• admissions,  concurrent ed,  drama,  math

    twenty questions: aska edition


    I’m a student going into grade 12 and have two very different fields which I want to pursue, so I have some questions. Is it possible to take a major in drama and a major in math? And if so, which one would I apply with or do I apply with both, in reference to the form, essay and auditions, etc.? Does this work for the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus? And is it possible to make my math major part of a teaching degree? I also don’t really understand how choosing courses works and if you can have electives, and how many. Also, would I be limited in teaching possibilities or employment possibilities if I took math as a minor?

    Thank you,



    Hey Ioana,

    Your message is a deceptively short paragraph, but it actually consists of many specific questions. Well played, Ioana. Well played indeed.

    Anyhow, basically as long as the two programs you’d like to study are within the same faculty, you’re good. So since Drama and Mathematics are both part of the Faculty and Arts and Science, you can definitely major in them both. However, you don’t really determine those specific Programs of Study until the end of your first year. But since you’re still in high school, when you apply through OUAC, I suppose you might as well specify your program choice as Mathematics (assuming you can only choose one).

    When you apply, you essentially put yourself into some sort of stream like Humanities or Social Sciences or Life Sciences and would then be given precedence for spots in that stream’s courses. Now if you chose Drama, you would probably be placed in the Humanities stream. But DRM200Y1 Introduction to Performance has a number of entry requirements, which makes being given that priority rather irrelevant, so you may want to specify Math so that you’ll have precedence when trying to pick up those courses. At U of T, any sort of priority is useful since spots are always limited.

    Now for a B.Ed. from U of T, you can either go to OISE after you finish your degree, or you can apply to the super competitive Concurrent Teacher Education program in which you take five years instead of four and complete your degree alongside your B.Ed. With the CTEP, you can enter either straight from high school over at UTSC, or after your first year at St. George. Personally, I recommend you take the latter option and wait a little. You seem to want to do a lot of things. One year might do you some good in narrowing down between all of these choices or at least being sure of what you want.

    But if you do end up pursuing your B.Ed., you can definitely use your Mathematics major towards your teachable. And if you choose to bring Math down to a minor instead, according to OISE’s prerequisites for teachables, you should be fine. Just make sure to heed the program requirements needed for your degree. As for other jobs, try doing some research. Where can a degree in Math take you? Who knows! Consult the Career Centre if you’d like!

    And as for courses, students take an average of five per semester. In your first year you’re pretty much free to take what you’d like so that you can figure out what it is you’re looking for. If you’d like, take a look at the Calendar to get a vibe for how things work at U of T and what you can possibly take.

    Enjoy your last year before having to work your butt off!


  • math,  wait list

    for the love of linear algebra


    I hope you can help me… I know you must get these sort of questions (they’re more like whines) all the time, but I have a situation that has been stressing me out all day. I am a first year student and I was trying to get into the second year linear algebra course mat223h1 for the fall term. I am currently 19 out of 196 spaces, so what do you think are the chances of getting into this? I heard a statistic was that about 10% will likely get into their course, but I can’t be basing my university decisions off of rumoured stats can I? I am really worried that I won’t be able to get into the class… I was looking at a specialist in actuarial science or statistics, both of which highly recommend taking mat223h1 in first year. What do you think are some possible solutions if I were to not get in? And what are the chances of getting in, based on my place on the waiting list. I just want to know the nature of this particular course.. I mean do people tend to drop this course a lot, or do they hold onto this one?

    I hope you can help! I just need to ease my stress. Thanks 🙂 I’m a first year. Naturally I’d be worried.


    Hey there first-year!

    Sorry for the late reply. I know this might not really be relevant to you right now, but here’s the deal for future reference at least. 🙂

    So the fact that you were 19 out of 196 in a second year course in your first year warrants you a high five! I sure hope you got in, but normally in a situation like that you do have a fair chance. There is no real statistic, but with such a large class, hopefully things worked out for you. In any case, if you didn’t get in before the waitlists were dropped, I hope you played the lovely game of refreshing the courses page on ROSI every five minutes or so to check if someone dropped it. Basically, after the waitlists are dropped, there is a one week period where entry is essential a free for all.

    However, if you weren’t able to get into the course this term, there’s always one in the winter. According to the timetable, actually, there are five sections too. Likewise, if the summer courses for 2013 are anything like those of 2012, MAT223H1 should be offered.



  • math

    when math is a must

    Is there a basic math course offered for students who did not take grade 12 math?? If so, can this be used as a prerequisite for higher math courses?



    Hey there!

