• Passionate Minds

Feature on the University of Toronto

Written by Rory Sullivan


Welcome to the University of Toronto! Or as it’s more commonly known as, U of T! Founded in 1827, this is the oldest university in Ontario and the only one in Canada that has its unique college system. Consistently at the top of the rankings for Canadian universities, U of T is one of the most well-known universities in Canada. If you think you may be interested in applying to U of T, keep reading to find out more information!


Popular Programs:

Commerce - One of the biggest faculties at U of T is Commerce at the Rotman School of Management. After your first year in Commerce, you go on to choose your specialization, either Management, Accounting, or Finance & Economics. Over half of the students graduate with Distinction or High Distinction, and 90% were employed within 9 months of graduating. Ranked the second-best business school in Canada by Maclean’s, this is an amazing choice if you’re interested in business!

  • Required Courses and Admissions: Competitive Average: High 80s

  • English 4U (Minimum 80-85%)

  • Calculus & Vectors 4U (Minimum +85%)

  • Additional FOUR 4U/4M Courses

  • Completion of ROTMAN SUPPLEMENTAL APPLICATION

  • Tuition and Fees:

  • Tuition:

  • Year 1: $6,100

  • Year 2-4: $15,900


Architecture: Architectural Studies at the Daniels School is one of the best Architecture programs in Canada! Offering two different programs, Bachelor of Architectural Studies and Bachelor of Visual Studies, students will be sure to find a program to suit their specific interests. Keep reading if you think you’d be interested in pursuing an education in Architecture!

  • Required Courses and Admissions: Competitive Average: High 80s

  • English 4U

  • Five additional 4U/4M courses

  • Completion of ONE IDEA SUPPLEMENTARY APPLICATION

  • Tuition and Fees:

  • Tuition: $7,607.51


Human Biology: This program has an interdisciplinary focus in order to provide students with the necessary knowledge for future careers in medicine, policy, the environment, or research. After your first couple of years in the general program, you go on to specialize in either: Global Health, Fundamental Genetics, Human Biology, Health and Disease, or Neuroscience. Lots to choose from! This program is similar to a Life Sciences degree, so if you think you have an interest in this program, keep reading!

  • Required Courses and Admissions:

  • Biology (SBI4U)

  • Calculus & Vectors (MCV4U)

  • Chemistry (SCH4U)

  • English (ENG4U)

  • Physics (SPH4U) is recommended

  • Tuition and Fees:

  • Tuition: $6,100


NOTE: There are over 700 undergraduate programs at U of T! I only chose three of their popular programs to give a sneak peek into what they offer, so don’t be discouraged if something I listed doesn’t interest you! Here is a link to all of their programs, so feel free to browse through to find something you’re passionate about!


U of T Campuses:


St. George Campus - In the center of Downtown Toronto, the St. George campus is the main location of the university and is home to the unique college system. Close to nightlife, art, beautiful architecture, and many other things, this is a gorgeous campus that highlights the best of the university.


Scarborough Campus - With a location close to Lake Ontario, the Scarborough campus is another beautiful feature of U of T. This campus serves as a hub for research and innovation and is located next to other major companies such as CTV which provides collaborative opportunities for students at the campus.


Mississauga Campus - The smallest of the three campuses, the Mississauga campus is located next to acres of protected greenbelt land, making for yet another beautiful campus. This campus serves as an intimate, hands-on learning environment to help students learn as best as possible!


U of T College System:

About: Okay, so when I was doing research about U of T, it took me a while before I completely understood their unique college system. Basically, this system dates back to when the university was first founded and is built around the concept of having a smaller-knit community within the larger university. Every student who applies to U of T (St. George) must also rank their preference of college, seven in total. Though it is connected to your residence, you are also apart of a college whether or not you live on campus. Within each of the seven colleges, you will find academic programs, counselling and tutoring services, scholarships, orientation, and social gatherings. Each college is different and unique, and this is where you can really find where you belong within the large campus. Read below for more information about each college and what they offer!


