• seminars

    not even a CHANCE

    hello! I am currently enrolled in one FYF seminar and waitlisted for two other FYF seminars (ranked number 4 for one and 18 for the other). I came across this post on uoft’s subreddit that mentioned there is a limit to a maximum of two seminars/1.0 credit. Now, what exactly does this mean? If I get into the classes I am waitlisted for, I would not get the credits for them? Should I drop one of the seminars I am waitlisted in… I probably don’t even have a chance of getting in, right? Thank you!


    hey there,

    would you look at that– reddit being reliable for once. whaddaya know. miracles do happen. this is a real warning, yall– some stuff on the u of t subreddit is the blind leading the blind. it can be useful for giving you an idea of things, but for any serious decisions please consult your registrar!

    the above gif is meant in a friendly way, just to be clear heheh.

    this limit to a maximum of two seminars basically means you can’t register for more than two, not that you can take them but just forfeit the credits. if that makes sense. so you’ll max out if you get off one of those waitlists, and likely won’t be able to get into the other regardless of your place on that list.

    as for your question about the likelihood of getting in, the general rule of waitlists is that if you’re in the top 10%, chances are good the list will move for you. that means, given what i know about seminars, that you’re not top 10% for either of these classes.

    however, first year seminars are pretty worth, from my experience. personally, i’d advise you to drop the course for which you’re waitlisted 18th, and stay on the 4th place one. you can try to audit the course before you get in– show up for class and get the syllabus and readings, so you don’t fall behind. this is probably only worth doing if you’re actually interested in the course material, though.

    i have heard that sometimes, in smaller classes, the prof might be able to do something about getting you in as well. i have no clue how accurate this is, but hey.

    your call! hope this was helpful.

    be Boundless,


  • seminars

    askastudent top fan shooketh to the core

    hi Aska,

    Hey, iz me, the most frequent inquirer (am i really though) of all time lol. Whereas my other questions have been ESSAYS (i am so so sorry for that btw), this one will be fairly short–approximately the length of an intro paragraph in an essay haha.

    I’m entering my last year and a half to complete my undergrad (woohoo!) , but i am shooketh to the core from the idea of taking a 4th year course in the next year, which i must do for my programs. i am so terribly afraid of speaking in class, Aska. PETRIFIED. i have horrible anxiety when it comes to these things and i do horrendous in tutorials because of this. But since i am an English and History Major, these courses will most likely be seminars full of smarticle-particle students talking in the fanciest, most intellectual way possible, getting super high participation marks (…yay), and my ass just sitting there looking dazed and confused (not like the movie, but that would honestly be better lol)– aka my version of a horror movie.

    Am i wrong about this scenario? Are 4th year courses in my field really that horrific? If so, how can i conquer them?

    pls send help. thank you.


    hello hello,

    this seems like a perfectly normal fear to have– i know plenty of people who detest speaking in class. i also know people who speak more than they probably should. it’s a spectrum, people. personally, i’m a weird combination of both– i hate participating, but if it’s being factored into my grade you best believe my hand is shooting up every class.

    i feel like most seminars probably have at least a few of the absolutely terrifying intellectual™ keeners, for sure. i try not to let them get under my skin, but they INTIMIDATE me. and then everything i say sounds dumb. so i totally feel you.

    while i’ve never taken a fourth year course in your field, rest assured that if everyone in your program has to take a fourth-year seminar to get through, then you probably won’t the only one who doesn’t particularly like this kinda class. there will be others.

    there are a few ways to make seminars less gross. one of them is to try and get to know the students around you– it’s always easier to talk when you feel like you’re surrounded by actual people as opposed to being blindly intimidated by everyone. the more comfortable you are with your fellow students, the more class might start to feel like a discussion rather than a competition. you are friend, not food.

    you can also keep in mind that the other kids in your class, no matter how smart they might sound, probably have insecurities too. they might overthink everything they say before they say it, or kick themselves for something that sounded stupid but no one else even noticed. there’s something called the spotlight effect, which is basically the idea that you’re more likely to notice your own mistakes than others are.

    for me, something that helps is also to jot down quick notes about the comments i want to make before i make them. as soon as i’m called on, everything in my brain scatters and it’s reassuring for me to have that sort of backup.

    i also try to set small goals for myself– speak at least twice a class, or something. the more used you get to talking, the easier it will be. my throat tends to close up if it’s been a few classes and i haven’t yet said anything– the longer i spend quiet, the more the anxiety gets to me and the harder it is to speak.

    other than that, i’d just advise that you come prepared to class! it’s always easier to offer insightful or quality comments when you’re familiar with the material. don’t think too much about how fancy your language is when you talk, or anything– it’s the content that matters.

    i know that despite whatever advice i might offer you, it’ll probably still feel like a rough class if you’re anxious about speaking. but you got this. it’s just a semester or two. and hopefully you’ll learn from it– become more comfortable with engaging in discussions and stuff!

    in other news– lol, i wish i could hand out top fan badges like facebook does. not that i ever claim my own. no one needs to know how much i love hummus memes.

