• breadth requirements

    no math? no problems

    hi, do you know if you have to take a math course if you’re not doing a math degree? (i’m in social sciences, leaning towards something like polisci or women’s studies)

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    hey hey,

    you don’t have to take a math course specifically, no! u of t tries to diversify the courses we take not by mandating certain courses as requirements, but rather making us take a certain number of credits in each of a few different categories. these are called breadth requirements,  and in a lot of ways i prefer them to the way i’ve heard other unis do things. the category you’d be concerned with is breadth 5, or ‘the physical and mathematical universes.’ this can involve math, but doesn’t have to if you don’t want it to.

    it is possible to meet the breadth 5 requirement (or at least half a credit of it) without ever solving a single equation. i do a quite large plug for the one breadth 5 course i did in this post. long story short, it was very arts-kid friendly and i would 10/10 recommend. i’m sure there are other courses out there geared towards humanities students (read: few numbers) if you dig a little more!

    if you want a more detailed rundown of what the categories are, you can check out this recent post i did on how the breadth req works. please read it if you’re not familiar, otherwise this recommendation might not make much sense to you! but the bottom line is, if you’re worried about having to take math, you can probably skirt the entirety of breadth 5 — as long as you don’t mind biology-type courses.

    short answer: if you plan well, no math for you! unless, of course, you want to take it. then you def can, and still fulfill your degree requirements. NOBODY LOSES TODAY i love it.

    over n out,

    aska

  • breadth requirements

    thank GOD it is the way it is

    do you have to do the breadth requirement every year or just once?

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    hey hey,

    man i can’t imagine having to do it every year. that scares me a little, just thinking about it.  i would just… never finish my degree, probably. ever. it would take too many of my credits up.

    rest assured that you’ve only got to go through it once! that’s why a lot of people try to do theirs in first year– not only will you have access to more fun, first-year-only breadth req courses, but you’ll get it out of the way and not have to worry about it anymore.

    if you’re still confused, you can check out this link. basically, you need to take one credit from 4/5 of the 5 breadths, or one from 3/5 and a half credit from each of the remaining two. if that’s not too confusing.

    hope this helped! best of luck with your first year, friend.

    over n out,

    aska

  • breadth requirements,  first year

    pmu199 plug plug plug

    do you have updated suggestions for the math/science breadth requirement courses for first years who aren’t good at math or science? i think the offered courses have changed a lot this year, because i can’t find some of the old suggestions on the course list!

    ——————————————

    hey there and warm welcome to u of t!

    not entirely sure where you’re looking, but it is quite possible that course offerings have changed from previous years. i can definitely run you through what i know about your options, though! because you didn’t specify, for the purposes of this post i’m gonna assume you’re a st. george kid.

    the math/science breadth requirement, or breadth 5, can be one of those tough ones to get down if you’re not numerically inclined– which is something i totally sympathize with and had to navigate my first year as well. it’s good that you’re looking to get your breadth reqs out of the way early, because your freshman year really is the best time to do so. not only are there special courses you can only take during that one year, but you’ll also just not have to worry about them later on, particularly when you’re looking to graduate.

    the one breadth 5 course i took that i ended up really liking was one of the 199s, specifically the one called “astronomy at the frontier.” from what i can find, it’s still being offered. i took it with drs. drout and reid. they were both super supportive but also just really good teachers, as in they managed to get ME pretty into a SCIENCE. the class mostly revolves around learning how to operate and use this online telescope software to take pictures of the galaxy. then, you’re graded on a final ‘observing project’ where you develop a research question and use photos you took to illustrate your results. if you stay on top of your work and stick to the (pretty detailed) rubrics, it’s reasonably possible to do well in this course with no science background whatsoever.

    i’m not sure how much they’ll have changed the format based on the feedback my year gave, but when i took the course participation was worth 10 percent, and there was no final exam, just a three-minute oral interview worth another 10. the best part, at least where you’re concerned? absolutely no math involved. we were expected to familiarize ourselves with a good number of astronomical concepts, but not to the level of actual in-depth memorization, and never to the extent of learning any formulas or calculations. could not plug that course more.

