Transfer credits for IB | AP | GCE | CAPE

A number of students have asked how many 100-level courses they can take if they received transfer credit on admission for work done in high school.

Students can take a maximum of 6.0 100-level courses for degree credit.

If you have received transfer credit for International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, General Certificate of Education, French Baccaluareate Program, Singapore- Cambridge GCE Advance Level Examinations, Cambridge Pre- University Diploma, or Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination work, those transfer credits count as degree credits so include them in your 6.0 total 100-series courses.

You have the option to forfeit these transfer credits. The deadline to forfeit is May 31, 2018.

Sometimes students will forfeit a transfer credit that they received for studies in high school, particularly if the transfer credit is in an area they intend to pursue as a Program.

For example . . .

. . . If you want to pursue an Economics Program and you received transfer credit for AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, the transfer credit will not count toward admission to an Economics program or toward satisfying an Economics Program requirement. So you will still need to take  ECO101H1 & ECO102H1 in order to apply to an Economics Program. But you can keep the transfer credit if you’d like; you do not have to forfeit your Economics transfer credit in order to take ECO101H1 and ECO102H1.

Following all that?

You can find more information about transfer credits for studies in high school, including whether they can be used for program admission and program requirements, on the pdfs on this page. For more advice about these transfer credits, review the information available here. If you have any questions, you can reach out to your College Registrar’s Office or the relevant academic department and ask for clarification. 


Tips from a 4th year student!

Start your readings early, and keep on top of them. It's so easy to fall behind, and once you have it's so much harder to keep up. Also, having done the readings will make lectures easier to follow, and will make it easier for you to participate in tutorials (which is often required for marks) and ask questions.

Get to know your profs! It can be hard to do especially if you don't often have questions, but it is a good idea for so many reasons. Not only are they a great resource to have for getting references later, they are great people and you can learn a lot from talking to them during office hours. If you don't know what to ask them, go with a friend or two so you can feed off each other. Ask them about their research, or their teaching, or education, anything really! What will matter to them is that you're interested.

Go to class. You're paying for it! Even if it feels like you're not learning anything because you're too tired, or hungry, or can't pay attention - you are. At the very least you are thinking about the material for those hours you are there. I have a rule that if I have to miss a class, I need to spend at least that much time on my own learning the material. You may miss important information about exams, tests, marks, or material that is not in the textbook. As well, the number one way for your profs to get to know you is for them to see you there. At the same time, don't go to class if you're going to sit there on Facebook or playing games on your iPod. There is nothing more frustrating or distracting than trying to pay attention to the lecture with images flying across the screen of the person in front of you.

Get involved! Make a point of joining at least one extra-curricular activity. There are so many things to do at U of T; clubs, sports teams, executive councils, etc... They are a great way to meet people in other programs and colleges, and are invaluable as a break from studying and classes.

Make friends in your classes. Something as simple as saying hello to the person next to you can make you a new study buddy or even a lasting friend. Make plans to study with groups of people in your classes. Not only will it help you prepare much better for exams and tests as you can help each other, but you will often find you have lots in common since you're taking the same class. I've made several lasting friends this way!

Get a good night's sleep before an exam. Being alert and able to think clearly will help you much more than having stayed up all night studying.

What do they mean when they say “academic integrity”?

"Academic integrity" is the term for a set of principles and rules covering everything from using footnotes properly and citing your research sources, to cheating on exams, buying essays, etc. You can find the formal rules and the penalties in the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters. But you’ll find a short, useful introduction on the Faculty web site, and a more exhaustive treatment on the Faculty's Office of Student Academic Integrity web site.

If you would like to learn more about writing and citing your sources effectively so you maintain "academic integrity", check out the FREE Writing Centre resources available to you!

Finding Your Books!

Some students prefer not to spend money on books until after they’ve been to the first class. This is understandable, because the professor may recommend a particular edition of a book. It’s a good idea to get that edition and not an earlier one or you may find yourself very confused. Nonetheless, some students like to get a head start on reading. So how can you find out what the texts are for your courses?