    GOOD LUCK with the fourth year seminar! hope these tips helped and conquer away.

    be Boundless,


  • one programs,  seminars

    another one

    how many first year seminars or ones can you take?


    there doesn’t seem to be any official rule on how many ones you take, but because of technicalities it seems like there is a limit. you can only be registered in one ‘one’ at a time, according to the exclusions placed in the timetable. for example, innis one’s exclusions are munk one, new one, st. mike’s one, trin one, vic one, uc one, and woodsworth one: in other words, literally all the other ones.

    however, you should be able to take both a ‘one’ and a seminar– from my personal experience, at least, it’s definitely doable. not a bad way to go, either. that way you can hit a few different breadth requirements in your first year through small classes. i’m not aware of any limitations on the seminars, but from what i know it doesn’t matter too much anyway since you likely won’t have enough room to take a crap ton of them. still gotta meet those POSt prereqs, am i right?

    on an unrelated note– hope everyone downtown at the rally today came out all right! i know it was kind of a crazy, terrifying time for anyone around bay as well as eaton. please stay safe, my friends.

    over n out,



  • one programs,  seminars

    potato, potato

    do you recommend first year seminars? how do they compare to the ones programs? (tbh i still don’t quite understand the ones programs) thanks so much!!


    hey hey,

    i absolutely would recommend first year seminars! my first year, i was lucky enough to take both a ‘one’ program for a full credit, as well as a half-cred first-year 199 seminar. in both cases, i had a great experience and even got to bump my gpa up a little bit. i do a pretty detailed plug for the specific 199 i took in this post, if you wanna check it out.

    what’s the difference? i find that most of the ones are targeted more so towards humanities/social science breadth requirements– we’re talking global innovation, literature, cinema.don’t let that stop you if that’s not what you’re into: trinity has a few global health/environment streams, and meanwhile a stream of st. mike’s one works with tech. vic one is the only program i’m aware of that has a straight-up mathematical and physical sciences stream. however, for the most part i don’t find that ones gear themselves heavily towards math/science/physics etc. you’ve definitely got more options among the first-year seminars.

    ones are also all run out of specific colleges, as you can tell pretty easily from their names. what? you’re telling me uc one runs out of uc? yes, that’s exactly what i’m telling you. meanwhile, first-year seminars aren’t affiliated the same way. they tend, instead, to be organized by breadth requirement. you’ve got your ones (not to be confused with the other ones u of t whY), your twos, your threes… you know how to count ’til five.

    something else i’ve found differentiates the ones is that they tend to have some type of central idea or theme organizing their offerings. this tends to follow along the lines of what the college in general is known for. st. mike’s, a former catholic institution, offers ones that explore the intersection between faith and other subjects; innis’s ones cover either writing or cinema, which makes sense as that college runs those programs; trin tends to run more ir/ethics-tinged programs for a similar reason. if you check out this page, you’ll see that each one program has a clear focus/mission statement.

    one other difference is that some of the ones, like munk one, can count towards POSt. meanwhile, seminars just…don’t. they count towards breadth req and your 20 credits, but that’s about it.

    format-wise, i found that both the one and the seminar that i took felt pretty similar. both weighed participation 10%, didn’t send too much coursework home, and had fantastic instructors willing to go above and beyond. they were also pretty small classes that forced us to talk to each other– i ended up making good friends in my one program in particular, just because it was a yearlong thing.

    that’s the main reason i’d really encourage you to take a one or seminar, actually! u of t does have its big n’ scary reputation of being hella antisocial, and truth be told it’s next to impossible to make friends in con hall classes. i actually tried, my first day, being the eternal optimist that i am — the girl beside me turned out to be a fourth year. i asked her if she was a TA. that was the end of that.

    anyway, if there’s anything specific you were wondering that i didn’t speak to, feel free to let me know! otherwise, hope this helped, friend.

    over n out,


  • one programs,  seminars

    ones again

    are first year foundation seminars or ones full year or half year?