    can’t fit it into your schedule, or does it still not sound like something you wanna take? for more, you can go to the timetable https://timetable.iit.artsci.utoronto.ca/ and search “pmu199” in the course codes box. you’ll get a bunch of listings for similarly oriented first-year-exclusive courses. these small seminars are your best bet for fulfilling your breadth requirements, as they’re just plain less likely to screw you over. they also have more interesting content than typical first year lectures: there’s a video game writing one that sounds kinda cool, and a biosensory tech course geared towards arts kids.

    another option you have is to take a regular first year science and credit/no credit it. that way, you fulfill your breadth requirement but only need to pass to do so. once again, astronomy! i’d recommend AST101 as i’ve heard it’s not too hard. i’ve heard good things about the ‘magic of physics’ first year course too. it’s on the small size for a lecture, and supposedly a breeze if you took high school physics, which i dunno if you did.

    it may be useful for you to know that you can’t cr/ncr any of those small first year seminars, because they’re considered ‘too easy’ for that. i didn’t really realize that before going into mine, but luckily it turned out fine.

    sorry for the novel. i have fun writing these and get a bit carried away sometimes, but i do hope my unnecessary levels of detail are helpful at some level. as always, keep in mind that anything i put forward here is just my personal experience and someone else’s take could be totally different.

    hope your first year is fantastic and you crush that breadth five req!

    over n out,

    aska

  • breadth requirements

    let’s get this breadth

    What are the breadth requirements for arts and sciences students?? The page on the school website gave me an error: not found message :/

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    hey there,

    yeah so it seems like the artsci website is… broken? or at least the version of it linked to nearly every single google search is chock-full of 404s. trust me, i’m not the biggest fan of this either because it makes my job as an aska harder.

    i’m sure someone at the uni is working hard on getting things back on track, though. in the meantime, i’d suggest you either do a search using the artsci search bar instead of google, because the page links you get from that shouldn’t be broken. otherwise, you may be able to find the information on other sites, and feel free to ask again if there’s anything you can’t find.

    i did manage to find a working page that outlines the breadth requirements. there are 5, which i can outline for you here since i’m answering this question anyway:

    BREADTH 1: “creative and cultural representations” — involves things like creative writing, anthropology, cinema studies, drama, and the like. the artsiest of artsci. want to study tolkien or game of thrones? talk about murder in fiction? find out what the heck a cossack is? these are the courses you’re looking for.

    BREADTH 2: “thought, belief, and behaviour”– are your parents nagging you to ‘learn a third language, jimmy, it’ll help prevent the early onset of alzheimer’s’? (maybe this is a me problem.) are you into philosophy? do debates on morality get you going? do you like to do a lot of thinking for the sake of thinking? chances are you’ll already have this breadth pat down.

    BREADTH 3: “society and its institutions”–do you self-identify as a history buff? have a burning vendetta against gender violence that you want to explore in the classroom? want to go paddling on the great lakes for credit? hell yeah you do. breadth 3 is for you.

    BREADTH 4: “living things and their environment” — is your life’s goal to cure some obscure but life-threatening disease? do you want to talk about drugs? dementia? membranes? TREES?

    BREADTH 5: “the physical and mathematical universes” — do chem labs spark joy for you? are numbers your idea of a good time?  does thinking about the human genome fill you with awe and wonder? breadth 5, my friend, is your vibe.

    –i mean, for a lot of these you don’t really have a choice. to fulfill your breadth requirements, you’ll need to take either:

    1. one full credit from four categories OR
    2. one full credit from three, and a half credit from the remaining two

    usually breadth requirements aren’t too bad, though. if your strengths lean more so to one of either humanities or the sciences, you can definitely find breadth requirement courses that won’t pose as much as a challenge for you. for example, i managed to get my breadth 5 credit with a first-year astronomy course that didn’t require me to do any math at all. i’m sure there are also humanities courses designed for the sciences. i would encourage you to get these requirements out of the way early, though, especially since the easiest breadth courses are restricted to first years (seminars and ones).

    sorry for the wait getting this answered– i’ve been out of commission for a bit but i’m back now and will try to get through the backlog of questions. big THANK to everyone waiting!

    cheers,

    aska

  • breadth requirements,  first year

    a breadth of breadth courses

    Hi,
    I’m a first year student and having a hard time choosing a simple Breadth requirement course that doesn’t involved Math under the 4-5 category. I’m worried if I don’t do it during my 1st year it will be too hard 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year…
    Any suggestions would be really appreciated!

