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Archive for the ‘biology’


i glove my job

Hello !
do i need to buy gloves if i want to continue taking biology? in first year my labs all provided gloves. thank you!


hey there,

this isn’t something i would know from experience, but i asked a friend who’s taken higher level bio for ya. apparently if you’re taking BIO230 it’s a no on buying gloves, but they weren’t sure about BIO220. if you’re not taking 230 i would say just… wait til the course starts, then figure out whether you need to get them?

or if you really really REALLY have a burning desire to know i guess you could contact whichever bio department you’re hoping to take courses in. i figure they’re the only ones who would know, since my guess is it varies per course– if you do choose to contact them, please remember to be polite and respectful because i’m sure they’re quite busy people who deal with a lot of stuff! although this is probably an unnecessary reminder and i’m sure you would be anyway.

i would suggest you wait and see, though, if it’s all the same to you! if you need the gloves, you’ll find out come the start of classes. again, i wouldn’t know, but i’m guessing gloves don’t break the bank.




transfer quest 2k17

Heyy askastudent

I messed upp sooooo badddddddd!

I don’t even know what to do or how to explainnn!!!

When I was in high school I barely got good grades in sciences although I really wanted to go on the science route and I did so bad in bio grade 12 by getting a 56% due to my mental health (ADHD and my anxiety). Since I did so bad in biology I thought i would make a drastic change by going ahead with commerce since my math marks were 90%+. And I got accepted to UTM.

I was first year student this year 2016-17 and I was doing fine in all my classes but i freaked out recently and had a mental breakdown because I don’t think commerce is for me and i want to do my degree in biology… so I LWD literally every single course I had left and now on my transcript i just have soc100 as a CR/NCR this year was sooooo freaking crappy I don’t even understand. AND NOW I’M LIKE WHY DID I DO THAAAAATTTTT…

When I talked to the registrar they said I have next year to choose whatever program I want to go in. But I now want to switch into McMaster or McGill or even downtown campus UofT for biology.

I’m planning on meeting the requirements for the biology degree in UTM for 2017-18.

But to transfer to McGill or McMaster Their website said I have to be newly admitted at UTM to transfer… but next year would be like my 2nd year i guess?? but technically a re-do first year >.< … By the end of 2017-18 year i would have hopefully completed 5 credits (not including the 0.5 CR/NCR) ….Idk if they mean this because they don’t want someone who is “half done their degree (10CR)” from a diff uni or if they just mean even if u just have 5 credits “you can’t apply here since u are second year”? Do u think that would make it hard to get into McGill or McMaster because they say that, or is my situation diff since i would only have completed 5.5 CR.??

ANDDD im freaking out if my grade 12 marks would matter for transferring since i got 56 in bio grade 12 … but If i get a good cgpa next year that shouldn’t matter right??


i know that transfering to downtown campus wont be that bad as long as my CGPA is a bit higher than the minimum but my heart feels more inclined to actually “starting fresh” by going to a different uni like McMaster ot McGill.

What do you think? Helppp :'(

Thanks yoo!

PS sorry for a lot of rambling…



from what i can understand from your question (which is like… not much), it sounds like you’re a first year student who’s finished 0.5 FCE’s. is that right? as for wanting to transfer, i really shouldn’t be answering any questions about other schools. this is askastudent u of t, not asakstudent mcgill or mcmaster. i really can’t guarantee correct answers if we are speaking on behalf of another school.

there are many factors that go into a transfer, and i really have no clue how it works at other schools. because your case is very unique, you really need to speak to admissions at mcgill and mcmaster directly. if you are aiming to enrol in either of the schools for the 2018/19 session, your application would be due sometime in the winter term, meaning that they wouldn’t have much of a transcript to look at when reviewing your application. in that case, they might even consider your high school grades. who knows? all i can tell you right now is what i see on their website, which might not even be applicable in your situation, so promise us you’ll talk to them first!

the mcgill website doesn’t say how many credits you need to have, just that you need to have a 3.3- 3.8 CGPA, a semester each of differential and integral calculus, and two semesters of bio, chem, and/or physics (with labs).

at mcmaster, it only says that you need to complete at least 2 full years there, aka 10 “full credits” in order to receive a degree there. they also have some prereqs outlined, so check out their website.

to transfer downtown, they just look at your CGPA. if you know what specific subject POSt you want to enroll in, i would check out their requirements too.

i really encourage going to see an academic advisor or registrar in order to map out your specific case. they’ll be able to give you more personalized and nuanced information too.

i hope that was helpful. can’t believe you got me on the mcgill and mcmaster websites, good job.

best of luck!