    hi there,

    it depends on the course! most first year foundation seminars, as far as i know, are half-year, but there are the odd ones that run for both sems. you should be able to tell according to the course code– i explain how that works in this post.

    ones, from what i know, are typically comprised of two half-year courses that add up to one FCE. i took innis one, which worked this way– you could choose two half-year courses from a group of four. it seems like now that there’s no application for innis one, you can take just the half-year as well. i wasn’t aware of that option when i registered for it– maybe it’s new? either way, though, i did know people who dropped the second half anyway. seems like new one works the same way– you can choose up to two of their half-credits, with the recommendation that you max this out. uc one lists all its courses as half-credit, which i’m assuming means it, too, is one such one. 

    i think st. mike’s one is similar, with the difference being there’s no explicit option to only take a half credit. their site advertises the program as two half-credit courses, with a !field trip! to some snazzy exotic destination. we’re talking rome, or the silicon valley.

    woodsworth one’s site is down right now, so i’ll update this post with that info if i remember.

    trin one is a bit more complicated, in that it’ll eat up 2.0 FCEs from your required 20. it looks like depending on your stream, you either take a full year of trin one in both first and second year, OR take two full-year seminars in your first year. munk one is also a 2.0 credit program.

    vic one,  meanwhile, seems to be the most convoluted of them all. the schawlow and stowe-gullen streams seem to require 3.0 FCEs, all taken in first year; the gooch stream seems to be a bunch of half-creds, with nothing on how many you’re expected to take; the pearson stream  seems to require four half-year seminars, as well as 1.0 FCE in history or poli sci. i know some of the vics have mandatory yearlong plenaries as well, just cos i had a few friends in vic one last year. what’s a plenary? some kind of guest lecture, as far as i can tell.

    as for seminars, i have seen both half-cred and full-cred courses. the half-cred ones seem to be more plentiful, or at least they have been in the past.

    the tl:dr answer to your question is that you should look into the ones/seminars you’re interested in! hopefully this summary makes it easier for you to narrow things down, though.

    over n out,


  • first year,  seminars

    one never knows

    a lot of first year foundation seminars aren’t on the timetable or on acorn yet, but they’re in the academic calendar. will they be added later? or are the ones not there not being offered next year? it’s making me worried bc i really want to be able to be in at least one course with a smaller class size.


    hi hi,

    i’m not sure exactly which foundation seminars you mean. as far as i can tell, they’re all listed on the timetable– i looked up ‘tbb199’ and ‘pmu199’ in the box for course code and found pretty extensive listings up. there is a chance they will be adding more, but i have no clue how or when that would be, or even how likely it is. the timetable has a mind of its own. it’s still being updated every day. i feel like it’s more likely to fully stabilize around… the beginning of july? 

    anyway, the thing with the academic calendar is, i’ve found it’s not always the most up to date. at least when i was course planning last year, there were a crap ton of courses listed on there that just had broken links or were no longer being offered. this has just been my experience.

    if the first year seminars don’t work out, may i suggest the ones program? some of them need applications, like vic one or trin one, but plenty of others should be accessible to you at the time of course registration. like the seminars, these are small (25 students ish) classes with stellar instructors and interesting course material. i took both a seminar and a one my first year, and found them to be pretty similar in terms of difficulty and format– almost interchangeable in my head, although the course material was pretty different. i would say it’ll offer you a comparable experience, just as a backup if the seminars you want really aren’t being offered.

    and yes! take those smaller classes! they’re real nice to break your schedule up with, especially if you’ve got a crap ton of con hall lectures. i will never stop recommending them– i met some really cool people through those courses and got to do some fun stuff. lots of them have field trips too. do all that you can to fit one in your sched; you won’t regret it.

    over n out,


    EDIT 06/08/19: apparently there are actually issues with the current version of the timetable! particularly regarding first year seminars, i would advise you to hold on for a bit– some old courses are showing up, and current ones are missing. will update with info as i receive it. thanks guys.

    i would wait to start doing things on ACORN as well, as courses for next year aren’t up on there yet (or if they are, they’re not final). if you add anything to your cart at the moment, they may be be summer courses and i feel like you may not want that.

  • first year,  seminars

    seminars, first year, exams, oh my!


    I am currently enrolled in VIC108H1 it is a VIC first-year course. I am enrolled in VIC110H1 in the winter term, I am also enrolled in a first-year seminar course (CCR199H1) in the winter term. I just wanted to make sure I am allowed to take these courses. I read somewhere that said you have a limit. Hopefully, you guys answer before the winter term! also, when is the December exam schedule coming out? Will it be emailed to everyone?