The Colleges:

  1. Trinity College (1851):

  • About: The smallest of the seven colleges, Trinity College is most known for its academic focus. More than half of Trinity students graduate with either Distinction or High Distinction, and the college is known for producing an unusually high number of Rhodes scholars. This college does require a separate application due to its prestigious status within the college system, and the academic average to be accepted is usually a bit higher than the average to be accepted into the Faculty of Arts and Science.

  • Traditions:

  • High Table Dinners: In a very Hogwarts fashion, every Wednesday night Trinity students and faculty dress in black robes to dine together in Strachan Hall. The tables are arranged based on year with the faculty being seated at the front of the room.

  • Saints Ball: An annual charity ball organized by students with the week leading up to the main event being filled with festivities.

  • Literary Institute: The oldest debating society in Canada, this club is now known for its satirical debates, and hosts themed nights such as Guy Fawkes night and Robbie Burns night. They also hold an end of semester semi-formal for Trinity students called Bubbly.

  • Specialized Programs:

  • MARGARET MACMILLAN TRINITY ONE PROGRAM: This program provides first-year students with a small group learning environment to discuss issues concerning human life and world affairs.

  • requires a supplementary application into one of six streams within the program: Biomedical Health, Global Health, Environment, Ethics & Law, International Relations, and Policy, Philosophy and Economics

  • UPPER YEAR PROGRAM(S): In your upper years, you can apply to one of Trinity’s competitive seminar courses in either International Relations, Immunology, or Ethics, Society, and Law.

2. University College (1853):

  • About: The main University College building is at the center of the U of T campus, and is now a national historical site. Home to a lot of history, and a couple of ghost stories, University College is also one of the biggest colleges on campus. It has been a champion of inclusive education since it declared itself non-sectarian since its beginning.

  • Traditions:

  • The Fireball: In 1890, a fire that blazed during the annual student formal destroyed much of the college. Now, there is an annual formal called the Fireball to commemorate the fire hundreds of years ago

  • The Gargoyle: Established in 1954, this is a University College student newspaper that is published bi-weekly and features stories ranging from opinion pieces to cultural topics, to science, to poetry.

  • Specialized Programs:

  • UC ONE: This first-year program is very unique as all of the classes offered to take place within the city of Toronto. For example, Citizenship in the Canadian City. This program ensures students learn how to apply information to the world around them.

  • UPPER YEAR PROGRAM(S): In the upper-year, you can apply to one of the specialized programs sponsored by University College: Canadian Studies, Cognitive Science, or Health Science.

3. Victoria College (1836):

  • About: This is the oldest of the seven colleges, and has a reputation for excellence and creativity within the university. It is well-known for being an open and friendly academic environment with a tradition of social engagement. Similar to Trinity, this college also requires an application. One of their most notable alumni is Canadian author Margaret Atwood!

  • Traditions:

  • Caffiends: This is a volunteer, student-run cafe that also educates its customers on the importance of social justice issues such as fair trade and ethical sourcing.

  • Acta Victoriana: This is the longest-running student publication in Canada that is published once a year. Past contributors include former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson and author Margaret Atwood. Starting as a loyalist publication, it then progressed to an ‘anti-authority’ theme, and now publishes anything ranging from politics to literature to music.

  • Specialized Programs:

  • VIC ONE: This first-year program is seminar-based, and features weekly guest lecturers such as writers and public figures. Applicants will apply to one of the eight streams offered at Victoria: Commerce and Economics, Education & Society, Lit & the Humanities, Philosophy & Ethical Citizenship, Creative Arts & Society, Politics & Social Science, Physical & Mathematical Science, and Life Sciences.

  • UPPER YEAR PROGRAM(S): Upper year students can apply to one of seven specialized liberal arts-focused courses offered by Victoria College.

