Undergraduate Students

In Canada, an undergraduate student is a student who is working towards a bachelor’s degree, sometimes known as an undergraduate degree. They are different from graduate students who are studying their subject at a higher level than the undergraduate level, having (usually) already been awarded a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject.

Student holds stack of books while moving into residence

As a family or friend of a U of T student, you can help your student adjust by referring them to on-campus services, supports and resources. Below are tips on where to refer your student if they ask you for help.

If your student…  Refer them to…  
Has specific questions about their academics [program (requirements, specializations, transfers), courses (enrolment, withdrawal), timetable changes, academic deadlines] RegistrarsCurrent Students
 Academic Advising and SupportAccessible Campus Online Resource Network (ACORN)  
Needs support with time management, exam preparation, presentation skills or project management skillsAcademic Success
Needs academic accommodations to support a known, or suspected, temporary or permanent/chronic disability Accessibility Services
Needs support with writing their assignments  Writing Centres
Needs support with specific course/material Tutoring Support
Needs support with finding academic resources, research support or access to technology and/or other equipment Ask Chat with a Librarian
If your student…  Refer them to…  
Feels ill or would like preventative healthcareHealth & Wellness
Has questions about their student health insurance plan  UTSU Health & Dental Insurance Plan
Wants to join a gym, attend a fitness class or join a sports league U of T Facilities & Memberships
Needs to talk about a mental health issueNaviHealth & WellnessU of T Telus Health Student Support (formerly My SSP)
Needs support to address an act of racism or discriminationAnti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office
Needs sexual and gender diversity support or seeks connection with the LGBTQ2S+ community Sexual and Gender Diversity Office
Wants interpersonal conflict resolution support (including roommate disputes) Navigating Conflict WorkshopsHousing Conflict CoachingEmergency Housing
Needs addiction support and substance-use management Health & WellnessCentre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Would like to gain basic skills and information on how to support people experiencing mental health challengesIdentify, Assist and Refer Training (IAR)  
IAR may be completed by family members and friends of U of T students. *See below.
If your student…Refer them to…  
Is looking for a job (on and off campus employment opportunities, job shadowing programs, work study program, etc.) CLNx – Jobs & Recruitment
Is looking for volunteer opportunities  CLNx – Volunteer Postings
Needs resume/interview help Career Exploration & Education
Is looking for experiential Learning opportunities (co-op opportunities, practical placements) Experiential Learning Hub
If your student…Refer them to…  
Has questions about financial aid opportunities like the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), other forms of funding, awards, scholarships, Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP), University Health Insurance Plan, or more U of T Financial Aid
Is looking for scholarship opportunities U of T Awards
If your student…  Refer them to…  
Is looking for housing or accommodations (on or off campus)On Campus HousingOff Campus Housing FinderDisability-Related Residence AccommodationsAnnual Housing Fair, General Housing from a Housing Educator
Needs temporary or emergency housing or is moving out (on or off campus)Emergency HousingTemporary HousingMoving Out 
Is experiencing a housing-related disputeHousing-related CoachingRental Housing AdviceHousing Rights & Housing Related Legal Advice
Needs to find a potential roommate or the right roommateHousing – Find a roommate

If your student…  Refer them to… 
Has questions about their visa or immigration office  Immigration Advisor
Wants to learn more about Canadian culture  University Life: Toronto & GTA
Wants to connect with other students who share their cultural background  All Campus Clubs 
Wants to explore Inter-cultural Experiences and Learn Abroad Opportunities Centre for International ExperienceLearn Abroad Programs 
Is looking for spiritual connection and support Multi-Faith Centre for Spiritual Study & Practice
If your student…  Refer them to…  
Is looking for safety and support travelling across campusTravelSafer Program
Is working alone on campus and would like safety check-ins  Work Alone Program
Is looking for general safety and support, wants to report an incident or needs further support  Campus Safety Special Constable Service

Identify, Assist, Refer Online Training* 

Identify, Assist, Refer (IAR) is a free 30-minute online mental health training provided by U of T’s Student Life department. The IAR prepares participants with skills and information to support students and other individuals experiencing challenges that impact mental health. The IAR discusses how to recognize student distress, begin a supportive conversation and make an effective referral. The online training can be completed anytime, by U of T students, faculty, staff and other supporters of students, such as family and friends. For more information or to begin the IAR training, visit the Identify, Assist and Refer webpage

While we encourage family and friends to support their student’s success at U of T, be aware that only your student has automatic access to their grades, health records and other personal information. It is University policy and provincial law that U of T cannot release details about a student to anyone (even parents and other family members/friends) without the student’s written consent. At U of T, students should bring any concerns they have about academic performance, rules and deadlines directly to their faculty member (teacher/course instructor) and/or to their registrars’ office. Registrars are also students’ first stop for important dates, academic information, financial aid and academic advising. If your student has any questions about their academics at U of T, we highly recommend that they reach out to their campus or college registrar.

As a family member or friend of a newly admitted U of T student, you may be interested in some of the experiences students can encounter during their first year at university.

