• enrollment,  enrolment,  wait list

    i have tons of uoft related headaches :(

    Hello! i absolutely love what you do here, it’s so helpful and has stopped more than a few of my uoft related headaches haha. I’m a first year and I got into all of my courses except for CLA160H (in person). There’s 33 people in the class and thankfully I’m the 1st on the waitlist. The online-synchronous CLA160H still has a lot of room so should I wait it out on the waitlist? Are my chances good? Or would it be wise to just enroll in the online class? thanks so much, have a great day!!


    hey there!

    if you’re first on the waitlist, i’d say that your chances are probably good. the rule of thumb is generally that if you’re in the top 10 percent of a waitlist (in this case, if you are number 1, 2, or 3) the waitlist will move quickly enough for you to make it into the class. if you’re really set on the in-person section, i would say that it’s probably worth staying on the waitlist.

    now, a bit of a disclaimer: i have no clue how the hybrid model is gonna be affecting this rule of thumb, given that one of either online or in-person classes may be more in demand. plus, people’s plans are likely a little more unstable this year than they have been other years, which may affect waitlist movement as well. all this uncertainty is not my vibe.

    but the rule of thumb is what we know, and what we go by. i’m sure people will still be dropping classes/switching courses around. just keep an eye on the waitlist. you might even get off the waitlist soon, if you’re lucky— i’m already off one of mine, and i was in the top 10 percent.

    i hope this helped and that the rest of your course enrolment went well!

    be Boundless,


  • enrollment,  enrolment

    inconsistencies! great

    why can i find some courses on the calendar but not on acorn?


    hey there,

    i’m not really sure. i’ve seen this happen in calendar entries for programs, ie. a program will list a course but when you click on the hyperlink, you get an error. that usually just means a course used to exist but isn’t being offered anymore. but if you’re seeing full course entries in the calendar (you click on the hyperlink and the course description, prereqs etc show up in a different page) that aren’t showing up on ACORN, i have no idea why that might be.

    you could try testing the course codes in the timetable as well? if something doesn’t show up on both ACORN and the timetable, i think it’s safe to say that course isn’t being offered for the upcoming year.

    if a course you’d like to take shows up on both the timetable and calendar but won’t pop up on ACORN, i’d recommend that you get in touch with the offering division and see what’s up. maybe it’s an internal error. i dunno.

    i hope this helped, and good luck with course enrolment!

    be Boundless,


  • economics,  enrollment,  enrolment,  international relations,  math

    wrote this post up so fast my keyboard caught fire

    hi! i’m planning on doing a double major in international relations and public policy in second year. but for first year courses i have to take eco101 and 102 as eco105 conflicts with my vic one course and i want to stay in that program. do i need to take a first year math course with eco 101 and 102? i know that not taking a math will limit choices in eco courses in upper years, but if i don’t plan on focusing in economics is taking a first year math course helpful? thank you!



    i hope this answer is getting to you in time for your course enrolment. i’m pretty sure it is. mannnn every year i forget to budget time for the deluge of questions that surround important dates like first year course enrolment. now i gotta be speedy.

    as far as i know, you’re not required to take a first year math course with eco101 or eco102. i think you may have gotten that idea from the ‘recommended preparation’ line, which states that you should take calculus or advanced functions in order to be prepared for this course. as far as i know, though, ‘recommended preparation’ courses are never a strict requirement. you can definitely get away with ignoring recommended preparation. that’s a choice you’ll have to make for yourself, but anyway, i’m not sure that taking a first year math course alongside eco101/102 would help given that math is recommended preparation? 

    in terms of worrying about future prerequisites, it’s true that math courses are required for many upper-year econ courses. but as far as i can tell, you can definitely complete your IR major without a first-year math course. a lot of the upper-year econ courses that require math are only elective options for you, and you’ll be able to choose other courses from the IR list that don’t require a first year math credit. you can check this over with an academic advisor at your registrar’s office if you want (remember to include your student number if you send an email). but an in-depth perusal of the international relations calendar entry should confirm this. if you don’t plan on taking any of the econ electives, i wouldn’t recommend taking a first year math course, especially if you don’t have a burning desire to learn math.

