You’ve accepted your offer to the Faculty of Arts & Science and are excited to start planning your first year at U of T. But with more than 300 first-year courses to choose from, you might be wondering where to start.
Before you begin — take a deep breath and relax! Course enrolment for first-year students begins in late July, so you have plenty of time to research your options. Here are four important steps to choosing your first-year courses:
- Research program requirements. Arts & Science students enrol in programs — either a specialist, two majors or a major and two minors —near the end of their first year of study. Many programs have required first-year courses that you’ll need to take in order to enrol in the program, so it’s a good idea to research program requirements ahead of time.
You can find a list of all Arts & Science programs in the Program Toolkit. Once you’ve shortlisted a few, look them up in the Academic Calendar and take note of any first-year courses listed in the enrolment or completion requirements. You should prioritize these when selecting your first-year courses. For help understanding how to read the requirements, refer to the How to Use the Calendar page. Not every course listed in the Academic Calendar will be offered every term. To find out which courses are available this term, head to the Timetable Builder.
- Pick your electives. Students typically complete five credits in their first year. Once you’ve identified the courses required for your program(s), you can fill out the rest of your course load with any courses that interest you — including ones outside of your admission category! This is not only a great way to expand your knowledge but also a helpful strategy to fulfill the A&S breadth requirement, which is meant to encourage students to take courses in a range of subject areas during their time at U of T. You can explore courses and see which breadth requirement categories they satisfy using the Academic Calendar.
You should also consider adding a First-Year Foundations course into the mix. These classes are capped at 25 students, giving you a chance to connect with your classmates and professors and making your transition from high school to university a little easier. Since they are smaller classes, they are likely to fill up, so consider having a few backup options in case you don’t get your first choice.
- Use the enrolment cart in ACORN. Similar to when you shop online, you can fill up your enrolment cart in ACORN with many different courses prior to enrolment day. Add any courses you’re interested in taking – your top picks and some back-up choices — so you are ready to quickly enrol once your enrolment time starts.
Keep in mind that course information can change in the weeks leading up to and during the enrolment period. Use the “Check Availability” feature in the cart for each of your selected courses the day before your enrolment date to ensure you have the most current information. And be sure to read the delivery instructions in the Timetable Builder for up-to-date course delivery instructions ahead of and during the enrolment period.
- Seek guidance. There’s a lot to consider when choosing courses, but you don’t have to do it alone. Your College Registrar’s Office is available for one-on-one academic advising throughout your studies. If you need help choosing your first-year courses, contact your College Registrar’s Office to set up an appointment.
Now that you’ve chosen your first-year courses, you can start getting ready to enrol in courses and plan your degree. For more information on how to prepare for your first year at U of T, check out the New Student Guide for incoming Arts & Science students.