    So I take it you didn?t realize how much math meant to you until you got to university? Unfortunately, according to the course calendar, there are no first-year math courses that you can take without having taken MCV4U and MHF4U.

    If you really are set on taking a first-year math course, you?ll have to complete those two grade 12 math courses elsewhere. Another option is to consult the math department?s PUMP program.

    Sorry about that!


  • math

    MAT, please baby, I need more of you

    My name is Sujia and I am going to be a second year student at U of T studying in Rotman Commerce. I have already taken MAT133 in my first year and i am considering to take MAT137 in my second year as my electives.
    When I looked through the calendar, I noticed MAT137 is exclusion of MAT133 but MAT133 is not exclusion of MAT137.
    So can i take mat137 in my second year as one of my electives?
    Hi Sujia (I feel like we have a more personal connection because you gave me your real name … or did you?)
    You caaaaan take it, but why?
    Electives are generally used so that you can experience a different field of knowledge or fulfill?a degree or breadth requirement … or to take a bird course and get your CGPA?up.

    Just to see if any of these strike a chord with you, here are some courses that sounds awesome or have great profs:

    1) Anything with Prof. Marcel?Danesi (from his …uhhh … adventures?on campus?with his wife to?his “research”?at raves he’s got some life lessons to be taught)

    2) ENG 234 (Children’s Literature)?or ENG235 (The Graphic Novel)?- probably some of the easiest reading you can?hope for (in complexity not volume)

    3) MUS 230 (Music of the 1960s), MUS321 (The Beatles) – you get to listen to?music in class, need I say more?
    4) UNI104 (Sex in the City) … need I say more
    5) NEW431 (Cultivating Consciousness: Yoga, Meditation & Mindfulness in Practice) …because what student doesn’t need to relieve some stress.
    forever avoiding MAT courses,
  • math

    which MAT is my mate?

    Hello,I am a mature student going back and am taking mat137. I googled mat137 vs mat135 because I wasn’t sure which one I should take. Taking the 137 is more flexible. I read it’s more proof based. Most people said it was really hard but a more recent comment I read that it was easier as some one took over the curriculum. calculus was not my strong suit in high school but I want to do well. How are people experiencing 137 now?thanks
    Why hello there Paula,

    I personally stay away from all that numerical shiznaz but hopefully there are some willing students who can offer their opinion. Math folks: please leave a comment with your great knowledge to help?this fellow student out.

    Here are some things that I think you should consider … because, often which course is easier is irrelevent to why you should be taking a course.

    If you are taking a MAT course strictly for interest sake, please diregard the remainder of the post. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the number in the course code, the harder the class is.

    Side Bar Ted – 5 Things to consider when choosing between MAT135 and MAT137

    1) Think about what you are going to be using these courses for … certain subject POSts will require a specific one of the two
    2) While MAT137 is a year long course, MAT135 is only a half
    3) … which means that MAT135 is intended to be taken with MAT136
    4) The professor can really make or break a course. Check the Anti-Calendar and see which professor has the highest retake % (they range from 33% to 75% for MAT135, so there is a right and wrong choice in this situation)
    5) When getting other students opinions remember that what is easy and a good learning experience for that student might not be the same for you. If none of these suggestions work for you … just eat cupcakes.?
    mmm cupcakes,
  • math,  subject POST

    secret door of subject POSts

    Dear Aska!
    Omagahhh, I just finished my first year and its not looking great :(!
    3.0 credits finished with a cGPA of 2.7ish.. I LWD’d a physics course in the first term, and finished my first year with a whooping 3.0 credits. I’m scared about course enrollments next year, wanted to take some mathy courses but I’m afraid if its bounded by the subject POSts and all.. Whats the deal with subject POSts? I’m only ‘active’ on one major (math), wanted to do double major with CS but it fell under 1S which requires me to finish atleast 4.0 credits. Aska what should I do???! :'( Summer school = financially heavy, or should I just continue uni next year and apply for the next wave of POSts?


    You sneaky little devil you,

    You actually need 4.0 FCE to apply for any subject POSts. Math is a subject 1 so you are just automatically put into it if you apply. Although you are currently active in the POSt they will most likely do a “cleaning sweep” and realize you don’t have enough credits to be in the major. A 2.7 is actually pretty darn good for first year and bundles of students LWD. You are now experiencing the downfall, which is not being able to get into your Subject POSts.

    You could take a credit in summer school, and OSAP can help with the finances, and then apply for the POSts in the 2nd round of applications. The other option is to just not have POSts in your second year. This won’t affect you for Math Major because they don’t seem to have priority listings for the courses (if they even kick you out of the major). CS does, however,?give priority to those enrolled in the POSts. This just means you won’t really be able to start on that major until your 3rd year or you may get lucky and get into the courses after the priority time is over.