Product Hunt confused silicon valley jared go figure GIF





majoring, minoring, and all that jazz

Hi Aska, I’m a first year at UTM and am currently majoring in Sociology. I have a couple of questions hope you will be able to answer them, it would mean a lot! I was wondering how double majors work? When do I have to say that I am double majoring? Or do I have to? Also if I want to make my 2nd major Life Science do I have to have all the prerequisites from high school and the average?
the whole major minor conundrum is this thing we call subject POst or program of study. there are three different options you can pursue:
1) a specialist
2) 1 major + 2 minors
3) 2 majors
when you’re applying for a subject POst, you should go to this link to see the complete listings of every subject POst available.
let’s say you want to do a double major in sociology and biology (this is just an example)
you’ll see that both sociology and biology are type 2 subject POSTs.
type 2 means that you will need to submit a request via ACORN, make sure you have taken the required courses and also make sure you have met the GPA/ grade requirement. the first request period will be from march 14th to may 1st. mark it down so you won’t forget like i did in first year. i made these mistakes so you could learn from them, my young padawan.
still confused? here’s a guide to understanding the different types of enrolment.
unless it is otherwise indicated, most life science programs won’t require any high school prereqs unless you’re thinking of pursuing psychology, which requires grade 12 biology or calculus.
a good idea is to check out the calendar to see exactly what you need to take for each program. you can do that here.
the calendar will tell you everything you need to know!
hope this cleared some stuff up for you. enjoy your first year and remember that your registrar is the best place to go if you have any questions regarding academics

bio-bo-bio, bio bio bo-bio

I want to take first year bio but I don’t have grade 12 bio as a prereq. It says I need special permission to take it. Is it hard to get special permission to take bio first year ?


hey there,

it depends. if you’re very strong academically, and have other experiences that might supplement what you would’ve learned in grade 12 bio, then it’s possible you’ll get special permission. otherwise, it might be a bit trickier. think about it this way: to get special permission, you have to have a special reason.

however, at the end of the day, it’s the bio department who grants special permission, so the best thing to do is ask them.





Can I take first year bio120 without having taken grade 12 bio?


hey there,

Grade 12 Biology is a prerequisite for BIO120H1, but you can contact their office at bio120 ( at ) utoronto ( . ) ca if you’d like to discuss the possibility of taking it without the prerequisite.




a rock and a hard course

Hi I’m starting uoftSG as a humanities student, however I love biology and i might want to major in that as well. I took chem/bio in high school but when I checked the prerequisite for chemistry on the uoft site it said I needed functions & calculus as well??? When I took chem in high school I never felt that I needed math. Is there any way around this???


hey there,

speaking as a former life-sci student turned liberal arts bum, math really can be important for bio. if you really want to skip the math, you can, but it’s tricky.

you don’t need to take calculus in first year as a biology major, but MAT135/6 are recommended corequisites for CHEM138/9, which are required. so, you don’t HAVE to take the maths, but they’re recommended for a reason.

secondly, there’re these things at uoft called enrolment controls. enrolment controls are basically a horrible horrible thing that make it a lot more difficult for you to get into that cool course you found randomly one lazy Sunday on the course calendar.

if you take a look at the enrolment controls for BIO130H1, BIO120H1, CHM138H1, and CHM139H1, you’ll see that they all have ‘P’ enrolment controls. that means that certain students get to enrol before everyone else, leaving the rest of you poor souls?to scrounge for spots?on August 9th. lucky for you, these first year bio and chem classes are ENORMOUS, so you’ll probably get into them, but it’s not guaranteed.

there are a lot of pesky obstacles here, and probably more i haven’t thought of. that’s why you should probably discuss all this with your college registrar’s office once you get on campus. you guys can chat and figure out whether the major is for you, if you can go it without the math, or if you should spend some time catching up, either in night/summer school or in uoft’s PUMP program.

anyway, take the first-year bio and chem classes – after a year of slogging through lectures, labs and exams, you’ll know what you want to do.




get into health 4 sum wealth

Hi, im in first year and i somewhat screwed up and am left with 2.0 credits i really want to get into biology for health sciences but some of the courses require chm 110 and 120 which ill be doing over the summer. Do you think ill be granteed a spot in my subject post after i complete chem over the summer. Im really confused and disappointed in myself some encouragement would really help.

