The International Bachelor of Science (iBSc) in Biology at York is an exceptional opportunity, unique in Canada. Our Biology department has a world-renowned reputation for leading-edge research. While on your path to becoming a biologist, you will also be developing international competencies that are invaluable in today’s globalized world. Through your courses at York and your international exchange, you will gain first-hand knowledge and understanding of the history, culture, language, and lifestyle of another country.
There are three components to the iBSc program at York: the science component, the international component, and the language component. The 120-credit program is composed of 90 credits of science courses, 12 credits of language courses, and 18 credits of non-science international content courses. You will also be participating in at least one exchange term where you will study full-time in another country. Your exchange will be with one of York’s partner institutions in 32 countries around the globe.
As you move through your degree program you will have access to advisors who will work with you to design a program that meets your needs and interests. Your options broaden as you move to more senior levels of study. Your first year courses will probably consist of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Use, Mathematics, and a language course. Your second year courses will include a selection of core courses in Biology (Organic Chemistry is also an option) as well as a language course or an international content course. In your third and fourth years you will focus on more specialized biology courses, as well as completing the language and international content requirements. You will also be participating in an exchange abroad that will typically take place in your third year, though second or fourth year are also possible.
For your language requirement you may choose any modern language offered at York including Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Modern Greek, Hindi, Italian, and Swahili. Testing of your proficiency in your chosen language will be given in the beginning to ensure you are placed at the appropriate level. Should you be found fluent in that language, you will be required to choose a different one. In many cases the language you choose will be the language spoken in the country where you plan to go on exchange; however, there is flexibility in the program to accommodate individual preferences. If you wish to study in a country where English is the language of instruction, you will still need to study a second language.
The content of your international courses will probably focus on a country, region or theme related to your exchange. For example, if your region of interest is East Asia, a course you might take is China: 21st Century Superpower. If you are more interested in Latin America, you might choose 20th Century Mexico. If health-related issues intrigue you, a course option for you is Anthropology of International Health. Again, the program is flexible enough to accommodate more eclectic tastes.
Facilities and Opportunities
While completing your major in Biology, you will also have a chance to take part in special opportunities offered by the Biology Department. For example, you could participate in field courses at sites varying from the arctic to Costa Rica to Mongolia, or join a research team with one of our internationally-recognized faculty members. If, after your first exchange, you wish to have another global experience, we will provide additional opportunities for you to do so. For example, you can participate in an additional term of study abroad or enjoy summer school abroad. York International also has a vibrant International Internship Program, which includes International Research Internships for Science students.
The added bonus that the iBSc offers, of course, is the exchange with one of our partner institutions. This exciting international experience, combined with your international courses and a second language, will give you a definite edge within a market where multinational companies are common and “global competencies” are increasingly valued by employers. These comprehensive skills include cultural sensitivity, foreign language ability, problem solving, critical thinking, adaptability, maturity, and an openness to new experiences.
An iBSc degree in Biology from York will expand your employment opportunities. You will have the option of pursuing any career or graduate program that a degree in Biology would allow, such as medicine, biotechnology, genomics, molecular genetics, physiology, biodiversity and conservation biology, among many others. On top of that, you will be better qualified for employment with multi-national companies that require an international background or language proficiency. Even if you never plan to leave home, the skills you develop will serve you well in today’s multicultural Canada. Employers will be pursuing you for your multifaceted versatility and multi-dimensional skill set.
If you major in iBSc Biology your courses in first year will probably be:
• Computer Use
• a language course
In second year you will probably take:
• Animal Biology
• Plant Biology
• Organic Chemistry
• Genetics and Evolution
• Cell Biology and Biochemistry
• Statistics for Biologists
• a language course
You will choose a modern language of study from those offered at York as an integral part of the program. An international exchange is required and should take place during your second or third year, depending on the requirements of your program. While language courses are required, exchanges are available at English language universities.
In third and fourth year, you can choose courses from the following areas:
• Conservation Biology
• Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
• Microbiology and Virology
• Cell Biology
• Ecology and Population Biology
• Immunology, Neurobiology
• Genetics/Molecular Genetics
• Plant Science
• Comparative Anatomy, Histology, Development
• Pollutants, Invaders and Global Change
• international content courses
Courses you might also take in upper years include:
• Molecular Biology
• Plant Physiology
• Animal Physiology
• Animal & Plant Ecology
• Animal Development
• Conservation Biology
• Field Course (study plants and animals in their natural surroundings)
Career options for iBSc Biology majors include:
• Biology Research – academic, government, industry
• Medical Research
• Industry – technical information, product information, sales
• Education – elementary, high school, college, university
• Professional Schools – Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, etc
• Health Sciences – nurse, chiropodist, biomedical technician, genetic counsellor, diagnostic histologist
• Environmental – conservationists, government agencies, environmental consultant, zoo keepers
• Agriculture – ecologist, plant biologist, geneticist, molecular biologist, biochemist, entomologist
• Postgraduate Studies/Academic Career