• 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,

    aska

  • courses,  enrollment,  enrolment

    who wants to be average anyway

    How many courses do you recommend people to take each semester?

    ——————————————

    hello friend,

    five courses a semester is considered the average number– it’s how many you need to be taking to graduate in four years, if you don’t plan on taking any summer school.

    big thanks to the university of utah for this snazzy gif that only reads in my head as sarcastic. suMMer sCHOol, oh! yeah! i love attending class in 30-degree heat while my friends upload instastories from asia and europe. this is my idea of a good time.

    real talk, though– what i would really recommend is that you take things at your own pace. the adjustment from high school to university (if i can make that assumption, given your question) can be rough in different ways. i mean, not for everyone– we get it, jim, you’re taking six courses and pasted your 99 in bio to your dorm room wall. and while we all know a jim, we’re not all jim. jim will probably burn out anyway.

    as far as fall/winter is concerned, you’ll need three courses to qualify as a full-time student, and you can take up to a maximum of six without special permission. i haven’t met anyone yet on three– the most common loads are four, five, and six.

    tl:dr, your options for a full-time sem of fall/winter study (and what kind of first year/carb they make you) are:

    option 1! four courses

    you know your limit and you play within it. or maybe you just took one of the few APs u of t actually accepts and want to ease things off after an anxiety- and caffeine-fueled high school career. either way, you’re not looking to bring anyone down; you just wanna look after yourself and get things done without crying too much.

    if you were a carb, you’d probably be brown rice. healthy and quite wholesome.

    option 2! five courses

    you’re a go-with-the flow kinda kid. you probably went to university because everyone else was doing it too, or because your parents told you to. you don’t know what you want to do with your degree yet, or even what POSt you want. what’s a POSt? post… what? post-degree, you’re headed for a standard nine-to-five with an hour-long lunch break where all your coworkers talk about their kids and the weather.

    you, my friend, are a slice of bread. pretty standard. not too interesting. good with peanut butter.

    option 3! six courses

    you like to live life on the edge– of sanity? of a robarts study carrel at 3 in the morning? no one else is really sure. you’re highkey headed somewhere, whether that’s absolute greatness or the deep dark pits of study burnout. maybe you’re crazy. maybe you just have a better work ethic than the rest of us. maybe she’s born with it. maybe it’s maybelline.

    your designated carbohydrate is kraft dinner mac and cheese. can’t be eaten for too many years in a row without doing some kinda damage to your body. a lil concerning. but pretty dang amazing in the moment.

    obviously, take ’em with a grain of salt. i’m no buzzfeed quiz.

    regardless of which option you choose, it might be useful to know the uni will probably charge you the same tuition. that is, if you’re in artsci– if you’re not, i would encourage you to look into your fees. just to show you what i mean, last year a first-year domestic student in innis college paid a flat program fee of $6,780 whether their courseload was four, five, or six. once they dropped below an average of four per semester, they’d pay per course.

    so, purely financially speaking, you kinda get more worth outta things if you’re taking a load of five or six courses. especially since, if you’re only taking four at a time, you’ll have to take summers, extra semesters, or even an extra year to finish your degree.

    like i said, though– if you have the resources to do so, take your time. i know plenty of really smart people who plan to stay an extra year or sem. don’t feel too much pressure to do things the “normal” way. remember that you can always register for five and drop down later, if things get to be too much.

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • courses,  timetable

    patience, my child

    when will course listings on griddy/acorn/course search be up to date? every listing i’ve found gives different courses that are or aren’t there!

