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hoidoime

Courseload importance?

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For context, currently in my 2nd year of undergrad at UofT. 

I've read that admissions looks at all factors holistically (i.e. intensity of program, course-load, types of courses etc.) when examining GPA rather than just taking it as a flat number. In my first year, I took a full course-load (5 courses per semester) and did well, and this year I'm currently enrolled in 5, but I'm debating dropping down to 4. I know that dropping to 4 more or less isn't more desirable than doing 5, but I want to know how big is the downside to taking 4 courses? Would I be significantly hurting my chances, or is it not a huge deal. Would 4 in fall and 5 in Winter make any difference? How about 4 in fall and 6 in winter? I'm planning on dropping a full year course that's a pre-req for some third year courses I need to take, so my plan is definitely to make up that course (and the accompanying credit deficit) in the summer session. In my third year, I intend to go back to the standard 5 courses per semester. 

Thanks in advance for your help! 

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I almost always took four courses during undergrad as opposed to 5 and it did not seem to affect me negatively one bit. 

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Almost everyone I know at Uoft law had a semester or two where they took fewer credits, or semesters with credit/no credit use. I'd suggest you don't make it a pattern but 1 won't be hugely detrimental.

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U of T used to specifically state that they wanted to see a full course load, i.e., five courses per semester. They apparently don't specify that any longer, although, it will always be a positive to have five per semester. One semester with fewer than five is unlikely to be an issue. Keep in mind, though, that U of T does not include summer course work in their gpa assessment.

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On 10/14/2018 at 8:27 AM, erinl2 said:

U of T used to specifically state that they wanted to see a full course load, i.e., five courses per semester. They apparently don't specify that any longer, although, it will always be a positive to have five per semester. One semester with fewer than five is unlikely to be an issue. Keep in mind, though, that U of T does not include summer course work in their gpa assessment.

Yeah, I've seen the summer courses thing a few places but I'm still a bit unclear on it. How does our academic record actually get assessed in the application? Do they look at cGPA only (if so, then how do summer courses not count?) or do they look at each course individually from Fall/Winter terms and just ignore Summer entirely? One other thing: when you say semester, does that mean entire academic year (i.e. both sessions, Fall AND Winter), or just 1 session (i.e. Fall OR Winter).

 

Edited by hoidoime

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12 minutes ago, hoidoime said:

Yeah, I've seen the summer courses thing a few places but I'm still a bit unclear on it. How does our academic record actually get assessed in the application? Do they look at cGPA only (if so, then how do summer courses not count?) or do they look at each course individually from Fall/Winter terms and just ignore Summer entirely? One other thing: when you say semester, does that mean entire academic year (i.e. both sessions, Fall AND Winter), or just 1 session (i.e. Fall OR Winter).

 

They look at your Best 3 years, not including summer courses. If you are applying in your fourth year, they will look only at your first three years (obviously), and you will submit your fall 2018 grades when they are revealed after your fall exams. Within your Best 3 years, they will look at patterns in your GPA (upward trend, downward trend), and they will see what courses you have taken, so don't be taking first year courses in your final year. They also want a full course load, but like I said the extent to which that really matters is questionable. Don't take less than four courses. Five is preferred. Semester means one half of one school year (fall semester = September to December, winter semester = January to April). 

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