U of T - Ask me anything!

MattUK
Posted: 7:12AM December 05, 2011 UTC
Hello,

I'm a student at the University of Toronto, planning to pursue either an Economics or Economics and Mathematics Specialist. 

I understand that the University of Toronto is a popular destination for many Secondary School graduates, so I thought I'd offer up my expertise and answer any questions you may have. 

I can help dispel (or confirm!) scary rumours, answer questions about the application process, or whatever is on your mind. My specific knowledge is of Maths and Economics, so I can help applicants planning to enter that field. 

*Note: There has been some interest in the sale of my ECO100Y notes among entering students. I do have prepared a large document including all relevant graphs, equations and definitions - complete with explanations and descriptions. If you're interested, feel free to send me a message on the forums.

**Note: Please do not use this thread to ask whether your entrance grades are good enough. I don't really know, and don't pretend to.


- MattUK 
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lanamaleva
Posted: 7:12AM December 08, 2011 UTC
Which college are you a part of, and how did you rank your college choices?
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MattUK
Thread Creator
Posted: 7:12AM December 09, 2011 UTC
Thread Creator
@lanamaleva wrote
Which college are you a part of, and how did you rank your college choices?



Hello, lanamaleva.

I am a proud member of University College, even though I ranked my College choices based on cost. It's difficult to know whether one specific college will offer a more enjoyable experience for you than another, since you can only test it out once you're already at the door!

Because of that, I wouldn't base your choice on hearsay or reputation - your college experience (assuming you're living in residence) will be what you make of it! I'd personally look at cost, proximity to your classes (Vic and St. Mike's are all the way across Queen's Park!), roomiest accommodations, etc. The sorts of things you can know for sure before getting there.

Good luck!

- MattUK
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pare16
Posted: 7:12AM December 09, 2011 UTC
Hi, I was wondering if you went to the Orientation week for U of T, and if so is it worth going to?
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MattUK
Thread Creator
Posted: 7:12AM December 09, 2011 UTC
Thread Creator
@pare16 wrote
Hi, I was wondering if you went to the Orientation week for U of T, and if so is it worth going to?



Hi pare16,

I did attend Orientation Week at U of T. Each college organises their own, so I can only speak for the one at University College. By the end of the week, I was skipping most of the events - but I was skipping them with the people I had met during Orientation Week. 

So, although the events were lame, being forced to spend time with people you don't know really laid the foundation for my social life at U of T. I would definitely recommend it, but you can pick and choose which events to attend. There were some fun ones, like terrorising the other colleges and playing glow-in-the-dark capture the flag... and then the others, like sexual safety seminars and the endless scavenger hunt... 

But, all in all, a good experience. 

- MattUK

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NanBullen
Posted: 7:12AM December 11, 2011 UTC
How competitive is it to get A's in your economics courses? Is the enviornment at U of T in general as competitive as it is made out to be?
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MattUK
Thread Creator
Posted: 7:12AM December 11, 2011 UTC
Thread Creator
@NanBullen wrote
How competitive is it to get A's in your economics courses? Is the enviornment at U of T in general as competitive as it is made out to be?



Hello, NanBullen.

It is very competitive to get A's in Economics, as well as Mathematics (a requirement for any Economics programme). The tests are arranged to a pre-determined class average, and that average is normally quite low. On my first Economics test, just over a third of the students failed, and I'd say about 40-50 out of 600 got A's. I managed to score a 90%, but getting such grades is only possible when you really understand the material, rather than just knowing it. That is true for every programme at U of T.

In general, U of T is a competitive school - but that spirit of competition is what makes it such a well-respected institution. If you survive the first year and, to a lesser extent, second year 'weeding out', classes become much more personal, and your grades tend to increase. 

That is not to say that U of T is some dreary place where students eat, sleep and study. There are many venues to entertain your interests, make friends and enjoy your free time. All you need to do is allocate time well, and enter with the knowledge that U of T will be a challenging, but rewarding, experience. 

