What is the difference between the colleges at UOFT?

University of Toronto St George Campus has a college system for the Faculty of Arts & Science. If you’re applying to the school, you’ll want to know what makes each college distinct and different from all others. This will likely motivate your choice when the time comes to rank your preferred college. So, what’s the difference between colleges of UOFT?

There are seven colleges in U of T, which are Innis, Trinity, Victoria, Woodsworth, St Michael’s, New College, and University College. While there are several similarities, differences include upper-year residence, residence style, tuition, scholarships and programs, and proximity to buildings.

When choosing your college, it’s important to know the differences between the colleges and what’s peculiar to each of them. Here, we discuss the colleges in the U of T and the differences between the colleges.

Colleges at the University of Toronto

There are seven colleges at the University of Toronto, with them being unique in their own right. While it appears their initial purpose is to organize the large population of students in the school and ensure they all have access to the best resources and facilities. But these colleges have developed their unique culture, specialty programs, and style over time.

1.      Innis College

Innis College is the only one named after a professor at the University of Toronto in the person of Harold Innis. Well enough, it’s home to the Cinema Studies program. Other programs such as Urban Studies and Writing and Rhetorics are also here. Its futuristic student residence is one of the best things about it, and there’s also free film Fridays where the CINSSU explores different genres. Founded in 1964, it’s one of the smallest on campus.

2.      Trinity College

This is the smallest college on campus, having been founded in 1851, and for this reason, some consider it to be the most prestigious. However, the college still observes inherited traditions from the British such as formal high tables where attendees wear academic gowns. Programs within this college include Ethics Law and Society, Peace Conflict & Justice Studies, and International Relations. Unsurprisingly, the students are generally politically aware and outspoken. Many students here aspire for careers in international relations and law. Its banquet-style cafeteria is renowned for its tea, and you can expect lots of debates here. Robarts Library is quite close to this place. While the dining halls are great, other facilities in the residence might not be to your taste.

3.      Victoria College

This is the oldest and most historical college at the university. Since 1836 its halls have hosted some of the most prestigious figures in Canada. Popular actor Donald Sutherland and award-winning novelist Margaret Atwood were members of this prestigious hall. The college is known for its creativity, expressiveness, and being artistic. Programs in this college include Material Culture and History and Philosophy of Science. The atmosphere here is quite great, and there’s an abundance of English majors here.

4.      Woodsworth College

It’s one of the newer colleges in the university and has one of the best residences on campus. Given its recent establishment in 1974, its buildings and facilities are fairly new. Programs here include Employers Relations and Criminology. Even though it’s not specifically for Rotman Commerce students, it contains many students in this academic program. Their abundant presence has helped give the college a business casual style and appearance.

5.      University College

This is the most iconic college on campus due to its architecture and existence since 1853. Its antique gargoyles are one of the most popular sights at the University of Toronto. Programs such as Cognitive Science, Canadian Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies are here. It also hosts an annual  Cabaret, and its Fireball marking the great UC Fire of 1890 is well known all around campus. Residences here are either traditional or kitchen style, and it’s close to most engineering and science buildings.

6.      St. Michael’s College

Many regarded this college as the more religious due to being established at the request of the second catholic bishop of Toronto, Monsignor Armand Compte de Charbonnel, in 1853. The programs here also deal with history, theology, and media studies. The Book and Media Studies program is available at this college, and it has its newspaper, The Mike. Kelly Library is also a great place to check out if you’re interested in Media. St Mike’s is known for its party.

7.      New College

New College isn’t as new as its name sounds. In fact, it has been in existence since  1962 and is renowned for its residence architecture. You might get lost wandering the halls of New College, and it’s right next to the Earth Science department. Its architecture complements the Earth Science secret forest next to it. You’ll find several Buddhist Studies, Caribbean Studies, and Women and Gender Studies programs here.

Difference Between the Colleges

Each college at the University of Toronto has its rich history and heritage that makes it distinct. The differences include:

1.      Residence of Upper Year

Only first-year students guarantee residence on campus from the university itself. The residence of students in upper years will depend on each college. For example, in Trinity College, only students with at least a GPA of 3.7 can stay. All other students who want a room will have to enter a lottery to stand a chance of getting space. Students whose parents live in Toronto and who don’t have a GPA of at least 3.7 can’t enter the lottery.

2.      Proximity to Facilities and Buildings

No matter which college you’re staying in, everywhere in the UOFT is accessible and within walking distance. But your college may be a bit far from where your classes are. For example, if you’re staying in St Michaels or Victoria and you’re not a humanities major, you’ll have to go through Queens Park every day to get to class.

3.      Residence Style

Another notable thing about the colleges is the residence types. Some, such as Woodsworth and Innis Colleges, have only single rooms. University College, New College, St Mikes, and Trinity College have single and double rooms. At Victoria College, first-years only have access to double rooms. Of course, you don’t have to stay in residence at your college, and you can get residence in a different college or try to apply to the Chestnut Residence.

4.      Academic Programs and Scholarships

Each college has affiliation to certain programs. This doesn’t mean you have to belong to the college before taking the programs. These colleges also have scholarships that are for their members solely. Victoria College appears to have the highest number of scholarships.

5.      Tuition

The cost of tuition also differs from one college to another depending on meal plans and other resources. Woodsworth and Innis colleges. But University college, Victoria, and Trinity are the most expensive. So, you’ll have to consider this when making your choice.

In Conclusion

Each college on campus has its unique advantages and characteristics that might just make it ideal for you. It’s up to you to decide which one is most suitable for your needs. But the peculiarities are also worth noting.

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