Graduate students – over 400 masters and PhD students – help push forward the boundaries of scientific knowledge and are a cornerstone of the highly educated workforce the national economy requires. Students work closely with leaders in their fields in both course work and on research projects. While the research lab and their thesis project is the focus of a graduate student’s life there are many other opportunities for expanding one’s horizons. For most graduate students teaching in undergraduate labs is a major role (and source of financial support); plus there are numerous clubs and student associations that vie for your attention. Graduate students also run a York chapter of Let’s Talk Science, an organization that delivers science curriculum to schools in our community.
Life as an undergraduate is full of exciting and competing opportunities that only a large institution can provide. Besides your courses, taught by professors who love to engage and stimulate new minds, you’ll meet like-minded students from around the world who challenge and stimulate your thought. Laboratories support your learning with practical experiences focused on course objectives. Outside the classroom you’ll find student clubs and associations spanning the diverse activities that characterize a questing, curious, and ambitious community focused on challenging and changing the world.
You’re not alone! Graduate students are supported by dedicated staff within their department; and of course by research supervisors and other faculty members who are just an office away. Undergraduates are supported both by professors who are focused on your needs as a learner, and by staff in both the departments and in a Faculty-wide Office of Science Academic Services. Student-centered, service-oriented – friendly help is at your fingertips.
Complementing the Classroom
Peer tutoring and peer-oriented learning and support services are organized by Bethune College, the science and engineering college. Peer-led learning support focuses on first year transition and study skills in the key foundational sciences and mathematics. Bethune College is the locus of much science-based student activity at the University. Many clubs are housed in the College and the Bethune student residence cements an on-campus community for science and engineering students.
Besides in-course applied learning opportunities such as laboratories and group project work, York Science offers co-op and internship opportunities in selected disciplines. In partnership with the Career Centre we’re focused on expanding such opportunities to all students. Experiential education opportunities in the workplace are critical in both enhancing learning and providing pathways to future careers. In addition, for undergraduate students who aim to pursue graduate studies and a possible research career in science there are many opportunities for experience in the research lab. Typically around 40 students earn NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research awards each year and many others participate in research through either practicum courses (these are free, zero credit courses that appear on the transcript) or on a voluntary basis.