Good luck!
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Anonymous
Posted: 7:12AM December 14, 2011 UTC
Hello, 
I just applied to U of T art history, I ranked UC  as my first college followed by Victoria. I applied to UC because I heard it was a "commuter" college and I will be a commuter.! 
 I was wondering if you like the college and what your general opinons are. I was also wondering about scholarships, my projected 1st semeater grade 12 average is 90%. I heard some colleges give out more scholarships than others. 

As well, I'm applying UTSC. I'm not sure if youll be able to help me but I was wondering what is on the SAF? 
Thanks! 
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MattUK
Thread Creator
Posted: 7:12AM December 14, 2011 UTC
Thread Creator
@janetteaq wrote
Hello, 
I just applied to U of T art history, I ranked UC  as my first college followed by Victoria. I applied to UC because I heard it was a "commuter" college and I will be a commuter.! 
 I was wondering if you like the college and what your general opinons are. I was also wondering about scholarships, my projected 1st semeater grade 12 average is 90%. I heard some colleges give out more scholarships than others. 

As well, I'm applying UTSC. I'm not sure if youll be able to help me but I was wondering what is on the SAF? 
Thanks! 



Hello, janetteaq.

University College does have many services and facilities catered to commuter students. I'm living in residence, but from the commuter students that I've met, University College is very accommodating - remember, if you have any concerns or questions whatsoever, you can visit the Registrar's Office. They're there to help with anything. 

I do like University College (although, of course, it's the only college I've been to!). The people are friendly, the facilities are useful and the atmosphere is pleasant - what more could you ask for? University College is known as an 'open' college, which is a euphemism for its very liberal values and flaunting of various sexual themes and preferences. There have been issues with people who are not as liberal as this college attempts to be, and with those who find the sexual themes a bit crude. But, if you're alright with that, it shouldn't be an issue!

Unfortunately, U of T isn't the most forthcoming with scholarships. If you achieve a 94% average, the University guarantees you at least $2,000. There are many scholarships at UC for which you don't apply, but they are granted to you upon entry. I received a scholarship in the social science category (worth $1,600, I think), based on academic merit. As a frame of reference, my graduating average was 96.5%. Here is a list of all University College admission scholarships:
http://www.uc.utoronto.ca/content/view/212/1267/

And sorry, I'm afraid I can't help you with UTSC applications! I only applied to St. George! 

Good luck!
MattUK

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Mardid
Posted: 7:12AM December 15, 2011 UTC
Hi there,

I was just wondering how much the Introduction to Economics course relies on its graphical analysis. If I only have Adv. Functions, would it matter?

Thanks!
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MattUK
Thread Creator
Posted: 7:12AM December 16, 2011 UTC
Thread Creator
@Mardid wrote
Hi there,

I was just wondering how much the Introduction to Economics course relies on its graphical analysis. If I only have Adv. Functions, would it matter?

Thanks!



U of T Economics is heavily based on statistical, graphical and mathematical techniques. The Introduction to Economics (ECO100Y1) course, although it does depend on the professor to an extent, utilises substantial graphical analysis throughout. Basically, the course is an introduction to modelling economic scenarios with (albeit basic) mathematics. Later on, in the macroeconomics portion of the course, there is more focus on policies and empirical analysis, but mathematics really is important throughout the course. That being said, if your intention is just to take the course, Calculus is not really a part of it at all - Advanced Functions is definitely enough.

However, Advanced Functions is not enough to minor, major or specialise in any Economics programme. If you want to pursue Economics, you must have MCV4U in order to take the first-year mathematics requirements. If you're like me, and decided upon Economics late, you can take MCV4U in summer school (a dreadful, dreadful experience, but so worth it!), but since it's only first semester for Secondary School, I'm sure you'll be able to pick it up next semester if you want. If you really don't like Maths that much, other schools offer more qualitative Economics programmes - it does depend on your preference, but Graduate Schools love to see students with a solid, quantitative background. 

I hope this helps! 

- Matt UK
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Nyx
Posted: 7:12AM December 28, 2011 UTC
@janetteaq wrote
Hello, 
I just applied to U of T art history, I ranked UC  as my first college followed by Victoria. I applied to UC because I heard it was a "commuter" college and I will be a commuter.! 
 I was wondering if you like the college and what your general opinons are. I was also wondering about scholarships, my projected 1st semeater grade 12 average is 90%. I heard some colleges give out more scholarships than others. 

