A glossary of frequently used Arts & Science acronyms

Here's an alphabetical list of some of the most frequently used acronyms in the Faculty of Arts & Science. Also known as A&S. Or FAS. Hence FAStanswers!

A&S: Faculty of Arts and Science

ACORN: ACORN is U of T's student information service; students use ACORN to add courses, enrol in programs, check their marks, view their fees invoice, order transcripts and much more.

AGPA: Annual Grade Point Average

AE: Course enrolment indicator; student must receive departmental approval to enrol in course

APP: Approved; department has approved student enrolment in AE course (see "AE directly above)

AS: Accessibility Services

ASC: Academic Success Centre

ASSU: Arts and Science Student Union

BR: Breadth Requirement (five categories)

CCR: Creative and Cultural Representations (breadth category #1)

CGPA: Cumulative Grade Point Average

CIE: Centre for International Experience

CR: Credit (when a course is taken as Credit/No Credit)

DR: Distribution Requirement (3 categories; not applicable to students entering in September 2010 or later)

E: Course enrolment indicator; student must enrol in course at department

EXT: Extra course; notation on academic record

F: First/Fall course section code; September-December or May-June

FAS: Faculty of Arts & Science

FCE: Full Course/Credit Equivalent

GPA: Grade Point Average

GWR Grade Withheld Pending Review; notation on academic record

H: Half course, worth 0.5 credit

HUM: Humanities distribution category (pre-2010)

INVIT: Invited; eligible to enrol in courses

INT: Interim status; department has not yet determined student status in AE course

IPR: Course In Progress; notation on academic record

LEC: Lecture section of course

LOP: Letter of Permission; used to predetermine eligibility of transfer credits

LTE: Living Things and Their Environment (breadth category #4)

LWD: Late Withdrawal from course; notation on academic record

NCR: No Credit (when a course is taken as Credit/No Credit)

NGA: No Grade Available; notation on academic record

OSAP: Ontario Student Assistance Program; governmental loan program

P: Course enrolment indicator; priority is given to specific students

PE: Course enrolment indicator; students in specific group will receive priority and after priority is removed, other students must enrol at the department

PIN: Personal Identification Number

POSt: Program of Study

PRA: Practical/lab section of course

PMU: The Physical and Mathematical Universes (breadth category #5)

R: Course enrolment indicator; course is restricted to a specific group of students

REF: Refused; department has refused student enrolment in AE course or has removed student for prerequisite, exclusion, or co-requisite problems

REG: Registered as a student (both enrolled in courses and paid fees)

ROSI: Repository of Student Information (students use this web service to, among other things, add and drop courses, view their academic history, and view their invoices for tuition and other fees); it has been replaced by the friendlier, ACORN.

RP: Course enrolment indicator; course is restricted to specific group of students and after priority is removed for P courses, some spots may be made available to other students

S: Second/Spring course section code; January-April or July-August

SCI: Science distribution category (pre-2010)

SDF: Standing Deferred in course; notation on academic record

SGPA: Sessional Grade Point Average

SII: Society and Its Institutions (breadth category #3)

SOC SCI: Social Science distribution category (pre-2010)

SWS: Student Web Service (same as ROSI)

TUT: Tutorial section of course

TBB: Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (breadth category #2)

UTL: University of Toronto Libraries

UTM: University of Toronto Mississauga

UTSC: University of Toronto Scarborough

UTSU: University of Toronto Students’ Union

UTTC: University of Toronto Transcript Centre

WDR: Withdrawal from course; notation on academic record

Y: Full course worth 1.0 credit (e.g. ECO100Y1); year course section code (September- April or June-August)

Fees invoice and payment info

You may have already seen some tuition fee charges on ACORN, under the "financial account" tab. Here's some explanation of what the fees mean and how to pay them.

Payment/deferral deadline
This year, the fee payment/deferral deadline is August 30. You must have paid or deferred by August 30 in order to secure your courses and complete your registration.

How much do I have to pay?
You have three options for payment:
1. Pay the full balance of your Fall and Winter fees by August 30, OR
2. Pay the Fall fees by August 30 and the Winter fees by November 30 (to avoid service charges) OR
3. Officially defer payment of your fees by August 30 (see below)

How do I make a fee payment?
You can find instructions on how to pay your fees on the Student Accounts website. Please allow at least 5 business days for payments to be received and recorded on ACORN by the University. Payments from outside Canada may take longer. Keep your payment receipt/confirmation for your records.

Can I defer my fees if I'm receiving OSAP or government loans?
If you’ve qualified for student loans in Canada, you can defer your fees on ACORN by August 30 and pay them when you receive your loans. Pay your Fall fees by September 30 and Winter fees by January 30 to avoid service charges.