Finding the Titles
Every course has a syllabus. The syllabus includes a detailed description of the course, the method of evaluation, and a list of required readings. It is always available in the first class. If your professor is using the Student Portal (called BlackBoard), it will also be there once classes begin. But what if you want to know what books to read earlier than the first day of classes?

In the summer, many department websites post detailed course descriptions that list required textbooks or course readers. Others will list the first few required readings.

Still can’t find the reading list? By the second week of August, the U of T Bookstore will post reading lists for tons of courses on their website. From the Bookstore homepage, click on “Find Your Textbooks Now.” That will take you to a pop-up screen. If you don’t have a TCard yet, instead of hitting the “Go” button, select “St. George” under “Look for one book by campus and course.” Just make sure you’re in the 2017-2018 academic session. If you want to find a reading list earlier than mid-August, you can email with the course code and lecture number and, if the Bookstore has the information already, they will send it to you. You can also call the Bookstore at 416 640-5840.

If you still can’t find the books, you might be able to predict what books you’ll need using Toronto University Student's Book Exchange (TUSBE). These student-run sites allow you to search by book title, description, authors, edition, university, and course code.and can give you an idea of what books were used last year in a course. That’s a good start, especially if the same professor is teaching the course again this year. Once you’ve found the books you want, you have many options for getting them.

Getting the Books
You can order new and used books and course readers on the U of T Bookstore website for pick-up or delivery. The Bookstore has a textbook rental program as well.

New books can also be found at several bookstores near the St. George Campus, including the Bob Miller Book Room, Book City, Caversham Booksellers, Indigo, and Chapters. And who can forget Amazon?
There are many ways to get your hands on used books:

The University of Toronto Student Union runs the UTSU Book Exchange, which you can access once you have your UTMail+ email.

There are a host of used bookstores close to the University. Consider ABC Book Store, Balfour Books, BMV Bookstores, Discount Textbooks (on College Street, right across from the U of T Bookstore), Seeker’s Bookstore, and Ten Editions, to name a few.

It’s also good to know that in the first few weeks of each academic year, various colleges on campus host major used book sales, featuring thousands of low-priced books on every subject. These sales are perfect for finding out-of-print and rare titles, so watch for promotions in the fall for details. All proceeds go towards college libraries and student benefits.

Sometimes you can get ebooks or pdf versions of your books. This option is still gaining momentum. For instance, Android Press is starting to bring textbooks to Google Play Books.


Book Bursary

Books can be expensive! There are options to help pay for your books on campus as well. The U.T.S.U also offers a book bursary you can apply for and many colleges also have options for financial aid for school supplies. Be sure to connect with your college registrars office if you need some help getting ahold of your books.

Finally, it is helpful to know for next year that the U of T Bookstore also has a textbook Buy-Back program for books that: 1) are in good condition, 2) have not gone into a new edition, 3) are still on a course list for an upcoming term and, 4) are in demand.

Happy reading!

Upper Year Classes in First Year

Students in first year can take upper-level courses, provided they meet prerequisites for the course.

Some 200-series courses do not have 100-series prerequisites and are open to first-year students. Often, these courses will include the word “introduction” in the title or the course description.

While 200-level courses may have some academic expectations that second-year students are more prepared for, first-year students can take 200-series courses for which they meet the prerequisites.

If you want to be challenged, it’s fair to say that the 100-level courses will satisfy your expectation. If you plan to take more than two 200-series courses in your first year, it’s a very good idea to meet with an academic advisor in your College to go over your plan. 

Back to Back Classes??

You asked: "If you have back to back courses how will you be able to get to the next course on time?"

It's okay -- you can schedule classes right after one another. Classes start at 10 minutes after the hour and end on the hour. For example, a class that meets MWF9 starts at 9:10 a.m. and ends at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

You can get from one place to another on campus during the 10-minute break between classes. You may not be able stop for a fancy coffee on the way in some cases, but you can do it!

Degree Explorer: experiment with your courses and programs

Interested in experimenting with your course, program, and degree requirements? Log in to Degree Explorer using your JOINid or your UTORid.