As well, I'm applying UTSC. I'm not sure if youll be able to help me but I was wondering what is on the SAF? 
Thanks! 


Just a heads up, Vic won't consider your application unless you rank them first. 
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6x7
Posted: 7:12AM December 28, 2011 UTC
Hey MattUK,

I was wondering, if I go to U of T next year and happen to not like my college, am I allowed to switch my college? Thanks!
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MattUK
Thread Creator
Posted: 7:12AM December 29, 2011 UTC
Thread Creator
@6x7 wrote
Hey MattUK,

I was wondering, if I go to U of T next year and happen to not like my college, am I allowed to switch my college? Thanks!



Hi 6x7, 

It is definitely possible to switch colleges, but it is considered on a case-by-case basis. You have to contact your prospective college, detailing (in a compelling manner) why you wish to switch. Basically, it can't be "because I want to" or "the cleaning staff here are unfriendly". You need a legitimate reason to change colleges. 

Does that help?
- MatUK

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bubblepenguin
Posted: 7:12AM December 30, 2011 UTC
Hi MattUK,

I was wondering how do I apply for U of T through OUAC. On the application, it puts pharmacy(the program i want) into a different link. So I'm really confused and I'm running time!
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MattUK
Thread Creator
Posted: 7:12AM December 30, 2011 UTC
Thread Creator
@bubblepenguin wrote
Hi MattUK,

I was wondering how do I apply for U of T through OUAC. On the application, it puts pharmacy(the program i want) into a different link. So I'm really confused and I'm running time!



Hi bubblepenguin, 

I haven't applied for Pharmacy, but this is my understanding. Pharmacy has its own faculty - the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy (it is considered a professional programme). Because of this, it will be separate from the Faculty of Arts and Science, so it will have its own link on the OUAC application. 

Here is a link to the admission section of the Leslie Dan website - but I'm afraid it looks like you have missed the final date to sit the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). If worst comes to worst, and you are unable to apply, you could consider applying for Life Sciences (I think an undergraduate degree is a requirement?), and continuing with Pharmacy post-graduate.

http://pharmacy.utoronto.ca/programs/bsc/admissions.htm

I hope that makes sense!
- MattUK
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takavar
Posted: 7:01AM January 07, 2012 UTC
Guys please remember that if you wan't to get into Victoria or Trinity you must write a supplementary essay and YOU MUST RANK THEM FIRST ON OUAC TO BE CONSIDERED.

UoT is hard I suppose but that depends on you. Do you want to be in a competitive place with a lot of bright people?
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MattUK
Thread Creator
Posted: 7:01AM January 21, 2012 UTC
Thread Creator
Thought I'd bump this for those still interested. :compress: 
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Anonymous
Posted: 7:01AM January 22, 2012 UTC
Hey!  

Okay, so I am applying for UTAPS and I was wondering if you have to apply for OSAP first? Do the two have anything to do with one another?

Also, the website says that students entering directly from highschool should have the form in by February 28th, but my parents don't do their taxes till like March So I won't have any of the up to date info.

When does UTAPS usually give students the money? 
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jschiralli
Posted: 7:01AM January 22, 2012 UTC
Hi, I know you've already answered some questions about University College but I was still curious about a few things..  I ranked University College as my first choice but I starting doubting myself and thinking I should have picked Victoria College.  I will be a commuter, so are you really even that affiliated with your college?  Does it really matter which one you belong to if you don't live on residence?  Thanks in advance. 
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rvangel
Posted: 7:01AM January 22, 2012 UTC
Hi!
I have applied for UoT Life science program as a transfer student from US. my gpa is around 3.5. can you tell me what are the chances i'm having of getting into UoT Life science program? like when they admit people is it like a really tough get through?
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MattUK
Thread Creator
Posted: 7:01AM January 23, 2012 UTC
Thread Creator
@janetteaq wrote
Hey!  

