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Integrated Sciences

The objective of Integrated Sciences (IS) is to provide a strong science education with an interdisciplinary component. The program offers flexibility in course selection to independently motivated students who have cross-disciplinary interests. IS may be appropriate preparation for many professional degree programs (e.g., in Health Sciences, Education, Law, Journalism, M.B.A. programs), as well as for graduate programs. Admission to graduate studies in certain fields may require additional qualifying studies. The Honours option is recommended for excellent students considering graduate studies. These students are advised to consult the appropriate graduate advisor in the department they plan to attend and plan their program accordingly.

Integrated Sciences provides:

  • an opportunity for students to design their own interdisciplinary course of study;
  • an admission process which encourages students to develop their educational goals under an advisor's guidance; and
  • Integration (ISCI) courses to guide students in developing a wider perspective of scientific concepts which cross disciplinary boundaries. These courses are intended to develop a broad appreciation of the links between disciplines and their impact on society. The focus of these courses will be on student-initiated learning to reinforce skills in information gathering, and analysis and presentation in written, oral and visual forms.

For detailed information about the program see Integrated Sciences.

Admission

Students will be admitted to the major program prior to entering second year and continue in the major program or transfer to the honours program in third year on the following basis.

Second-Year Integrated Sciences Admission Requirements:

  • Fulfillment of the Faculty of Science requirements for promotion to second-year standing.
  • Submission to the program of a statement of academic goals, and approval by an IS advisor that the student's goals match those of the program.
  • Satisfactory past academic performance and successful completion of the key prerequisites.

Third-Year Admission/Continuation Requirements:

  • Fulfillment of the Faculty of Science requirements for promotion to third-year standing.
  • Submission to the program of a statement of academic goals and approval by an IS advisor that the student's goals match those of the program.
  • Submission to the program of a proposal for the courses that will be completed to meet IS and Science graduation requirements and a rationale for the choice of these courses, emphasizing the integrative nature of the program.
  • Approval of the course proposal and rationale by IS.
  • Satisfactory past academic performance and successful completion of the key prerequisites.

Additionally, students applying to the honours program must meet the minimum Faculty of Science honours program requirements.

Application

Students must use the online application. Students must find an IS mentor (see IS website for a list of IS advisors) who guides them during the development of their goals, course proposal and rationale, and approves their application. Students may submit applications at any time during the year, but are encouraged to consult with their IS advisor and submit the appropriate components of their application well in advance of the commencement of registration for second and/or third year.

Students develop their own curriculum based on an overarching theme of integrating scientific disciplines of their choice. Normally, the proposed courses will contain a cluster of credits of 300- or 400-level courses bridging the scientific disciplines that the student wishes to integrate. Inclusion of several 400-level courses in a program is essential, since a good standing in these may influence the opportunities a student may have after graduation. Continuation or admission into third year of the major or honours program commits the student to complete a specified list of upper-level science courses. Any change in the original list of courses requires approval of IS. To change their course list, students must have approval from their IS advisor and the IS administration. Students should consult the IS website concerning the regulations for course changes.

While IS will strive to accommodate as many students as possible, some enrolment restrictions may apply. Students whose programs are uniquely suited to the integrative, flexible character of the program, but would not be easily accommodated by departmentally based programs within the Faculty will have priority. In addition, evidence of student independence, responsibility and past academic performance will be considered.

Please see Integrated Sciences for information on application forms and guidelines for preparing a program.

Graduation Requirements

For the IS degree options, the Faculty's Graduation Requirements apply. The required credits in the disciplines and the Integration (ISCI) courses fulfil part of the minimum upper-level credit requirement.