    ——————————————

    hi!

    as far as i’m aware, there’s no exact date out as to when the listings will be updated– i’ve noticed the same thing, that course finder is only showing summer session stuff right now. generally the update happens sometime in june, both on ACORN and the artsci timetable. the university’s still in the process of working out what the listings are gonna look like, which is why you’ve probably had trouble finding accurate info so far.

    at least the timetables are up to date, according to my friend at the office of student life, so if you do wanna be a keener and start working on your schedule you can start there. in fact, i’d actually recommend you use the official artsci timetable as opposed to griddy. that is, if you’re in artsci.

    griddy isn’t run by the university, which means that while it can totally be helpful, it isn’t necessarily foolproof. a previous aska did a quick rundown on their experience with this, which you can check out here. i’d recommend giving it a read. even then, i prefer the timetable for a few reasons. the timetable will use different colours for lectures, tutorials, labs, etc., which can help break up your schedule and make it easier to read. i’m not sure if there’s a way to do this in griddy, but i wasn’t able to find one. the timetable can be helpful for slotting tutorials in, too, because it’ll show you all the potential times in one page rather than you having to click on each section to see it.

    the timetable also offers you a more complete set of information! with course listings, it will show you space availability, enrolment restrictions, and location/waitlist info. you’ll also be able to click on a tab that shows you prereqs, breadth reqs, exclusions, and the course description. maybe i’m just looking in the wrong place, but I’ve never been able to find anything other than section, time, and instructor on griddy.

    in short, this has been a large plug for the timetable! use it use it use it. apart from the ical feature griddy has, i can’t really think of a reason why the timetable might not be a preferable option. it’s safer and more informative. what’s not to love?
    anyway, yknow what would be killer, especially for first years? a site you could plug your course codes into and have your classes mapped out across campus. could be game-changing. i 10/10 could have avoided trekking the MILES from con hall to bader with queen’s park closed and a full-on blizzard in my face. i guess i know better now. class location is important, people, don’t gloss over it. i make mistakes so you don’t have to.

    over n out,

    aska

  • academic standing,  courses,  probation

    PROBing the limits

    Hi, I was just wondering what the max course load of someone on probation is supposed to be (Annual and Summer session)? Is the max a suggestion or university policy? Thanks

    ——————————————

    hello!

    according to my best friend the artsci rules and regs, if you’re on academic probation you can take up to five courses per semester in fall/winter, and during the summer your limit is two. these limitations (fortunately or unfortunately?) are not suggestions– the faculty you’re with will remove you from courses you take beyond those, and i don’t think you get to choose which ones you’re removed from. so it’s best not to risk it, in case they boot you from a class you need. 

    hope this helped! here’s a gif of some smol pups to brighten your day, because lord knows we all need that now that exams are on.

     

    cheers,

    aska

  • arts & sciences,  courses,  CR/NCR,  credits,  enrollment,  enrolment,  GPA,  prereqs,  repeating course

    we love a good second chance

    Hey, so I wanted to know if you can retake a course you “no credited”? I want to major in sociology but I took only SOC102, LWD SOC103, and NCR SOC150 ( first 2 yrs were tough) There’s only certain combinations allowed and my only hope really is if I’m allowed to try SOC150 again.  Any advice?!

    Thanks!

    ——————————————

    hi there,

    did some digging for ya, and i’m not gonna lie– initially, it looked like it was gonna be bad news. as far as the artsci website says, you shouldn’t ever cr/ncr a course if there’s even a remote chance you’ll need it for program enrolment. the implication being, you don’t have many options if you’ve already done so.

    HOWEVER. i read through half of the faculty of arts and sciences rules and regulations to see if i could find you a loophole, and it looks like there might actually be one.

    chelsea peretti television GIF by Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    apparently if you’ve already passed a course, you’re not allowed to retake it; that includes courses you’ve passed with ‘CR’. but under the ‘repeating passed courses’ section, the rules allow for a single repeat of a course to achieve the minimum entry mark for a program like soc. this retake won’t count towards your gpa or graduation requirements, but it will be on your academic record.

    either way, what’s important in your case is that yes, you are able to give SOC150 another shot!

    in order to make it happen, you’ll need to get in contact with your college registrar. they’ll be able to give you further advice as well as enrol you in the course (from what i’ve read, i don’t think you can enrol in it yourself). i believe you’ll have lower priority to get in than students taking the course for the first time, but don’t let that stop you from going after this.

    best of luck,
    aska
  • courses,  fees,  Flat Fees,  part-time

    how much time is full time?

    I go to the st george campus. Currently I’m only registered in two F courses, two S courses, and two Y courses. Acorn says my course load is 2.0 a semester. I was wonder what the minimum full time student course load is? I can only seem to find the maximum limit. If I drop one of my year long courses, will i still be a full time student?