I received an admission scholarship from U of T. What should I do?
Admission scholarship amounts are usually applied to students’ accounts in September.

If you were awarded a U of T admission scholarship and the amount is more than the Fall portion of your fees, you can defer your fees at your College Registrar’s office (by the August 30 deadline).
If the amount is less than the Fall portion of your fees, you may deduct the scholarship amount from the Fall fees and pay the difference by August 30 to complete your registration.

For detailed information on the minimum required payment and service charge schedule for 2017-18 please check the Office of Student Accounts website.

Residence fee charges
If you will be living in a University residence this year, residence fee charges will be added to your student account in the coming weeks. Please refer to the communications from your residence office for information and payment deadlines.

How are my tuition fees calculated?
In the FAS, students are assessed either a Program fee or Course fees depending on their course load in the fall/winter session.

In 2017-18, students (except those enrolled in a Commerce program) taking 4.0 – 6.0 FCEs will be assessed the Program fee; students taking 0.5 – 3.5 FCEs will be assessed Course fees: you can find details here.

Please note that all students are initially charged Program fees.
If you’re planning to take 0.5 – 3.5 FCEs for the fall/winter session, you can request to have your fees adjusted to Course fees. However, if you’re going into your first year, it’s best to consult your College Registrar’s office about your plans to take a reduced course load.

To request a change in your fees assessment from program to per-course fees:
1. Enrol in your courses on ACORN (starting July 27). To request a change, your course load (including waitlisted courses) must be 3.5 FCEs or less,
2. Wait 24 hours,
3. Go to the Arts & Science online services for students page to make your request. 

Be Prepared! -- TCard Specifics

To get a TCard, you'll need three things:

1.     Student Number or JoinID

2.     Citizenship Documentation

3.     Valid Government-issued Photo Identification.

Before we get started, all identification must be the original copy (no photocopies will be accepted, the photo on your identification cannot be more than 5 years old)

1Student Number or JoinID: That's easy! Both your Student Number (which is the same as your UofT Applicant Number) and JoinID are on your Admission letter, so just bring the letter or an email copy with you.

2. Citizenship Documentation

If you are a Canadian: bring your Canadian Passport. If you don't have one, bring your Canadian Birth Certificate or Canadian Citizenship Certificate card AND one piece of Canadian government-issued photo ID.

If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada: bring either your PR Card, Record of Landing or Confirmation of Permanent Residence AND one piece of Canadian government-issued photo ID.

If you are an International Student: bring your Passport including a valid study permit.

Remember that all documents have to be the originals and valid (not expired)! To get more information on the correct documents you need, visit the T Card website here

3. Valid government-issued photo identification.
The following is a list of identity documents that are accepted, with a photo that is no more than 5 years old:

  • Passport
  • Canadian Driver’s License
  • Provincial Photo Card
  • Nexus card (belonging to a Canadian Citizen)
  • Certificate of Indian Status issued by the Government of Canada
  • Permanent Resident (PR) Card issued by the Government of Canada
  • Canadian Armed Forces Identification Card

A word about your name...

More than a few students have had to visit their College Registrar’s Office to settle an issue with their name before being issued a TCard.

Be prepared. When the TCard Office says the name on your government-issued photo identification has to be the same as the name on the UofT records system, they mean EXACTLY!

But for now, if the UofT records system has no middle name for you, but your government-issued photo ID does, that middle name needs to be added to the UofT records system. Your College Registrar’s Office has to change it for you.

If the UofT system has a middle initial for you, and your government-issued photo ID has a complete middle name, it has to be added at UofT. The TCard Office will send you to your College Registrar’s Office to have the middle name added to the UofT system.

So compare your government-issued ID to your name on your offer of admission or on ACORN. If they don’t match exactly, save yourself the time running between offices. Visit your College Registrar’s Office first!


Identification Galore!

There are 4 pieces of university identification that a Faculty of Arts & Science student requires:

1.     a U of T student number or letter of Admission or UTOR/JOIN ID

2.     a UTORid

3.     a TCard

4.     a UTmail+ email account

U of T Student Number (you already have this!)
When you applied to U of T, you were given a UofT applicant number. This 10-digit number is your permanent U of T student number. You can learn more about how to find your letter of admission or UTOR/JOIN ID with this video:

UTORid (you have this, too!)
Your UTORid includes some or all of your last name, maybe part of the letters of your first name, and maybe a few random numbers at the end. Your UTORid (and your password) is your key to a number of services at U of T. You’ve already used it to enter the JoinUofT Portal (for applicants to U of T). You also use UTORid to access:

·         the U of T Portal (course webpages and other UofT web tools)

·         UTmail+ (required by all A&S students)

·         UTORweb (personal webpages)

You can learn more about activiating your UTORid here


Every student must have a TCard and a UTmail+ email account. You need the TCard to set up your UTmail+ email.The TCard is a photo ID smart card. It’s . . .