– Amanda B.


hey there,

first, let’s do practical stuff, then encouragement.

so, we gotta see what kind of subject post biology for health sci is. if we look here, we’ll notice that the bio for health sci major has some requirements for enrolment. they are: a) completing 4.0 credits, b) completing the prerequisites listed and c) having a CGPA of 2.5. health sci is a type 2 subject POSt (just ctrl+f ‘biology for health sciences), which means that only people who have fulfilled the given requirements can enrol. however, it is not a type 3 subject POSt, where even if you’ve fulfilled the requirements, you still might not get in because of the competition. in this case, if you did a), b) and c), you’re guaranteed to get in.

because of that, if you successfully complete your chem courses (which are prerequisites) in the summer, and keep your GPA above a 2.5 (and assuming you fulfilled all the other prerequisites), you’ll be all set to enrol in the subject POSt! you’ll just have to do it in the second request period (see page 8), between june 17 and september 22nd, after you’ve received the marks for your summer chem courses. and that’s all there is to it.

one thing i’m a little confused about: you said you’re “left with 2.0 credits.” does that mean that you failed 2.0 out of 5.0 credits this year, or that you passed 2.0? if you passed 2.0, then you’ll have to do one more credit over the summer to fulfil requirement a) completing 4.0 credits. just keep that in mind. other than that, i don’t see any immediate problems.

k, now for some encouragement. well, my trans-campus friend, let me tell you something: you are great. you have almost survived your first year, and you’re still intact enough to have goals for yourself and aspire to greater things. you’re not just sitting miserably in your bedroom, smoking by a window and wishing your life was sepia toned. you go out there, and work, and ask questions when you need to! that’s awesome. pushing through is awesome. keeping on keeping on after you’ve disappointed yourself is awesome. and trust me: first year disappointments? we’ve all been there, and we got through it. and so will you, because you’re amazing (dare i say, almost as amazing as aska).

i wish you the best of luck with your summer courses, Amanda B.





what have we learned here? we have learned uoft is NOT sadistic


I was thinking Id like to do a biology minor next year but I’m confused about the second year courses I have to take.?It says: 1 FCE from: BIO220H1; BIO230H1/BIO255H1; BIO251H1; BIO270H1; BIO271H1; BIO260H1/HMB265H1.?This means I only have to take 2 half credit courses from those 8 half courses that are listed right??I dropped chemistry so I can’t take them all. I hope I just have to choose two since BIO220 and others don’t require chemistry.



hey there,

sheesh man, it’s a minor program. taking them all would be a ridiculous requirement! i mean i know uoft is cruel, but they’re not insane.

it says right here that you need 4.0 FCE to complete the program. in ALL FOUR YEARS of your undergrad, you need to complete 4.0 – that’s it, that’s all. no more than that. so they couldn’t possibly expect you to take all those courses. this is the deal, right:

the required first-year courses are BIO120H1 and BIO130H1. then you pick 1.0 (that is, 2 courses, like you said) of the ones you listed in your question, and then 2.0 FCE’s out of their third list, which is: EEB202H1, EEB204H1, EEB214H1, EEB215H1); EHJ351H1, EHJ352H1;ENV234H1, ENV334H1; HMB265H1; NUS; PSY397H1 and PSY497H1.

so to sum up: if you’ve got 4.0 FCE by the time you want to graduate, and 1.0 of them are BIO120 and BIO130, 1.0 of them are from the list you’ve given, and 2.0 of them are from the list I’ve given, you fulfilled the requirements for the subject post! easy-peasy! pumpkin squeazy! ham and…cheesy…

they leave me alone for a long time in this office, you know.

happy biologizing,



i want to do ALL the degrees

So I see that a question very similar to this one has been asked, however, I’m wondering if any of you witty aska people know anyone who has actually pursued the pathway I am about to ask about:
I want to attend U of T Scarborough for the Human Biology Major program (or maybe the Specialist, I don’t know yet.) However, I would also love to take courses from the B.B.A. program in Management (specifically speaking, Health Management). You know, Biology and Health Management; best of both worlds. So the BSc. in Human Bio is offered as a major, and the B.B.A. is offered as a Specialist… I know I could always do a minor in biology if I wanted to, but is there any possible way to take courses from both specialties? (because I know they are completely different faculties). Or is there a way to graduate with both the Bio major and the Management specialist? (if you are a mere mortal like me and not a robot with infinite intellectual capacity? It seems like a ton of credits needed.)
Thanks 🙂


hey there,

just fyi, it is officially becoming my FAVOURITE THING that people who come to this website think there is like, an aska TEAM or something. that we all come into an askastudent office and drink coffee out of askastudent mugs and have super-funny inside jokes about this or that secret aspect of the blog. maybe there could be a torrid love affair between me and the guy who answers all the go#$@8mned college questions!