With Degree Explorer, you can

·         confirm whether you have the prerequisites for courses

·         check how your course choices fit with specific program of study requirements

·         see how your courses will contribute to your degree requirements

·         plan your degree

·         save up to five planning scenarios

Your Questions About Subject POSts

Program = Program of Study (Specialist, Major, Minor)
Specialist = prescribed combination of 9.0 – 16.0 credits
Major = prescribed combination of 6.0 – 8.0 credits
Minor = prescribed combination of 4.0 credits

What is a Program?
A Program is an academic Programs of Study in FAS. You must enrol in at least one and no more than three academic Programs of Study, of which only two can be majors or specialists.

The minimum combination of Subject POSts required for your degree is any of:
· 1 Specialist
· 2 Majors
· 1 Major and 2 Minors

Other combinations beyond the minimum that you can do include:
· 2 Specialists (along with a Minor)
· 1 Specialist and 1 Major (and a Minor)

It’s not a competition for the most programs. 1 Specialist, or 2 Majors, or 1 Major and 2 Minors is more than satisfactory.

When do I sign up for a Program?
You will either enrol in programs or request (that is, apply to) programs at the end of the session in which you will complete your fourth degree credit in A&S (including transfer credits). 

Typically, for first-year students, this means that you will be applying for acadmic programs in April of 2018.

If you will not have completed 4.0 credits by the end of April but you are intending on taking summer courses to bring you to four courses, then you will still want to apply for Subject POSts in April.

Why is this so important?
You need to be enrolled in a suitable combination of Academic Programs before the course selection period for the 2018-2019 Fall/Winter Session. If you aren’t, then ACORN won’t permit you to enrol in any courses.

Program enrolment is important for another reason. For a number of courses, the departments and programs give priority enrolment to students who are enrolled in that specific program. 

How do you apply?
Programs are identified by Type. Type refers to admission requirements and process.

Type 1 programs do not have any requirements for entry other than successful completion of 4.0 degree credits. You can add these programs on ACORN and no other application is required.

There is one Type 1S program. It is the Specialist in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology. Imagine that the “S” is a dollar sign, because students in this program pay higher fees.

Type 2 programs require specific courses with specific minimum grades. And some Type 2 programs have a limit on the number of students they can accept. These are Type 2L programs. These programs and departments will actually advertise what they project to be the minimum grade you will need in specific courses, but they could end up using a higher minimum grade if the number of students eligible for the program exceeds the number of spaces available in the program. Departments with limited enrolments will make this information clear to students in the Calendar.

And finally, Type 3 programs. These require specific courses with specific grades, they will have a limited number of spaces in them, and they require additional information beyond minimum grades in courses.

There are two rounds of application to Programs. One starts in April with results in July. The second in July with results in September. A Type 3-yes program accepts applications in the second round of program enrolment. A Type 3-no program does not. 

Where are my classes?!

Curious to know where your classes are being held?

The Timetable does not list the classroom locations yet, but ACORN does! The locations are often in code. Here is a legend of building codes. And if you need to figure out where a location is, type it into the Campus Map.

The Timetable does not list most of the instructors yet either. ACORN lists many of them and keeps adding more!

Classes start at 10 minutes after the hour and end on the hour. For example, a class that meets MWF9 starts at 9:10 a.m. and ends at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

You can schedule classes right after one another. The St. George Campus is a big 35-city block campus, but you can almost always travel by foot from one part of campus to another in 10 minutes. Sometimes moving from the west end of campus to the central part is as easy as crossing St. George Street. Other times, you may have to get across Queen’s Park, but students report that they manage without too much difficulty. (They also report that they don’t always get their favourite seat in the class if they arrive at 10 minutes after the hour!)

Remember that you can enrol in a maximum of 5.0 credits until 3 August, and starting on 5 August, you can enrol in a maximum of 6.0 credits.

Choosing Great Breadth Courses

Every course entry in the Calendar lists the breadth category for a course.

But here’s a brand new site dedicated to helping students choose great breadth courses.

It includes filtered searches for potential breadth courses and it also includes examples of how other students in your area of study completed their breadth requirements.

