• non degree,  nursing

    rare species spotted: a nursing student

    I recently graduated from a BScN nursing program in 2019, and am now interested in enrolling in non-degree courses to boost my GPA for graduate applications, including medicine. I am a little confused as to what courses I can enrol in as a graduated nursing student – considering the prerequisite courses that I have, will there be nursing/public health courses I can apply to? Is that all I can apply to or are there general electives that are also available with a nursing background? Do I need to apply to a certain campus – UTM or UTSC?

    Thank you!


    hey there,

    i didn’t realize how very, woefully little there is on the internet about non-degree u of t students until you posed this question. let’s start with what i don’t know:

    i don’t know what the potential is that you’ll be able to take nursing courses. nothing on non-degree students is listed on the bloomberg school of nursing’s website, and you may need to contact their admissions office to find out. there is a possibility you can take courses in their division. i just can’t tell you for certain.

    i also don’t know if there are public health courses you’ll have access to– the dalla lana school of public health only seems to offer courses at the master’s level and higher. my instinct says these probably will not be open to you???? and either way if you’re tryina boost your gpa i can’t see why you would want to be taking such advanced courses.

    this is what i know: you should be able to take general electives as a non-degree student, regardless of your background. typically non-degree students are admitted into the faculty of arts and sciences, and have access to a heckin’ ton of courses, with a few exceptions that i’ll detail below. i would check this over if it turns out the bloomberg school is willing to let you in as a non-degree– i don’t know if there would be limitations on you taking artsci courses (???) but i feel like this school is generally quite flexible in terms of letting people take courses outside their division.

    anyway, these will be your main barriers to doing whatever the heck you want as a non-degree:

    • you’ll be subjected to later course enrolment than degree students. for fall/winter 2020-2021 enrolment, this will look like needing to wait until august 7, whereas degree students will be able to enrol anytime from july 8 to 29.
    • you’ll be barred from taking certain courses, if they’re designed with restrictions (ie. if only people enrolled in the program can take them)
    • if the courses you want to take have prerequisites, coreqs, or exclusions, you’ll need to show your transcript to the department that offers that course and prove to them you meet those requirements. don’t wait until classes begin to do this — they might automatically remove you from the course, which i can’t imagine would be a fun surprise.

    here are some things i don’t think you’ll need to worry about:

    • you won’t be able to take any rotman or business courses as a non-degree student, though i can’t imagine that you would want to given your stated interests
    • as for applying to a certain campus, i don’t think you really need to take that too much into consideration. st george is the only campus with a nursing school, but if you contact bloomberg and they say you’re not going to be let in as a non-degree, you should be able to study as a non-degree student at both utm and utsc if for any reason you prefer one of those campuses.

    a final note: woodsworth college has done a quick drop-down guide to being a non-degree student, which you might find useful. linked here if you want to check it out. 

    hope this was helpful and all the best with your ventures into non-degree studies!

    be Boundless,



  • admissions,  nursing

    hello again

    hey aska!
    I submitted a BScN related question about a month ago. I’ve done more research and still have a few questions. I know one of the requirements to apply for the nursing program is 10 FCE. This means I can apply after my second year of undergrad but I’ve heard that there’s a greater chance of getting accepted if I complete an undergrad before applying. Do you have any advice for someone who wants to switch into nursing but would prefer to graduate in 4 years? Also I read that each prerequisite must be completed with at least 60%. I just finished my first year and completed BIO120+BIO130 with 70s but CHM135+CHM136 with 50s. Can I choose to use my bio courses as prerequisites instead of my chm courses? thanks guys!
    you don’t need to be in your second year to apply to the BScN program, that’s just when you can start applying for the program. basically, once you’ve hit 10 FCE, you can start applying. however, if you don’t think your marks are strong enough to apply after 10 FCE, you could wait until third or fourth year. it’s all up to you! it’s not that you’ll have a better chance of getting accepted if you apply after you’ve completed your undergrad, it’s just that they have more marks to look at and you have more time to boost your GPA.
    you can’t choose what the admissions committee does and doesn’t see. according to this page outlining their application process, you have to submit an official transcript, meaning they would have access to everything. i can’t find where it says that you need a 60% in the prereq courses, but you need at least a 3.0 GPA in order to be eligible. 
    all that being said, the only advice i can really give you if you want to finish in four years is to just apply after your 10 FCE (or after second year) and work really hard during your second year to boost your GPA. i would also look at the other admissions requirements and work to make those really good. look for a couple of amazing references and write a slam-dunk personal statement. that’s how you could differentiate yourself against the other applicants.
    if finishing in four years isn’t a big deal, you could also keep trying until you get in, even if it’s after your second year.
    i hope this helps! good luck in all your future nursing endeavors.
     spongebob patrick spongebob squarepants luck motivational GIF
  • admissions,  nursing

    lemme refer you to the FAQ

    hello aska! id like to apply to the undergraduate program for nursing. I know applicants should have a 3.0+ gpa, a work related reference and a academic reference. I wasnt originally planning on nursing & i was slacking in my classes so my gpa is currently 2.5… Is it possible to boost my gpa to 3.0 if i do well in 6 FCE? Also does work related reference refer to paid work or volunteer work? & im assuming academic reference would be a prof? thank u so much



    of course, you can pull your grades up if you really try, but i’m not 100% sure how much you could pull your grades up. it would depend on how well you do on the 6.0FCE you wanna take as well as how many FCE you’ve already finished. i suggest checking out this handy dandy GPA calculator. just remember that it’s not an official GPA calculator, just an estimator and planning tool.

    a “work-related reference” refers to anyone who can vouch for you in a professional capacity. according to the admissions website, a “work-related reference” could be a work OR volunteer reference. i would figure out what might be the most relevant experience to nursing. for example, if you’ve volunteered at a hospital, that would be much more relevant than a summer camp you worked for.

    an academic reference is anyone who can vouch for you in an academic capacity, so yes, a prof who knows you and your work well would be dope.

    i’d also check out their FAQ page. they have a lot of good (and accurate) info about the application process there.

    hope this helps and good luck!