…yeah, no, it’s just me, y’all. just one crazy kid. though i’m seriously hyped about the idea of something like this turning into a whole business. if any rich philanthropists want to help that happen…i’m on board.

ONTO YOUR QUESTION. you’re very noble person for wanting to do health management AND human biology, but you would have to be in school for a long time to get the major and the specialist. you need 20.0 credits to graduate, and while it’s not a big deal to graduate with one or two extra credits, you would need to complete 32.5-33.5 (health management specialist requirements and human biology major requirements) credits total to get both of those and frankly, that’s a bit ridiculous – that’s over two years worth of extra courses, and besides being completely ridiculous and kind of masochistic, i’m not even sure that’s allowed.

even double-majoring in health management and human bio puts you somewhere between 25.5-26.5 credits, which is an entire year’s worth of extra credits and then some. both these programs are very intensive, and they’re that way for a reason. i’d strongly suggest picking one, or like you said, doing a biology minor along with the specialist (not a human bio minor though they don’t offer a human bio minor unfortunately).

as for taking management courses if you’re not in the program, there are only a few courses you can actually take. According to this,”non Management Program students can only enroll in MGTA01H3/(MGTA03H3) and MGTA02H3/(MGTA04H3). Students in Health Studies/Health Sciences programs can also enroll in MGTA06H3.” so basically, if you really want to do management, go for the program, because otherwise you’ll have a tough time taking many of the courses.

so yeah. don’t torture yourself. a specialist and a minor is more than doable (if i can do it, anyone can – just use aska as your idiocy metric; you’ll always be able to do better than me), and trust me, you won’t be missing out on much, AND there will also be the added benefit of you being able to sleep! woo!

never change & shoot for the stars,



ap stands for already passed (so please just give me the credit please)

So, I got into Rotman Commerce and I want to use my AP credits that I took?in high school to count as college credits. Does this automatically happen if they get the scores? Also I want to use these credits so I could skip?some of the prerequisites and skip into something like second year biology.?Is this possible? The thing is, I took AP Bio in grade 11, and I’m not sure?if they have the scores for that or not? I don’t know. But I told the?admissions my scores when I applied. PLEASE HELP ME. thankyou.


Howdy ho!

You can get a credit for your AP course if you went through with the necessary steps to make sure that your test scores made it to the university.

So when you wrote your exam, you would’ve been asked if you needed the scores sent somewhere and you would’ve given the little code meant for UofT. Once the university gets the scores, they automatically assess you and will contact you to tell you what course equivalent you’ve gotten, but for the most part, if you know you have the grade, you can check the chart in that link to see what you’d get.

But since you did it in Grade 11 and I assume you didn’t notify anyone of having those results sent to UofT way back when, you might want to contact Enrolment Services to see if you had the foresight to send the bio score when you applied.

If they say nay, you need to speedily contact your high school or whoever and make sure the bio score makes it to the university by July 16, 2013.

Now if you do get the transfer credits for “BIO120H” and “BIO130H,” feel free to move forward!

Just… be careful.

Don’t load up on science courses when you’re in first-year Rotman, because let me tell you what: getting into Rotman (like the real Rotman which happens at the end of first-year) is pretty damn hard.





sometimes the hulk gets mad at course equivalencies too

Hi Aska,

I’ve just been accepted into Humanities and Innis College! I live in British Columbia and apparently Math 12 here is not equivalent to “Calculus and Vectors” in Toronto. I applied for Humanities but I also want to take Life Sciences courses. I would have applied for Life Sciences, but I didn’t take Calculus in BC so I didn’t have the prerequisites. Will I be able to take Biology courses if I haven’t taken Calculus and Vectors? And if not, can I take some sort of calculus course in my first year so that I can take Life Sciences next year? Or if I take a year of Humanities is it easy to transfer into Life Sciences?
I know that at UBC it is hard to transfer from the Arts Faculty to Sciences but since Arts and Sciences are one faculty at U of T, will it be easier?