  • Your student may be adjusting to a new learning and/or living environment (being in a new place, community, culture, new learning technology platforms, teaching styles etc.).  
  • Your student may be experiencing financial changes and/or new financial obligations (new school-related or accommodation costs, increased financial independence and/or changes in their sources of income/funding or employment situation, etc.). 
  • Your student may be experiencing a new social scene and lifestyle (changes in their daily routines, sleep/eating and communication norms, new friends, new interests, etc.).  

Some resources that may help: register with Accessibility ServicesAccessibility Services HandbookStarting PointMentorship & Peer Programsfinancial aidtransition services for international studentsIT (Canvas/Quercus) support services for students, Recognized Study Groups/Course Affiliated Study Groups, athletic centres and physical recreation opportunities

  • Your student may be adjusting their academic habits to meet university expectations (they may be anxious about upcoming mid-term exams and assignment due dates). 
  • Your student may have mixed emotions about the Fall term break (Thanksgiving break) and express changes in their relationships (they may have experienced intimate or interpersonal (peers/roommate) changes/challenges, they might feel homesick or wish to spend their break at school, etc.).  

Some resources that may help: Health & WellnessMental Health Supports and Tools for StudentsStudy HubsAcademic Success

  • Your student may still be adjusting to university academics (they may have received midterm feedback/test results, their marks may not be similar to previous education and they may express interest in withdrawing from a Fall term course (dropping a class) or making changes to their Winter term course timetable.  
  • They may feel overwhelmed as their first semester comes to an end (they may be balancing multiple academic due dates/deadlines and tasks such as, independent assignments, research, test preparations, group work, etc.).  

Some resources that may help: Academic Success, Academic Advising and SupportUniversity of Toronto Library ServicesRegistrarsDropping Courses.

  • Your student may be feeling nervous about submitting their final assignments and writing their final exams.  
  • Your student may have mixed emotions as the semester ends and the season changes (emotional, physical and transportation challenges due to seasonal weather, some students may be excited to return home for the holidays while others may feel lonely or bored while not engaged in classes, some students may express their interest in lifestyle changes such as, new personal routines, household rules, boundaries).  
  • They may be experiencing financial changes [preparing to pay for winter term costs, books, etc., additional transportation costs, they may return to or suspend their employment, increase their work hours, engage in seasonal employment].  

Some resources that may help: Health & WellnessStudy HubsUniversity of Toronto Library ServicesFinancial Aid, Career Exploration & EducationRecognized Study Groups/Course Affiliated Study Groups. 

  • Your student may feel a mix of emotions upon returning to school (they may be excited about starting a new term of classes, anxious about their first term or about paying for second semester costs).   
  • Your student may be interested in getting more involved in campus life, in new engagement opportunities and campus communities (they may feel more ‘settled’ and comfortable with being a university student, they may be looking for additional ways to engage in campus life, ways to create new friendships and/or explore new interests).   
  • Your student may be making plans and preparing for their summer (summer job hunt, co-op term/practical placement, internships/experiential learning opportunities, learning abroad programs, summer term courses, etc.).  

Some resources that may help: U of T Jobs & RecruitmentExperiential Learning HubLearning AbroadGet Involved on CampusAlternative Reading WeekFinancial Support & Funding Opportunities, Athletic Centres and Physical Recreation Opportunities.  

  • Your student may be looking forward to winter break/reading week (they may want to spend their reading week at home or with friends, engage in independent travel or take part in school-related extra-curricular programming, such as an alternative reading week).  
  • Your student may be focused on their academics (adjusting their academic habits to meet second semester expectations and teaching styles, preparing for their mid-term exams and assignments). 

Some resources that may help: Off-Campus HousingCareer AdvisingAcademic Advising and Support.  

  • Your student may be considering their options for the next academic year [considering whether their grades and courses match their program’s requirements, considering their program of study/academic options (whether to specialize within their program/transfer to another program/institution), researching or re-applying for scholarships/bursaries/financial aid, housing options for the upcoming academic year, etc.].  
  • Your student may also be finalizing their summer plans (employment, housing, internships/experiential learning/volunteer work, summer courses).

Some resources that may help: Experiential Learning HubLearning AbroadAcademic Advising and SupportStudy HubsU of T Jobs & Recruitment.

  • Your student may have mixed emotions as the semester ends (overwhelmed/stressed by final assignments and exams, uncertain/relieved/excited/sad about the end of the term and the school year).  
  • Your student may experience a sense of transition at the end of the school year (they may return home or change accommodations, may seek new forms of independence, household rules and boundaries, they may commit to summer plans or feel uncertain about their summer, express new interests, lifestyle changes, personal routines, etc.).  

Some resources that may help: Get Involved on CampusAcademic Advising and SupportHealth & WellnessStudy HubsUniversity of Toronto Library ServicesFinancial Aid, Career Exploration & Education.

  • Your student may be engaging and adjusting to the pace of spring term courses (May to June) or summer term (July to August).  
  • Your student may engage in a co-op term, internship, learn abroad or experiential learning program or summer employment opportunities. 
  • Your student may be preparing for their Fall academic term and/or applying for on-campus employment, volunteer and extracurricular opportunities.

Some resources that may help: Off-Campus HousingAcademic Advising and SupportHealth & WellnessStudy HubsUniversity of Toronto Library ServicesFinancial Aid, Career Exploration & Education, Experiential Learning HubU of T Jobs & Recruitment.