Major (1682): Integrated Sciences (INSC)

  • Completion of a minimum of 33 credits of approved 300- or 400-level science courses in the areas of integration, with at least 9 credits in each area. There must be at least 6 credits numbered at the 400-level, and when possible there should be at least one 400-level course in each discipline. No more than 6 credits of directed studies can be counted in the integration.
  • Completion of 7 ISCI credits, including the 1-credit seminar course ISCI 300. ISCI 448 directed studies projects do not count toward this ISCI requirement.
  • Students must complete 9 credits of breadth electives in Arts or science outside the field of major for their degree program. The field of major will be identified by the IS advisor upon approval of the student's program. See Graduation Requirements for a description of all Faculty degree requirements.
  • Approved programs are developed in consultation with IS advisors and must be approved by an advisor and IS. See the Curriculum Requirements for details.

Honours (001511): Integrated Sciences

  • Completion of a minimum of 42 credits of approved 300- or 400-level science courses in the areas of integration, with at least 12 credits in each area. There must be at least 12 credits numbered at the 400-level, and when possible there should be at least one 400-level course in each discipline.
  • Completion of 7 ISCI credits, including the 1-credit seminar course ISCI 300. ISCI 448 directed studies projects do not count toward this ISCI requirement.
  • Completion of a 6-credit Honours thesis (449 course) in a subject related to one or more of the disciplines.
  • Approved programs are developed in consultation with IS advisors and must satisfy the Faculty of Science requirements for honours programs. Students must complete 30 credits each Winter session and maintain a minimum sessional average of at least 68% prior to third-year standing and at least 75% subsequent to third-year standing. See Curriculum Requirements and Degree Requirements for details.

Options

Options within IS include the following:

  • Directed studies. IS encourages directed study experiences for major and honours students (courses numbered 448 in IS or Science departments). Space is usually limited and IS advisors will assist students wishing to apply to science departments for directed study. Directed studies credits will not count toward the required credits of ISCI Courses.
  • Minors. Students may, with the approval of their IS advisor and a senior faculty advisor, undertake an optional minor program in Arts or in Commerce in conjunction with a major or honours program in Integrated Sciences.

Co-operative Education Program

Co-operative Education is a process of education which integrates academic study with related and supervised work experience in co-operating employer organizations. An optional Co-operative Education Program is available for major and honours students in Integrated Sciences.

The Program is intended to help prepare interested and qualified students for research careers in industry, university, or government settings with 16 months of work placement (i.e. four work terms) in at least two different research areas supervised by scientists in industrial, academic, or governmental positions. Faculty advisors also visit students at their place of work and provide advice on technical reports required of all students in the program.

To be eligible, students must be in Integrated Sciences with at least high second-class standing, and they must have completed at least one semester in this program, which includes having taken at least one Integrated Sciences core course (ISCI). Admission is by application to the Science Co-op Office in conjunction with the application to Integrated Sciences, or in April prior to fourth year (transfer students may be considered later). Selection of students will be based on academic performance and general suitability to the work environment as determined by resume and interview. The total enrolment will be subjected to the availability of appropriate work placements and faculty advisors.

The work placements are arranged by mutual agreement between students and employing organizations. Participating students register for ISCI 398, 399, 498, or 499 as appropriate, and pay the Cooperative Education Program fee per course.

Graduation in the Co-operative Education Program for Integrated Sciences requires a student to complete all of ISCI 398, 399, 498, and 499, in addition to the normal academic requirements. Students can decide the timing of their work placements upon consultation with the Co-op office and with their academic advisor in IS.

Two examples of standard schedules are:

  1. ISCI 398 in Winter Session (Term Two) of third year, ISCI 399 in Summer Session following third year, ISCI 498 in Summer Session following fourth year, ISCI 499 in Winter Session (Term One) of fifth year.
  2. ISCI 398 in Summer Session following third year, ISCI 399 in Winter Session (Term One) of fourth year, ISCI 498 in Winter Session (Term Two) of fourth year, ISCI 499 in Summer Session following fourth year. Students will have each satisfactorily completed course noted on their academic record.

Detailed information on the program may be obtained from the Coordinator for Integrated Sciences or from the Co-operative Education Program.

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