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Five Tips For Planning Your Studies

You will apply to a program at the end of first year, which means this year is an excellent opportunity to explore a range of interests. First-year course enrolment takes place at the end of July and now is a good time to start researching the courses that will help provide a solid foundation for your studies. Search the courses offered in the Academic Calendar.

Keep in mind, the recommended course load for full-time, first-year students is five courses per term. Your first year will comprise a mixture of courses related to your intended program(s), small classroom options and electives. Your schedule will consist of a combination of lectures, labs and tutorials, depending on the courses you take.

You can always contact your college registrar’s office if you have questions about course selection.

Five tips for planning studies juggling.jpg 


Figuring out what you’re interested in can be hard, and taking some unrelated courses can be a good way to see what kinds of things you like. But that only works if you’re engaged in your courses. Conversely, try to narrow your choices to two or three things you might be interested in so you don’t overwhelm yourself. I applied thinking I would study math, but ended up in computer science.

Specialist in computer science


Go through all the programs and make a short list of the ones that spark an interest. Start exploring those programs and write down the 100-level courses that are complementary for a few of the programs so that you can keep your options open after first year.

Double major in contemporary Asian studies and economics 


I didn’t get into my preferred program in second year, but I took it as a learning lesson. Instead, I started taking media studies and film courses and I totally loved them. I decided on book and media studies, and everything has worked out so well. I think I do well because I’m studying what I love!

Major in book and media studies,
minors in cinema studies and English


Once you have an idea of what program you might want, start picking courses that fulfill the prerequisites. But keep an open mind, too. My college registrar suggested I take the class Intro to Diaspora Studies based on my interests. I’d never heard of that program but loved the course so much I ended up adding it as a second major.

Double major in peace, conflict and justice studies,
and diaspora and transnational studies


Apply to a First-Year Learning Community to connect with other students in your area of study. I was a part of the Life Sciences FLC. It was a really friendly learning environment and so helpful to be with people who were experiencing the same transition to university and learning the same materials. Plus, the FLC counts toward your co-curricular record.

Double major in neuroscience and animal physiology

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Plan Your Studies

What's in a program?

To receive your degree, you will complete 20 credits, including a minimum of one of these program options:

  1. Specialist - Focus your learning into one concentrated area.
  2. Double Major - Combine two areas of interest to develop a unique perspective.
  3. One Major & Two Minors - Build a diverse academic record while studying many areas of interest.

Check out the A-Z Program List to see your options.

(Don’t worry — you’ll get additional information and advice at the end of first year when it’s time to make your program selection.)

Arts & Science means breadth

During your studies, you are required to meet a Breadth Requirement, which allows you to explore courses outside your program of study, and introduces you to other ways of looking at topics and issues from a range of fields. The Academic Calendar explains the rules for completing your Breadth Requirement and every course description in the Calendar indicates the Breadth category it fulfills:

CCR: Creative & Cultural Representations

TBB: Thought, Belief & Behaviour

SII: Society & Its Institutions

LTE: Living Things & Their Environment

PMU: Physical & Mathematical Universes

More information is available on the Degree Requirements page.