  • your library card
  • your access to activity centres like Hart House, Athletic Centre, Goldring Centre
  • your access to use student services like Health and Wellness Centre, Career Centre, Housing Centre
  • money for stuff like printing and photocopying on campus and for loading flex dollars for food almost anywhere on campus
  • used for discounts e.g. on the TTC and Go Transit
  • what you show to write exams

Check out the video for information on how you can get your T Card:

UTmail+ account

This is the University’s official way of contacting you. It’s the only email that the FAS will use to contact students. UTmail+ gives you an impressive email account with 50 gigs of memory for inbox and file storage. You activate your UTmail+ online using your UTORid and the Secret Activation Key you got with your TCard. Activate it here.

You can also watch this video to learn more about your UTmail:

Final note:

If you’re not in Toronto until September, don’t worry. You can easily get your TCard and your UTmail+ email when you arrive. But if you’re in the area, you can get your TCard (and then sign up for UTmail+) starting June 5, 2017.


Ontario Residents, Financial Aid, OSAP (and UTAPS!)

If you’re an Ontario resident looking for financial assistance for the year ahead, you’ll want to know what OSAP is and you’ll want to apply for it by mid-June.

What is it?
OSAP – the Ontario Student Assistance program – offers loans (which are interest-free while you’re a full-time student) and grants (which you don’t have to pay back), both of which help pay for your education if you can’t cover it all. You can find out more and see a loan calculator here

How much $$?
The maximum loan for a single student is $390.00 per week for the 34 weeks of the Fall/Winter session. Married or common law students and sole-support parents can get a maximum of $660.00 per week. OSAP grants can reduce your loan or top it up.

What to do first
Before filling out the OSAP application, try out the Aid Estimator on the OSAP website. It calculates how much financial assistance you are likely to get as a loan and as grants such as the Ontario Access Grant, or the Canada grants for persons from middle-income families, or for persons from low-income families or persons with permanent disabilities.

You apply for OSAP online. You start by registering for your OSAP Access Number, which you’ll use to log into your OSAP account along with the password you create.

The application asks for specific but straightforward information.

Two details to watch out for
One: Partway through the application, you’ll be asked for your Ontario Education Number. You can get your OEN from your high school or board of education.

Two: Toward the end of the application, there’s a button inviting you to redirect your tuition to your academic institution. U of T doesn’t use this, even if you hit the button.

Once you’ve filled out the OSAP application, you will be asked to print or save at least three documents.

The system may ask you to fill out additional documents, but everyone gets a Declaration Form for themselves and one for their parents or guardians or spouse. You need to mail or deliver these documents to Enrolment Services at U of T.

The last document you get is your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement or MSFAA. This agreement lasts for your entire career as a student. You have to deliver the completed MSFAA to a designated Canada Post outlet in person and show the clerk your SIN card and a government-issued photo ID.

Canada Post forwards your MSFAA to the National Student Loans Service Centre and this Centre deposits your OSAP funds in your bank account once school starts.

When do I hear back?
If you apply by mid-June, you should know the results by mid-August. You can follow the process online using the “check status” link.

You get your OSAP money once school has started.

Paying tuition
Your tuition is due by the registration deadline in mid-August. If you are not able to make your minimum payment (i.e. the total amount of your Fall fees) but you’re eligible to receive OSAP, you can officially defer your fees on ACORN. Before the mid-August deadline, go to the “Financial Accounts” section and click the “OSAP” link to defer your tuition and not lose your courses.

You will pay your tuition once the first instalment of your OSAP appears in your bank account.

More on paying tuition in an upcoming video

What is UTAPS?
Finally, if you receive maximum OSAP and still have unmet financial need according to your student loan assessment, you may be eligible for funding from UTAPS or the University of Toronto Advanced Planning for Students program. If you’re an Ontario resident, no application is required. You will be considered automatically for UTAPS.

Like the OSAP Aid Estimator, you can use the UTAPS Online Estimator to see if you’re eligible.

Unexpected financial difficulties?

If you run into financial difficulties in the year ahead, it’s good to know that your college registrar’s office can provide financial aid advice.

Furthermore, all the colleges can offer emergency financial help throughout the academic year.

