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Chemical and Physical Sciences

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Below is a list of some courses, including a brief descripition, that you may find yourself taking during your first year of this program.

For formal policies governing specific courses and the order in which they have to be taken, please refer to the Undergraduate Calendar.

Some Courses You May Take

A discussion of chemical fundamentals, including bonding, structure, reactivity, and energetics, with emphasis on applications to health, energy, and the environment. Laboratories highlight hands-on experimental techniques; tutorials support the development of problem-solving skills.
Lectures, web modules (three hours), one lab (two and one half hours) every other week; one term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 12 Chemistry U and either registration in a Level I program in the Faculty of Science or Engineering I/Engineering I Co-Op, Arts & Science I, Health Sciences I, any program above Level I; or a grade of at least 80% in Grade 12 Chemistry U; or CHEM 1R03
Co-requisite(s): WHMIS 1A00 if not already completed, must be completed prior to the first lab.
Antirequisite(s): CHEM 1E03
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B.
A discussion of organic chemistry, chemical kinetics, acid-base equilibrium, and the energetics of phase transformations, with emphasis on relevant experimental techniques and solving real problems ranging from drug discovery to environmental chemistry.
Three lectures, one lab (two and one half hours) every other week; one term
Prerequisite(s): CHEM 1A03 or CHEM 1E03
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B.
A first course in university physics, taught using examples and applications from many areas of science. Topics include the concepts of force and energy, mechanics, waves and fluids.
Lectures, web modules (three hours), one lab (two hours) every other week; one term
Prerequisite(s): One of Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors U, Grade 12 Advanced Functions and Introductory Calculus U, MATH 1F03
Co-requisite(s): WHMIS 1A00 if not already completed, must be completed prior to the first lab.
Antirequisite(s): PHYSICS 1B03, 1C03
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B or PHYSICS 1D03. It is recommended that students in Chemical and Physical Sciences Gateway complete PHYSICS 1C03.
A course presenting aspects of modern physics relevant to life sciences. Electromagnetic fields. Atomic, quantum, and nuclear physics. Applications to imaging and understanding biological systems.
Three lectures, one lab (three hours) every other week; one term
Prerequisite(s): One of PHYSICS 1A03, 1B03 , 1C03
Antirequisite(s): PHYSICS 1BA3, 1BB3, 1CC3
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B. It is recommended that students in Chemical and Physical Sciences Gateway complete PHYSICS 1CC3.
A first course in university physics intended for physics and chemistry students, or students in any other discipline who have an appropriate secondary school background. This course is a comprehensive treatment of linear and rotational mechanics - kinematics, dynamics, and the relevant conservation laws.
Three lectures, one lab (two hours) every week; one term
Prerequisite(s): Either Grade 12 Physics U or PHYSICS 1L03; and either Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors U or MATH 1F03; and credit or registration in one of ARTSSCI 1D06 A/B, MATH 1A03, 1LS3, MATH 1X03, 1ZA3
Co-requisite(s): WHMIS 1A00 if not already completed, must be completed prior to the first lab.
Antirequisite(s): PHYSICS 1A03, 1B03
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B or PHYSICS 1D03.
This course is the continuation of PHYSICS 1C03.
Topics include simple harmonic motion, waves, interference, electrostatics, magnetostatics and an introduction to quantum physics.
Three lectures, one lab (three hours) every other week; one term
Prerequisite(s): PHYSICS 1A03, 1B03 or 1C03
Antirequisite(s): PHYSICS 1AA3, 1BA3, 1BB3
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B.
For students in science: geared towards applications, with attention to underlying concepts. Functions: limits, continuity, derivatives, optimization, curve sketching. Antiderivative, definite integral, techniques of integration.
Three lectures, one tutorial; one term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors U or MATH 1F03
Antirequisite(s): ARTSSCI 1D06 A/B, MATH 1LS3, 1N03, 1X03, 1Z04, 1ZA3
Not open to students who have achieved a grade of at least B- in MATH 1M03. Not open to students in Mathematics and Statistics I or an Engineering program or with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B.
For students in science: additional techniques of integration, applications of definite integrals, differential equations, polar coordinates, parametrized curves. Sequences, infinite series, power series. Partial derivatives, double integrals.
Three lectures, one tutorial; one term
Prerequisite(s): One of MATH 1A03, 1X03, 1ZA3; or a grade of at least B- in MATH 1LS3 or 1M03
Antirequisite(s): ARTSSCI 1D06 A/B, MATH 1LT3, 1NN3, 1XX3, 1ZB3, 1ZZ5
Not open to students in Mathematics and Statistics I or with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B.
Topics from differential and integral calculus, differential equations, discrete-time dynamical systems, chosen for their relevance to the life sciences.
Three lectures, one tutorial; one term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors U or MATH 1F03
Antirequisite(s): MATH 1A03
Not open to students with credit or registration in ARTSSCI 1D06 A/B, ISCI 1A24 A/B, MATH 1M03, 1N03, 1X03, 1Z04, 1ZA3.
Applications of integration, autonomous differential equations, functions of several variables; probability as application of calculus. All topics chosen for their relevance to the life sciences.
Three lectures, one tutorial; one term
Prerequisite(s): MATH 1LS3, or a grade of at least B- in MATH 1A03 or 1M03
Antirequisite(s): MATH 1AA3
Not open to students with credit or registration in ARTSSCI 1D06 A/B, ISCI 1A24 A/B, MATH 1XX3, 1ZZ5, 1ZB3.
Introduction to basic biological principles for students without Grade 12 Biology U.
Three lectures; one term
Not open to students with credit in Grade 12 Biology U.
Structure, molecular composition and function in sub-cellular and cellular systems.
Three hours (lectures, web modules), one lab (two hours); one term
Prerequisite(s): One of Grade 12 Biology U, BIOLOGY 1P03 or registration in an Engineering program
Co-requisite(s): WHMIS 1A00, and BIOSAFE 1BS0 (or HTHSCI 1BS0) if not already completed. Both requirements must be completed prior to the first lab.
Not open to students with credit or registration in HTHSCI 1I06 A/B or ISCI 1A24 A/B. Students are strongly encouraged to take BIOLOGY 1A03 and BIOLOGY 1M03 in the different terms.
Fundamental evolutionary and ecological concepts with particular reference to the diversity of life.
Three lectures, seminar/lab (two hours every other week); one term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 12 Biology U or BIOLOGY 1P03
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B. Students are strongly encouraged to take BIOLOGY 1A03 and 1M03 in the different terms.
Introduction to safety guidelines at McMaster University, acceptable safety conduct and positive safety attitudes and practices in laboratories and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).
This course is evaluated on a Complete/Fail basis.
Web modules
Antirequisite(s): ART 1HS0, ENGINEER 1A00, ENGTECH 1A00, NURSING 1A00, SCIENCE 1A00
This requirement must be completed prior to the start of the first lab. Students who fail the quiz must reattempt it and will not be permitted in any course with a lab component or any Level II ART course until the requirement has been successfully completed.
Formerly HTHSCI 1BS0
BSL 1 biosafety training for the handling of non-pathogenic bacteria, cell lines, blood and body fluids or mammalian tissues based on federal laboratory biosafety guidelines.
This course is evaluated on a Complete/Fail basis.
Web module
BSL 1 must be completed prior to the start of the first lab for all courses for which it is required. Students who fail the quiz will be required to repeat it and will not be permitted in any course where BIOSAFE 1BS0 is a requirement until the quiz has been successfully completed.