Then to find out more about the courses, you can use the course code to check out the Arts & Science Calendar and find out how to fit it in your schedule by visiting our timetable tool

You can also use Course Finder to filter courses by their breadth category. Just

  • Select “St. George Campus”
  • Under the “Requirements” radial button choose “FAS Breadth Requirement”
  • Under “Departments” choose “Faculty of Arts and Science”
  • Under “Requirements” choose “Faculty of Arts and Science”
  • Select a Breadth category
  • Filter for any or all of:
    • Department
    • Term
    • Days of Week
    • Time
    • Credit
    • Course Level

The Breadth Requirement

The Breadth Requirement is a degree requirement that ensures that, by the time you graduate from the FAS, you have a breadth of knowledge about the richness of the arts, the complexity of global cultures, and the varied structures, processes and concepts of the social and natural world.

Some students will elect to complete some of their Breadth Requirements in first year, but it is not necessary. The Breadth Requirement must be satisfied by the time you graduate.

Every course description in the Calendar includes breadth category:
CCR Creative and Cultural Representations
TBB Thought, Belief & Behaviour
SII Society & Its Institutions
LTE Living Things & Their Environment
PMU Physical & Mathematical Universes

Some full courses count for a half-credit in two categories.

A few courses have no breadth category (e.g. MAT133Y1).

You need at least 1.0 credits from 4 of the 5 categories OR 1.0 credits from each of 3 categories and 0.5 from the remaining 2.

Courses you take for program requirements can also satisfy Breadth requirements.

These also count as Breadth requirements:
First-Year Seminars (199s)
First-Year Foundations (Ones)
VIC 100 Seminars

The First-Year Learning Communities (FLC’s) are non-credit courses that do not count as Breadth requirements.

Conveniently, the first three letters of all First-Year Seminars correspond to their breadth category. The XBC First-Year Seminar courses fulfil two breadth categories.

If you decide to take a course as Extra or a Credit/No Credit, it still counts as a Breadth Requirement (provided you pass the course). 

Stay tuned for our next post on "How To Choose Great Breadth Courses"

LECs and PRAs and TUTs

Every single course in the FAS has a lecture section (even if it’s a seminar). If there is more than one L section listed in the timetable listings, select the one that is offered at the time most convenient for your schedule. If a course listing also includes P and T meeting sections, make sure you also sign up for one of each. On ACORN, L shows up at LEC, P shows up as PRA, and T shows up as TUT. 

How to Get a Degree

Whether you’re working towards an

·         Honours Bachelor of Arts

·         Honours Bachelor of Science

·         Bachelor of Commerce

there are six requirements to complete.

1. 20.0 credits in total
2. no more than 6.0 credits at the 100-level
3. at least 6.0 credits at the 300- or 400-level
4. a minimum CGPA of 1.85
5. Programs
6. Breadth requirements

1. 20.0 credits in total
Unless otherwise stated, whenever the FAS refers to “courses,” it means “the equivalent in full courses.” A full course is the same as a full credit. It has a credit value of 1.0. A half course has a credit value of 0.5.

A standard course load per year is five courses. That’s a combination of full courses and half courses that total 5.0 credits. You can take fewer than 5.0 a year. You can also take as many as 6.0, though that’s certainly not advisable, and especially not in first-year. In addition, make sure you don't go over five courses per term - that's the maximum number you can take in each of the First (or Fall) and Second (or Winter) terms. It's always best to balance out your courses so you’re taking the same number in each term.

2. No more than 6.0 100-series courses
A 100-level credit is a first-year course.

If you have 100-level transfer credits, remember to count those in your 6.0.

Students may take courses beyond 6.0 at the 100-level, but any course beyond the first 6.0 that you take will be designated Extra. An Extra course still counts towards program requirements (see below) and it counts towards the Breadth Requirement (see below), if passed, but it does not count as a degree credit to make up 20.0 and it is not included in your Grade Point Average (see below).

3. At least 6.0 courses at the 300- or 400-level
You need at least 6.0 courses at the 300- or 400-level. These are upper-year courses and this requirement will matter much more to you in later years!

