• degree requirements,  extra courses,  programs

    don’t forget the magic POSt combo

    Hi! So, I currently exceeded the 6.0 100-level limit, and they won’t count my last course I took for a breath requirement to go to my GPA, I got an 84. I was previously suspended for a year, and came back, and my GPA has gone up to 2.13 from being 1.14. It seems to be a bit unrealistic, but my goal is to graduate with a high distinction and study masters at Scotland or England. ????With my latest 100-level course, my GPA would have been 2.23. I’m in no rush to graduate early, only have 7 courses left, the highest GPA I would get is 2.8. I’m majoring in history of art, and double-minoring in history and music culture. Would it be possible to add an additional minor using the course they counted as “extra” to bring it up, I’m just scared if I go above degree requirements, they wouldn’t count those too.???? What should I do or aim for from now on?



    though courses that count as “extra” don’t go towards your GPA or the 20.0 FCE needed to graduate, you can put them towards a program. so, hypothetically, you could use the “extra” course to add an additional minor.

    i say “hypothetically,” however, because you won’t be able to add a third minor to your degree. you’re allowed to be in a total of three programs of study, so adding a third minor would put you up to four POSts. sadly, if you deleted your major to add your third minor and still only be at three POSts, that wouldn’t work either. you need to be in at least one “big” program (so like a specialist or major) and a maximum of two “small” programs (a minor). there is, sadly, a magic POSt combo that you gotta fulfill to graduate.

    shia labeouf magic GIF

    you can check out this link for more information on degree requirements.

    i suggest making an appointment with an academic adviser at your college registrar’s office. they can talk to you about grad school and boosting your GPA. they can give you advice and help you plan for grad school.

    i hope this helps!



  • 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??



    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



  • 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!!


    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!



  • arts & sciences,  degree requirements,  graduation

    yay career advancement!

    Hi Aska!

    I have 2 questions for you:

    1. If I take a Y course in the summer, and only that 1.0 course, I’m eligible for work-study during the summer, right? The wording is a little confusing to me.

    2. I know you’re able to finish up your 20 FCE in three years and be eligible for November graduation, but if you finish a semester early, would you be considered “graduated”/will you receive your degree? I was thinking of graduating a semester early (can’t do it in 3 years) so I could possibly start working earlier but a lot of “real job” places insist on you having your degree before they employ you. So I’m trying to figure out if that plan is even possible!

    Thanks, Aska!



    1. yes! you’re eligible for work-study during the summer. according to the uoft website, you must be enrolled in at least 1.0FCE— which you are.
    2. sadly, you aren’t considered “graduated” until the actual ceremony. however, you can go to the artsci registrar and request a letter confirming your graduation.

    i hope that was helpful. good luck on your career journey!



  • admissions,  applying for U of T,  degree requirements,  international relations,  one programs,  trinity college

    you could be pitbull

    Hi Aska!

    I was wondering if you know how many students are accepted into the international relations program each year. I’m worried that if I don’t make it into a One program during first year I won’t have a good shot of being accepted into IR for second year.

    Thanks very much!!!



    bad news, kid.

    so, unfortunately, departments don’t allow us access to information on how many students get accepted into the program each year. it’s just not something undergraduate departments tend to release to the public. you can always try contacting the department directly if the question is really bugging you!

    because international relations is a type 3 program, we can assume that the program enrolment is quite limited and “finite”. in addition to submitting a separate application, remember that you’ll need to take the courses listed here and meet the minimum grade requirements in order to even be considered.

    if you don’t get into a One program, it’s not a huge deal. they indicate that you have the option of taking HIS103Y1Y or HIS102Y1Y instead of VicOne or TrinOne. don’t worry about getting screwed over by limited enrolment/ application deadlines!

    this could be you in a year!:

    don’t sweat it too much. just work hard and make sure your grades meet or exceed the minimum requirement. if you don’t get into the IR program in second year, you can always try again in third year!

    good luck, my friend!

    international peace and love,


  • degree requirements,  engineering,  graduation

    i feel bad for engineers, i do

    Dear ASKA,

    If you stop taking courses mid-degree to do other stuff, perhaps for years, can you come back and finish university?

    The APSC faculty has this time limit in which you have to do all your courses:

    “To qualify for a degree, a student must complete a full undergraduate program as outlined in the Faculty Calendar within NINE calendar years of first registration, exclusive of mandatory absences from his or her program.”