Looking ahead . . .
All of the colleges, as well as the FAS, have awards that combine
· academic achievement + financial need
· co-curricular involvement/leadership + financial need

These awards are usually decided at the end of the academic session. 

Big Classes & 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, 6 of the most popular courses are lecture courses with enrolments over 900 students – ANT100Y1, AST101H1, BIO120H1, BIO130H1, POL101Y1, PSY100H1, SOC150Y1 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. 


Degree Explorer -- experiment with courses and programs

Interested in experimenting with your course, program, and degree requirements? Log into 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

College Welcome & Academic Advising Sessions

Academic advising sessions are held at the Colleges during the summer to help you understand course selection and registration. Some require registration and others are open to all students; some are focused on admission category and others are open to students in all admission categories. Session details and dates can be found here and each session is listed in the FAStanswers Google calendar.

How to Get GREAT Advice: Connecting with your College Registrar

Consider your College Registrar’s Office your first point of contact when you have questions or concerns about your academic experience. A Registrar’s Office provides sound and accurate advice in an atmosphere of comfort and confidentiality.

Your College Registrar’s Office can provide advice on academic, personal, and financial matters. If you have questions about courses and programs or about an academic transaction or record, speak to an academic advisor in your Registrar’s Office. Advisors can also help interpret faculty policies and procedures and can offer counsel on any and all academic and student-related issues.

If you’re not sure where to go with a concern, your college Registrar’s Office is probably your best bet. Registrarial people make every attempt to address your questions. If they do not know the answer, they promise to find it for you, or to put you in contact with the person or place at U of T that can address your concern directly.

    Innis College - Office of the Registrar
    Innis College Registrar Office website

    New College - Office of the Registrar
    New College Registrar Office website

    St. Michael's College - Office of the Registrar and Student Services
    St. Michael's College Registrar Office website

    Trinity College - Office of the Registrar
    Trinity College Registrar Office website

    University College - Office of the Registrar
    University College Registrar Office Website 

    Victoria College - Office of the Registrar
  Victoria College Registrar Office Website

    Woodsworth College - Office of the Registrar
    Woodsworth College Registrar Office Website 


What IS FAStanswers?

FAStanswers is a blog that spotlights timely information for first-year students in the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS). Visit often for:

  • “what’s next?” information
  •  advice for the week ahead
  •  weekly Frequently Asked Questions posts
  •  late-breaking course updates
  • course selection and enrolment help
  •  explanations of Arts & Science acronyms and codes
  • reminders about course enrolment start times
  • heads-up about financial deadlines
  • handy resources · tips for success and advice from others who have gone before you

FAStanswers puts the most critical information for a first-year student right in front of you. And it always provides links to more detailed web information. Of course, you can find this information yourself on Arts & Science and UofT webpages. But FAStanswers

  • reliably encapsulates the information for you
  • always provides links to more detailed web information
  • and is typically FASter than an internet search.

If there’s something you can’t find, hit the “ask us!” button. Or tweet at us.

We hope you find FAStanswers helpful.



Welcome! What's Next?

Welcome to the Faculty of Arts & Science!

Now that you've accepted our offer of admission, you're likely wondering what to do next.

Always . . . . . .

  • Watch for emails from the Faculty and your College Registrar’s Office, which will have excellent academic help, whether you're in the Toronto area or at a distance.

To get a head start . . . . . .

  •  Get an idea of what courses you’d like to take in first year. How? Familiarize yourself with the Arts & Science Calendar online.  The Calendar is not just a resource with dates and deadlines -- It’s the official record of all the courses and programs offered in the Faculty along with descriptions, prerequisite courses, and enrolment requirements. It also includes your degree requirements and the rules and regulations of the Faculty.


  •  Look at the A-Z Program listing.  You will choose programs of study after your first year, but there are first-year courses required for most of the over 350 programs of study in Arts & Science. Whether you know exactly what you want to study or you are not sure yet which programs interest you the most, the A-Z Program listing is a helpful site to browse before choosing your courses for first year.


  • Review the small class experiences. like the First-Year Seminars, the First-Year Foundation programs, and the First-Year Learning Communities. Not all courses you take in first year are related to your potential programs. You'll take some courses simply out of general interest. There are many small classes of 25 students or less that are uniquely designed for first year students in any area of study.


  • Make a schedule. Or two. Or three. Once you have an idea of what courses you want to take in 1st year, you’ll want to know when your classes take place, who’s teaching your courses, and where they are taking place. The 2017-2018 Timetable Tool contain the times for all courses being offered. Over the summer, the listing is updated with names of instructors and locations of courses. The Registration Instructions  help you navigate the finer details of course selection.