    ——————————————

    hi!

    the maximum course for the F or S sessions is 3.0 each (which means you’d be in a total of 6 FCEs the whole year).

    there isn’t really, technically a minimal amount of courses. you could take just 0.5 FCE and still be a student. the minimum course load to still be a full time student, however, is 3.0 FCE. it’s a little tricky to find (information at u of t isn’t super accessible, unfortunately). you can take a look at this fees schedule (scroll down to the third page) and you can see that part time status begins at 2.5FCE and full time status begins at 3.0FCE during the fall/winter session.

    so, if you dropped a Y course, you would still be considered a full time student because you’d have (if i’m doing the math correctly) 3.0FCE left.

    something that you should be aware of though, and you can see it from that fees chart, is that if you’re enrolled in 3.5 FCE or less, you are eligible to be charged per course.

    keanu reeves woah face GIF

    what does that mean?

    basically, everyone is charged a flat program fee at the beginning of the year. but if you’re taking less courses, you can be charged for every individual course you take separately. basically… cheaper tuition yay!

    to switch from program fees to per course fees, go to this link, sign in with your utorid, and follow the instructions. if, for whatever reason, you can’t do it online, get in touch with your registrar’s office and they should be able to do it for you.

    good luck!

    xoxo,

    aska

  • courses,  first year,  math

    O! math.

    Can i study the most basic math course like MAT133Y1 without having high school calculus and only studying till O level maths, I just need to meet the min requirements for econ majoring

    ——————————————

    hi!

    according to the faculty calendar, “high school calculus” is a pre-req for MAT133. however, because there are so many different education systems that the university encounters with its newly admitted students, it would be impossible to account for every single education system and how they would be related to the canadian and/or ontario education system. what i’m getting at is that your O level maths may be enough to satisfy the “high school calculus” requirement.

    get in touch with the math department. they would be able to give you a definite response to your question.

    though you may technically have the requirement fulfilled with O level maths, you might find that MAT133 is a little too difficult for you. there is, of course, no shame in that whatsoever. but if you do find yourself struggling in MAT133, the math department runs drop-in math aid centres with TAs and mentors. i suggest checking them out, if you need help.

    i hope this helps!

    confused math GIF by CBC

    xoxo,

    aska

  • courses,  wait list

    why are there so many hunger games comparisons to u of t

    Hey Aska how are you? I’m just not quite understanding the waitlist process. I was put onto a waitlist for my priority group which had a certain number spaces (all of which are full) but it seems that my rank has actually increased rather than go down since yesterday. Do you know why that is? Also when August 4th comes and the merging of the waitlist occur , are 4th years given priority , then 3rd and so on? Thanks a lot!

    ——————————————

    hi!

    i’m good, thanks for asking. i feel like no one ever asks aska how they’re doing, so thank you kind asker.

    i have no idea why your rank in the wait list went up, not down. i guess the only thing i could tell you is… well, sh*t happens? sorry there isn’t really a better explanation.

    i do have an answer for the second part of your question! when august 4th rolls around and the priority drops, all the different wait lists will collapse into one and your position in the new wait list will be determined based on when you got into any wait list for the course. so, for example, if you were the third person to be in a wait list, regardless of your priority group, you will be the third person on the new wait list.

    i hope this helps and i hope this makes sense (lol). good luck, course enrolment is hell.

    may the odds be ever in your favour.

     katniss everdeen hunger games katniss hunger games s GIF

    xoxo,

    aska

  • courses,  first year

    ol’ reliable 5.0 FCE

    Hello..
    I am a new first year student starting this Fall..
    I want to ask from experiences.. whether it is too hard for a first year student to take 5.0 credits for the Fall/Winter semesters all at once.. and do not taking any summer course. I am worried since the first year is really important.

    Thank you.

