Tackling the global challenges of climate change, pandemics, and new energy sources requires research in more than a single field of science. Modern scientists must have a more multi-disciplinary foundation, and be encouraged to ask creative, critical, interdisciplinary questions, while possessing a wide range of communication tools to provide answers. The Honours Integrated Sciences (iSci) program at McMaster University has been designed for this explicit purpose.
iSci is one of the latest additions to McMaster’s suite of elite, limited-enrolment, undergraduate programs targeted toward highly motivated, high-achieving students. iSci is an interdisciplinary, research-based science program that focuses on the development of self-directed learning skills in a supportive and collaborative environment.
iSci puts into practice innovative concepts linking science education and leading research topics, demonstrating a holistic view of science through the interaction of various science disciplines. In addition to learning broad fundamentals, iSci also provides students the opportunity to specialize in a selected discipline including chemistry, chemical biology, biology, mathematics, physics, biochemistry, medical physics, Earth science and environmental science, geography and environmental science, and psychology, neuroscience and behaviour; allowing students the opportunity to contribute to a specialist field with a wide range of knowledge.
Enrolling a maximum of 60 students each year, iSci opens many doors for the future, including medical school, law school, graduate programs such as M.Sc. and Ph.D., research, and innovative industry careers. The iSci program will prepare students for post-graduate work through the application of inquiry and problem-based learning within the classroom, the provision of many practical laboratory and field experiences, and the development of essential scientific communication skills.
OUAC Application Code: MIS
Target Enrollment: 60 students
Notes: Admission to Integrated Science requires the submission of a Supplementary Application, due Feb. 1, 2018
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Please refer to the Undergraduate Calendar for the most up-to-date information about recommended first year courses for Honours Integrated Sciences I
Since Integrated Science (iSci) is a direct entry program, students admitted to iSci specialize in Integrated Science from first year to the end of the program. Beginning in Level II, Integrated Science students may pursue a concentration in one of the following areas of study in the Faculty of Science:
- Chemical Biology
- Earth and Environmental Sciences
- Geography and Environmental Sciences
- Mathematics & Statistics
- Medical Physics
- Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
In addition to concentrations, iSci students have the option of pursuing a Minor in any field offered by McMaster.
For additional information about concentrations please visit the iSci Webpage.
All iSci students have the option to go on an exchange in their third year to the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. The University of Leicester is home to our sister program: the Interdisciplinary Science program (recently renamed Natural Sciences). The Natural Sciences program at Leicester features a very similar learning model to that of McMaster, and is well respected as one of the leading scientific universities in the UK.
Experiential Education (EE) provides opportunities for students to gain academically relevant experience in a community, research or professional setting. This combination of academic and real world learning helps students to further develop the necessary qualities and skills that will be transferrable to future career paths. EE courses could be either an Applied Placement Course (SCIENCE 3EP3) or a Research Practicum Course (SCIENCE 3RP3).
For more information about Experiential Education – please visit the Science Career & Cooperative Education office FAQ page HERE.
For information about the types of careers graduates from McMaster Science can pursue, assistance with cover letter and resume writing, mock interviews and much more, please visit the Science Career and Cooperative Education Office website.
iSci is based out of the third floor of Thode Library, housing:
- Administrative offices for iSci faculty and staff, ensuring easy and open communication between professors, administrators, and students
- The iStudy, a dedicated study space for registered iSci students
- The ThInK Space (Thode Interactive Knowledge Space), a library teaching classroom featuring multi-media integration and assistive teaching technology
In addition to the third floor of Thode, iSci has dedicated undergraduate lab space. The iSci lab:
- Has over 3000 square feet of redesigned lab space for students to learn and explore
- Is the first university laboratory in Canada to utilize environmentally friendly neutrodine™-filtered ductless fume hoods
- In year one alone, the iSci lab will be used for over 25 experiments, field labs, and workshops spanning the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, and Earth science so that students can develop their hands-on skills
The Integrated Science (iSci) lab is the central location for lab-based experiences offered in the iSci program. This multidisciplinary space is available to all iSci undergraduate students but is primarily used by first and second year students. Experiments in physics, chemistry, biology, Earth science, neuroscience, thermodynamics and other disciplines are delivered weekly. Students develop their hands-on, practical skills on a wide variety of equipment related to these disciplines.
- Adam Pantaleo – Exploring Chemistry at the Nanoscale
Adam Pantaleo was awarded an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award in his first year of iSci. Adam conducted research at McMaster in the Department of Chemistry working alongside Dr. Peter Kruse. Adam spent his summer studying nanoscale patterns that form during the electropolishing of certain metals. Electropolishing, or electrochemical polishing, is used to polish metal surfaces using electrically charged solutions of electrolytes. It has many applications in metal finishing. Adam assisted Dr. Kruse in determining if this process can be used on a variety of metals and in a range of conditions.
- Prateek Gupta – The Next 36
Prateek Gupta is a student in one of McMaster’s most innovative programs. Now he has been named one of the country’s most innovative undergraduates. Gupta, in his second year of the Integrated Science Program (iSci) at McMaster, has been accepted into “The Next 36”, a national program designed to launch the careers of 36 of Canada’s most promising students. The initiative will give Gupta and three team members $50,000 and guidance from some of Canada’s top business leaders to develop an application for a mobile device as well as a $25,000 scholarship to participate in the program’s summer Entrepreneurship Institute.
- Julianne Bagg – Archaeological field school in Greece
Julianne Bagg travelled to Greece in 2010 to study at the Priniatikos Pyrgos archeological field school for the month of August. Priniatikos Pyrgos, an archeological harbour site located on the Gulf of Mirabello in east Crete, is home to artifacts from the Late Bronze Age, Hellenistic and Byzantine times and has been occupied since the Late Neolithic period (the fifth millennium BCE). Julianne spent five weeks at the field school learning about archeological fieldwork and archeological issues such as pottery, drawing, Geographic Information System (GIS), human osteology and paeleobotany and soaking up the Greek sun. She had the chance to work closely with an experienced archeologist in her own trench as well as attend seminars led by some of the team members.