Your First Year: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Updated October 7, 2020
For information on current operations and modifications to our advising appointment processes, you're encouraged to visit the First Year Office homepage for regular updates.
Other useful University and Faculty resources include the following:
- 2020 Fall Term & 2021 Winter Term U of T Engineering Undergraduate FAQs
- COVID-19 Information for U of T Students from the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students
- Fall 2020 at the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
- UTogether 2020: Your Guide to Fall 2020 at U of T
FAQs for Current First-Year Students
Here are some common questions received by the First Year Office. Have a question that is not answered in the FAQ below? Contact us through our online chat, virtual office hours, phone, or email us at email@example.com.
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 ideally be 60% or higher.
A: Many students find their first semester is a big adjustment from high school, but don’t get discouraged. If needed, it is possible to drop a fall semester course up until November 9, 2020. To do so, you must meet with your Academic Advisor.
Usually, the course will be pushed to your winter semester, and a winter course will need to move to the summer semester (May-June).
A: Unfortunately, we are not able to change first-year students’ timetables to accommodate personal preferences, as we must ensure that all newly-admitted students are enrolled 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.
When reviewing your class timetable, make sure that you thoroughly read the information posted by your course instructors in Quercus regarding each course’s schedule. In some cases your ACORN timetable meetings may not be an accurate reflection of how the courses are operating (e.g. APS111 Tutorials will not be held as scheduled; instead, meeting times with your TAs will be chosen in the coming weeks).
If after reviewing these details you have any problems with your timetable (e.g. a conflict of a medical, religious, time zone, Varsity athletic, or other important nature) you may complete our online request form to request accommodation.
Time Zone Notes:
- For students in other time zones, we are happy to accommodate changes that will make it easier for you to maintain your general well-being and a healthy sleep schedule – we do not expect you to attend classes at 3 a.m. your local time!
- We recommend that you request timetable changes that prioritize synchronous (live) attendance in Tutorials and Practicals (as these sessions are usually more interactive than lectures), and as many synchronous (live) lecture times as are feasible, and then plan a regular personal schedule to review videos for the remaining class recordings (ideally within a day of the original meeting, so that you do not fall behind the class).
- Also, note that there are now sections of both MAT186H1: Calculus I and MAT188H1: Linear Algebra which will be held in the very early morning hours Toronto time (5 a.m. and 4 a.m., respectively), which should be helpful for those studying from overseas.
The deadline to request Fall 2020 timetable changes was Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Winter timetable requests will be accepted later in the Fall term).
Since all first-year engineering classes in the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 Terms are being offered online (for updates on this, please refer to the latest updates from the Dean of U of T Engineering), the University recommends you acquire a personal computer to support your learning needs. While a suitable system may be Windows- or macOS-based, a laptop can offer you additional flexibility. A personal computer will also allow you to access any software required for your classes. Please visit www.uoft.me/techspecs for recommendations.
When on St. George campus, the Engineering Computing Facility (ECF) provides 24/7 in-person and remote access to computers within U of T Engineering.
In our experience, for students within Canada, the easiest way to pay is 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.
Additional information is available in the Guide to First Year.
A: Congratulations! All University and Faculty scholarships will be automatically applied to students’ ACORN invoices by October 15.
A: For information regarding on and off-campus housing, please visit the U of T Housing Services website.
You can also find updates regarding campus residences in the University's COVID-19 Information for Students Applying to Residence for Fall 2020 FAQs.
A: The University of Toronto’s Centre for International Experience (CIE) has a number of pre- and post-arrival resources for international students.
The Office of the Vice-Provost, Students is also regularly updating an FAQ page for international students that addresses important questions relating to immigration, travel, quarantine, visas and other details.
We also encourage you to read emails sent to you by your First Year Advisor, Intercultural Learning & Experience, including our International Student Welcome Guide.
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.
The University’s Health & Wellness Centre provides a range of health services for your physical and mental health, wellness programs and information to help support you.
A: 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.
If you do not require this coverage since you have alternate coverage (e.g. through your parent's employer) or you are an international student who will not be in Canada, please see the above links to learn how to opt out of, or dis-enrol from, your coverage.
A: Academic accommodations are provided when students experience disability-related barriers that prohibit demonstration of their knowledge and skills.
These accommodations are provided through Accessibility Services, which facilitates the inclusion of students with a wide range of disabilities into all aspects of university life.
If you are a student with a disability (including chronic or mental health conditions, sensory or physical disabilities, ADHD or ASD spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, concussion or brain injuries or temporary physical disabilities), and had academic accommodations in high school (e.g., extra test time, note-taking assistance, alternative-format textbooks), you may be eligible for similar support through this service.
We encourage you to register as early as possible with Accessibility Services to ensure you can access academic accommodations in a timely fashion if you need them.
A: You can request a transfer to a different Core 8 engineering program at the end of your first year. 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) instead of the regularly-scheduled APS106H1: Fundamentals of Computer Programming (Python) in the winter semester.
You can apply through the Engineering Portal to switch this course (a form will be available from late October to late November). Please speak with your Academic Advisor about this decision.
(Short link to this page: http://uoft.me/fyfaq)