Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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Economists need (more) math?

The arts program at U. of Toronto has a prerequisite of TWO high school math courses, which is one more than other universities.
Eric has to pick his Grade 12 classes tomorrow, and was asking about various courses. (I’m really not a fan of business, economics and law classes, because they’re content that universities typically build from the ground up). Eric was planning on taking 8 classes and dropping two. The presumed minimum is English and one math class, then electives.

Just to make sure, I thought I’d check the admission requirements at U. of Toronto. Eric isn’t exactly sure what he’ll study, but he isn’t a math guy. He could end up in international relations, or economics or something along those lines. For the U. of T. faculty of arts and science, we found …

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma
  • Six Grade 12 U/M courses, one of which must be English 4U
  • Grade 12 U/M courses for specific program of interest

Humanities and Social Sciences (including Economics)

  • Six Grade 12 U/M courses must include English 4U. Students applying to the Economics program must have Advanced Functions and Introductory Calculus, as well as either Geometry and Discrete Mathematics or Mathematics of Data Management.

That’s two Grade 12 math courses, not one. That’s a higher standard than the admission requirements at Queen’s University, UBC or McGill.

We’ve been encouraging Eric to keep up his math, because he’s pretty sure to need the first year university math course, to get into the requisite statistics class that comes in second year university.

I wonder how many high schools targeting arts programs will get surprised a year from now, when they’re writing their applications to the U. of Toronto.

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