    In the long run, the worse that might happen is you having to stay a little longer than your 4 years to finish up your degree, but what’s an extra semester anyways.

    hmmm … actually an afterthought here… you could in your 2nd year focus on the Math Major if the CS courses remain full after the priority list is lifted, and then in your 3rd year focus on just CS courses and hopefully things will be balanced for 4th year. At some point though you will have to take an extra couple courses in the summer or in a 5th year.

    I’m getting rambley like the guy in the question below … oooh how contagious it is.

    forever with cold hands and a warm heart,


  • engineering,  math

    Big Aspirations Equal Big … uuh …

    Hi, aska.? I have a simple question.? I am first year student and I am taking general humanities courses and have not yet declared my major.? I recently want to become an engineer and realized that this field I have looked over is indeed quite interesting and is shaping the world.? I also fully understand this field is largely based on mathematics and science. So my question is, having not taken grade 12 science or math courses, can I
    declare my major as math.? I understand there are requirements to take courses and imagine math is no different but I can’t find that information on the Math Department’s website.? How can I declare math as my major without the necessary prerequisites.? Do I have to reapply as an adult student? I hated math but now I want to learn everything before college and when I am ready how do I start taking math at Uoft.? Any and all advice, criticisms will be greatly appreciated, thank you.

    Big Aspirations !!!


    Hey there Big Aspirations

    ok … so I have some super secret information for you … feel the anticipation growing. The enrolment for Mathematics only requires that you have completed 4.0 courses. It does not state that you need to have highschool grade 12 math. However, many of the first year courses have MCV4U and MHF4U as a prerequisite. Here’s the super de duper secret I have, the word on the street is that the math department doesn’t actually check prereqs for their courses. ewww lala.

    Saying that, you may and probably will suffer without that prior information. Actually how many people remember what they were taught in grade 12 anyways.

    Also … you realize a math major has nothing to do with engineering right (ok, nothing is a little strong, but they aren’t the same program).

    to the moon and back,


  • math

    two cheerios + 3 cheerios


    I just has a question about subject POSts–or one in particular.? I’m seriously considering switching from my physics/math double major into a Math and its applications specialist.? (And a physics major) But specifically, I’m interested in doing a teaching concentration.? The timetable lists it under type 1, but in the description it says something about how OISE requires you to have a second teachable, which isn’t a problem.? What I don’t get is…do I have to apply through OISE to do this specialist??? I’m a little worried that my GPA unfortunately can’t impress anyone haha.

    Good luck on midterms!
    -? L


    Yo yo L

    The course calendar just says:

    … to keep in mind that OISE requires students to have a second teachable subject

    This is just a way for them to cover their ass. With the teaching concentration, you won’t have a teaching degree when you finish, just a BSc like everyone else. They are assuming that because you are looking into a teaching concentration that you are going to pursue teaching once you have graduated … hence applying to OISE.
    They are just giving you a heads up that you will need another teachable course to apply to education graduate programs.

    peace and love baby,

  • math

    2 beers + 3 beers = …. ??


    I was just wondering if there is a help center for 2nd year math course?



    Yo Yo Lvi

    Oh you know it! Thank God … Buddha … Mother Teresa that there is actually something included in our inflating school fees. Free drop-in and one on one help with Math for one and all

    In true U of T style, there are multiple math help centres

    Here you have it (psst click the link).
    Those are all the Math help centres at U of T, pick the one that pertains to you and be on your way to killer marks.

    Peace and Love baby,


  • breadth requirements,  easy,  first year,  math

    not good with numbers…

    Hello –

    I’m coming to U of T this autumn & I was wondering if you knew if the first year seminar *PMU199H1 F *”mathematical explorations” is difficult? Or anything about the course? The “not for calculus students” could be deceptive, and I’m really, really bad at math. I’m taking it to fulfill my BR=5 requirement but I’m a little apprehensive.

    Help is much appreciated!


    Hi there and welcome to the amazing and fantastic University of Toronto! While your class doesn’t seem like it was offered last year (and therefore wasn’t reviewed in the anti-calendar), many classes that seem similar to it were reviewed favourably. Essentially by taking a first year seminar to fulfill your BR=5 requirement, you are going for the easiest and best way possible to obtain that credit. First year seminars are notoriously easier, with more attention paid to students. The course description definitely makes it sound like it will be easy for you, and the small class size will make it easier to ask questions. If you take a look at the anti calendar, you’ll find favourable descriptions for all the 199y classes in terms of easiness and engagement with the subject matter. Math is super boring and hard to do (FYI: I am an arts student), but if you’ve gotta do it, a first year seminar is the best way to go.

