Your First Year: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated March 1, 2018

Here are some questions that the First Year Office is asked frequently in the winter term:

Q: I’m not feeling well. Where can I see a doctor or mental health professional on campus?
 The University’s Health & Wellness Centre has a medical clinic that is open to all U of T students and includes both general medical and mental health practitioners. They also offer a range of wellness workshops and online information.

Full-time students have extended health coverage through the University of Toronto Student Union (UTSU) for prescriptions, dental care and other benefits. For international students, visit CIE’s web page on health coverage.

Q: I’m too sick to write a test/quiz. What do I do?
A: Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. If something unexpected and beyond your control prevents you from fulfilling your academic responsibilities, you can file a Petition for Term Course Work.

Q: What marks do I need to pass first year?
A: To pass an individual course, you need 50% in that course. However, at U of T Engineering we also review students’ weighted session average at the end of every semester, and this average should be 60% or higher to maintain Clear standing.

You can read the full promotion regulations in the Academic Calendar, and talk to your Academic Advisor if you have concerns. Learn more about how averages are calculated.

Q: I’m finding this semester challenging, and I think I might need to drop a course. How does that work?
A: In some cases it may be possible to drop a course and make it up in the summer semester (May-June); you must meet with your academic advisor to discuss your options and complete a course drop form. Other options also may include switching to part-time studies, or withdrawing and returning to studies next year. The deadline to drop courses from your academic record is March 14, 2018. You can learn more in the Academic Help Package, and also contact/visit the First Year Office for further information.

Q: I need to take a summer course. How do I enrol?
A: The First Year Office will automatically enrol students who have dropped/deferred first-year engineering courses in early April. You will need to make a tuition payment/deferral by late April in order to register. More details will be available in the Summer Enrolment and Registration Guide.

Q: Can I take second-year courses this summer to get ahead?
A: Second-year engineering courses are not available during the summer, however you may be able to take Complementary Studies/Humanities Social Science electives in the summer if you wish. There are a number of implications, financial and academic, that we suggest you speak with your advisor about. You can also learn more in the Summer Enrolment and Registration Guide.

Q: Can I change my winter course timetable?
 Unfortunately, we are not able to change first-year students’ timetables for personal preferences, as we must ensure that all students fit into their required class sections. It’s also our aim to spread out enrolment numbers over all the sections as much as possible. The timetables students receive are the result of this balance, which, unfortunately, does not allow for personal schedule preferences.

However, if you have a conflict of a medical, religious, or other important nature, or if you have an unreasonably long stretch of classes (i.e. more than five hours consecutively) you may contact the First Year Office for accommodation. Requests from students who are commuting long distances will also be considered at the discretion of the First Year Office.

Q: Is it possible to transfer to a different engineering program?
A: You can request a transfer to a different Core 8 engineering program at the end of your first year (the request form will be open from mid-March until May 13). In most cases, you will not have to take additional courses. However, those students who wish to switch from a Core 8 program into Electrical or Computer Engineering must take the APS105H1: Computer Fundamentals course (C Programming). We strongly recommend you talk to your advisor before applying to transfer.

Q: What if I’ve decided that engineering is not for me? Can I transfer to a different program at U of T?
A: The deadlines for Internal U of T Transfers to be considered for admission to other faculties/campuses for September 2018 have in many cases passed (they are often in January), so we recommend you meet with your academic advisor about this as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Q: How can I pay my tuition fees?
A: Please visit U of T Student Accounts for detailed information.

In our experience, for students within Canada, the easiest way to pay is through an online bank payment. Your account number with U of T is on your invoice in the Financial Account section of your ACORN account. U of T does not mail invoices.

More info about fees, including the deadlines for fee payments (look for the “2017-2018 Engineering Fee Schedule”) are on the Registrar’s Office website.

Q: I have a disability that impacts my ability to complete my academic work. Are there accommodations available to me?
A: Academic accommodations are provided when students experience disability-related barriers that prohibit demonstration of their knowledge and skills.  Accommodations are provided through the University’s Accessibility Services office to level the playing field upon which students can establish their success.

We encourage you to register for this service as early as possible if you think this might apply.


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