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    hi!

    ah, the time-honoured tradition of avoiding math. i know it well.

    i got moved you never seen comedy central GIF by Broad City

    a great way to look for courses is the faculty of arts and sciences’ timetable. you can click on “advanced search” and look up courses based on which breadth requirement they fulfill. you can also see other course information such as when and where the course is held, any enrollment blocks that may be on the course (priorities, exclusions, etc), how many people are in the course or on the waitlist, and who teaches the course. since you’re looking for courses to fulfill breadth 4 and 5, you could filter your search by that and look through the courses and see if there’s anything that interests you.

    you mention that you’re worried about doing breadth in the upper years. though it’s true that a lot of students fulfill their breadth requirements in the first year, it won’t be “too hard” to do it later on. first year is transitional, and the transition can be difficult. if something in the sciences is super out of your comfort zone, there’s no harm in waiting until you’re more comfortable with university life to do breadth.

    and since you asked for suggestions… here is my PERSONAL (and i greatly emphasize, PERSONAL), suggestions for breadth courses that look interesting that still have space:

    this is a survey course designed for non-scientists and assumes that students have no background in math or science at all, so this sounds perfect for what you’re trying to do. the course outline also mentions that the course explores popular scientific topics, so it might be stuff that you’ve heard of before. also, the course title itself sounds pretty dope.

    these are astronomy classes designed for students with no background in science. they explore “our place in the universe.” i feel like everyone i know has taken these before for breadth; it’s super popular. i mean, tons of people take it and they manage to fill con hall every semester so… it’s gotta be aight, right? plus, space is pretty cool.

    a course about ancient civilizations and how they responded to where they lived. if you’re a history buff or want to learn about the truly stark environmental crisis we are currently in (compared to the environmental changes that the ancients experiences)… then this is the course for you!

    the title is a tad misleading, and i promise you (and your concerned parents) that this isn’t a class about narcotics. this is a class about pharmacology and the creation of pharmaceutical drugs. it looks like it could be super interesting, especially if you’re interested in the health sector or how pharmaceuticals are made but not necessarily the SCIENCE and CHEMISTRY behind it.

    breadth can be really daunting, i know that the thought of having to take a university-level course outside of my comfort zone terrified me– in fact, i didn’t do breadth until my second year.

    meryl streep hunter GIF

    that being said. i hope this helps!

    xoxo,

    aska

    PS- don’t forget that the last day to add F or Y courses are september 19th! 

  • breadth requirements,  degree requirements,  first year

    the scary world of degree requirements

    Hello! I’ll be a first year student soon and I was look at the breadth requirements page and I don’t get what any of it means? FCEs? 100 series? 300+ series? What??

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    hi!

    welcome to u of t and the annoying and confusing world of degree requirements!

    basically, you need 20 FCE (full course equivalents, which means you could take 20 full year courses, 40 half year courses, or any mix as long as it adds up to 20 full course equivalents) to graduate. within those 20 credits, there are certain requirements that you need to fulfill. according to this, you need to have at least 6.0 FCE of 300/400-level courses with at least 1.0 400 series, and no more than 6.0 100-level courses.

    but what does this all mean!??!

    the “level” of a course denotes what year that course is meant to be taken in. 100 being first year, 200 being second year, etc. you can tell what “level” a course is from the first number in the course code. for example, ENG140 is a first year or 100- level course. of course, these levels are all suggested and oftentimes upper year students take a lower level course in order to complete requirements. as long as you don’t go over the max of 6.0 100-level courses and as long as you take at least 6.0 300+ level courses, you’ll be good!

