utmONE First-Year Transition Courses

What is utmONE?

In a utmONE course, you will develop foundational learning strategies, and sharpen your academic skills. These for-credit first-year transition courses have a maximum lecture size of 55 and tutorial size of 28, which means you'll benefit from a unique small class experience with opportunities to connect meaningfully to your classmates, professor and teaching assistant (TA). 

Each utmONE course is taught by an outstanding professor and you will get the opportunity to engage and reflect on themes related to becoming a successful, well-rounded student in your lectures and tutorials.

Whichever utmONE course you choose, you will build a strong foundation for your university career.  See below for a list of available utmONE courses.

New UTM students can enrol themselves in one of these engaging and unique courses through ACORN on their course enrolment date.  More information about enrolling in a utmONE course can be found in the FAQs.

 Student testimonial

Student testimonial

What are the benefits of participating in a utmONE course?

Supportive classroom.  utmONE courses are smaller than most first-year classes, capped at 55 students per lecture and 28 students per tutorial.  This means you'll have more personal contact with your instructor, TA and fellow students.  You'll get to know your classmates and work together more than you might in a larger class.

Academic foundations. The skills you are taught in utmONE aren't only meant to support your success in utmONE courses, but to support you in your other courses throughout your entire degree.  You'll build a strong foundation including critical reading and writing skills, using academic sources, note-taking, time-management and preparing for exams while also exploring the theme of the course collaboratively with your classmates.

Holistic student success.  In class and in tutorial, you'll get to explore topics that will help you reflect on and develop strategies for your academic and personal success like building community, developing a growth mindset and becoming an engaged learner.  You'll explore the ways you can get involved that will support your interests and learning goals, and you'll find out more about how to be proactive in seeking support and connecting to the resources that will help you succeed.

0.5 credits toward your distribution requirements.  Each utmONE course is one-term in length and provides 0.5 credits toward your distribution requirements that you need to graduate.  Depending on the course, you can earn distribution credits in either Science (SCI), Social Science (SSc) or Humanities (HUM).

2021-22 utmONE Courses

UTM115: Communication Among Cultures (HUM, SSc)

This course is an introduction to intercultural communication primarily in the areas of writing and speaking. It is designed to address fundamental skills related to language use in the academic setting by focusing on topics such as customs, attitudes, beliefs, and values. Specific examples will be drawn from real-life university situations, and multiple viewpoints on the nature of diversity in communication will be discussed.  This course is suitable for English Language Learning and students interested in culture, linguistics and communication. 

UTM118: The Science of Learning (SSc, SCI)

This interdisciplinary course encourages students to take ownership of their education through a focus on the process of learning how to learn and by cultivating the habits of mind for lifelong achievement and success. Students will explore theories of learning and research on the strategies students should employ to reach deep understanding. 

Foundations LLC logo

Live and Learn with your UTM118 Classmates in Residence

Students interested in UTM118: The Science of Learning are also welcome to apply to the Foundations Living Learning Community (Foundations LLC).  For more information about the Foundations LLC please visit Student Housing and Residence Life here.


Please direct your questions to utm.one@utoronto.ca 


First-year transition refers to the experience of leaving high-school and starting your studies at university. This experience can be exciting, but it can be challenging to adjust to a new learning environment and adapt to new expectations. Often the approach you developed to learning and studying in high-school doesn’t quite fit with what is required of you in university. First-year transition programs and courses are designed to support you in developing learning strategies that you can use in your academic and personal life and will help to familiarize you with university resources and the campus community so that you can navigate your transition into university and get a good start to your academic career.
All incoming students can enroll in a utmONE course through ACORN on their enrollment date. For more information about ACORN and course enrollment visit the Office of the Registrar website.
Because they share similar learning outcomes, the utmONE courses are exclusions to each other. This means that you can only take one utmONE course for credit.
Yes! The utmONE courses provide 0.5 credits that can count toward the distribution requirements you need to graduate. In the course descriptions you will see HUM (Humanities), SSc (Social Science), and SCI (Science) which indicate which distribution requirements the course is applicable to.
Distribution requirements ensure that you get exposure to Humanities, Social Science and Science regardless of your program of study. In total, you will need to receive 1.0 credits in each category before you graduate. The courses you take for your distribution requirements can often be some of the most interesting courses you take because they offer a different perspective and disciplinary area than you are used to. For more information on distribution requirements visit the Office of the Registrar website.
Yes. utmONE courses and utmONE Scholars seminars are exclusions to each other. This means that you can only take one for credit. For more information on exclusions visit the Office of the Registrar website.
No. There are no pre-requisites for the utmONE courses. All incoming students are welcome to enroll, space allowing.
Yes. LAUNCH is a great complement to utmONE. LAUNCH is a first-year mentorship program consisting of interactive sessions facilitated by successful upper year students. LAUNCH can help you gain a sense of belonging to our campus community, get tips and advice from experienced students, and connect to resources and supports that will help you be successful. There are many sections of LAUNCH so that you can find time in your schedule to take a utmONE course and participate in LAUNCH. Visit the Centre for Student Engagement website to learn more about LAUNCH.