Big & small classes

There’s no doubt you’ll be taking some classes that are larger than what you’re familiar with. Of the 500 first-year classes taught in Arts & Science, 7 of the most popular courses are lecture courses with enrolments over 900 students – ANT100Y1, AST101H1, BIO120H1, BIO130H1, POL101Y1, PSY100H1, SOC101Y1, SOC102H1 & SOC103H1. (Okay-- that’s actually 9, but really the three SOC courses count as one!) Another 20 courses have enrolments between 350 and 500. Often taught by some of our best instructors, these large classes also include small group learning in tutorials and in laboratories. The majority of courses in the Arts & Science have enrolments of fewer than 40 students.

You’ll take some courses in first year to fulfill the admission requirements for the programs you intend to apply to. But all students in first year have space in their schedule for a unique small class experience. And there are three unique types of first-year class experiences for degree credit that are limited to 25 students each.

  • First-Year Seminars (Seminar 199s)
  • First-Year Foundations (the Ones Programs)
  • VIC 100 Seminars

All three of these explore topics through interactive learning. They’re a great way to develop your writing and presentation skills and to hone your intellectual independence. They’re for students from any academic background and, conveniently, they also satisfy breadth requirements.

First-Year Seminars

The First-Year Seminar courses are also known as 199s. There’s about 120 of them. They’re taught by some of the Faculty’s leading scholars on some of their favourite topics. Because they are seminar-style, they include a lot of class participation. Check out all the titles here. Every 199 course has a three-letter designator that corresponds to its breadth category, followed by the number 199. You can sign up for them in July on ACORN along with your other courses.

First-Year Foundations

First-Year Foundations courses are also known as the One Programs. Ones are offered by all 7 colleges and by the Munk School of Global Affairs and the course topics resonate with the academic programs of the seven colleges and the Munk School. Slightly different from the 199s, the One Programs combine interactive seminar-style learning with guest lecturers and excursions in the City of Toronto. The early offer deadline for Foundation courses has passed, but many of the courses still have some spaces available and you can apply online.

VIC One Hundred Seminars

Victoria College offers the Vic One Hundred Seminars. Like the One Programs, the Vic One Hundred seminars include out-of-class experiences as well as seminar-style classes. And like the 199s, you sign up for them in July on ACORN. You can take a maximum of one full course from the 199s and one full course from the First-Year Foundations. Students interested in the Vic One Hundred Seminars cannot take a combination of 199s, One Programs, and Vic One Hundred Seminars in excess of 1.0 courses.

First-Year Learning Communities

Then there’s also a non-degree "course" that offers a small class experience. The First-Year Learning Communities are also known as FLCs. FLCs allow groups of 25 students to register in the same section of classes they have in common. Every second week throughout the academic year, the group meets with their peer mentors, and with a faculty and a staff advisor. Students develop friendships, create study groups, and sharpen academic and personal skills. There are FLCs offered in 8 different areas of study and participation in a FLC is noted on your transcript as a non-credit course. Students can register through the FLC website until 20 July.