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Ryerson Politics & Governance vs. U of T Humanities

A photo of Amani431 Amani431
Ryerson Politics & Governance vs. U of T Humanities

I've been accepted to both programs and I'm really unsure of which to choose.

I've heard that employment opportunities are much easier to find with a U of T degree, but I've also heard that it's pretty brutal when it comes to the amount of work required. Also, I'm not entirely sure how entrance scholarships work at U of T. Oh and there's a high chance I'll choose to go to law school after undergrad; how should that factor into my decision?

My current average with 6 courses is 91%, I'm taking 3 more courses at the moment and hope to raise that to at least a 92% by the end of this semester, what amounts would I be getting at each of the universities?

I'm really confused at the moment so any comments, recommendations or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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A photo of fearlessforever fearlessforever
Considering your marks you seem to be a great student who would be able to handle the workload of u of t.
Personally a u of t degree would look MUCH better than one from ryerson.
:)goodluck!
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A photo of Amani431 Amani431
@ Respects: I also got accepted at UTM (Humanities), McMaster (Humanities) and York (Undeclared Arts), but I've mostly narrowed it down to the two mentioned and UTM (for the easy commute). I'm a pretty hard worker, but to be honest, I'm basically really tired of school in general and it just seems really tempting to take the relatively easier program.

@fearlessforever: Thanks :), I'm actually a little bit less afraid of choosing U of T right now. I'm leaning a lot more toward that after asking quite a few people about it... Now I just have to decide which U of T campus :p.
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A photo of poeticallydemented poeticallydemented
The only basic difference is that Ryerson has allowed you to choose your program directly from high school whereas U of T doesn't let you do that and instead wants you to take a year of everything so that you can be sure of what you want your major to be. If you're 100% sure you want Politics and Governance, go to Ryerson, but if you want a bit more time to contemplate your degree go to U of T.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
U of T has implemented a new guaranteed entrance scholarship of, I think, at least $2000 if your overall top six average is 92% or higher. I am not sure if this is renewable. Some colleges will give you money every year if you maintain a decent GPA.

If you want to keep law school open as a possibility, you need to make sure you have a good GPA (3.7+/4.0 scale or its equivalent) and a good LSAT score.

One more word of advice. No one really cares where you got your undergraduate degree from. If you want to work after graduation, employers care mostly about your work experience. If you want to go on to a graduate or professional program, admission committees care mostly about your references, research experience, and of course, grades. So don't put too much weight on the name of the institution.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@Spengler wrote
U of T has implemented a new guaranteed entrance scholarship of, I think, at least $2000 if your overall top six average is 92% or higher. I am not sure if this is renewable. Some colleges will give you money every year if you maintain a decent GPA.


I don't think it's renewable. And it's not guaranteed. I got it, and then my college gave me more than $2000, so they took it back. Apparently it's written somewhere....
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A photo of Amani431 Amani431
@ poeticallydemented; I'm not 100% (or even 50%) sure so I guess a more general first year would be better.

@ Spengler; The thing is, if I want a high GPA for law school, wouldn't it be easier to get at a school other than U of T? I've read that the bell-curve at U of T makes it much more difficult to get high grades there. Do law school admission committees factor that in at all?

& Thanks for the info on entrance scholarships... Just one more question about that; when do you find out whether you've gotten an entrance scholarship or not? Would I have to accept the offer first?
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
I can only speak from my own experience, but I personally don't think it's any easier to get a high GPA at U of T than at any other schools. I think the trick is to find a major that you actually enjoy, are reasonably good at, and are motivated to do well in it. But it's difficult to find out just what you're good at until you take actual university courses in your field(s) of interest. This is why I'm rather fond of the way U of T runs its arts and science programs, i.e. have students declare an area or areas of study after they complete first year.

As anecdotal evidence, I have a friend who goes to Queen's and took some courses at U of T during the summer. She found the philosophy courses equally difficult at both schools, but found it relatively easy to do well in her program-related courses at both schools. This, to me, seems to support the idea that finding a program that fits your interests is a more reliable indicator of your academic performance than the perceived toughness of an institution.

But the bottom line is, law schools don't care where you get your undergrad from. So, if I were you, I'd just go with whichever school you think you'd thrive at.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@Amani431 wrote
@ Spengler; The thing is, if I want a high GPA for law school, wouldn't it be easier to get at a school other than U of T? I've read that the bell-curve at U of T makes it much more difficult to get high grades there. Do law school admission committees factor that in at all?

& Thanks for the info on entrance scholarships... Just one more question about that; when do you find out whether you've gotten an entrance scholarship or not? Would I have to accept the offer first?


Much of what you read about bellcurving online is flat-out wrong. Professors don't manically bring down your marks in fits of rage. Bellcurving is done in the larger first year courses to bring the average to around 65% (I don't know about second year and above, but I heard its frequency decreases). Again, this isn't done by pulling down your marks, it's by bringing up everyone's marks so that the average becomes 65%. The reason it's hard to do well at UofT is therefore not because of the bellcurving (this actually helps you a bit), but because it's a hard school. It's very irritating that people have decided to call this "bellcurving" when that happens to be one of the things that helps you get better marks.

As for the entrance scholarship, they will indicate whether or not you've received it in your admission letter, I believe. There is no accepting to be done. Just ask your college registrar when you will be given the money come school time (I don't know the process since as I said, if your college gives you more than $2000, then UofT rescinds their $2000).
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@littleroom wrote
Much of what you read about bellcurving online is flat-out wrong. Professors don't manically bring down your marks in fits of rage. Bellcurving is done in the larger first year courses to bring the average to around 65% (I don't know about second year and above, but I heard its frequency decreases). Again, this isn't done by pulling down your marks, it's by bringing up everyone's marks so that the average becomes 65%. The reason it's hard to do well at UofT is therefore not because of the bellcurving (this actually helps you a bit), but because it's a hard school. It's very irritating that people have decided to call this "bellcurving" when that happens to be one of the things that helps you get better marks.



I agree with littleroom for the most part. I can count with one hand the number of times I've been "bell curved" up in four years of undergrad. However, I don't think U of T is necessarily any more difficult than other schools. I think, rather, that it boils down to a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy when new U of T students find themselves struggling a bit to do well, and, instead of looking objectively at why it's the case, just draw on the reason they hear most frequently from other people. Other people are more inclined to buy their story because it's a widespread belief that U of T is hard. Students then become demoralized, because they think that, no matter how hard they try, the profs are "just out to get them", and then they start spreading the same belief they've heard. This is a pattern I've noticed time and time again.
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A photo of Amani431 Amani431
Thanks for the advice guys. I accepted U of T's offer... I guess here's no point in worrying whether I made the right choice anymore... and that's kinda a relief :).

Also, I figured that might be a reason, Spengler. Everyone seems to love hating on U of T.
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