Students from any Level I Science program can, through careful Level I course selection, pursue any Level II program in:

Students who complete Chemical & Physical Sciences I often pursue the following programs:

Honours Bachelor of Science (Hons. B. Sc.) Programs

  • Honours Astrophysics
  • Honours Biophysics*
  • Honours Chemical Biology*
  • Honours Chemistry*
  • Honours Medical and Biological Physics
  • Honours Physics*

 Co-op programs are available, beginning in Level III

Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.) Programs

  • Chemical & Physical Sciences

 Minors

  • Minor in Chemical Biology
  • Minor in Chemistry
  • Minor in Astronomy
  • Minor in Physics

Our vision is to see every McMaster Science student reach their career potential and have a meaningful impact on the scientific community. Focusing on Career, Experiential and Cooperative Education, the Science Career and Cooperative Education (SCCE) office guides students on their career path and helps them to be successful in their chosen field.

Career Education

We provide students with tools and knowledge to plan for success today and prepare for a future in the field of science. Students can receive individualized services to help them achieve short and long term goals.

Career education services available to all science students include:

  • Career Advising and Exploration
  • Career Resources
  • Cover Letter and Resume Critiques
  • Career Events and Guest Speakers
  • Post-graduate Planning
  • Job Search Strategies
  • Mock Interviews
  • Training and Workshops
  • Networking Opportunities

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education emphasizes the partnership between the employer, the student and McMaster University. Co-op provides students with paid work opportunities to experience the world of work and gain academically- relevant skills. In a co-op program,students have the opportunity to acquire up to 16 months of work experience prior to graduation.

Current Faculty of Science co-op programs, all of which begin at Level III:

  • Actuarial and Financial Mathematics
  • Biochemistry – Biomedical Research Specialization
  • Chemical Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Geography and Environmental Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics (including sub-plans) • Medical and Biological Physics
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Physics

Experiential Education

Experiential education allows students to gain real world, relevant experience in a community, research or professional setting, while working towards their degree requirements. Students benefit from the combination of academic and applied learning, which helps students further develop the necessary qualities and skills valuable to their future careers.

Experiential education opportunities include:

  • Applied Placements
  • Research Practicums
  • Science Internships
Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:30 a.m.
CHEM 1A03

Chemistry (Lab)

9:30 a.m.
PHSYICS 1C03

Physics (Lab)

BIOLOGY 1A03

Biology (Lab)

10:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m.
BIOLOGY 1A03

Biology (Lecture)

12:30 p.m.
PHSYICS 1C03

Physics (Lecture)

MATH 1A03

Calculus (Lecture)

MATH 1A03

Calculus (Lecture)

PHSYICS 1C03

Physics (Lecture)

MATH 1A03

Calculus (Lecture)

1:30 p.m.
PHSYICS 1C03

Physics (Lecture)

ENVIRSC 1C03

Environmental Science (Lab)

2:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
MATH 1A03

Calculus (Tutorial)

4:30 p.m.
ENVIRSC 1C03

Environmental Science (Lecture)

BIOLOGY 1A03

Biology (Lecture)

ENVIRSC 1C03

Environmental Science (Lecture)

5:30 p.m.
CHEM 1A03

Chemistry (Lecture)

CHEM 1A03

Chemistry (Lecture)

Take a Virtual Tour of the facilities in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Profiles & Alumni


Overview: Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Video
Introducing Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Video
Overview: Physics and Astronomy
Introducing Physics and Astronomy
Video