Did you receive a university offer? If so, congratulations! You've just moved on to another stage of your life. If you're in the progress of applying to universities, good luck with your applications! If you're an international student, check out my previous blog for some tips if you haven't done so already. Getting into university is exciting yet overwhelming as it is a totally unfamiliar experience for you and there are a lot of things to prepare such as housing, tuition, course selection, just to name a few. In this post, we have gathered 5 things you should know when selecting courses at university. We hope these tips can ease your transition to university.
First of all, you will need to find out what are the compulsory courses for your program. Often these courses will be added to your schedule automatically in your first year but you are still responsible for making sure they are correct and all added. Most people will take 5 courses each term. If you look at the curriculum of your program, you should see the courses you have to take for each term. Usually, you will take most of the compulsory courses throughout your first 2 years and the remaining will be electives. Check your curriculum to find out what courses you are supposed to take in your first term and make sure they're all added to your schedule. This is extremely important because if you ever want to take a course that requires a prerequisite, the compulsory courses you take during the first year are usually the prerequisites. They are very likely to be a foundation for the topic of the course. You will need to take the course later in case you miss it which may affect your academic plan. For example, you will have to take 6 courses in the next term if you miss one or take courses over the summer break.
Other than your compulsory courses, the remaining part of your study will be filled with electives. Depending on your school and program, you will start taking electives in your first year or second year. Again, look at your curriculum and find out how many electives you have to take for each semester and whether there are any specific requirements. When choosing your electives, you should pay attention to the prerequisites, courses you have to take before taking the elective, and antirequisites, courses that overlap the content of the elective and you may not enroll in the elective. Many people look for "bird courses" when choosing their electives but I would suggest you enroll in electives that interest you. It's always better to study something you are actually like than something that may be easy but you don't enjoy.
Another thing to keep in mind is deadlines. Everything has a deadline, and it's crucial to pay attention to them as you don't want to miss any important thing. There is a deadline for course intention/selection in which you will choose the courses you want to take and your school will generate a schedule for you from those courses. Then there's a deadline for course enrollment in which you can make changes to your schedule, meaning add/swap/drop classes. This is the only chance to get the schedule you want. Some courses offer more than one session on a different day and at a different time so you can enroll in the session you prefer. Your schedule will be fixed once the deadline is passed. I would totally recommend you to make any changes you would like to your schedule as soon as enrollment starts. Many classes will be full right away, especially the popular ones.
Different Class Numbers
Every class has its own codes. When there is more than one session for a course, that's how you classify them. When you add or swap classes you would need to enter the class number. Make sure you know the class numbers of the classes you wish to add or swap so you can do it right when enrollment starts. Different classes are offered at different times and often different days, possibly taught by different professors. Pick the one that fits in your schedule and/or taught by the professor you prefer. If the class you want to enroll in is full, some classes offer a waitlist. You can choose to add yourself to a wait-listed class. Keep an eye on the waitlist to see if you're enrolled in the class. If you decide to take another class instead, make sure you drop from the wait-listed class as you are responsible for all academic requirements and resulting tuition and fees if you are successfully enrolled in the class.
Number of Courses
For most people, they will take 5 courses each term. You can choose to take fewer or more than 5 courses, though, you have to take a minimum of 4 courses to be a full time student. If you choose to take more than 5 courses, you have to pay attention to the tuition fee as it goes up when you take more than a certain number of courses. You should consider carefully whether you can handle more than 5 courses at the same time. Some people may think it won't be that bad since classes are online now but believe me, it's not easy.
Congratulations on moving on to the next stage of your life! I hope this post gave you some ideas of how course selection in universities is like. If you are moving out of your home once you get into university, or just want some alone time to study, come stay with us at Avalon! All our premium suites at Avalon are fully furnished with a fully equipped kitchen and all the amenities you need. We have 5 types of suites ranging from studios to 2 bedroom suites so just pick one that accommodates your needs. We even have a washer/dryer in all our suites. With all these features, staying in any of our suites will definitely make you feel at home. Don't have time to clean? We offer one complimentary cleaning service per week when you stay more than a week! We have free fast wifi so it's perfect for you to take classes online. We're located in the heart of Toronto's most upscale neighbourhood at the corner of Yorkville & Avenue Rd. Just a few minutes walk away from TTC. We're also super close to University of Toronto and Ryerson University! You can rent it on a month-to-month basis so you can go back home anytime and book again when you come back. Just let us know 15 days prior to the date you want to stop renting. No contract needed. We even offer a 5% discount for extended stay plus a 13% discount on the HST for booking over 28 days! To learn more, visit our website or call us at 416.731.1372.