    There doesn’t seem to be anything relevant in the A&S calendar besides this:

    “Re-Registration in the Faculty Students who were previously registered as degree or non-degree students in this Faculty, who have completed at least one course in the Faculty, and who wish to return after an absence must submit a “Request for Re-registration Form” (charge $25) through their college registrar’s office. Re-registration is necessary for students who have not registered in this Faculty within the previous 12 months.”

    So, what is the expiration date on taken courses? Or do all art-scis have all the time in the world?

    This is the only concern I could think of – if there are others, please let everyone know!

    (Category: degree requirements)


    hey there,

    you’re right, arts & science students have no time limit on their degree. they can take off as much time as they want, and come back to complete a degree at any point. if they are away for more than a year, they just have to pay a $25 fee to get re-registered.

    as far as i can tell, the information you found is correct. looks like engineers only have nine years to complete their degree. so, you can take time off, just not an indefinite amount. i guess it’s more important for an engineer’s knowledge to be fresh in their mind than it is for me to clearly remember the finer points of Bezukhov’s character in War & Peace on convocation day.

    so there you go! one more thing engineering students can add to their ‘woe is me’ repertoire. you’re welcome, nerds.



    P.S. i know how to categorize posts, my dude. i appreciate the help, but there’s no need for backseat blogging here on askastudent.

  • degree requirements

    YOU get an honours, and YOU get an honours!

    Hey  Aska,

    On  Rosi my degree is labelled as “Honors BSc. Psychology”, does the honors part mean  I have to complete an undergrad thesis to get my degree? I have looked through the degree explorer and it doesn’t say anything about undergrad thesis.



    hey there,

    no, that’s not what it means. it’s just one more of those weird anachronisms that infests uoft’s very walls. basically, before 1992, students had the option to pursue a three-year degree (Bachelor’s) or a four-year degree (Honours). the three-year degree got eliminated and now the only option is the “Honours” four-year degree.

    the only people in the Faculty of Arts & Science who graduate without Honours are those who request to graduate regardless of having a CGPA under a 1.85 (either a B.Sc. or a B.A.), those who are finishing a 3-year degree that began before 1992 (see ‘Discontinued Degrees and Upgrading‘), and Rotman students, who graduate with a B.Comm.



  • degree requirements,  subject POST

    you’re all set to LEAVE THIS PLACE

    Hi Aska,

    Happy New Year!

    I have a question regarding switching programs. Let’s say I am majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Computer Science and Media Studies (weird I know). And decide to do a 180 and forget about minoring and just do a major in Computer Science — so basically a double major. Will the credits that I have received from Media Studies still be counted in my degree
    requirements? For example, I have to take 5.0 credits of C-level courses and 1.0 credits of D-level courses
    <http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~registrar/calendars/calendar/Degrees.html>. Will my C-level Media courses still be included? I am aware of the retroactive fees, but I’ll only be missing two more courses to finish a Computer Science major and I don’t really care much anymore about Media Studies.

    Another unrelated question, how accurate is the Degree Explorer?

    Take these two requirements:

    – At least 0.5 Credits from *MATC01H3* or MATC15H3
    – At least 1.0 Credit from MATC01H3 or MATC09H3 or MATC15H3 or *MATC32H3*
    or MATC44H3 or MATC63H3 or MATD01H3 or MATD02H3

    I took MATC01 and MATC32 already. They are bolded as I have taken them. How come in the second requirement, MATC01 is not being considered?



    hey there,

    the answer to your first question is: yes. those courses will count towards your degree requirements just like elective courses would (excluding extras, or any funky course designations like that). as long as you’ve also completed the requirements for all your subject POSts (so that’ll be the comp. sci. and math majors once you drop media), you’re fine.

    as for the degree explorer thing: a cursory glance at the UTSC math major listing indicates that, if you did take MATC01H3, it?should have fulfilled that requirement. depending on when you took it, degree explorer could just be a little slow in updating. another potential complication that people sometimes run into with degree explorer is that if the program has changed since they’ve entered it, degree explorer sometimes gets confused.

    i’m not sure if the math program has changed, but if you find that that degree explorer continues to avoid MATC01 despite your having taken it, just pop into your registrar’s office and ask them what’s up. it could be that something i haven’t considered is causing the problem, and they can help you sort it out.



