Your First Year: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated February 19, 2019

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

Q: I’m sick, and won’t be able to write a midterm. 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 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 be in Clear academic 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: What happens if I’m on probation?
A: If you receive a session average of less than 60%, you will be placed on academic probation. There are several different scenarios for students on probation, so your status will depend upon what your average is, and your previous status at the start of the term. The full details about probation and the promotion regulations are contained in the Academic Calendar (under “Academic Regulations,” “Promotion Regulations”), and are also explained in the 2018-2019 T-Program Information Sheet. If you have questions about probation or your academic standing, visit the First Year Office to make an appointment with an Academic Advisor.

Q: What is the T-Program?
A: The T-Program, or Transition Program, allows first-year students who struggled in the fall session to repeat up to three fall courses during the winter session and defer up to three courses to the summer session in order to obtain credit for their fall courses and proceed to the second year on schedule with their classmates. Students with a fall session average between 50-60% and who have failed one or more courses are eligible for the T-Program. More information is in the  2018-2019 T-Program Information Sheet.

Q: What if my average is 60% or higher, but I fail a course?
A: If you obtain a mark of less than 50% in one of your courses, you need to retake the course when it is next offered. Usually, this means you will take the course in the summer F (May-June) session. If you are concerned that this might be the case for you, visit the First Year Office to meet with an Academic Advisor; often, there are resources and options that might make it possible to avoid such a situation.

Q: Can I change my winter course timetable?
 Unfortunately, we are not able to change first-year students’ timetables based on 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 you may contact the First Year Office for accommodation (it is helpful if you can suggest specific schedule changes by using the Engineering Timetable or CourseFinder). Requests from students who are commuting long distances will also be considered at the discretion of the First Year Office. The deadline for this type of request was January 20, 2019; please speak to the First Year Office if you have questions or concerns about your timetable.

Q: I’m finding the work load in the winter semester challenging; can I drop a course and take it later?
A: Many first-year courses are offered during the summer F (May-June) semester, so this might be a good option for you. Students can defer up to three courses to the summer term. Please visit or call the First Year Office to make an appointment with your Academic Advisor to talk about your options.

The deadline to drop a course without academic penalty in the winter semester is March 17, 2019.

Q: Are summer courses included in my tuition? And are they offered online?
A: Summer courses carry their own per-course tuition charges on top of your fall/winter fees; summer tuition amounts will be posted to the Student Accounts website. Summer courses are generally offered in-person only. Please speak with the First Year Office if you have questions or concerns about summer courses.

Q: I’m in a Core 8 program and want to transfer to a different Core 8 program. How do I do this?
A: Core 8 students must successfully complete the first year of their program before requesting a transfer in May for September transfer. More transfer details are posted here.

Q: What if I’ve decided that engineering is not for me? Can I transfer to a different program at U of T?
A: You can apply for an Internal U of T Transfer to be considered for admission to another Faculty/campus for September 2018. The deadline for the Faculty of Arts & Science was January 16, but has been extended to April 1, 2019 for some programs. We recommend you meet with your academic advisor about this as soon as possible.

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 dental care, psychological services, and other benefits. For international students, visit CIE’s web page on health coverage.

Q: I have a disability that impacts my academic performance. 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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