non degree,  nursing

rare species spotted: a nursing student

I recently graduated from a BScN nursing program in 2019, and am now interested in enrolling in non-degree courses to boost my GPA for graduate applications, including medicine. I am a little confused as to what courses I can enrol in as a graduated nursing student – considering the prerequisite courses that I have, will there be nursing/public health courses I can apply to? Is that all I can apply to or are there general electives that are also available with a nursing background? Do I need to apply to a certain campus – UTM or UTSC?

Thank you!


hey there,

i didn’t realize how very, woefully little there is on the internet about non-degree u of t students until you posed this question. let’s start with what i don’t know:

i don’t know what the potential is that you’ll be able to take nursing courses. nothing on non-degree students is listed on the bloomberg school of nursing’s website, and you may need to contact their admissions office to find out. there is a possibility you can take courses in their division. i just can’t tell you for certain.

i also don’t know if there are public health courses you’ll have access to– the dalla lana school of public health only seems to offer courses at the master’s level and higher. my instinct says these probably will not be open to you???? and either way if you’re tryina boost your gpa i can’t see why you would want to be taking such advanced courses.

this is what i know: you should be able to take general electives as a non-degree student, regardless of your background. typically non-degree students are admitted into the faculty of arts and sciences, and have access to a heckin’ ton of courses, with a few exceptions that i’ll detail below. i would check this over if it turns out the bloomberg school is willing to let you in as a non-degree– i don’t know if there would be limitations on you taking artsci courses (???) but i feel like this school is generally quite flexible in terms of letting people take courses outside their division.

anyway, these will be your main barriers to doing whatever the heck you want as a non-degree:

  • you’ll be subjected to later course enrolment than degree students. for fall/winter 2020-2021 enrolment, this will look like needing to wait until august 7, whereas degree students will be able to enrol anytime from july 8 to 29.
  • you’ll be barred from taking certain courses, if they’re designed with restrictions (ie. if only people enrolled in the program can take them)
  • if the courses you want to take have prerequisites, coreqs, or exclusions, you’ll need to show your transcript to the department that offers that course and prove to them you meet those requirements. don’t wait until classes begin to do this — they might automatically remove you from the course, which i can’t imagine would be a fun surprise.

here are some things i don’t think you’ll need to worry about:

  • you won’t be able to take any rotman or business courses as a non-degree student, though i can’t imagine that you would want to given your stated interests
  • as for applying to a certain campus, i don’t think you really need to take that too much into consideration. st george is the only campus with a nursing school, but if you contact bloomberg and they say you’re not going to be let in as a non-degree, you should be able to study as a non-degree student at both utm and utsc if for any reason you prefer one of those campuses.

a final note: woodsworth college has done a quick drop-down guide to being a non-degree student, which you might find useful. linked here if you want to check it out. 

hope this was helpful and all the best with your ventures into non-degree studies!

be Boundless,



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