    i hope this helped! good luck with your course enrolment. also, eco101 and eco102 have kicked the butts of many dear friends of mine, so best of luck. if you pay attention and stay caught up with your work, i have full faith in your ability to succeed in those courses.

    closing this post off with a stupid, vaguely math-related gif i found and wanted to share:

    be Boundless,


  • enrollment,  enrolment,  first year,  one programs

    baby’s first uni course selection

    I’m going into first year Life Sciences this year at U of T in the fall. I know three courses I want to take because of certain admission requirements: BIO120, BIO130, CHM135, CHM136, MAT135, & MAT136. I am not sure to take PHY131 and PHY132 for first year. I want to keep my options open for other programs, but I’m not sure. I have an interest in taking PSY100, but I’m not sure if I could take it. I want to do 5 FCEs but I am not still sure. Course selection is very overwhelming. Any advice?


    hi there!

    course selection. my favourite time of year. it’s like christmas.

    do i have any advice? hmm. let’s see. if you’re certain about your bio, chem, and math courses, those should occupy 3.0 FCEs. which means you have a few course slots to play around with, even if you choose not to take 5.0 FCEs. i found the adjustment from high school to university a little challenging, so i didn’t take 5.0 FCEs and found it helpful. whether or not that’s the right decision for you is something only you know. i will note, though, that uni can be quite different, and taking a lighter courseload will give you more space to figure things out, like how to prepare for exams and how to use the libraries.

    if you’re undecided, you can always register for 5.0 FCEs and then drop courses later on. u of t has pretty generous course-drop periods, so you’ll have a good amount of time to decide whether or not you want to stay in your classes. plus, that’ll give you a chance to sus your courses out to see if they’re actually worth taking — if you decide to drop down from 5 to 4 courses a few weeks into the semester, you can just drop the elective you like the least.

    regardless of courseload, i always recommend that first years take either a first year foundations seminar or something in the ‘ones’ program, just because i personally had really good experiences in both. the idea of these courses is that they’re meant to help you transition from high school to university. the classes tend to be smaller, the program material is specially selected to be super interesting, and the assignments are more fun/less difficult. you can only take these courses in your first year, so they’re definitely something to take advantage of now. something to note, though, is that you won’t be able to apply the credit/no credit designation to these courses — i assume because they tend to be easier to do well in.

    here’s something else for you to consider: first year is a great time to get your breadth requirements out of the way. if you’re a life sciences kid, chances are you’ll have breadth 4 and 5 knocked out, but you’ll need to take a few classes that are breadth 1, 2, or 3. you can use the calendar to filter through different breadth requirements, in order to find the relevant courses for each category.

    here are my personal recommendations, either drawn from experience or conversations i’ve had with other students. none of these have prerequisites, so you should be able to take them in first year:

    you can also check the u of t reddit or the first year foundations seminar listings for other ideas!

    other than that… first year is a good time to explore different interests and take a few risks! i wish i’d done that more when i was in first year. it’s easy to be drawn to the big, generic classes like PSY100, and miss all the quirkier offerings like “introducing religion: blood, sex, and drugs” or “how to study video games.”

    you mentioned keeping your options open for other programs, and that’s a smart consideration to make as well. if you know what backup programs you might want to take, it’s a good idea to squeeze some of their prerequisites into your schedule, especially if they overlap with some of the courses you’re already taking.

    i know course selection can be overwhelming, but if you use the tools at your disposal— the timetable, the calendar, degree explorer, etc. — hopefully it will be a little easier! that’s about all the advice i can think of right now. i hope this helped, and feel free to send another question in if you’re confused about anything specific regarding course selection!

    be Boundless,


  • enrollment,  enrolment,  keeners,  timetable

    keener alert

    hi! do you know when the timetable for courses is going to update? i’ve been wanting to plan out my classes for next year but i know the timetable isn’t going to be 100% accurate until it updates.