    ——————————————

    hi!

    let me just take this chance to welcome you to u of t!

     jimmy fallon hello hi fallontonight hey GIF

    as for whether or not it’s “too hard” for a first year student to take 5.0 FCE (full course equivalents) or credits, it all really depends on your pace. most people in first year take 5.0 FCE and it’s considered standard to take 5. as long as you are taking more than 3.0 FCE, you’ll be considered a full time student. also keep in mind that if you are taking 3.5 FCE or fewer, you will have to pay a per-course fee, rather than a program fee. 

    you should also know that there is absolutely no shame in taking less than 5.0, if that’s what you need. life happens, and sometimes you need to drop a course or two. though 5.0 FCE would allow you to finish in four years, don’t forget that it’s 10000% okay to take more time. honestly, every frosh should get slapped with a giant poster board that says “IT’S FINE TO TAKE MORE THAN FOUR YEARS” carried by a parade of students yelling “TAKE YOUR TIME!!!!”. maybe instead of marching with your college at the utsu parade during frosh week, first year students should stand to the side while upper year students scream affirmations and “IT’S OK!!!” at them. orientation week planners- hit me up.

    anyways… 5.0 FCE is completely doable and is standard. but don’t forget that if you need more time, it’s totally fine.

    i hope this helps and welcome to u of t!

    xoxo,

    aska

  • ACORN,  arts & sciences,  breadth requirements,  courses,  degree requirements,  enrollment,  first year

    course selection frenzy

    Hello! I got into u of t St George and first I just wanted to say thank you to all the admins of aska! There’s a lot of anxiety surrounding uni when you’re a senior, but this site was a haven for all my questions. So thank you 🙂 And now that I got in I have even more questions haha. Course selection! I don’t know anything about what I’m supposed to do! How many courses do I choose? How many credits do I need to graduate? Can I only choose courses revolvin from major and/or minor? Thanks again!!

    ———————————————

    hello young one!

    thank you! it’s always nice to get fanmail!

    as for your questions about course selection, it’s understandable that you have no clue what’s going on! i felt like i was wandering through an impermeable haze of confusion during the summer before my first year so i totally feel you.

    for first years, you’ll find out your course enrolment time (when you can log onto ACORN and enrol in courses) on july 21st. actual course enrolment starts july 27th. basically, you log onto ACORN, find the courses that you want to take by typing them into the website’s search bar, add them to your enrolment cart, and then click the enrol button on july 27th. DON’T FORGET TO ACTUALLY ENROL IN YOUR COURSES. i know tons of people who forgot because they thought that adding them to their enrolment cart enrolled them automatically. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. it’s like online shopping, you gotta check out after you put ’em in the cart.

    as for how many courses, most people do 5 FCE (full course equivalents) per year in order to graduate in 4 years (you need 20 FCE to graduate, 5 times 4 = 20). of course, that is just a suggestion. some people take less and then take either an extra year or two to graduate or make up for it with summer courses. it’s all up to you! i wouldn’t suggest taking more than 5 in the first year though. while it is possible to take up to 6 FCE per year, it’s nice to be able to just figure out your pacing and see how heavy uni courses are before taking on extra courses.

    in your first year (i’m also assuming that you’re in artsci), you can take any classes you want, though you should take the courses that are relevant to your programs of interest. you should also do some research on the programs that you’re interested in and check out their preqs. you can find programs and their requirements in the faculty calendar.

    i would also suggest looking at the breadth requirement. though you do have your entire undergrad to fulfill these, a lot of people like to get these out of the way early. there are also a lot of breadth options in first year, such as the first year seminar classes. also, you are only allowed 6.0 100-level courses throughout your degree, so it might be a good idea to plan out how you’re going to use them.

    i really hope that this helps! looking forward to seeing you on campus in september!

    xoxo,

    aska

  • arts & sciences,  choosing,  computer science,  courses,  keeners,  math,  programs

    compsci conundrum

    I am planning on attending UTSC (but I think this question should be
    applicable to the other campuses) this September, and I am looking for
    advice on whether I should aim for a major + 2 minor or (software
    engineering) specialist program in Computer Science.

