Question about Canadian universities.

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Postby Strangeone on Wed Nov 14, 2001 1:29 am

Is it difficult to switch majors once you've selected one? I was just wondering since, personal problems aside, Deirdre was so adamently against Anthropology that she dropped out of college instead of switching to a different program.
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Postby Sterling on Wed Nov 14, 2001 3:19 am

I know several people who've switched majors at Dalhousie. Though Dal isn't exactly as demanding as some of the better Canadian universities, its also not exactly Acadia. <IMG SRC=""> And Guelph is about the same ranking as Dal, IIRC. (?)<P>As for workload... High school here in NS is trivial. Even taking all honors courses, I often had more free time than I knew what to do with. University, OTOH... I'm in my second year of a CS program, and practically every course has weekly assignments of decidedly nontrivial proportions. The only ones that don't are generally either badly taught or first-year courses.<P>And the failure rate can be sobering. The average in my first-year Physics class was 60%. I will decline to discuss the dropout rate in my second-year stats course. A lot of material is covered in a relatively short timeframe.<P>On the other hand, our terms are <em>much</em> shorter than those of our friends south of the border. My fall term runs from early September to early December (less than five days into December) plus exams, and my winter term is early January to early April. (again, plus exams)<P>So while Deirdre may have dropped out instead of switching majors, I don't think its unreasonable to assume that she wasn't exactly doing wonderfully. (Probably only slightly above-average) And like Josh said, she'd probably have to start all over again, unless she was transferring into a similar program... Which probably wouldn't have been very appealing.<P>Mergh. Apologies for all the information.<P>------------------
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Postby flying squirrel on Wed Nov 14, 2001 5:33 am

It largely depends on the university. Usually, it's not all that hard. <P>It also kinda depends on *why* you're switching majors. I didn't go through the process myself, but it seems to me people switching to a different faculty pretty much become entrance candidates for that faculty. So if you're failing at your old major, unless your prospective new major is considerably less competitive, you're going to have a hard time convincing them to take you. (A corollary being that you can't just sign up for civil engineering and expect to jump to computer engineering unless you're doing really, really well).
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Postby flying squirrel on Wed Nov 14, 2001 10:22 am

'nother thing about Canadian universities I gleaned mostly from talking to foreign exchange students...<P>While Canadian (Ontario, I should say) highschools are pretty lax in terms of the levels of challenge and workload, the universities are pretty darn hard. (The reverse is apparently true in other countries, notably Japan and Britain, where having worked through highschool hell, university is a bit of a breeze).
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Postby Josh Phillips on Wed Nov 14, 2001 10:32 am

Flying Squirrel is unfortunately correct. :-/ In fact, Grade 9 seems to have been dumbed down significantly a couple times since I went through it (and it was dumbed down quite a bit just before I got there). And this is why I've always been a fan of the OAC program... it's university-level material in a familiar high school setting. The new HS grads without that OAC experience are gonna get a pretty rude awakening on their first day of post-secondary education. And I don't mean the first day of frosh.<P>As for the original question... Flying Squirrel was also pretty much correct that you get little help in entering a new major from your old one. To switch programs within your faculty might not be too difficult, because you might be able to carry over some credits into the new program. But if you're completely switching subjects, you're gonna have to start alllll over. Hence the annoyance of finding out in 3rd or 4th year that you hate your current major. :-)<P>Hm... now that I think about it, I'm not sure how they determine your entrance elgibility when you're *not* coming straight out of high school. They'll obviously keep your university grades in mind... otherwise, you might have to do aptitude tests or Qualifying Year courses to determine elgibility.<P>JOSH.<P>------------------
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