    this brings us to the elusive breadth requirement. the breadth requirement is the university’s way of making sure that we turn out somewhat well-rounded. there are 5 “categories”, all corresponding to a different area of study. you need to complete 1.0 FCE in 4/5 categories or 1.0 FCE in 3/5 categories and than 0.5 FCE in the remaining two categories. for the most part, whatever program you’re interested in will fulfill at least 2 or 3 of the categories, so you just need to look at completing the other 2 or 3. though a lot of students decide to get their breadth requirement out of the way in first year, it doesn’t really matter when you do it, as long as they’re done before you graduate.

    i hope this helps! i know this is a lot and can be really confusing. don’t hesitate to reach out to your college registrar to set up an academic advising session just to figure some stuff out. it can be really helpful.

    see you on campus in september!

     happy loop yay celebrating kermit GIF

    xoxo,

    aska

  • ACORN,  arts & sciences,  breadth requirements,  courses,  degree requirements,  enrollment,  first year

    course selection frenzy

    Hello! I got into u of t St George and first I just wanted to say thank you to all the admins of aska! There’s a lot of anxiety surrounding uni when you’re a senior, but this site was a haven for all my questions. So thank you 🙂 And now that I got in I have even more questions haha. Course selection! I don’t know anything about what I’m supposed to do! How many courses do I choose? How many credits do I need to graduate? Can I only choose courses revolvin from major and/or minor? Thanks again!!

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    hello young one!

    thank you! it’s always nice to get fanmail!

    as for your questions about course selection, it’s understandable that you have no clue what’s going on! i felt like i was wandering through an impermeable haze of confusion during the summer before my first year so i totally feel you.

    for first years, you’ll find out your course enrolment time (when you can log onto ACORN and enrol in courses) on july 21st. actual course enrolment starts july 27th. basically, you log onto ACORN, find the courses that you want to take by typing them into the website’s search bar, add them to your enrolment cart, and then click the enrol button on july 27th. DON’T FORGET TO ACTUALLY ENROL IN YOUR COURSES. i know tons of people who forgot because they thought that adding them to their enrolment cart enrolled them automatically. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. it’s like online shopping, you gotta check out after you put ’em in the cart.

    as for how many courses, most people do 5 FCE (full course equivalents) per year in order to graduate in 4 years (you need 20 FCE to graduate, 5 times 4 = 20). of course, that is just a suggestion. some people take less and then take either an extra year or two to graduate or make up for it with summer courses. it’s all up to you! i wouldn’t suggest taking more than 5 in the first year though. while it is possible to take up to 6 FCE per year, it’s nice to be able to just figure out your pacing and see how heavy uni courses are before taking on extra courses.

    in your first year (i’m also assuming that you’re in artsci), you can take any classes you want, though you should take the courses that are relevant to your programs of interest. you should also do some research on the programs that you’re interested in and check out their preqs. you can find programs and their requirements in the faculty calendar.

    i would also suggest looking at the breadth requirement. though you do have your entire undergrad to fulfill these, a lot of people like to get these out of the way early. there are also a lot of breadth options in first year, such as the first year seminar classes. also, you are only allowed 6.0 100-level courses throughout your degree, so it might be a good idea to plan out how you’re going to use them.

    i really hope that this helps! looking forward to seeing you on campus in september!

    xoxo,

    aska

  • breadth requirements,  failing,  prereqs,  probation

    the consequences of failing a course

    hey,

    I wanted to ask that if I fail a course which I do not need for my program
    of study and have just taken it as a breadth requirement, what will the
    consequence be?
    will I have to retake the course? will I be put on probation? will I be
    kicked out of uni?
    So I just wanna know what exactly will happen since I don’t need it as a
    pre req for my program of study!

    thanks

    ———————————————

    hey,

    great question. since it’s not required for your program, you won’t have to retake the course unless you really wanted to retake THAT specific course. in terms of how many times you can retake the course, you’re allowed to the retake the course as many times as you want until you pass the course (but why would you do that unless you need to). once you receive a passing grade in the course, you won’t be able to retake it to achieve a higher grade without the permission of a registrar.