    Thank you so much!



    surprise, a relatively quick response!

    according to this link about the first year seminars, you can take both first-year seminars and vic one hundred courses, but you can only take up to one full credit (1 FCE) of either. since each of the courses you’ve listed above is worth 0.5 FCE, you’re currently in a total of 1.5 FCE. this means that you need to drop one of the seminars you’re enrolled in for the winter term so that you are only in 1 FCE total.

    the december exam schedule is usually posted online on the faculty of arts and sciences’ website. i’m not totally sure when it’s posted, but it’s usually around sometime soon-ish? don’t quote me on that.

    don’t worry about missing it, though. profs will usually highlight in class when and where the exam is, if there is one. if your prof doesn’t bring it up, i’m sure SOMEONE on facebook or whatever will share the link. people always freak the eff out when the exam schedule is posted.

    the muppets panic GIF

    hope that helps, good luck!



  • first year,  FLC,  seminars

    199 vs flc vs ones showdown


    I’m a newly admitted student to life sciences, and I’m kind of in a predicament. I’ve applied and been accepted to one of the Ones program, (UC one – Gradients of Health in an Urban Mosaic). However, I’m also interested in the FLC program for my college, and I read that I can’t do both/it would be hard to and probably interfere with my timetable. I’m going to be living off campus, and taking the typical science and math courses along with a psych, so I’m honestly not sure which would benefit me more? Do you have any personal experience with either? Or have you guys heard of any really good things about either option?? I’m really confused and I’m not sure what is best

    *(on another note what is the difference between a 199 course and a Ones course? Would I be able to do a 199 and a FLC?? do i need to apply to take a 199 course like the Ones program??) *

    Hope that’s not too much to ask ahh thank you!!



    congrats on getting in and welcome to the university of toronto!

    the FLC website says that they don’t recommend doing both a FLC and a first year foundations program since it might be a little hard to balance your time and sort out your schedule as you’d have to juggle many inflexible slots on your schedule. so you technically can do it, it’s just not recommended.

    personally, i haven’t done a FLC, but i did a ones program in first year. i thought that it was a pretty cool experience and i liked that i got to form really great relationships with my profs and classmates. i was also super interested in the course content, which obviously makes everything better. however, some of my classmates found that the program took up a little bit too much time in their schedule (we met four times a week so trying to schedule other classes or commitments around that was a little difficult). it’s really about balancing what you see as the positives and negatives and seeing if it’s worth it for you. as much as i’d like to enforce my opinions on others, this is really your call. something that i might find positive (like small classes) you might see as a negative.

    as for the difference between a 199 course and the ones programs, well it’s in their names. a 199 is just one course and a ones is a program usually with multiple courses whereas a 199 course is just one course totalling 1 FCE or 0.5 FCE depending on whether it’s a full year course or only a semester long. you also don’t need to apply to take a 199 course, you just enrol in it on ACORN like a normal course.

    i think you can be in both a 199 and a ones program, as long as that ones program isn’t vic one. at least that’s what it says in the artsci calendar. all hail the artsci calendar.

    enjoy the rest of your summer and try not to stress too much, bruh. we will see you on campus in september!



  • arts & sciences,  first year,  seminars


    What 199 seminar class did you take and how was it? I trust your say 🙂 I’m trying to pick a 199 course and I’m stuck



    i personally didn’t take any 199 seminar classes, but i did a ones program, which is like an extended version of a 199 seminar class. i really enjoyed my seminar classes and developed a lot of meaningful relationships with some super fancy profs and my classmates. our facebook group was poppin’.

    i’d imagine that you’d have a similar experience in a 199 class. though i personally haven’t taken a 199 class, my friends who did all really enjoyed them. it’s a really great way to have a small class experience before third/ fourth year and fulfill the breadth requirement in an interesting way.

    because i’ve never taken one, i don’t think i can recommend one, but there a tons to pick from. i wouldjust  read the descriptions and pick ones that interest you!

    unfortunately, the artsci website with the course descriptions hasn’t been updated yet for 2017-18, but if you use the artsci timetable and type in “first year seminars” in the search bar, a list with the course descriptions and when they are pops up.

    hope this helped, see you on campus in september!



  • seminars

    please don’t call on me

    Hi AskA,

    I’m going into my third year at UTSG and I was wondering what history and
    American Studies 400 courses are like. I’m more so curious about
    assignments, difficulty, and these foreign things called small “seminars”
    that take place in lieu of lectures.

