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Archive for the ‘humanities’


admissions averages changing like a boggart at a concert

Hey aska I heard that the humanities average for St George went up from its usual 80-84 average. I can’t get ahold of admissions and I’m applying in November Could you please tell me if it changed?


hey there,

i can’t believe people are already applying for another year of school. soon, aska’s time will be over and a new generation of students will be here…all of them smarter, quicker, and more energetic than aska…sigh…

anyway. existential blip over.

the average you need to get in every year is kind of impossible to tell. it changes every single year, depending on how ruthless?your competition is.

what you can do is take a look at the anticipated averages of people who entered uoft in this year. that number can give you a rough idea of what you may need to be a competitive applicant. however, it’s a guide more than it is a rule.

crazy stuff happens in the uni admissions arena. nothing is for certain. that said, if you know the average averages of the previous entering class, you’ve got a pretty good handle on what you’ll likely need to get in, too.

good luck,



the hardness of the humanities

I read one of your posts a while back saying humanities wasn’t that hard to get into Why is it not that hard?


hey there,

hmm. i don’t remember saying that (though it’s very possible i did – i do talk a lot).

obviously, the humanities as a field of study have been the butt of jokes since the time of Socrates (probably. i mean, i don’t know. i wasn’t around making fun of him, or anything). there’s a stigma that they’re easy.

and while the numbers seem to support that, generally, a slightly higher minimum average is needed to be eligible for admission to the life sciences and commerce than for other areas of study, the marks required to get into any stream at uoft are actually pretty even across the board.

so maybe the humanities aren’t that easy to get into. or at least, not so much easier than any other area. maybe all academia and critical thinking is equally valid and important. food for thought.




the answer is to stop reading articles, clearly

I read some articles on student awards about humanities and social sciences at u of t… They said you can’t get in unless you have an 85 average. So far I have a 96 in english and am planning for an 85 average overall. DO I NEED HIGHER?


hey there,

i’m not sure which articles you’re talking about. also, do you mean ‘student awards’ as in awards at uoft, or ‘student awards’ as in the open online forum in which anonymous people can give answers about stuff? now, don’t get me wrong, forums can be incredibly helpful, but don’t take everything some anonymous student says as gospel.

don’t panic just yet, is what i’m saying.

you do need certain marks to be competitive, but trying to feel out what those marks are is best done through info directly from uoft. the university has no reason to be alarmist, unlike anonymous randos online. panicking students are no fun for anyone working at a university.

i’d recommend you read this and draw your own conclusions. while there are no guarantees, an 85% average is solidly within that ‘low 80s’ admission range for 2014 students.

(disclaimer that numbers change from year to year and that link is just a guideline, etc. etc. you cannot sue aska if you don’t get into uoft; i’m just a lowly student who eats far too many soda crackers for her own good, and i can’t make any serious promises).




humanities vs. social sciences: THE SHOWDOWN

Two questions: 1) which area has the most admissions on the st george campus 2) which is easier humanities or social sciences?


hey there,

are you asking which stream is the least competitive? because uoft is silent as a dead cat about admission stats for undergrad arts & science students.

however, if you want to see how you may measure up to your peers, you can take a look at the anticipated grade ranges for fall 2014 in both the humanities and social sciences for incoming students. just remember that those numbers may change from now to whenever you’re planning on applying to uoft.

as you’ll see, the anticipated grade ranges for the humanities and social sciences are the same. this leads me on nicely to your next question:

the humanities and social sciences are, for all intents and purposes, the same. yes, they’re formally distinct in uoft’s vernacular, but once you get into first year, there’s not much of a difference between humanities and social sciences students.

if you look at the course calendar, you’ll see that the courses are not divided by stream – they’re listed by department. occasionally, maybe there’ll be a priority for social science or humanities students for a certain course, but practically speaking, a humanities student and a social sciences student could have the exact same schedule in first year.

the real difference is in the faculty name: arts and science. if you’re a science student or a computer/mathematical/physical science student, you will have very different courses from most humanities/social science students.

if you’re trying decide what you want your program to be and trying to figure out levels of difficulty, the thing you want to be looking at is our subject POSTs. they vary widely in competition, popularity, and how many people they admit. you’ll be required to pick one or more subject POSts by the end of your first year, so it’s worth it to peruse them now!




why is there even a distinction who knows

Which program is easier to get into.. Humanities or social sciences at The st. George campus ?


hey there my uninaugurated chum,

i can see you’re new ’round these parts. the humanities and social sciences are the same at uoft. same requirements, same stream, same level of difficulty getting in. it’s subject POSts you have to worry about.




apparently hard work pays off in this life

I just got accepted into University of Toronto for Humanities and I’m super duper excited! :DIt’s amazing to know that my hard work pays off in the end. However, I do have a question that I didn’t think of before I applied…I got accepted into the Humanities program and I don’t really know what that means for me.I am going to major in English/History/Linguistics.. but I may want to major in Psychology.Am I able to do that even though I was only accepted in Humanities? Am I able to take the Intro to Psychology course? Thanks so much for helping me out and making my experience at UofT a lot easier 🙂 you deserve a gold star- Excited Accepted Student


hey there,

yeah…hard work totally, uh, pays off in the end…*coughs* *laughs nonchalantly* *trips over a mountain of lies*

but good job on getting in. no, really, that…yeah. that’s great. i’m glad you’re excited. try and maintain that as long as possible.

