I actually emailed UT admissions with my question and they gave me a really vague and general answer like, go look at our programs website. So, I heard you’re the man to go to if I need any questions answered, and here goes!
I’m from Singapore (It’s okay if you don’t know where it is. It probably doesn’t even show up on the world map), graduated from a Canadian high school, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I have to do one and a half year of university in South Korea instead of enrolling straight into UT. My major here is International Studies, but when I transfer to UT in September 2011, I’ll be doing International Relations instead. Yes, I do know that I can’t bring over all of my credits, so I’m guessing I can probably only bring along a year’s worth of credits with me.
Problem is, I really want to do a double degree but there’s just no way for me to do that in a Korean university because everything else is taught in Korean except for International Studies.
My question is, is it possible for me to do a double degree program in my 2nd year? If it’s possible, how? Will I be like a second year student in International Relations and a first year student in whatever major that I want?? I do want to finish my university within 4 years.
That’s about it, and I also want to thank you in advance for being more helpful 🙂
Singapore? Of course I’ve heard of it. Isn’t that like, a city in Europa? Oh my goodness. I’m from Jupiter too! No wonder my antennae are beeping. Why HELLO! I never expected to meet you here! Wow, who would’ve known. I’m not surprised it wouldn’t have shown up on the world map. World maps usually don’t depict Europa at much or at all (perhaps you are new to Earth? Otherwise, you’d have known that.) They only show Europe. I know. Earthlings are so self-centred and arrogant.
Anyway, if you are coming to UofT, I suggest that you start familiarizing yourself with the Arts and Science calendar. The Calendar is basically a listing of the available courses and programs at UofT, as well as things like rules or requirements to graduate. If you look on the programs page and click International Relations, you’ll be directed here. If you scroll down to the International Relations section, you’ll notice that there are actually two IR programs: the Specialist program and the Major program. The difference between all of the Specialist programs and Major programs at UofT is basically their intensiveness. Specialist programs are around twice as intensive as Major programs, and require around 10-16 full credits. Majors require around 7 and have generally easier course requirements. Oh, there are also Minor programs (not for IR though), which require 4 credits. Together, your combinations of Specialist, Major, and Minor programs are what we call your “POSts” (Programs Of STudy).
So your question really depends on which IR program you plan to do. To graduate from UofT, you either need to complete (minimum) one specialist program, two major programs, or a major and two minors. I can tell you that specialist programs are usually offer more depth, and would better prepare you for graduate school. On the other hand, major programs offer you more breadth (since you must combine them with another major to graduate), which could serve you better in the workplace, as employers are looking for people with transferable skills rather than for people with in-depth knowledge of History of Modern Chinese Foreign Relations or Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis or Anthropology and the Intimate: Studies in Affect and Action? (geez. They have courses with ridiculously long names at UofT). Note that I am generalizing quite a bit; many people get into grad school with just a major program and many people go into the workplace with a specialist program. It really depends on your personal interest: do you want breadth, or depth?
If you choose the specialist program, let me just tell you that it will be hard for you to complete the specialist program and another major in a three-year timespan at UofT. A specialist program in IR is 13 credits, while a major is usually around 7 that’s 20 credits in total (and people usually do 5 per year). It’s worse than it sounds, because the courses in your specialist program and major program could conflict, and ALSO you have to fulfill distribution requirements.
If you’re looking for breadth, a major program in IR might be more suitable. If you choose the major program, you have to combine it with another major or two minors to graduate. You will not be a second year student in International Relations and a first year student in your other major. The year you are put in is determined entirely by the number of credits you have. Second year? students are those with 4-8.5 credits at UofT. So, if you get, say, 3.5 transfer credits, you will be deemed a first year student?. If you have, say, 5 transfer credits, you will be deemed a second year student. However, second year students can still take first year courses (and first years and take second year courses, provided that there are no extra constraints on the courses).
Note that to enroll into the International Relations program, you have to have to be a second year student? (so you have to have at least 4 credits). Also, you have to meet the minimum GPA and complete an interview. For more info, consult the IR department webpage. (They also have a good FAQ there you could check out.) If you somehow cannot enroll into the IR program when you transfer to UofT, you can still take the courses required for your desired IR program, provided that you have the prerequisites for those courses. In that case, you could try to apply for the program at the end of your second year.
PHEW! So, have I confused you yet? Yeah, sorry. UofT’s system can be a little confusing. If you have any other questions or need clarification, feel free to ask again. I also suggest that you contact your college registrar when you arrive at Toronto for the first time, so you can ask them more. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR RESOURCES!