How do I choose a college at university of Toronto?

The University of Toronto is the best in Canada and one of the most highly rated in the world. The school has three campuses in Ontario, with the main campus being the St George campus in Toronto. The St. George campus houses the Faculty of Arts and Science and has several colleges for its students. So, how do you choose a college at the University of Toronto?

The St George Campus of the University of Toronto has a college system that requires every student in the Faculty of Arts & Science to be a member of one of the seven colleges. Before ranking your preferred college, it’s important to research, visit the campus if possible, and consider your program.

While it’s important to fully consider your options before choosing a college, your college choice doesn’t necessarily determine your school experience. It’s possible to even transfer from one college to another.

The College System in the University of Toronto

Although the University of Toronto has three campuses, the College system only applies to the St George campus. All Arts and Science students can join one of the seven colleges available here. For most U of T students, the colleges are crucial parts of their university experience. Even if you’re not living in residence, you’ll still be a member of a college. These colleges’ opportunities for enriching your social and academic life while in the University are unbeatable. That’s why it’s important to select the most fitting one for you. There are seven colleges at the University of Toronto, and they are:

  • Innis College
  • Trinity College
  • Victoria College
  • Woodsworth College
  • University College
  • St. Michael’s College
  • New College

A college offers students a supportive and friendly community within the Arts and Science faculty. The system has been in operation since the early days of U of T. Each of these colleges has its unique features, but their services are all the same. The services include:

  • Bursaries and scholarships
  • Accommodation for students who want to stay on campus
  • Academic, learning and personal supports
  • Social events and orientation programs
  • Library services

How To Select Your College

To apply for admission into a college in U of T, you’ll have to rank your college preferences on the Ontario University Application Center (OUAC) application. All of these colleges have great features, but you likely have your preferences that’ll determine which one you like the most. Some colleges may also have specific application requirements, such as Trinity College and Victoria College, that require you to complete their applicant profile. Once you’ve completed the application and all requirements, you only need to wait till your offer of admission comes out. This can take between 3 – 6 months.

Your college membership would be based on your preferences, admission category and admission average. The admission categories subsume the over 330 undergraduate programs available at the Faculty of Arts & Science. Six admission categories identify your area of study, and it’s after the first year that you can choose your program or combination of programs. The categories are:

  • Computer science
  • Humanities
  • Life sciences
  • Physical and mathematical sciences
  • Rotman Commerce
  • Social Sciences

What To Do Before Selecting Your College of Choice

Before you go ahead to complete the OAUC, it’s important to do the following so you can select a college that’s most suitable for you.

1.      Research

When selecting your college, don’t rely solely on hearsay or one person’s opinion. You must research thoroughly. Doing this shouldn’t be too hard as you can check the colleges’ websites to see what they offer. There are lots of things to consider when making your choice. These include location, membership size, religious affiliation, traditions, residence space, type, etc. There are also some specific benefits for members of certain colleges. For example, graduates of Upper Canada College, Toronto, are eligible for the A.L. Cochrane Scholarship at Victoria College. This scholarship is a $4000 award for students who have proven excellence and passion for sports. No matter what you’re considering, research helps you make the best choice based on available information.

2.      Visit St George Campus

If you can, you should also visit the campus to see the colleges for yourself and get to experience the environment of these colleges before going ahead to choose one. Nothing beats visiting to see what each college has to offer and maybe talking to college members. Of course, visiting is only advisable when living in Canada and close to the University. In such cases, it can just be a small excursion for you to get a feel of university life before moving.

3.      Consider your Choice of Program

While your college membership doesn’t do with your academic program, each college hosts different programs. This means being a member of a college hosting your program makes it easy for you to access facilities related to your program. The ease of access may therefore be a factor when choosing your college. Students in Physical Education, Music, and Applied Science & Engineering don’t need to be in college due to their faculties’ small size, ensuring they have the community and services they need. But they can apply for residence in any of the colleges.

4.      Rank Your Most Preferred College as A First Choice

After doing adequate research and all considerations, you’ll probably have an idea of where you’d like to stay. In that case, make sure the college you like the most ranks as your first choice, and you can then add the others in order of preference. Generally, all colleges in the University of Toronto prefer students who have them as the first choice. However, colleges such as Victoria College, Innis College, and Trinity College won’t admit anyone that doesn’t rank them as the first choice.

Thus, if any of these colleges is your choice, make sure you rank it as number one to even stand a chance of getting in. Rotman Commerce students who want to be a member of Woodsworth college and live in its residence will have to rank it first. If your first-choice college doesn’t pick you, the next college on the list will likely consider you unless it’s one of the three colleges that only admit those who make them their first choice. As long as you meet the required point total for St George Campus admission, you can be sure that one of the colleges on the campus will give you admission.

In Conclusion

The college system at U of T is a crucial part of your experience there. If you get admission into the St. George Campus, you’ll have to choose any of the seven campuses available. Each of them has its distinct features, and it’s important to know certain things before deciding the one you’ll go for.

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