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Alternative offers @ U of T

A photo of Torontonian Torontonian
I applied at UTSG for Life Sciences and UTSC for Co-op Mangement. My question is, will I get an alternative offer to UTSC biological sciences if I don't get into UTSG life science?


I was thinking to change UTSG life science to UTSC Biological sciences (I know it sounds stupid but I have heard many bad things about UTSG life science :S) and UTSC for Co-op Mangement to Rotman.

What should I do? Opinions please :cheers:
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A photo of Numberwang Numberwang
They normally don't do alternative offers. If you don't get into UTSG life sci then they'll start considering you for UTSC co-op management (or whichever order you ranked the applications). You won't be admitted to both, if they see that you got admission into your first choice, they won't even look at your other application.

So if you want to switch your programs around, I'll do so ASAP on OUAC.

And UTSG life sci isn't that bad, serious.
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A photo of Torontonian Torontonian
Wow, this sucks~

How was first year life sci? Did everyone have to take same courses with different major? I heard that most people had low average in chem. :|
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A photo of Numberwang Numberwang
Unless you came from AP or IB, everyone takes a full year of bio, chem, and calculus. In first year, everyone is in the same program called "life science" which pretty much just gives you priority for enrolling in a couple of core first year courses when course registration comes around.

You pick your majors in second year so some programs do require additional prereqs. For example neuroscience needs PSY100. Some research-heavy programs like biochem, genetics/microbiology, etc. needs a full year of physics too.

Chem was honestly not that bad. Make sure you understand the concepts, know the rules by heart, and work through the past tests/exams (they follow the same format every year).
The grading is also very fair. If you achieved higher grades on your tests compared to the exam, they'll weigh those more heavily for the final grade.
You're also allowed to take either CHM138 or CHM139 first, so you can avoid Dr. Browning when choosing your courses; he has a history of writing trickier tests. I think this year, the average going into the exam was around a 70, which is quite high.

Averages generally don't tell you a whole lot about grades distribution. If it's a symmetrical bell curve, all it tells you is that 50% of the class got marks higher than the average. It doesn't really tell you anything about how spread out the grades are--how many people got A's, etc. So don't let that scare you :D
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A photo of Torontonian Torontonian
Oh wow, thank you for the info!

Btw, for second year, do you have to maintain a certain GPA to get into your major or is it a pass/fail?
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A photo of Numberwang Numberwang
There are 3 types of majors you can enroll in.

Anyone can enroll and drop their Type I majors pretty much anytime they want. There are no GPA and course requirements to enroll in Type I major and an infinite number of spots. You pretty much just have to finish 4 full credit courses (so first year). Some examples are the ecology/evolutionary bio major, chemistry major, and the human bio major.

Type II programs are majors or specialists that have GPA and course requirements, but as long as you have those, you should get in. I think some of the more general specialists are Type II, like the cell bio specialist or the developmental bio specialist.

Type III programs (mostly specialists) are generally the most competitive to get into and harder to maintain a high GPA in. These programs only take a limited number of people every year, so you often need at least a high 70 to low 80 first year average. Neuroscience, biochem, genetics/microbiology, immunology, and physiology specialists are just some examples.

Type II and III programs are applied to separately at the end of first year, while you can just add Type I programs on your own online.

I haven't heard of anyone getting kicked out of their program for not maintaining a specific GPA. Generally if people find the programs too hard, they'll just switch out. It's relatively easy to switch from a specialist to a major in later years, but harder to go the other way around.

I hope that answers some things and please feel free to ask if you have any other questions. :)
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A photo of Torontonian Torontonian
To be clear, if I want to enroll for human biology specialist, I have to get higher GPA than other students? Also, would it be possible to take business courses towards second degree?
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A photo of Numberwang Numberwang
There are specialist programs under the human biology department such as Neuroscience, Gene Genetics & Biotech, Global Health, Health & Disease, and Enviro & Health. But there is no specialist that's just called a Human Bio Specialist, there's only a major. The word "human bio" itself is a pretty broad topic, so generally by specializing, you're focusing on one aspect of the human health.

If you're referring to specifically the specialist programs under the human bio department though, then yes. Those are all Type III programs except for Enviro & Health, and people who get in are usually in their high 70s (except for Neuroscience, in which I would aim for low 80s).

I'm a little confused at what you mean by "second degree." A second degree means to possess two bachelor's degrees, this means you will have to finish a BSc and then petition to stay in school to to get another bachelor's for an extra 3 years (since you'll be given only one-year worth of transfer credits). Having two bachelor's is really unnecessary and a bit of a money sink, especially if you're interested in an MBA--where having a business degree is simply not required. What exactly are your end goals?

You will be allowed to take an economics major from the ArtsSci faculty along with a science specialist and graduate with a BSc.
But if you're interested in a BCom from Rotman, then no, you'll need to specifically apply for Rotman as a separate program. If you apply to Rotman you can take a Commerce major from their program, but you'll graduate with either a BA or a BSc that you can combine it with another major from the ArtsSci faculty. You can only get a BCom if you take a specialist with Rotman.

P.S. I've been struck by a vague memory and want to clarify potentially wrong information. I think you may actually be able to receive admissions for both UTSG and UTSC, and it may just be due to special circumstances that they only look at your first-ranked application. However, rarely ever do you get alternative offers.
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A photo of Torontonian Torontonian
In ouac application at UTSG, the options are:

1.Human biology
2.Human Biology-Health/disease
3.Human Biology-Neuroscience
4.Human Biology-Global health

I chose number 1. Why is there Human Biology itself? You said that the major focuses on one topic.

I want to get into radiation, however, if my plan fails, I want to have a business degree as a second option.

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A photo of Numberwang Numberwang
Selecting a program on OUAC has no bearing on whether or not you get into that program at the end of first year. It's really just a survey for the university to get a sense of what their applicants are interested in.

The option "1. Human biology" refers to the Human Bio major. It's a pretty popular major for pre-meds because it allows for wide flexibility (in what courses you want to take) and doesn't require you to take some more intensive science courses.
I said that a specialist program generally focuses in-depth on a more narrow topic. Specialists are really good if you're interested in doing research, because you'll often get hands-on purely laboratory courses and get to know your professors better.

One major takes around 6-8.5 full credits to complete. One specialist can take around 12-16 credits to complete. That's why to graduate, you're required to either complete: 1) one major + two minors, 2) two majors, or 3) one specialist.

EDIT: #1 is the general Human Bio major; #2-4 are the specialists under the Human Bio department
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