    hey there,

    to my understanding, there’s not really one comprehensive update for the timetable. u of t has too many departments and divisions that like to change things around at the last minute. they’ve probably already begun revamping the timetable for next year, but until it reads ‘2020-2021 fall & winter session timetable” instead of 2019-2020, i’d assume it’s fully unusable. especially with covid, we don’t necessarily know if classes are going to look the same next year. even in regular years, class times and offerings tend to change year to year.

    my guess is that by june-ish (late june??) that heading will update. perhaps it will update later this year if covid changes the way u of t will operate. regardless, it’s important to note that the heading update only indicates that the timetable is mostly accurate, not 100% solid. like i said, there might still be smaller updates after that. i wanna say that around…. mid july (?) is typically the best time to do course planning, because it’s when the timetable starts to settle down.

    right before my first year, i think i got on top of course planning several weeks before enrollment began. i also remember having to revise my course schedule several times, because a couple of things shifted and messed with the whole thing i had going on.

    happy season 7 GIF by MasterChef Junior

    i understand the desire to plan your courses out (it’s exciting!!) but i would advise against doing it too early, unless you’re willing to spend extra time revising your timetable should your course info change.

    i’d say the safest time to plan out your courses is just several days before your enrollment date, even though that might seem a bit tight. and then check over your course details one more time the morning of your enrollment day, to be super super sure nothing has changed.

    be Boundless,


  • enrollment,  enrolment

    you just got FINCA’d

    hi! my status on acorn for summer says financially cancelled, but i never enrolled for summer classes in the first place. is this normal?


    hello hello,

    yes, this is normal! how the ACORN system operates is this:

    1. you’re invited to register in a session (ie. fall/winter or summer, in your case summer 2020)
    2. you enroll in courses
    3. you pay the minimum payment to register by the stated deadline, which has now passed
    4. you’re registered!

    or, like a choose-your-own-adventure, you can branch off at the first step and not enroll in courses. since you obviously don’t pay if you don’t enroll, you don’t get to make it to step 4. what happens at this point is you get FINCA’d. financially cancelled.

    this is not the same thing as getting cancelled on twitter. it does not mean that you are in trouble. all it means is that ACORN has acknowledged that you have not paid on time for a given session, and so you do not show up in the system as a current student. which is what you want if you didn’t intend to enroll for a session in the first place.

    for future references, two things to note about getting FINCA’d:

    • when this status shows up on your ACORN, it also means you’ve been booted from any classes you might have been enrolled in
    • if you didn’t intend to get FINCA’d, ie. you meant to register but didn’t pay by the deadline, what you need to do is get in contact with your registrar. they’ll be able to process a late registration for you, which is usually accompanied by a small fee.

    hope this helps!

    be Boundless,


  • courses,  enrollment,  enrolment

    (this feels wrong lol)

    hey aska how are you? I’m sorry if you’ve already answered a similar question but I wasn’t able to find anything about this – I’m in 3rd year IMM but want to enrol in LMP406. The timetable says I need to request permission to enrol with the LMP department after aug 9 (& links me to a website that doesn’t exist), & the LMP website isn’t very helpful either. Do I just email the course coordinator & beg them to let me in (this feels wrong lol). I appreciate any & all help as I’m very clearly lost.


    hey there,

    appreciate you asking how i’m doing–  dunno how many people have noticed, but ever since the complete theme-180, years and years of our posts have been riddled with unsettling and ambiguous blank spots. the true intellectuals among us have probably figured out that when you highlight the invisible text it’s readable, but obviously that’s not ideal.

    so i’ve been doing the backbreaking, laborious work of pressing a few buttons here and there and restoring our precious content. which has also meant i’ve seen some pretty great stuff.

