Comprehensive guide to life at the University of Toronto Mississauga

Introduction

You’ve applied for your program of choice, received a letter of admission, and dreamt of the days that you could flex that you go to the number one ranked university in Canada (…’s Mississauga campus).

You’re not in the program yet.

I’ve just finished my 3rd year at UTM as a CS Specialist, going into my co-op year. I’m writing this with the hopes that it helps some of you incoming first years make an informed decision about university or just to let you know of some useful information going into the school year.

POSt (Program of Study)

https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/registrar/office-registrar-publications/program-selection-guide

  1. Re-attempt the courses if you’re short of the grade requirement or take some bird courses to boost your CGPA and re-apply
  2. Transfer to a different university
  3. Change your program

Okay.. how do I graduate?

The requirements for each program are listed in the academic calendar, so make sure that you do your research, plan your courses out, and have some contingency plan assuming you fail a course or don’t meet the cutoff and will have to retake the course.

Extra things you should know

  • ALWAYS KEEP NOTE OF THE IMPORTANT DATES! This page will tell you the deadlines for dropping a course for a full refund, dropping a course before it shows up on your transcript, exam periods, etc.
  • Classes start at 10 minutes after the hour (aka U of T time). Having back to back classes is fine, and if you’re a bit late just humbly find a seat and don’t cause a disturbance (unless your Prof is uptight about it).
  • You should wait a week to buy the textbook to see if it’s actually going to be used in the course.
  • If you’re waitlisted for a course, then the general rule of thumb is that 10% of the class size will get in no sweat, i.e. for a class of 300 the first 30 on the waitlist should get in. In addition, there’s plenty of times where this isn’t the case. I’ve gotten into an upper year math course with a size of 90 and my waitlist position was 30.
  • There is a shuttle bus to the St. George campus that UTM students can use for free. Just make sure you have your Tcard + bus pass. It’s located at the back of IB/Instructional Building.
  • You can find past exams on the UTM Library site
  • Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR) — U of T students can choose to CR/NCR a course. After completing the course, you will receive either CR if you passed or NCR if you failed on your transcript. However, it will not affect your CGPA. CR/NCR courses do not typically count towards Program Requirements, however there was an exception made last semester due to COVID19.
  • Late Withdrawal (LWD) — If you choose to drop a course after the deadline has passed, you will receive a LWD (Late Withdrawal) on your transcript. You must submit a form online to the registrar, and it has to be approved.
  • Exam Deferral — Unless explicitly stated in the syllabus or by the instructors, you can defer an exam as long as you provide a doctor’s note or adequate information. Make sure you print out the Verification of Student Illness or Injury form and have your doctor fill it out.
  • Here’s how to defer an exam:
  1. Within 24 hrs of the exam, go to Acorn -> Profile -> Settings -> Absence Declaration and mark your absence
  2. File the exam petition online here
  • GPA at U of T is calculated as follows:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When do I do my course selection?
  • Look at the required courses for the program you intend to apply for
  • Add them in! Make sure you select a LEC + PRA/TUT/LAB for each class.
  • If you have any space left, then you’re either gonna wanna fill them in with courses that satisfy your distribution credits OR take some courses that you find interesting!

Frequently Asked Questions: CS Edition

Lots of students coming from Reddit are interested in CS, so here you go.

  • Learn outside of school! The content in first and second year are foundational only. Apply for internships, work on side projects, and attend hackathons!
  1. What courses should I take?
  • STA107 (Allows you to take CSC263 if you fail/drop STA256 which can be a major roadblock for people)
  • MAT223 (Required for a good amount of math courses and the info sec program)
  • Ricky_RZ (this is one year outdated but still solid advice)
  • /u/the-call-of-the-void
  • Ricky_RZ

Other Helpful Resources

Here is a bunch of useful links that you may want to check out in the future, shout out to Kana for sending me these!

Conclusion

Hope that helped, welcome to UTM! Make sure to manage your studies and social life, and try to get out there and learn a lot!

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