    I am leaning towards the major + 2 minor option for the following reasons:

    The specialist program requires some additional courses that I think would
    make it more difficult than the major. For example, it requires both Linear
    Algebra II and Intro to Probability, whereas the major program let’s you
    choose one of them. Another math course that is required is Calculus of
    Several Variables I, which just sounds terrifying. And I know that math is
    important in CS, but, I am only okay in math (ended with 83 in functions
    because trig killed me [I probably wouldn’t have done that well on it in
    the first place, but I planned poorly for other subjects, and so did not
    have time to study for the unit test]; calc seems much more interesting,
    though), and so I would like to skip some of these math courses.
    Additionally, I am not sure how useful or hard some of the additional CS
    courses like Intro to Numerical Algorithms for Computational Mathematics or
    Computability and Computational Complexity will be—they all seem very
    abstract and not-practical.

    Another reason I want the major + 2 minor is that I would get two minors. I
    am taking Writer’s Craft this year and have realized that I quite enjoy
    creative writing. It just so happens that UTSC offers a minor program under
    English called Creative Writing. I think taking this minor alongside the CS
    major would be a great way to lessen the workload and pursue something I
    enjoy, while also pursing something else I enjoy that can actually earn me
    money. Having only math and theory-based CS courses besides a small number
    of electives is not too appealing to me. I realize that those courses are
    better than practical programming courses in the long-run, but having them
    make up the vast majority of my degree seems a bit painful. I don’t have a
    solid pick for a second minor yet, but I don’t think it would be hard for
    me to choose one (linguistics and food science are top contenders).

    Here, then, are reasons I might want to go the specialist route:

    I’m special.

    I think some of the courses the specialist has you take would be pretty
    beneficial. For example, since my goal is to get a job as a programmer, the
    courses that seem to teach you how to do stuff in a real-world environment
    like Intro to Software Engineering and Engineering Large Software Systems
    could really be useful, and I might be missing out if I opt for the major.
    There are also a few other courses like Programming on the Web and Intro to
    Databases which could add to my skill set and make me more marketable for
    co-op and post-post-secondary jobs. I am of course just predicting how
    valuable these courses might be form their names and descriptions alone;
    that’s why I’m asking you! The major program only allows you to take 1
    credit of additional C/D-level (300/400-level) CS courses, which means
    missing out on some potentially useful courses. I am guessing that it is
    not possible to take more as electives, but is it?

    My minors will probably also not help at all with my future career; I would
    only be taking them to lessen the amount of math/CS courses and increase
    the amount of enjoyable courses. Is that a bad thing to do?

    So, to conclude, do you think the benefits for taking the specialist
    program (additional useful courses) outweighs the cons (more un-fun
    courses; less fun courses)? Both choices aid the mind, but in different
    ways (i.e. one probably reduces chances of suicide).

    Thank you and sorry for the long message; I wanted to make my points clear
    🙂

    ———————————————

    buddy.

    i began penning a response to this question that went a little something like: “just go with your gut! it seems like you’re leaning towards the major and two minors option! why not pursue that?”, but upon further reflection, i’ve decided that we need to rewind a little, if that’s okay with you.

    (just so you know, i’m not a computer science student, nor have i taken any computer science classes and i’m just as confused as you are about these programs. i’m speaking only as a seasoned upper year student)

    before i start ripping into you, (it’s going to happen, i’m sorry) kudos to you for thinking this hard about what program you want to get into. it’s clear you’ve put a lot of thought into this, which is great. this response isn’t supposed to make you feel bad- i just want to bring you back to earth a little.

    so, first- you’ve made some serious assumptions on what these courses are going to be like. i can tell you from experience that i’ve made assumptions based on course names and have been incredibly wrong. classes also vary pretty dramatically depending on the instructor.