    You Won’t Believe What One Girl Did to Destroy her Existential Angst

    no, aska isn’t running clickbait ads (although– could i make a lil extra cash if we did?) that’s a real post from ’14.

    between literal years of complaints about math and posts with titles like “um” and “s IR PLeasE i jSUt am tr yiNG to wRIt e A NIce E – MAiL,” past askas have won my respect in every imaginable way. they’ve been begged, “please god no sarcastic answer back” and been called the hannah montana of the internet. which means, by extension, i’m also the hannah montana of the internet, right?

    however, all that other work has meant i haven’t been as quick with answers as usual, so sorry for the delay with answering this–it’s already past the 9th.

    i’m unsurprised the website you were linked to doesn’t work– unfortunately, that seems to be a pretty common problem with our school’s web content.  if you haven’t done so already, i would recommend that you shoot the department a wholesome and respectful email explaining the situation and making your request. i’m not aware of any other way to request enrolment in a course like that– there’s no form to fill out, or nothin’. so don’t worry too much– i’m sure they’re not unfamiliar with emails from kiddos in situations like yours.

    best of luck with it and hope this helped, even if it’s a bit late!

    seriously considering remodelling askastudent after a trashy clickbait site,


  • enrollment,  enrolment

    big enrollment day… a week ago

    Hello aska,

    I am just finalizing my timetable and course schedule before the big enrollment day tomorrow and I wanted to clarify whether I’m allowed to take the courses I’m planning to take.

    After enrolling in my core program courses, I have added a few electives, one of which is a regular full year course, the other three are VIC135, ENG196, and SMC199.

    I wanted to know whether I can take the vic course without being enrolled in “VIC One” and also whether I could take all those three courses in my first year.

    Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.

    Kind regards,



    hey friendo,

    sorry this response is so late– it’s definitely past your course enrollment now! i figure that if there were any immediate consequences to registering in these courses, you’re already aware of them. i guess there still is the possibility of you getting kicked out later on, though, so this question is still worth an answer.

    it seems that vic135 is part of the vic one sphere, although i can’t figure out what stream it is. i’m just making this assumption based on the exclusions listed on the timetable– only a vic one class would have a ‘vic’ designation and be incompatible with all the other one programs. as long as it’s a vic one course, then, i doubt you’ll be able to get in (or stay in) without explicit admission to vic one. at least, that’s what this site indicates. if you don’t have admission but have somehow still managed to register (or want to), i would contact vic.one@utoronto.ca. dunno if they’ll actually let you this late in the game, but hey.

    as for the possibility of taking all 3 courses at once– i anticipate that the smc course is the one that’s gonna give ya trouble. it seems to list all other first year foundations and ones as exclusions. so you might wanna find something else to slot in there, because even if you’ve managed to register in it, once someone notices, they’ll have to kick you out.

    otherwise, if you manage to stay in vic135, that course and your eng196 seminar should be a-okay to be taken alongside each other.

    be Boundless,


  • enrollment,  enrolment

    i am student blogger!

    can/should a first year take 200/B courses? i gotta enrol tomorrow morning oops

    yo can first years take courses above 100 levels
    hey friends,

    sorry i (probably) wasn’t able to get this answer to you before your enrollment– at the same time, please try not to send me panicky last-minute asks! in the future, i’ll try to monitor my inbox the night before first year enrollment, but this goes for all things. it usually takes me a week or two to respond to questions. i am student blogger! not emergency help line! and this student blogger has got a backlog of stuff to get to.

    it’s not even a monday, but it’s always a monday, if you know what i mean.

    with that said, i sympathize with the whole panicky-last-minute thing, so i bumped yall to the top of my queue. the answer is that it depends. you definitely can take 200s, as long as you meet the prereqs. the prereqs will keep you out of a course if it isn’t meant for a first-year. for example, they’ll be first-year courses like BIO1whatever that you need to take first. or the prereq might simply be ‘the equivalent of 4.0 FCEs,’ which is just another way to say ‘no first years allowed.’

    i wouldn’t say 200-level courses are impossible for first-years to tackle– they’re usually just smaller and different from those huge first-year con hall lectures. so i would say go for it, if you’ve got the requirements. and if you don’t? that’s what second year is for.