as for PSY100, you can take it regardless of your stream, but if you want to actually major in psych, you need to have taken, along with intro to psych, grade 12 calculus. that’s pretty much non-negotiable, but they will accept people who have taken uoft’s PUMP program instead, which is basically a grade 12 catch-up calculus course in university. so look into how hot you are about doing that (slash night school slash summer school slash whatever other acceptable alternative you can dream up) before you set your heart on a major in psych.

also, i hope that when you say that you want to major in english/history/linguistics, you mean like, you want to major in one of them in addition to psych but you haven’t picked one yet, because four majors is just CRAZY TALK! tbh, any combination of those three POSts might make a great double-major combo; english/history is a particular favourite of a lot of my english major friends. i personally am an english specialist because i’m HARDCORE, but that’s just me.

however, if you really are set on psych, like i said, you’ve got options.

and by the by, i ALWAYS have a gold star. always.

best, my blissfully excited froshie bestie,



all you people with late essays, take note from this planner

I am a prospective student who is applying to u of T next year. My average is around an 84 or 85 and I am applying to Humanities. However, I am taking math next year which sort of lowers my average. If all my other courses are in the high eighties or more and my math is about a high seventy low eighty, will that have a major impact on my entrance?

Hi Aska,
I was just wondering what a good high school average would be to get accepted into U Of T St. George for the humanities stream.


hey there,

i started to panic a lot when you said you were applying – THE DEADLINE WAS IN JANUARY WAT R U DOING – but then i read “next year” and took a deep, calming breath. you’re not late, you’re just early for next year.

now, i understand math is a low point for you, but hopefully you can still calculate an average*. let’s say you get an 85% in all your courses next year except math, in which you get an 80%. that would make your average an 84.2%, which is right in the anticipated acceptance range for humanities?for this year. that’s assuming, of course, that you’ll be taking 6 courses next year. if you take more than that, then the math might not even be relevant if it’s not part of your top 6 best grade 12 courses (including program prereqs), which is what the university uses to consider you for admission.

so no, i don’t think it will have a huge impact on your admission. and if i could just give a word of advice? i know it’s hard not to worry about getting accepted to uni before you have been accepted to uni, but humanities at uoft is not all that difficult to get into. if you’re planning this far ahead and your marks are almost certainly going to end up in the mid-80s, then maybe it’s time to start doing the preparing no one thinks about: what kinds of things do you want to do once you’re actually in school? do you have ideas for part-time jobs you might want to apply to internships clubs you wanna join? projects, either independent or school-mediated? all this stuff is just as important as your program and degree, so if you want to channel your nervous energy about uni into something, maybe try channelling it into that!**



* I say that, and yet the other day I started to panic that I wouldn’t have enough money on my Presto card for the week because I’d divided 35 by 5 incorrectly.

**also, prom dresses/tuxes. about 40% of your time next year will be dedicated to that, whether you like it or not. so BE PREPARED.


wtf is dts? omg!!

While flipping through the course calendar, freaking out as I choose my first year courses, I stumbled across Diaspora and Transnational Studies. It looks PERFECT for a very undecided social science student who wants to take a bunch of everything (anthro, his, geo, etc) and the into class fits perfectly in my schedule (something thats been plaguing me lately). However upon asking around to friends who are second/third years, no one can tell me anything about it….SO ASKA, school me! 🙂 have you heard good things? do you think taking DTS200 would be too much for a measly first year? oh and….is there any possible chance I’d get in through a wait list?

many thanks
ps. DTS sounds like a syndrome. Is it strange this makes me like it more?





I’m a bit late with this answer, but I hope you did sign up for DTS200, and that you got in, waitlist or no! I always encourage first years to take a few second year courses for kicks.

Although I initially assumed DTS stood for ‘Down to Salsa ,’ Diaspora and Transnational Studies is indeed one freakin’ cool program, and everyone I know who has taken it really digs it. It?s relevant, it?s political, and it?s challenging!

It’s also important that students like you show sustained interest in interdisciplinary humanities/social science programs like this, which are constantly under threat by a university administration that prefers moneymaking departments like Commerce and Biotech. Recently, DTS was one of a few programs which faced radical amalgamation and downsizing , and only sustained student activism and the resulting public outcry stopped that from going down. Just so you knows!

