have different learning style, and the?triggers to our imaginative tendencies vary, but as someone who truly had?to begin the pursuit of this profession from a blank slate, I would love?for you to share your experience on the types of activities, interests,?knowledge, and habits that contribute to the types of thinking possessed by?architects to draw inspirations from in their design. What are some?qualities of architecture and even large scale projects that win your?admiration, and also, qualities of architects (students or professionals,?even starchitects) as characters that contribute to the quality of their?designs and recognition of their excellence.

    These are some incredibly vague questions, I’m sure you might be thinking.?Although I am trying to stir a discussion towards your idea on the thinking?process of architects, your answer on any single aspect of these questions?will be appreciated!


    hey there,

    i appreciate all the thought you put into your question, i really do. it was a nice read, like a little article, on this monday evening. however, i don’t think i can be of much use to you.

    the kernel of your question, from what i can see, is, “what are some qualities of architecture and even large-scale projects that win your?admiration, and also, qualities of architects (students or professionals,?even starchitects) as characters that contribute to the quality of their?designs and recognition of their excellence”?

    that’s a pretty good question. i just think you asked the wrong person.

    listen, i’m impressed when people can just get buildings to stand straight up without falling down. i can’t even make a house of cards.

    what i can help a bit with is your anxiety about applying to uoft. i can see you’re stressed about being an international student, and i’m sure the fact that this is your second time around, so to speak, is discouraging as well.

    all i can say is that uoft is an incredibly international school. we have people from all over, and not only do we have them, we have a?lot of them. so you can rest easy if you’re concerned about that affecting your application.

    if you want to see how you might fit into the world of architects, i’d recommend reading stuff by actual architects in the city – ’cause honestly, i could try to give you my opinion, but i’d just be embarrassing myself. all i know is CORINTHIAN COLUMNS! that’s a thing in architecture, right? maybe?

    one of our most famous architecture-writers (though he’s not originally trained as an architect…i think) is shawn micallef. he edits spacing magazine (which i highly recommend) and he has a column in?The Star. if you want opinions about architects and architecture, i’d start there. (he also wrote an excellent book about architecture in toronto).

    here are some publications about architecture and architects that may interest you. you might also want to browse aska’s architecture tag to get more of a feel for the daniels faculty and uoft architecture students in particular.

    good luck with your applications!


  • admissions,  architecture,  Transferring


    Hi Aska

    I am in first year Architectural Technology at George Brown College. I decided to apply to U of T’s Architectural Studies to pursue a degree and hopefully continue on for my masters. My question involves how far back into my education U of T will look to make a decision. I am 21 now and have a 3.9 GPA at George Brown BUT two years ago I had a really bad first year at UOttawa and my marks were terrible. I took the next year off and then applied to George Brown. Out of high school I had a low 80’s average. I feel that my One Idea application will be pretty strong and demonstrate my creative ability but I am worried that the school will not look past my Ottawa marks. I understand if you don’t know but I wondered if maybe they just took my most recent GPA or all my past GPA’s into account?

    Thank you for listening.


    hey there,

    you would be required to submit transcripts from all of those places. in addition, the daniels faculty does say that “[s]tudents will be considered based upon their overall CGPA, [and] their most recent AGPA.”* so it’s likely that all these things will be considered in some capacity.

    however, the specifics are for enrolment services to know, and you to find out, so to speak. your most recent AGPA is important enough to be listed as a factor on the daniels’ undergraduate admissions page, but whether your uOttawa marks will be a significant factor, or how the different transcripts will be weighted, i’m not sure.

    so: your past GPAs will play a factor. so will your current GPA. so will your One Idea app.

    unfortunately i don’t know anything more specific than that, but know that they will look carefully at everything before making a decision, and consider your situation and context. i know you may be feeling a bit like this while waiting for a response, but we’ve got a pretty fair admissions team here.



    * AGPA is uoft talk for ‘annual GPA.’ CGPA is ‘cumulative GPA.’

  • admissions,  architecture,  OUAC

    architecture newbies

    If I want to major in Architecture and minor in Art History, should I apply to both programs on my OUAC application or just the program I want to major in? Also, how would I pay tuition if I’m in two programs with different tuition costs? Thanks in advance! 🙂


    hey there,

    according to the ‘high school students’ section of this page, you don’t apply to your majors or minors specifically. you either apply to the H.B.A. in Architectural Studies or the H.B.A. in Visual Studies.

    you would select the Architecture option (code TLA). from there, you can participate in the architectural studies major program, and apply for any minors with the faculty of arts & science after first year.

    as for tuition – that wouldn’t happen, because there’s not a different tuition fee for every major or minor (imagine what a nightmare that would be. SHEESH). fees are a bit more general than that, and tend to be based on how many credits you’re taking in a year. this table should help you make sense of it.

    good luck with applications!


  • architecture,  grad school

    come to fall campus day! – a sneaky plug

    Would you know if Daniels is having a separate “fall campus day”/open house other than one one that St George is having? Or if there is a separate such day for grad students?


    hey there,

    lucky for you, fall campus day is your one-stop-shop for all things uoft. every college, all five undergraduate faculties, student residences, and graduate studies will throw open their arms (or doors) for you on october 18th.

    during fall campus day, daniels will be having two info sessions about undergrad admissions and one mock lecture, both of which i would highly, highly recommend. it’s not every faculty that will allow you to simulate a lecture before you actually get into the program.

    daniels will also be having a graduate studies open house on november 4th and 5th.

    if you’re interested in any of the other bazillion graduate programs offered by uoft, you can visit “almost all” of them at fall campus day.

    oh, hey! speaking of, your very own aska will also be lurking around at fall campus day. do you think you can find me?