    hope this helped! and that course enrolment went well.

    be Boundless,


  • enrollment,  enrolment


    i’m a first year, and i’m super stressed about picking courses. how likely is it that i won’t get into the ones i want? (social sciences and humanities mostly.) what do i do if i can’t get in? also, how fast do you have to do your course selection before time runs out?


    hello friend,

    it’s natural to be stressed your first time, but there’s less to worry about than you might think! it is true that first years get to pick their courses last of the bunch, but first year courses also tend to be on the larger side. so it kinda balances out. chances are your schedule will be full of those larger con hall shenanigans, where it doesn’t really matter if you’re the 15th or 959th person in. if you’re shooting for first year seminars and application-free ones, you might find you have a little bit of trouble, but those also don’t always fill up all the way. it’s hard to say how likely it is you won’t get your first picks without knowing the popularity of your courses or your start time, but speaking as someone who’s done course reg before, i think you’re gonna be okay. 

    if you’re worried about not making it in, you can put together as many backup timetables as you want. i think i had… three different versions, my first time doing course reg? and i ended up getting my top timetable. it’s kind of funny because this year, i’ve spent waaaay more time answering yalls’ questions about course planning than actually paying attention to my own. which is unfortunate cause my start time is (was? will be? nah. not gonna drop you any clues about my year) much, much sooner than yours. maybe it’s the sense of total nihilism that starts to accumulate when you’ve spent one too many months sleep-deprived and hyped up on coffee to get through the day. or maybe i’m mellowing out. we don’t know. hopefully the second one. 

    when your start time comes up, i would just recommend being ready– have your enrolment cart on ACORN preloaded with the courses you want, so all you have to do is click a few buttons a few times. there’s no “how fast”– just how prepared. make sure your internet connection is speeeedy. set several alarms if you’re in a different time zone and your start time is smack dab in the wee hours of the night. 

    aaaanyway. take a deep breath. another one. there you go. you’re gonna be just fine. 

    be Boundless, 


  • enrollment,  enrolment

    anxiety, woo!

    what can we do to prepare for course selection? (first year anxiety woo)


    hello friend, 

    a very valid question! i should probably get started on that myself, given that my course selection’s coming up much much sooner than yours. (upper year anxiety woo)

    anyway, here’s a quick step-by-step of what i do/would do as a first year to prep.

    go through the calendar and check the prereqs for all your programs 

    these are gonna be important. a lot of the time you’ll need to pass some kind of grade threshold, too, to make POSt, but for now all you’re concerned with is what you’ll need to take in first year to even get considered. it can be wise to make sure you’ve got the prereqs for one or two backup POSts just in case– in particular if the POSts you’re eyeing are types 2 or 3.

    use the timetable  to add courses to a hypothetical plan and view them blocked out in a schedule 

    the timetable is great, guys. probably my favorite u of t course planning tool, not that i’m aware of that many others.

    if you’re a keener/super anxious/both like i was, you can make backup versions of your schedule too. this can be especially reassuring if you get a crappy start time, and are legitimately worried that the lecture/tutorial sections or classes you want will be full. saves you from a last-minute scramble while things are filling up. 

    when you’re choosing courses, take into account:

    • what do your class sizes look like? it’s a good idea to balance those classic first-year con hall monstrosities with at least one smaller class. first year foundations seminars and the one programs are a fantastic idea to check out, and they can help you fulfill breadth, too.
    • what breadth requirements will your courses fill? you’ll need to hit at least 4 of the 5 during your time at u of t, and a good time to get them out of the way is first year.
    • who’s teaching the course? ratemyprof is a decent resource for this, although not all the entries are super populated with our school. it can be helpful to give you a sense of the more well-known instructors, though.
    • what’s the course content like? this feels like a pretty minor consideration to me, but still worth mentioning because you’re more likely to do well in classes you enjoy. i’ve found it’s pretty hard to find syllabi on the internet for u of t’s classes, but you can check out the past exams repository to see what you might be tested on. i don’t know if this is a normal thing to recommend people do. but i sorta wish i’d done it my first year.
    • evening classes or morning classes? a few, stacked days or a well-distributed courseload? eight straight hours of class or four hourlong breaks throughout the day? it’s up to you. personally, i find it hard to focus for more than a few hours straight. for some reason, i’m still stacking my schedule because it feels more efficient. so this one’s on me.