    if you fail a course, a grade point of 0.0 will be assigned for that course, but you’ll only be put on academic probation if your CGPA is lower than 1.5. academic probation is a whole other story but they have a helpful chart to show you how it works.

    don’t worry, you won’t be kicked out of uni!

    cheers,

    aska

     

  • breadth requirements,  english,  IB

    to math or not to math

    Hi aska! This problem has been bugging my for a while now. The English Major Program requires completion of 0.5 FCE in BR5. I have a transfer credit from IB HL Physics. Does that count towards the POSt? Degree planner says it does but I’m not sure cause the department website states CR/NCR doesn’t count towards the program. Does the transfer credit fall under that cause technically it doesn’t contribute towards my GPA? All these requirements are hella confusing. Thanks in advance!

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    hey there,

    unlike CR/NCR courses, transfer credits (and that includes transfer IB credits) can count towards breadth requirements. if degree explorer is saying your IB physics credit counts towards the BR5 requirement for an English major, then you don’t have anything to worry about.

    another way of checking would be to take a look at your academic history on ACORN; if the credit counts as a BR5 credit, then it will say so underneath the transfer credit. and if it’s a BR5, then it should meet that English major requirement!

    as a matter of fact, i had a weirdly similar situation to you. i did an english specialist and had first-year transfer credits from another university, and my physics transfer credit (or maybe it was chem?…it’s all a blur now) was used to fill that same requirement for my English specialist!

    maybe you’re like my doopleganger or something. whoa.

    cheers,

    aska

  • breadth requirements,  courses,  first year

    afraid of breadth categories 4 and 5? say no more!

    Hi Aska!

    I am trying to pick out my first year courses and am in need of a bit of assistance.

    I noticed that the courses you can take have breadth requirements attached to them. Let’s say you are taking a course which covers a Creative and Cultural Representations Breadth Requirement but you are also taking this course as a requirement for your program. Does this course still cover the Breadth Requirement even though it’s going towards your program?

    Also, I was accepted to U of T in the Humanities and let’s just say, I’m not that “gifted” in the science and math category. Can you recommend any First Year Seminars or even courses for individuals who aren’t that strong in the sciences and mathematics?

    Thanks so much! 🙂

    ———————————————

    hey there,

    oooh, a first year! do you feel excited? do you feel like you have all the potential in the world? does your heart flutter as you page through the course calendar? good. be excited. it’s an exciting time.

    chandler no idea excited

    a typical first year around course enrolment time

    yep, courses can count towards breadth and program requirements simultaneously.

    if you’re worried about filling your category 4 and 5 breadth requirements, then i would say: don’t be afraid! there are many, many more courses available at the university than there are at the high school level. you may stumble upon some science/math courses that you’ve never even heard of, but that might just be right up your alley, “gifted” or not.

    also keep in mind that you don’t need to fulfil all (or even most) of your breadth requirements in first year. if you’re feeling uncomfortable with taking a category 4 or 5 breadth course going into your first year, that’s a-okay. you have three more years in which to fill them. first year is a transitional period, and it’s not a crime to try and make that transition easier.

    since you did ask, however, here is my PERSONAL list of interesting-looking breadth 4/5 courses, divided into 1st year/upper year and by breadth category:

    BREADTH CATEGORY (4)

    1st Year Courses

    Upper Year Courses

    BREADTH CATEGORY (5)

    1st Year Courses

    Upper Year Courses

    i hope that’s helpful! best of luck with course enrolment on the 28th. may the odds be ever in your favour.

    aska

  • breadth requirements

    wait what

    Hola! I’m a 1st year student at York thinking about transferring to utm. I know uoft first years have to take certain courses before they can choose a major, but since I already have a major here at York, does it mean I’m exempted from meeting the breadth requirement? [First-Year Seminars (199 courses) are open only to newly-admitted, Faculty of Arts & Science students (3.5 credits or less).] If not, is there any way I can skip taking those courses? Cheers!