    *askastorytime* i took a class called urban geography, planning, and political processes. i thought was going to be super difficult and intense, but it ended up being super chill. for our final project, we created a zine and performed a rap for the class. for our group presentation, i contributed a sick drum beat and didn’t even utter a single word. moral of the story: do not judge courses by their names. linear algebra is probs super easy. (i’m kidding. math is never easy. math is very hard. we mustn’t joke about math.)

    your assumptions that some classes are “abstract”, “non-practical” or “terrifying” are all based on the course name. the truth is, every program at u of t will require a great deal of hard work. sure, easy courses exist, but transitioning from high school to first year is a huge challenge and you need to take that into account. picking the major and two minors option over a specialist program doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be choosing the ‘easier route’. like i’ve said in previous posts, it really depends on how deep you want to get into a subject. a major and two minors allows you to explore a larger variety of subjects whereas a specialist will let you dig deep into one subject. which option are you more interested in?

    while the university does have a breadth requirement which encourages us to take courses outside of our faculty, personally, if i were to choose two minors that were completely unrelated to my major, i feel like i would have lots of difficulty focusing on each one and feel like a scatterbrain. for others who are better at multitasking and switching between subjects easily, a major and two minors is perfect! it really depends on what kind of person you are. can you turn your computer science mind off and jump right into phonetics and phonology if you need to? you’ll have to test that out in your first year! p.s. don’t forget to take a moment to check out the requirements for your potential minors and their different application requirements.

    that being said, from what i’ve heard, computer science is extremely math heavy. there is no easy way out. you have been warned.

    for now, i think you should try picking courses that are prerequisites for the general computer science programs (if you are sure about pursuing computer science), and see how you feel about them. fear not, the utsc calendar literally says that it’s not meant to be difficult to switch between different streams within computer science.

    you have plenty of time to discuss your options with an academic advisor as well! you can also talk to the program supervisor for computer science if you have more specific questions about the available compsci programs.

    i’d also encourage you to reach out to current or past computer science alumni to get some different perspectives on how they chose their programs. hearing other people’s thought processes might help you figure out what you’re looking for!

    hey, if doing programming for your whole undergrad sounds terrible for you, maybe computer science isn’t the right program for you. your first year is meant for you to explore and discover what courses you like. you don’t even necessarily need to get into your program by second year if you still don’t know what to do after your first year.

    so in conclusion, specialist courses won’t necessarily be more useful in the long run, and if the idea of specializing in software engineering doesn’t sound colourful enough for you, maybe the major and two minor option will be better for you! again, you really need to take some university level classes to see what it’s really like here. don’t judge a book by its cover, yo.

    good luck with your decision, i hope you choose a program you like!

    peace and love,

    aska

  • computer science,  computers,  courses,  weirdness

    sad face emoticon

    why doesn’t uoft have any tech-y courses 🙁

    ———————————————

    hello,

    you and i are in the same boat because we’re both sad face emoticon people.

    you’re clearly sad face emoticon about U of T not having “tech-y” courses whereas i am sad face emoticon that some people ask me very vague questions that don’t make much sense.

    what do you mean by tech-y? am i missing something here?

    all classes TECHnically involve some sort of technology, right???? is computer science not tech-y enough a course? i can’t really think of anything more tech-y than the science of technology itself!

    in conclusion, please elaborate ’cause i’m pretty stumped here.

    idk man,

    aska

     

     

  • courses,  enrollment,  first year

    IT’S ALL ABOUT TO GO DOWN

    incoming first-years: it’s that time again! except for you guys, it’s “that time” for the first time, because you’ve never done it before. and no, i’m not talking about eating spaghetti meatballs with your sweetie. i’m talking about COURSE ENROLMENT.

    you may have heard from older friends that course enrolment is this terrible, harrowing process, that uoft is out to get you and doesn’t want you to get into your courses, and that the system is set up for you to fail.

    i’m not gonna argue with you if you want to make yourself out as a victim of The Man. but if you don’t get into any of your courses, it’s probably just because you’re a dingus who wasn’t prepared. that’s the hard truth.

    FORTUNATELY FOR YOU, aska wants to help you leave the nest and become a fully-fledged, competent uoft student. so today, i am going to be resolving the most commonly asked first-year questions on course enrolment day – which, this year, is on the 28th of July, also known as TOMORROW.