  • degree requirements,  history

    as many 400-level courses as your heart desires <3

    Hey aska,

    A few questions for you on degree planning:

    1. I am enrolled in a History and Classical Civ double major. In total the 300+ credits that I will accumulate between majors is 4.5 credits; however, according to the faculty’s degree requirements, I must have at least 6.0 300/400 credits to graduate. To accomodate this, I plan to do an additional 1.5 300 credits distributed between the majors (1.0 to HIS, 0.5 to CLA) that keep me within the 15 ‘three-letter designator’ limit but take me to 6.0 300/400 credits total. My question is, do you know of any problem with going above the required credits for a program in order to accomodate additional 300/400 credits? I am aware that for both majors I cannot do more than 0.5 400 credits, but I see no problem doing more 300 levels, unless ACORN bars me from doing so. I cannot think of any other way to gain more 300/400 credits as I wouldn’t take electives at so high a level. Any thoughts?

    2. How is it determined which courses are counted towards a particular program (major)? On degree explorer I’ve seen CLA160H counted towards the HIS major sometimes as a Related course, and at other times I’ve seen other applicable HIS courses count. As long as I have an acceptable combination of courses to complete a program, it shouldn’t matter which courses are counted towards which program, right? I would like to count CLA160H towards the HIS major – is there a way to indicate this on degree explorer?

    3. This is probably obvious, but CLA160 will not count as a three-letter designator course towards History, right? It doesn’t start with HIS…

    Many thanks!


    hey there,

    1) that’s not a problem at all. also, i think you’ve misunderstood the calendar requirements: you need to take a minimum of 0.5 400-level FCEs for your history major, not a maximum. you are totally allowed to take more than 0.5 400-level FCEs (though maybe don’t take too many if you?still want to be sane in your fourth year).

    2) you can learn all about which courses count as related courses here. HIS courses won’t count as related courses, because they already count towards the degree, but CLA160H1 should count.

    i think your confusion is mostly about how degree explorer functions: degree explorer uses as many credits as needed to satisfy a requirement, and then it stops. from what i can tell, which credits it uses is mostly arbitrary – so even if CLA160H1 could be used to fill a program requirement, but you took some other course that also fills it, degree explorer may use that other course instead of CLA160H1. that doesn’t mean you did anything WRONG – it’s just how the program works.

    for example, let’s say you took 1.5 credits in pre-modern history – the major only requires 1.0 credits, so degree explorer is going to discard 0.5 of your credits, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t filled the requirement, or done anything wrong. so, to answer your questions: no, it doesn’t matter which courses are used for any requirement, as long as the requirement is met.

    if you want to make certain that all your requirements are being filled and degree explorer is being confusing, you can always book a ‘grad check’ appointment with your registrar’s office in your fourth year, and the advisor will make sure you’re filling all your requirements.

    3) like i said, it can count as a related course in a few capacities. you may want to ask the history department whether it can be used to fulfil whatever specific requirement you’d like it to fill.

    hope that helps, amigo ~

    wishing you a merry merry exam season,


  • 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,


  • 12 distinct credits,  degree requirements

    double the major brings double the trouble

    So I’m going into first year this fall, and I’m planning to do a double major in physiology and nutritional sciences at UTSG. I was wondering how double majors works because I am so lost in every aspect of it. Do I have to have 12 distinct credits (?) between the programs and if I do, what does that mean? Will I have to take summer classes to complete the double major? How many courses can be overlapped between the two?
    Sorry for the questions but I’m so very confused. Thanks!


    Hey hey

    The rule of having 12.0 distinct credits seems to be weirdly confusing to everyone andI genuinely don’t understand why. I personally find that the name is enough to make things clear, but given everyone’s trouble, I demand we get a new name for that rule!

    My ideas:

    • 12.0 different credits
    • 12.0 credits that are not like the others ones
    • 12.0 credits that are not the same
    • 12.0 credits that have their own distinct course code
    • 12.0 differing credits

    Anyhow, long story short, it’s as simple as it sounds.

    In your degree of 20.0 credits, 12.0 of them need to be distinct. As in among your two majors or whatever program combo you end up with, you can only have 8.0 overlapping. So for the student who does a double major in psychology and cognitive science, you can have a max of 8.0 overlapping credits.

    Make sense?

    But no, summer school won’t be necessary for you to complete this. Majors are typically around 8.0 FCE each so they’re definitely doable if you just do a regular course load each year.