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Frequently asked questions

Qualifying Course

What is a qualifying course?

This is a course you’ll take at the University of Toronto. It’s called a qualifying course because it’s the first step you’ll take towards qualifying for admission into U of T. You’ll need to obtain a grade of 60 per cent or more in your qualifying course in order to continue on the Diploma to Degree pathway.

Which qualifying course should I take?

It’s important to select a qualifying course that’s related to one of your programs of interest. However, don’t enrol in a course that’s equivalent to one of the transfer credits you’ll be receiving from your college studies. Because you’ll already be receiving up to six transfer credits that count as first-year (100-level) courses, it’s best to choose a second-year (200-level) qualifying course. Email us to learn more about selecting qualifying courses and programs.

May I take my qualifying course at U of T while I’m still attending classes at my college?

It’s best to take your qualifying course at U of T during a time when you are not taking any courses at your college – ideally, during U of T’s summer session. If you decide to attend classes at U of T and at your college simultaneously, make sure to avoid scheduling conflicts and allow sufficient travel time to get back and forth between campuses.

I have attempted or completed prior university studies, am I eligible to take a qualifying course?

The Diploma to Degree program is designed to give students enrolled at one of our partner institutions with no prior university experience a pathway to degree studies. If you have previously attempted or completed university studies, we recommend reaching out as soon as possible to discuss your options. Each student's record must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. You will need to submit transcripts for all previous institutions attended.

Please note we are unable to award transfer credit for any studies completed prior to your diploma studies.

Transferring into degree studies

Will I receive transfer credits?

Yes, you’ll receive up to six transfer credits from the courses you completed during your two-year college diploma. You’ll also retain the credit that you earned in your qualifying course at U of T. Learn more about the transfer credits you’ll receive.


What is a program?

A program is a group of courses in a specific discipline (e.g., history). Programs come in three different levels: specialist, major and minor. All students in the Faculty of Arts & Science need to be enrolled in what is called an “appropriate combination of programs.” Appropriate combinations are:

  • 1 specialist
  • 2 majors
  • 1 major and 2 minors

I’ve heard that it’s difficult to get into some programs – like criminology, economics, or international relations. Is this true?

Some programs have special requirements for entry. These are called Limited Enrolment Programs. These programs have special entry requirements which may include completing one or more required courses, achieving a minimum grade in a course or going through a special application process.

If you’re interested in one of these programs, we recommend that you have a few other programs in mind as a backup in case you don’t get admitted into your preferred program(s). Contact us to learn more about special entry requirements for programs.

Note: Criminology programs will not accept your transfer credits for program entry. Entry into the program is based on courses you take at U of T.

Why does this program not typically provide entry into computer science, psychology or Rotman Commerce programs?

  • Specific high school courses are often needed to pursue most of these programs.
  • Also, there are often specific first-year course requirements for these programs. Since you’ll be admitted as a second-year student, you won’t have easy access to these required first-year courses. This can significantly extend your degree studies and cost additional time and money.

I want to become a doctor/dentist. Is this pathway for me?

Medicine and dentistry are second entry programs, which means you must apply after you’ve completed undergraduate requirements in the Life Sciences. 

  • Specific high school courses in the Life Sciences are needed to pursue Life Science programs. 
  • Also, there are often specific first-year course requirements for Life Science programs. Since you’ll be admitted as a second-year student, you won’t have easy access to these required first-year courses. This can significantly extend your degree studies and cost additional time and money.


How much will it cost?

Course Fees 

If you enrol in 3.5 Full Course Equivalent (FCE) credits or less during the Fall/ Winter session, you will be charged Course Fees, which are calculated on a per-course basis.

Details on Course Fees can be found on the Student Accounts website.

Other Costs 

Your financial plan should factor in non-academic costs of attending university such as housing, meals, transportation and books. The U of T Future Students page contains some estimates that can help you get started with your budgeting. 

Is there financial aid available?

If you’re planning to take your qualifying course and you have financial concerns, please contact our office so that we can connect you to our financial aid advisor. You may be eligible to apply for a bursary.

When is the payment deadline?

You’ll need to pay or defer your fees by the listed payment deadline; otherwise, you may be removed from your courses.

Can I defer my tuition?

If you’re receiving OSAP, you can register without paying the “minimum required payment to register” amount shown on your ACORN invoice.

  • Under the Finances tab on ACORN, scroll down and click on Tuition Fee Deferral.
  • If you’re unable to defer your fees online, please contact the Diploma to Degree Program Office before the payment deadline to demonstrate your OSAP funding assessment, and we will manually defer your fees if you are eligible.

How do I get a refund?

University of Toronto refund policies and deadlines may be quite different from those at your college. These refund policies and deadlines are not flexible. 

If you withdraw from courses early in the session, you may be eligible for a refund of some portion of your fees. Refunds are calculated based on the date that you formally drop a course on ACORN. Check the Student Accounts website to see refund policies and deadlines.

Please note:

  • You’ll be charged for all courses you’ve enrolled in, whether or not you attend class.
  • It’s important to keep your mailing address current on ACORN because all mail from the University, including refund cheques, will be sent to this address. U of T is not responsible for lost mail due to having an out-of-date mailing address on file.