Let me know if you went for it!



p.s?the prereqs for some of the courses can be a little biotch when the courses are 200 and 300 series

p.p.s DTS 200 and one of the 4th year Advanced Topics is taught by Prof Kevin O’Neill … who is super chill and not too shabby on the eyes (just sayin)


i believe in miracles since you came along you sexy thang (sci courses)

Hi Aska, Before my question, I just wanted to say: this is a great site, and you’re very funny and informative, so thanks!
OK so I’m applying to UTSG for Humanities, but lately I’ve been thinking of going into medicine. (Yeah I know, the door to academic hell awaits)How hard would it be for a Humanities student to take the pre-med prereqs such as PHYS, BIO, CHEM, CALC I was told that it is still possible to take these courses, but that you are not guaranteed a spot if you are not actually enrolled in the Sciences.
Also, how common is it for pre-meds to pursue Humanities bachelors instead of the usual Life Sci stuff?


Whaddup conflicted soul/mind,

I’ve always liked to think that my arts degrees will land in the office of Gregory House. Aska … the new (but possibly better) House.

It will be hard! Students enrolled in subject posts that the courses are required for will have first choice. Then it opens up to everyone else if there is space left. We get alot of questions regarding med school requirements and whatnot, but you may be the only person asking from a humanities point of view

Cheers to the underdog



what should i major in/do with my life?

I have a question regarding choosing what to specialize/major/minor in. I have completed first year and I feel lost. I’ve decided that I definitely want to specialize or major in Criminology it’s something that interests me and I do have my sights set on becoming a criminal lawyer. With that being said, I was not particularly enthused about other courses most law school hopefuls take History and Politics. I f I have to spend the next three years studying either of those, I will definitely make it through with good marks, but I may just develop severe depression. Or turn grey.
A course I immensely enjoyed was Psychology 101 but I didn’t take calculus or advanced functions in high school, so that road is definitely closed for me. (I know there is the option of taking high school courses online, but there is a reason I stayed FAR away from math in grade 12.)
I’m left with Sociology and English. As much as I enjoy reading, I feel like it should remain a hobby – I like having the power to occasionally read something by Stephen King or perhaps a Harlequin Romance without realizing the full extent of the mindlessness of it.
I slightly enjoyed Sociology 101, but I’m not jumping with enthusiasm at the thought of delving deeper into it. I hate this apathetic feeling I don’t want my undergraduate experience to be something I just want to get through.
Society, Ethics, and Law is another minor I have briefly considered.
What would you recommend?
Thank you very much for the help!


Bro, neither I, nor your mother, nor your career counselor, nor anyone else can tell you what you want to major in. Some people never know! Some people don’t care. It all depends on what post-secondary or career options you envision for yourself upon graduation. Here’s a shocking secret: it mostly doesn’t matter.

You say that you like the criminology classes being offered by Woodsworth, but you’re not too jazzed about taking History or Poli Sci classes. But did you know that Trinity offers an Ethics, Society and Law program? And that New College offers this neat pseudo-Jungian Paradigms and Archetypes class, that offers all of Psychology’s teachings, with none of the calculus?

You’re just going to have to take some classes by trial and by fire, and go with your gut. U of T has a ton of classes and a huge variety of programs, so it’s simply a matter of fishing through the calendar and timetable, and making a course schedule that works for you. It seems like you’re interested in the humanities, but don’t rule out the small language based programs where you can do a class in Italian Cinema, or “The Sensuality of The French.” Study the calendar and see what interests you. Then build a program from there.

Also as a rule, classes don’t really get interesting until third year when they get smaller and more seminar-based. You might feel burned out because of taking giant Con Hall classes and the frustrating anonymity that comes with that. The smaller classes in the smaller programs (also awesome: African Studies) won’t make you feel like a rat in a cage and might improve your marks. Think about it.

xoxo, Askastudent

P.S. Somewhere in some midwestern university, a grad student is writing a thesis on Harlequin Novels in conjunction with Steven King’s “Carrie.” Academia is crazy like that.


please please please stop sending me your grades….

This is my second time trying to ask you.? Perhaps you were on break.? I’d first like to start by thanking you in advance for the help.

Now, I’m a 11th grader (ya another one) and i am concerned about being accepted into u of t.

My marks now are
90 Law
82? English
85 Religion
the grade killer 54 Chemistry
the following are what i will most likely get
85 American History
90 co op
82 Math

i want to get into humanities, the cutoff is 77, my friend told me that sometimes universities won’t even look at your application if you don’t have a science. my question is is this true do i need a science? i just thought holding onto math was good enough
thanks again



How ?bout teaching art history? in English?

I am about to go into first year and at first was excited about going to UofT, but now…I’m not so sure. I’m going into English and Art History, but more and more I keep on thinking that I’m going to just end up waisting four years on something that will in the end be entirely useless! I’m not a brain, I can’t do math or science for shit. What the hell can I do with a BA in Art History and English?
Please, don’t suggest teaching, I hate children.




do it how you like it

Hey aska,

I need help finding a bird course in the humanities as a half course in the
fall, any ideas? Preferably one that is 26L in the calendar. Also I was
wondering what you’ve heard about CLA204H1-Intro to Classical Mythology.
Hopefully only good news. By the way, I’m not amazing at memorizing tonnes of
info nor writing essays. Thanks (more…)

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