    1. i don’t understand what i’m supposed to take in first year – what are my mandatory courses?

    there are no mandatory courses. at many other Ontario universities, the university will enrol you into your mandatory courses. you may be hearing about this from your friends at Western and Ryerson and Ottawa and feeling a twinge of panic, because you haven’t heard ANYTHING about mandatory courses, and as far as you know, you have to do all of your course enrolment yourself.

    uoft isn’t a hand-holder. it’s more of a cold, distant parent that gives you abandonment issues. however, like the rich, neglected child who gets to have a lot of pool parties because their parents are always away, what may seem like a frustratingly hands-off approach will actually provide you with freedom and flexibility in the end.

    unlike your friends at other schools, you have no mandatory courses, strictly speaking. as a first-year student in the Faculty of Arts & Science (excluding Rotman Commerce students), you have to figure out what courses you want to take in order to apply for programs in your second year. after first year, you’ll need to be in 1 specialist OR 2 majors OR 1 major and 2 minors, so you should enrol in the courses you’ll need to be eligible for whatever combination of programs you’re interested in.

    some programs, like the international relations major, require that you take certain courses and achieve certain marks in those courses in order to be considered. other programs have no requirements at all, except for the completion of at least 4.0 credits – the mathematics major is an example of this.

    so what you have to do is take a look at the calendar, figure out what program(s) you’re interested in, and see if there are courses you’ll need to take in order to be eligible to apply to those programs. once you do that, you will likely have some credits left over to take pretty much anything else you want. you may consider using them to fill breadth requirements, or simply to take courses for general interest.

    2. why is my start time different from my friends’? We’re in the same year/program/board games club!

    do not assume that you have the same start time as your friends. do the leg work and figure out your start time BEFORE the 28th. log in to ACORN and double-check. if you’ve never logged in to ACORN before, figure it out now. you will not be able to log in to ACORN on the day of, UNTIL your start time hits. that’s why it’s important to check NOW if you have not already.

    you can do it. aska believes in you.

    3. i can’t enrol myself into a course even though i meet the prerequisites!

    if i were in charge of creating a transition pamphlet for first-year students, it would be a blank 8”x11” sheet of paper with two words on it: ENROLMENT CONTROLS.

    if you can’t add a course to your cart on ACORN or enrol into it, and you can’t figure out why, it’s almost definitely because you don’t meet the enrolment control – i.e. the restriction or priority that allows only certain students to take the course.

    for example: let’s say you’ve been admitted to Year 1 Life Sciences. you want to take MAT133Y1 because it looks more interesting than MAT135/136. but WAIT! ACORN is not letting you add the course to your enrolment cart! desperate and in despair, you go to the timetable and search ‘MAT133’ in the search bar.

    you notice that there is a yellow bar that says ‘Enrolment Controls: Priority (P)’ under each lecture section for that course. you open the yellow bar to see that there is a priority for Year 1 Commerce and Year 1 Social Science students – which is not you. you’re Life Science. still following? good.

    what does this priority mean? well, you’ll have to wait until August 5th at noon to enrol in a course if you don’t meet the priority. assuming there is still space, you can enrol in the course at that time. if there is an R for restricted (instead of a P for priority) and you’re not in the group of students listed, then you cannot enrol in the course at all. if there is an E, then you cannot enrol in the course directly, but must apply through the department that offers the course.

    capice? good. i don’t want to hear about it any more.

    4. i don’t meet the prerequisite for a course but i still managed to enrol in it! did i pull a fast one on ACORN?

    no. ACORN can’t tell whether or not you have the prerequisites for a course; it’s not that smart. the main way that ACORN manages course enrolment is via enrolment controls (see above). however, that doesn’t mean that prerequisites are irrelevant. after course enrolment, departments will go through their courses and remove students – without warning or notice – from courses if they don’t meet the prerequisite(s).

    you can check to see if a course has prerequisites on the course calendar.

    5. why can’t i enrol in any more courses?!

    you are only able to enrol in up to 5.0 credits (that includes waitlisted courses) until August 5th. on August 5th, the limit goes up to 6.0 credits. if you can’t enrol in a course that still has space, and you meet the enrolment control, it may be because you’ve hit your limit.

    best of luck on the day of, kids. and remember: no matter how difficult you find course enrolment to be, it’s only gonna get harder from here on out.

    cheers,

    aska