We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about Integrated Science. Please connect with us if you can’t find an answer to your questions on our website!
OVERVIEW OF INTEGRATED SCIENCE
What is Integrated Science?
Integrated Science is an enriched first-year interdisciplinary program that combines biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. This program can be taken as the first year of any York Science program.
How is Integrated Science different from traditional first year science?
While Integrated Science addresses the same topics as traditional science courses, the entire Integrated Science curriculum is designed around the connections among disciplines. Thus, you will learn the same topics and achieve the same content preparation, but with linkages that improve your overall understanding. Integrated Science is taught by a collaborative team of professors so that everyone is on the same page regarding what and how well you are learning in any given week. In Integrated Science, you also complete integrated, real-world mini-projects where you get to draw upon and integrate your knowledge of multiple sciences to complete the projects.
What are the benefits of Integrated Science?
Integrated Science has many benefits for first-year science students, including: Small class size, a blocked schedule, innovative and evidence-based teaching and learning methods, strong faculty connections, depth and breadth in the sciences, and preparation for a successful undergraduate career and beyond.
APPLICATION, COSTS & SCHOLARSHIPS
How do I apply to Integrated Science?
You can apply directly to Integrated Science through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre. Alternatively, if you have been admitted to another York Science program but have the necessary prerequisites for Integrated Science, you can request consideration by emailing email@example.com. Qualified students will be entered into our candidate pool. This pool will be evaluated from April 30 on wards.
Is there an extra cost associated with Integrated Science?
There is no extra cost for the Integrated Science program.
Would my entrance scholarships still apply for Integrated Science?
Yes, the same entrance scholarships you have been awarded apply as you are officially accepting your offer to York University.
Would my OSAP be affected?
Joining Integrated Science does not affect OSAP application.
Will I be at a disadvantage if I did not take one of the sciences in Grade 12?
While all of the sciences are taught at a first-year university level, our small class size supports more individualized attention from your professors and peers to help you learn. As with all first year science courses, you should be prepared to work hard outside of class to learn course material thoroughly.
Do I get to take any electives?
Yes, you have room for one elective course if you are planning on taking a full course load. Your academic advisor can help you to select your electives.
Are the labs integrated as well?
No, you will complete the same biology, chemistry, and physics labs as the traditional science students. However, you will be in your own lab section with other Integrated Science students. On average, you can expect to have two labs per week.
Can I take some Integrated Science and some traditional science courses at the same time?
No, you must enroll in all four Integrated Science courses together each semester. Given that it is an integrated curriculum, it’s not possible to mix and match.
I’m interested in Medical School after my undergraduate studies, do Integrated Science courses fulfill medical school requirements?
As with traditional first-year programs, Integrated Science fulfills some of the first year requirements for medical school. Other requirements can be met through your choice of electives.
Will Integrated Science help me to get into medical school/dental school/pharmacy school/ graduate school etc.?
Your success is dependent on a lot of factors. However, in Integrated Science, our students have many opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom throughout the year so that they are building their resumes from the very beginning! In a recent offering of the program, 65% of our students were involved in volunteer or outreach activities, and 22% were involved in independent research projects or practicums. Volunteer activities included Fall Campus Day, Experience York Day, TDSB’s all-Girls STEM conference “Metamorphosis”, and contributing to the development of a new high school course on cosmic ray detection. Students were involved in research projects in biology, chemistry, and physics!
Because Integrated Science is limited to 50 students, you have unparalleled access to faculty members from different departments. Our students form strong connections with our faculty members – this can translate to reference letters or other opportunities later on. Your participation in Integrated Science also demonstrates your commitment to developing an interdisciplinary mindset – something that is essential for professional school, graduate school, or the workforce upon graduation!
ACADEMICS IN ISCI
I am concerned that taking Integrated Science will mean I have a greater, more demanding workload than if I take one of the larger, mainstream Science programs. Won’t the benefits of Integrated Science be offset by the personal cost of having to work harder?
We think the workload you’ll encounter in Integrated Science is comparable to program-specific courses. However, Integrated Science courses will have much more frequent, smaller, low-stakes and no-stakes tests to help keep students on track. Contrast this to the program-specific courses, where you’ll likely experience only a few large higher-stakes tests. Because of this difference, students often have the perception that Integrated Science has a greater workload. However, we think that this approach to learning in Integrated Science, combined with the smaller class size, has an overall positive impact on student learning.
I am concerned that taking Integrated Science will mean I will have lower first year grades that will impact my prospects for professional schools or graduate schools when I graduate. Won’t the benefits of taking Integrated Science be offset by lower grades for what seems to be a more demanding program?
We have found that students who have enrolled in ISCI get grades comparable to those who are enrolled in the standard introductory courses. In addition, combined with the small class sizes, collaborative environment, and use of evidence based-teaching practices, students receive a more enriched learning experience and are more capable of taking on new intellectual challenges in all their courses.
What current fields of research are available for Integrated Science students?
Technically, any field of research in one of the four subject areas or an interdisciplinary area is open to Integrated Science students (depending on their particular strengths and interests). A number of ISCI students are already involved in research, including cancer research, materials synthesis and dark matter.
What leadership opportunities are available for Integrated Science students?
In ISCI, we also encourage and support you in getting involved in volunteer opportunities. In 2017-2018, we were excited to launch ISCInvolved, an exclusive leadership training and hands-on experience for ISCI students only. After completing training in the fall term, you will work with a faculty or staff adviser to complete a leadership project in our communities. The nature of these projects varies by adviser but all projects relate to leadership in science outreach. This and other opportunities can help you to build your resume for future post-secondary applications.
Would I have time for extra-curricular activities while in Integrated Science (i.e. volunteering, sports, music lessons…)?
Yes! You should have time for extra-curricular activities; as with most undergraduate endeavours, it requires good time management skills.
Does Integrated Science have co-op or internship options?
No, as a first-year program, Integrated Science does not have any specific co-op or internship options. However, Integrated Science prepares you to continue in any of our programs that do have a co-op option including biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, environmental biology, or environmental science.
COMPLETION OF INTEGRATED SCIENCE
Once I complete Integrated Science in first year, what happens in second year?
After completing Integrated Science, you will enter the second year of any one of our York Science programs. If you have already received acceptance to a specific program you will continue to second year of your particular program. Of course, it is possible to change your program; several ISCI students have done so based on new interests they discover during their first year.
Will taking Integrated Science add an extra year to my program?
No, Integrated Science is considered as the first year of your three- or four-year undergraduate program.
Does Integrated Science count as prerequisites for second-year courses?
Yes, you will earn six credits in each of biology, chemistry, physics, and calculus. These credits are equivalent to BIOL 1000/1001, CHEM 1000/1001, PHYS 1010, and MATH 1013/1014.
How can I connect with past Integrated Science students?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and a team member will be happy to connect you to a past Integrated Science student.