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    hola,

    i appreciate your upbeat tone and can-do attitude. i also appreciate the Hawaiian spin on your question. i do get the feeling, however, that you’re kind of just using a lot of uoft jargon without REALLY understanding what it means. and hey, i get that it’s confusing – if it was easy to understand, my job wouldn’t exist- but it’s making your question a little bit tricky to interpret.

    so, let me try and clear some of the confusion, at least: breadth requirements are a requirement that all faculty of arts & science students must fulfil in the course of their degree. the requirement is that you take a certain number of credits in each of five categories – or ‘breadths’ – of knowledge delineated by the faculty.

    you can fulfil the requirement either by taking 1.0 credit in 4 of the 5 breadths, or 0.5 credits in 3 of the breadths and 1.0 credit in the other 2. i know it’s confusing. read it over a few times if you have to.

    these breadth requirements have nothing to do with your program(s) (what you call a major, which means something different at york than it does here, but never mind that for now). the breadth requirements are the same regardless of your field of study. SO you can’t be exempted from the breadth requirements, but some of the transfer credits you get will almost certainly go towards filling some of those breadths you need to cover. for example, you may have taken a course at york that transfers over as 1.0 credit in the breadth 1 category. in that case, you would not be required to take any more credits in the breadth 1 category (though you would be welcome to do so, if you wanted to).

    next up: i’m not sure why you quoted that little piece on 199 courses. 199 courses are not mandatory. if you don’t want to take them, you don’t have to. in fact, if you come in as a second-year student (that is, you have more than 3.5 transfer credits) you won’t be eligible to take any 199 courses. but don’t worry, it’s a very small collection of courses, and not taking one shouldn’t affect your degree at all; in fact, most people don’t take on, because they’re so limited.

    also, utm doesn’t have 199 courses, so it’s even less relevant to you (though utm students are, of course, allowed to enrol in a certain number of downtown courses if they so choose).

    i hope that all helps. i have a feeling this post will result in more questions than understanding, so feel free to keep ’em coming. also, enrolment services is a great starting point if you have general questions about the university. the calendar is also a great resourse. good luck deciphering the maze of confusion that is uoft policy and procedure.

    cheers,

    aska

  • breadth requirements,  seminars

    disappointed in the course calendar, @ uoft

    Hi there,

    The timetable indicates that First Year Seminar *Nomos Basileus (‘Law the King’): The Idea of Law in Ancient Greek Thought* falls under Breadth category #2 and the course description puts it in Breadth category #1 so wondering which one is it for real.

    Thanks for your help!

    ———————————————

    hey there,

    i called up the lovely lovely people at classics and it is, in fact, a breadth 2 course.

    shout out to the guy at the department who was majorly disappointed to learn that they made a mistake when he JUST CHECKED to make sure it was all correct like two days ago. we appreciate all your hard work, my man.

    greek statue

    the ancient Greeks, shown here looking at the course calendar

    cheers,

    aska

  • breadth requirements

    BR=???

    Hello,

    Happy Thursday. The strike is now over, so rejoice.

    As for my question, are Breadth Requirements fulfilled at UTSC recognized at UTSG?? (I want to attempt an internal transfer and change programs.)

    I’ve checked out the Transfer Explorer, and I’m wondering if you can confirm that the little box at the bottom of the white box that says “BR = number i.e. (2) ” thing at the bottom is in fact the Breadth Requirement specification.

    Thanks so much!

    ———————————————

    hey there,

    yes, UTSC courses can count for breadth requirements at UTSG. however, you have to be careful. a course that fulfils a certain breadth requirement at UTSC might not fill any breadth requirement at UTSG, OR it may fill a DIFFERENT breadth requirement. sneaky, sneaky.

    transfer explorer is definitely the place to go to keep you on track for this kind of thing. if you type in a course and it tells you BR=2, for example, then that transfer credit will go towards the second breadth requirement group. here’s an example so you can see what it looks like in transfer explorer.

    so basically – yes, you’re right. what am i even doing here? hmm.

    cheers,

    aska

    P.S. thank you for indicating what campus you’re from, you’re truly amazing, and so beautiful, hopefully if i do enough positive reinforcement everyone will start specifying which campus they’re from alright bye.