Your First Year: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated June 7, 2019

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

Jump to FAQs for incoming students starting first year in September 2019.

Q: What marks do I need to pass the summer session (May-June) engineering courses I’m taking?
A: To pass an individual course, you need 50% in that course. However, if you are in the TProgram (you would have had to sign a TProgram Contract in January with your Academic Advisor as a result of your fall session results) we also review students’ weighted session average at the end of the summer, and this average should be 60% or higher to proceed to second year.

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 if I can’t write an exam?
A: Final exams are a very important part of your academic requirements, but the Faculty understands that sometimes unforeseen issues (e.g. serious illness, injury, death in the family, other emergencies) get in the way of you fulfilling your requirements. In this situation, you should submit a Final Exam Petition within seven days of your last exam. Supporting documentation is required and should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. The Faculty Committee on Examinations will review petitions in early July, and you’ll be alerted by email when your petition decision is ready to view online.

Q: How do I apply for a transfer to a different engineering program?
A: The deadline to submit a transfer request was May 15. If you did not apply by the deadline, you should meet with your academic advisor to talk about your options. Read more information about transfers.

Q: I’ve submitted a transfer application. When will I receive the decision?
A: Transfer requests will be reviewed and decisions communicated to students by late June.

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.

FAQs for incoming students starting first year in September 2019.

Q: How do I enroll in my courses for first year?
 First-year students do not have to select any courses. You can simply view your timetable on ACORN in early August. You can review which courses you will take in the Guide to First Year.

Q: Can I change my course timetable?
 Unfortunately, we are not able to change first-year students’ timetables to accommodate personal preferences, as we must ensure that all newly-admitted 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. Requests from commuter students will also be considered (e.g. a six-hour gap between classes, etc.).

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.

Deadline to register for the 2019-20 academic year by paying/deferring your tuition fees: August 15, 2019.

Q: What kind of computer or laptop should I buy for first year?
Any current computer on the market will provide you with what you need. Students may choose the computer they prefer. It does not need to be loaded with specific software, or use a specific operating system.

You will also have access to the Engineering Computing Facility (ECF) so it is not absolutely necessary that you purchase a computer. As a student, you’ll even be able to remotely access any software you need for classes.

Q: Where can I find help with housing?
A: For information regarding on and off-campus housing, please visit the U of T Housing Services website.

Q: I’m an international student and this will be my first time studying in Canada. How can I prepare for arrival?
 The University of Toronto’s Centre for International Experience (CIE) has compiled a very handy next-steps checklist for pre- and post-arrival.

Q: I’m an international student, where can I find information on study permits or work permits?
 The Centre for International Experience, located at 33 St. George Street, provides services specifically designed for international students. The CIE has also prepared this helpful web page about applying for study permits.

Q: Do I have health or dental coverage?
 Yes, included in your tuition fees is health and dental coverage. For domestic students, visit the University of Toronto Student Union (UTSU) website for more details. For international students, visit CIE’s web page on health coverage.

Q: I have a disability that may impact 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. In order to receive academic accommodations for the Fall 2019 term, submit your registration package by July 17, 2019Find out more about registering with Accessibility Services.


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