4. 1.85 CGPA
To graduate, you need to have a minimum Cumulative GPA of 1.85. That’s 1.85 out of 4.00. When you finish a course, you get a percentage grade for the course and you get a letter grade for a course. The letter grade is converted to a grade point value and grade point values are used to calculate grade point average. (Wait. It gets more confusing. Keep reading.)

When calculating your grade point average, it’s helpful to know that a full course is worth twice as much as a half-course. This chart gives you a sense of how percentages are converted to letters, which are turned into grade point values, that are used to calculate grade point averages.

If you graduate with a Cumulative GPA of 3.20, you’ll graduate “With Distinction,” and if you get a 3.50 or higher, you’ll graduate “With High Distinction.”

5. Complete Programs

Near the end of the academic session in which you complete your fourth credit, you need to sign up for a suitable combination of programs. If you don’t, ACORN won’t let you sign up for courses in the subsequent academic session!

Since most programs have first-year course requirements, you’ll want to look into programs before you select your first-year courses.

A suitable combination of programs includes:
one Specialist program, or
two Major programs, or
one Major program and two Minor programs.

A Specialist is a constellation of anywhere from 9.0 and 16.0 courses depending on the program. A Major is a collection of 6.0 to 8.0 courses depending on the program. And a Minor is always 4.0 courses.

If you’re going to complete a combination of two Majors or one Major plus two Minors, then you can use some courses to fulfill both programs, provided you have at least 12.0 distinct courses (that’s “equivalent in full-courses”!) in your combination of programs.

One more thing. In the Calendar, all programs are identified as an Arts program, a Science program or a Commerce program. If you’re completing a combination of two Majors and one is an arts (including social science) and one is a science, then you have a choice of either an Honours Bachelor of Arts (H.B.A.) or an Honours Bachelor of Science (H.B.Sc) degree. And if you choose the combination of one Major and two Minors, then it depends on the areas of your three programs. If you do a Major in arts and two Minors in science, you may choose to receive the H.B.A. or H.B.Sc. If the Major and one Minor are in science and the other Minor is in arts, you’d receive the H.B.Sc.  Similarly, if the Major and one Minor are in arts and the other Minor is in science, you’d receive the H.B.A.
6. Complete the Breadth Requirement
All courses are identified in the online Calendar by their breadth category. There are five different breadth categories:
CCR Creative & Cultural Representations
TBB Thought, Belief & Behaviour
SII Society & Its Institutions
LTE Living Things & Their Environments
PMU Physical & Mathematical Universes

To complete the breadth requirement, you need 1.0 courses from four of these categories or else 1.0 courses from three categories and 0.5 courses from the remaining two categories.

Conveniently, the first three letters of all First-Year Seminars correspond to their breadth category. The XBC First-Year Seminar courses fulfil two breadth categories.

It’s also helpful to know that some full courses satisfy two separate breadth requirements - in these cases, the course would count as 0.5 credit in breadth category A and 0.5 credit in breadth category B. All half courses only satisfy one breadth requirement category.

It’s helpful to know that Degree Explorer can help you plan out your degree. 

More Synonyms, Acronyms and Abbreviations

FAS uses a few words interchangeably. This can throw new students off at first. Here's a list of some of them:

100-series = 100-level = first-year course
A&S = FAS = Faculty of Arts and Science
ACORN = SWS (which used to be ROSI!)
First Year Foundations = The One Programs = College Ones
First-Year Seminars = 199 seminar courses
Grant = Bursary
Subject POSt = Program of Study
Scholarship = Award
Spring Term = Winter Term

Just when you thought you had it figured out . . . there are also words you would expect to be synonyms that actually have different meanings in FAS.

Synonyms? (not quite)
These words suggest the same meaning but aren’t the same:

Cancel vs Drop vs Withdrawal
Breadth Requirement vs Distribution Requirement
Credit vs Course
Faculty (of Arts and Science) vs faculty (or instructors)
Fall term=first term
Register (pay for courses) vs Enrol (sign up for courses)
Scholarships & Awards vs Grants & Bursaries
Spring term=winter term=second term
Term vs Session

Acronyms & Abbrvs

There are so many acronyms and abbreviations used in the FAS that they require a separate post on FAStanswers. The alphabetical glossary is here