Okay, so I am applying for UTAPS and I was wondering if you have to apply for OSAP first? Do the two have anything to do with one another?

Also, the website says that students entering directly from highschool should have the form in by February 28th, but my parents don't do their taxes till like March So I won't have any of the up to date info.

When does UTAPS usually give students the money? 



Hello, janetteaq.

I'm sorry, but I'm not registered with OSAP or UTAPS, so I don't have any information or experience with how they operate. 

Best of luck in your application, though.

- MattUK
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MattUK
Thread Creator
Posted: 7:01AM January 23, 2012 UTC
Thread Creator
@jschiralli wrote
Hi, I know you've already answered some questions about University College but I was still curious about a few things..  I ranked University College as my first choice but I starting doubting myself and thinking I should have picked Victoria College.  I will be a commuter, so are you really even that affiliated with your college?  Does it really matter which one you belong to if you don't live on residence?  Thanks in advance. 



Hello, jschiralli.

From my own experience, your choice of college is an unimportant decision, to be frank. All colleges maintain a reasonable standard of student services and facilities, so there is no discernible difference between them. You will receive the same level of help and attention at University College as at Victoria College. Some people prefer the "prestige" of Trinity or Victoria, but no one on campus really cares where you're from. The only people who seem concerned with the "prestige" of their college are the people in the "prestigious" colleges, funnily enough. And your college has no impact on the value of your degree - a U of T degree is a U of T degree.

As a commuter, your affiliation with your college is even less important, since proximity to classes and preference of accommodations doesn't factor in. I wouldn't worry about your college choice, as I can guarantee it will be the last thing on your mind once school gets started.

I hope this helped.
- MattUK
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MattUK
Thread Creator
Posted: 7:01AM January 23, 2012 UTC
Thread Creator
@rvangel wrote
Hi!
I have applied for UoT Life science program as a transfer student from US. my gpa is around 3.5. can you tell me what are the chances i'm having of getting into UoT Life science program? like when they admit people is it like a really tough get through?



A 3.5 is an 80%, right? That's how the GPA system works at U of T, but I know that there are variations. I think that mid- to high-seventies (or 3.0 - 3.5) is the general expectation for U of T Life Science. As for the actual quality of the students in the first-year programme, I think you'll probably be in the lower range of the applicants, but you should have a strong chance of getting in.

Just keep in mind, getting in to U of T is the easy part. First-year Life Science in particular needs to start weeding out students immediately, so be prepared to put in a lot of effort if you want to succeed. 

I hope this helped!
- MattUK
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Leooforever
Posted: 7:01AM January 26, 2012 UTC
Hi MattUK,

I applied to both U of T and McGill's economics program. My average is above 90 so I am not worried about getting in to any of em. Since you are an economics student at U of T, I am curious to know about your experience there. And moreover, how would you compare these two universities' undergrad economics? both academics and reputation wise. 

Thanks,
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MattUK
Thread Creator
Posted: 7:01AM January 26, 2012 UTC
Thread Creator
Hey, Leooforever. 

I applied to both McGill and U of T, too. I was fortunate enough to be accepted to both universities. My original plan was to attend McGill, since it was reputable and exclusive. I knew that McGill was a respected school, but the more I looked at the McGill Economics programme itself, the more I found McGill students warning applicants not to attend. The general sentiment that I found is that McGill does not pay much attention to its Economic department, so the professors aren't leaders in their field, and the courses are not engaging or interesting. 

I eventually decided upon the University of Toronto, and I love the programme here. All of the professors I've had are passionate - my current professor will stay behind for as long as it takes to answer questions and have discussions about Economics. I can't say whether or not McGill Economic really is poor, but I can confirm that U of T Economics is a well-funded, well-respected programme. As for academics, it is difficult, as I've mentioned to others in this thread. There is lots of weeding out, and lots of Mathematics. But if you knuckle down, you shouldn't have any issues. 

As for your average, I'm not sure about McGill, since I've heard it's quite exclusive (for reference, my average was 97% when I applied, so I'm not sure what the lowest acceptable range is), but you should have no problems applying to U of T Social Science.

I hope this helps,
Matt UK
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