    when you’ve planned that all out, you can check your start time on ACORN

    assuming you’re a first year, you’ll be able to do this starting july 19. for all other years, kindly! consult! this post.

    preload your cart on ACORN with the courses you’ve planned for 

    once again, this’ll save you from a scramble once your start time comes.

    right off the bat (aka, when your start time comes up) you’ll be able to enrol in a maximum of five courses. after the priority enrolment period is over, you can add a sixth. general enrolment opens to everyone on august 2, although times are still staggered by year.

    log on to ACORN at your start time and register! 

    hope this was helpful, and it does something to ease your anxiety.

    be Boundless,


  • enrollment,  enrolment,  grad school

    i’m lovin it

    hello, lovin the new theme
    there are 3 courses that i need to take to complete my degree requirements. for the rest of my courses, i am conflicted as to whether i should choose bird courses that aren’t directly related to my degree or to choose 3/4-level year courses that are related to my degree and probably require more work. are these different types of courses weighed differently by grad schools? the grad school im interested in said they rank applicants based on GPA of the most recent 10 FCE but do they still consider the types of courses that are taken?


    hey there,

    you noticed the theme change! it’s still very much a work in progress (read: kind of dull atm) but i’m looking into spicing it up a bit. lemme know if you have any suggestions. but yeah, hopefully it’s a tad bit easier on the eyes now.

    the thing with grad schools is that what they’ll consider and the weight they place on different elements of your application varies so much between schools. i’m glad you put time into researching your grad school– but i’d encourage you to take it a step further and maybe give their admissions office a call. i don’t know if they’ll be able to give you a super direct answer, but it’s gotta be better than what i can approximate with the very limited info i have.

    sorry i couldn’t be more helpful! my best guess is that it’s probably safer to take those related higher-level courses. but even just thinking about that much extra work, especially if it doesn’t turn out to be necessary, kind of hurts. so yeah– would encourage you to go straight to the real sources for this one.

    be Boundless,



  • enrollment,  enrolment

    you no big dumb

    Hi I am big dumb but for signing up for courses on acorn, do you take the course you sign up for both days or both times that it says you have to take them? Or do you or someone else ultimately choose the day and time you take said course based on the other courses you have?


    hey there,

    i don’t think you’re big dumb. uni is a different system to adjust to. big dumb would be having this question and not bothering to ask it. you no big dumb.

    what i’m assuming you mean by this is that you’ve got a lecture where you sign up for one section, but it’s held at two different points in the week. for example, mondays from 4-5 and wednesdays from 4-5. for example, HIS103 is held 2-3pm on both monday and weds.







    in this kind of case, you’re required to go to both. if there’s a longer, chunkier option only offered on one day, i tend to prefer those options just ’cause it’s one fewer time i need to drag myself across campus to class. it’s less walking, too. the optimal play for laziness. but we don’t always get a choice, do we?

    by ‘both times,’ there’s also a chance you’re looking at something with multiple lecture sections. something like this (gotta love gently informative screenshots):









    in this case, where you’ve got two different lecture codes (0101 and 0201), then you’ll only be allowed to select one when enrolment time comes.

    the bottom line is that you make your decisions! no one else is gonna mess around with your schedule once it’s set– unless something goes deeply, madly wrong. i would encourage you to use the timetable to plan if you’re not already doing so. you’ll be able to add courses and click on that lil ‘view timetable plan’ button to check out what your schedule will actually look like.

    hope this helped and best of luck getting into the sections you want!

    be Boundless,