4. St. Micheal’s College (1853):

  • About: This college has religious historical roots, as it was founded due to a request made by the second Catholic bishop of Toronto. True to its roots, the college stands to welcome students of all backgrounds in order to teach them how to lead lives in the service of others. The college is also home to the university’s Faculty of Theology and even holds services within the building!

  • Specialized Programs:

  • FIRST YEAR PROGRAMS: For first-year students, St. Micheal’s College offers numerous small group seminars such as First-Year Foundations, which provides basic skills to help you through your transition, and the Gilson Seminar in Faith and Ideas, along with many others.

  • UPPER YEAR PROGRAMS: For upper-year students, there are numerous specialized courses mostly based on religious studies and history that are available from the college.

5. New College (1962):

  • About: The buildings that are associated with New College are the perfect representation of 1960s architecture, and provide a bit of a change from the style of the rest of the older colleges. New College has a reputation for being a fairly progressive college, and tend to focus more on student wellbeing, social justice, diversity, and global responsibility more than strict academics. Being more informal than the other colleges, New College encourages community outreach and social engagement.

  • Traditions:

  • The NEW: This is a blog run by New College students focusing on creative submissions such as vlogging, photo essays, videos, and blogs. The content mainly focuses on the college and current events such as culture, politics, and diversity.

  • Specialized Programs:

  • New ONE: This first-year seminar course called Learning Without Borders is all about questioning and exploring your daily life and the world around you. The course also includes visiting locations outside of the university to truly learn without barriers and to understand the content outside of normal academic situations.

  • UPPER YEAR PROGRAMS: As an upper-year, you have the option to take many specialized courses surrounded around cultural studies and equity studies.

6. Innis College (1964):

  • About: One of the youngest colleges on campus, Innis is an intimate and inclusive environment that values every student voice, greatly encouraging participating in student government and decision making.

  • Specialized Programs:

  • INNIS ONE: For first-year students, the Innis One: The Creative City program offers seminars that help students develop their creativity by exploring the urban environment. The seminar includes guest lecturers, films, and special field trips.

  • UPPER YEAR PROGRAMS: For upper-year students, they have the opportunity to partake in the three specialized programs offered by the college: Urban Studies, Cinema Studies, and Writing & Rhetoric.

7. Woodsworth College (1974):

  • About: The newest college in the university, this college is known for advocating for accessibility and equity. They view diversity as a strength and are dedicated to making opportunities for everyone.

  • Specialized Programs:

  • WOODSWORTH ONE: This seminar program offers two streams focused in the humanities: Order & Disorder, and Popular Culture Today. These programs include guest speakers, films, trips, and workshops to facilitate student learning.

  • UPPER YEAR PROGRAMS: Upper-year students have the opportunity to participate in one of three specialized programs offered by Woodsworth College: Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, Digital Humanities, and Industrial Relations & Human Resources.


Note: So those are the seven colleges of U of T! I know, a lot of information, and the whole system is still probably a little confusing. I’ll link the colleges’ respective websites down below in case you want to check any of them out in detail!


That was University of Toronto and what it offers in a nutshell! I hope you learned some valuable information through this blog, and if you want more information, there will be a resources section below with all the links you’ll need! Thanks for reading!


Resource Section:

University of Toronto: https://www.utoronto.ca/

U of T Mississauga: https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/

U of T Scarborough: https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/home/


Programs and Tuition:

Admission Requirements: https://future.utoronto.ca/apply/requirements/

Tuition and Finances: https://future.utoronto.ca/finances/


Colleges:

Woodsworth College: https://wdw.utoronto.ca/

Innis College: https://innis.utoronto.ca/

New College: http://www.newcollege.utoronto.ca/

St. Micheal’s College: https://stmikes.utoronto.ca/

Victoria College: https://www.vic.utoronto.ca/about-victoria/

University College: https://www.uc.utoronto.ca/

Trinity College: https://www.trinity.utoronto.ca/


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