    I’ve taken 300 level courses in history and American Studies and really
    want to see how they (and I) stack up against something as unknown and
    seemingly daunting as a 400 course.

    Thanks a million!



    my sincerest apologies, for i have never taken courses in neither history nor american studies. however, as someone who has taken 400-level courses, i can definitely offer you some perspective on what they’re like!

    disclaimer: this is based solely on my own experience and may not apply to all 400-level courses.

    what to expect: (in no particular order)

    1. smaller class sizes: my 400-level classes were very small, usually no more than 30 people. this was slightly scary for me because i always try and make myself invisible when i’m in class in case i doze off. i don’t want to offend the teacher, y’know?

    2. seminar style: profs will give shorter lectures and emphasize the importance of in-class discussions. there will probably be lots of time sectioned off specifically for discussion.

    3. prepare to talk: you will probably be required to talk in front of the class at some point during the course.

    4. great, intellectually stimulating discussions: you’ll find that most people in your 400-level courses are super interested in the course material, meaning that you’ll have some great discussions with your classmates.

    5. ‘meeting style’ seating: in my 400-level courses, the tables in class were positioned in a circular formation, which definitely made in-class discussions easier since we could all see each other.

    6. you need to keep up with readings: since you will need to talk in class from time to time, you really need to keep up with your readings so you will know what you’re talking about. every time i didn’t finish my readings, i would get a lot of anxiety about talking in front of the class or participating. do those readings!

    7. participation marks: you will probably be graded on participation. some people forget this, but the thing to remember is quality over quantity.

    8. the prof will know your name: prepare to be called on by your prof because the class is small enough for him/her to learn your name.

    9. group projects: you will probably need to do some kind of a presentation with a group in your class. if you have the option to choose, choose your group wisely. there’s nothing worse than having a terrible group.

    10. assignments: you’ll still be writing essays. sorry!

    11. profs love feedback: i found that my profs were very open to feedback about the class. i had a prof who let us decide how we wanted our tests to be formatted and another prof who let us choose what we wanted our last lecture to be on. smaller class sizes make it much easier for students to bring up any grievances they might have without feeling intimidated by a speaking in front of a large group.

    in conclusion, my impression is that if you make an effort to engage in discussions and course material, a 400-level course is not difficult. you just have to put in some time!

    good luck! you’ll be fine.

    peace and love,





  • first year,  seminars

    on feet

    Another question: The first year seminar ON FOOT is on the 2015=2016 timetable description page but when I go to the timetable, the title is missing from the box next to the #L0212 and so it looks like The World of Heroes is offered twice, where I think On Foot is offered… can you confirm that the On Foot first year seminar (which sounds really interesting!) is indeed L0212 – Y – W2-4 – C. Anderson?? Thanks very much for your response! 🙂


    hey there,

    seems like it’s up on the timetable now! i’m not sure what you mean by ‘timetable description page,’ but it’s definitely on the timetable, so the seminar should be offered as it is described on the timetable.

    hope you get in! enjoy your seminar on feet or…whatever it’s about. (sometimes it’s more fun to not read the course description and just imagine what the course will be about. though i wouldn’t recommend doing that for courses you’re actually interested in taking. taking a ‘blind dating’ approach to classes isn’t the smartest idea).



  • 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



  • breadth requirements,  courses,  seminars

    BIG courses and seminars

    Thank you for answering my last question but I still have just one more 🙂 Are you able to take a BIG idea course (for example, BIG 102Y1) in second year? I would need it in order to fufill my breadth requirements because I have already chosen my 5 courses for this year. Also, would you have less of a chance of getting into the course if you are in second year as oppose to first? Thanks in advance!

    Are you able to take 199’s in second year? I am soooo worried about completing my breadth requirements but I don’t have room for any seminar’s in my timetable


    hey there,

    unfortunately, BIG and 199 seminars are restricted to first year students. however, i’m not really sure what you’re worried about, because breadth requirements don’t have to be seminar courses??

    the breadth requirements are just 5 categories of content – throughout your degree, you need to take a certain number of credits in each of the categories. every class in the Faculty of Arts & Science fulfils at least one category. for example, PHY131H1, Intro. to Physics I, fulfils the 5th breadth category, “The Physical and Mathematical Universes.”

    you know, because it’s about the physical and mathematical universes.

    i hope that made sense, friend.

    good luck with your enrolment!