    Best of luck!

    xoxo, Askastudent

  • math

    aska exclusive: two classes that are exactly the same!


    I was just curious about HPS390 and MAT390.

    One has 100 available spots, the other has 50.? Both are exclusions to one another, but are offered by the same teacher and exactly the same time in the winter.? This implies to me that they are exactly the same course.

    I am from the distant school of Scarborough Campus and can’t see which one is full, but if they are exactly the same and lets say MAT390 was full (the one with only 50 spots)…could I not just take HPS390 if it has open space and have it count as MAT390?? How many spots are left for MAT390 anyways?

    Course selection is always the most stressful thing for me haha… I really appreciate any help you can provide.


    Hi Franklin!

    This question took me a long time to answer, thanks to fighting through the interminable U of T bureaucracy. Here is an example of what happens when you call the Math department:

    Aska: “Hey I’m calling from the Innis College registrar about HPS 390 and MAT 390…according to their course descriptions and the timetable, these classes sound exactly the same and are offered at the same time. Could this be true?”

    Math lady: “I dunno, you will probably have to call (this person who will never return your phone call) and (wait forever and ever).”

    Anyways, finally someone did call me back from the Math department, a representative in charge in fact, and it’s true – these courses are exactly the same! They are offered by the same prof, at the same time, in the same place and for some unknown reason are labeled under two separate course titles in two different departments. U of T is so crazy!

    So if you register for HPS 390, you will be taking MAT 390 and it should be good for the same. Currently HPS 390 has 16 spots available, while MAT 390 has 7 spaces available.

    Another mystery solved. Aska is like Agatha Christie, no?

    xoxo, Askastduent

  • math

    if course a cancels course b, can aska take a nap now?

    Hi again!

    This is the third question I’ve asked in the span of about three weeks? – you are just too great a pool of information to not make use of!? I’ve searched your site and I haven’t found an answer to this question so I will go ahead and ask it:

    During first year, I was planning on going into Commerce and therefore took MAT133. Since then I’ve changed my mind and I am now pursuing a double major in Psychology and Math instead. To fulfill my math major,? I need to take MAT135. However, MAT133 is listed as an EXCLUSION to MAT135 so I’m wondering what exactly this means.

    I’m pretty sure that this means MAT135 will only serve to satisfy my? prerequisite towards getting a major in math but it won’t count? towards my CGPA or towards the 20 credits I need to graduate. To my? understanding, the grade I received in MAT133 will be the grade that? is used to compute my CGPA (not the grade I will receive in MAT135).? Is this correct? Technically, will the grade I get in MAT135 (as long? as it meets the minimum requirement to move on) even matter?

    All in all, can I still take MAT135 even though I’ve taken MAT133?




    Dear Amanda,

    I’m glad you find Askastudent a valuable resource, but please, don’t take advantage. Aska might be a lean, mean answerin’ machine, but leave some questions for someone else, eh?

    Just playing.

    I talked to a college registrar at Innis about your situation. Essentially (and according to the calendar) for a double major in math and psychology, MAT 133 is useless to you. So is MAT 135 (as your MAT 133 course essentially cancels MAT 133 out) – but don’t despair, you can still take MAT 137 or MAT 157 – and this is coming from someone who hates math!

    Psychology only requires statistics classes, not math. So take either MAY 137 or MAT 157 and you’ll be in the clear, darling for your first year requirements for the major. Don’t forget your protractor!

    xoxo, Askastudent

  • courses,  history,  math,  wait list


    Hi there,

    I’m a UTSC student who wants to take the odd course downtown at St. George.
    However, ROSI will not let me see whether the courses I want are already full
    since it won’t let me register until August 13.

    This might sound like a silly question, but I was wondering if anyone from
    downtown could let me know if the following courses:

    MAT390H1 S
    HIS343Y1 Y

    are full or how many spots are still available, just so I can see what the odds
    are for me to get in.
    I thank you for your time,



    Hey Kat! Can I call you Kat? Or Kitty Kat? How ’bout I stop right there…

    As of today (4:55, July 19th, EST) the availability in your desired courses are as such:

    MAT 390H1 – S

    Currently registered, 39 students. Total spots, 50. THERE ARE 11 SPOTS LEFT IN THE COURSE.

    HIS 343Y1 – Y


    So while you may be bummed, you may also be enthused. Remember that the waitlist drops after the first week of classes, when you will be able to apply to courses, hoping that someone has dropped it. Best of luck to you!

    xoxo, Askastudent