<virtual fist bumb with explosion> Congrats N!

Switching around programs at U of T is relatively easy as long as you are remaining in the same faculty. You are correct that Life Sci and Humanities are in the same faculty, so that portion of your academic life in working in your favour.

The first year at U of T is a little bit of a place of limbo. You are in the school but you do not declare a Subject POSt (which is a fancy term for your fields of study) until you have completed 4.0 FCE (full credit equivalents) after your first year! So you may have applied to Humanities, and been accepted, but you can just as easily choose a field in Life Sci as your Subject POSt. Saying that, there is obviously complications. You must take the required courses, and obtain the required marks for the program you wish to enter in your first year.

I wont go fully into the complex ways of Subject POSts but know that a Biology Major just requires you to take specific courses, and not obtain specific marks (other than obviously passing the course).

This is where you run into some brick walls. The first year Bio courses do not require Calculus and Vectors (quiet yaaay), but to apply for a Bio Major you will need some courses that do require the MCV4U. Here is a chart (**cough** bottom right) that tells you the equivalancies for the qualifications. Meaning that you need to take Calculus 12 or Calculas AP before you can take the Chem courses for the Bio major. You can take some sort of calculus course, but some sort has to be the specific highschool sort. You have to obtain the highschool requirements before you can take the course! Its been done, so contact your registrar or Bio department to look at ways of doing that.

This is one of my pet peeves, not the kind that gets me hulk green angry but makes me have internal eye rolls, why Cananda, why cant you have one uniformed highschool classes game plan. Also, when the opening of the coffee lid falls on the cup fold and you end up spilling with every sip … but that besides the point.

good luck young mountaineer,



up, up and away … to summer school

Awhaddup, AKSA?!

I am a grade 12 student and have been accepted to U of T’s faculty of Social Science! I applied to social science with plans to study economics, but have discovered that I still want to do science courses. Basically, I planned my grade 12 courses around a social science application but still want to do science. I’ve taken chem, advanced functions and calculus & vectors, but left phyiscs out. As a result, I’m going to be taking the full course this july. Apparently OUAC knows that I’m registered for my summer course and will pass on the good news, but when do I select my courses for next year? will I be able to choose ones like chemistry and physics even though I’m in social sciences?

Many thanks!

No matter how many times I’ve been asked what’s up, I always firstly think of what is literally up.

Side Bar Ted

Five things that are currently “up”

– gas prices

– the sun… moon … other solar thingers

– tuition

– keener’s hands in class

– 15 year old boys looking at a photo of Megan Fox

You will likely choose your courses in late July. This summer, first years found out their start times on July 15th and their course enrolment was on July 25th. So, it is likely that similar dates will apply for next summer.

You don’t actually declare your subject POSt until you have completed 4 full credits (so after first year). Most first year courses then, are not restricted. However, they have ‘priority’ indicators on the courses. This means that certain students get first dibs, but if there is still space you can still have chance to get in.

You can look here to see the enrolment indicator.

The fact that you’re taking the course in the summer won’t effect you being able to take courses in the fall.

snuggles and whisky,



you know, the easy biology

Hi there,
Love ur blog, im sure you’ve helped countless helpless fools out there, so how about helping this one?? I was wondering if the preference in College will affect my chances of? getting through UoT. I am currently studying in grade 12 in India and wish? to apply for a course in Biology.
How do I get to know which course is practical for me to apply for, what I? mean to say is that I love biology but since my transcripts are not
sky-high, I want to apply for a course in Bio that will be comparatively easy for me to get. I know that I wont have a problem in adjusting to any of the seven colleges as I come from a? boarding-school and I went through a previous post of yours where u were saying that good people and bad people will be found in every college, it just depends on how you handle the situation. I just want to get trough UoT cause ive heard its the BEST!!!



Hi Sid,

Your college selection doesn’t affect your admission to the university. You are first admitted to the university?and then considered for the colleges. There are endless Biology opportunies for you at U of T.
The St. George campus offers major in Biology. It also houses Life Science which has various biology streams. Life Science is an incredibly competetive program, so your better shot would probably be with the Biology Department.

In addition both UTM and UTSC offer degrees in Biology. The unconfirmed word on the street is that those two campuses are easier to get into than St.George.

<high five > for being one of the few students not terrified about being able to cope with residence!

from near and far,


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