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Life Sciences Gateway

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Below is a list of some courses, including a brief description, that you may find yourself taking during your first year of this program. For formal policies governing mandatory courses and the order in which they have to be taken, please refer to McMaster’s Undergraduate Calendar.

Some Courses You May Take

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.
Students completing this course will have a good understanding of the methods, research questions and major areas of psychology. This course would be ideal for students looking to complete an elective requirement without necessarily planning to continue study in psychology. Students considering applying to an Honours Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour program are referred to PSYCH 1X03 for which this course is an anti-requisite.
On-line web modules, discussions and testing; one term
Antirequisite(s): PSYCH 1N03, 1X03
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B.
This course introduces the scientific methods used to study the psychology of higher order processes and interpersonal behaviour. Students interested in applying to an Honours Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour program are encouraged to take PSYCH 1X03 rather than PSYCH 1F03.
Lecture, web modules, weekly tutorials (three hours); one term
Antirequisite(s): PSYCH 1F03, 1N03
It is recommended that students without Grade 12 Biology U complete BIOLOGY 1P03 prior to or concurrently with this course. Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B or registered in B.Sc.N. Conestoga campus.
This course introduces important themes as the foundations to investigate psychology, neuroscience and behaviour with an emphasis on sensory systems, and behaviours critical to survival.
Lecture, web modules, weekly tutorials (three hours); one term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 12 Biology U or credit or registration in one of BIOLOGY 1A03, 1M03, 1P03; or registration in a Nursing program; or registration in Level I or above of an Arts & Sciences program
Antirequisite(s): PSYCH 1NN3
Not open to students with credit or registration in ISCI 1A24 A/B or students registered in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) (B.H.Sc.) program or B.Sc.N. Conestoga campus.
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.
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.
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 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.
A first course in the techniques of the differential calculus including exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions. An introduction to vector geometry.
Three lectures, one tutorial; one term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 12 Advanced Functions U or MATH 1K03
Not open to students with credit in Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors U.
A general introduction to chemistry, suitable for students without Grade 12 Chemistry U.
Three lectures, one tutorial; Winter term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 11 Chemistry SCH3U
Not open to students with 80% or higher in Grade 12 Chemistry U or with credit or registration in CHEM 1A03.
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 conceptual course, based on and requiring Grade 12 Physics. Applications to biological systems exploring the interdisciplinary field of biophysics. Topics include: Sound, Hearing and Echolocation, Optics of Vision, Animal Locomotion, Thermal Motion of Molecules, Heat and Heat Flow in biological systems, Fluid Dynamics. Intended for students in Life Science Gateway, Chemical and Physical Sciences Gateway, and those interested in physical aspects of biology.
Three lectures; one term
Prerequisite(s): Grade 12 Physics U or credit or registration in one of PHYSICS 1A03, 1L03; and credit or registration in one of MATH 1A03, 1LS3, 1X03, 1ZA3; or ISCI 1A24 A/B 
An introduction to the physics underlying some of the techniques used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Taught material will include: electromagnetic waves and application to x-radiography, an introduction to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), radioactivity and nuclear medicine, and an introduction to radiation therapy and the biological effects of radiation.
Three lectures, one tutorial; one term
Prerequisite(s): Credit or registration in one of MATH 1A03, 1LS3, 1X03; and either Grade 12 Physics U or credit or registration in one of PHYSICS 1A03, 1L03, ISCI 1A24 A/B
Antirequisite(s): MEDRADSC 1C03, SCIENCE 1E03
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 the Life Sciences Gateway program can (through careful Level I course selection) pursue any Level II program in:

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

  • Honours Biochemistry
  • Honours Biochemistry – Biomedical Research Specialization*
  • Honours Biology
  • Honours Biology – Discovery Sub-Plan
  • Honours Biology – Physiology
  • Honours Biology and Environmental Sciences
  • Honours Biology and Mathematics
  • Honours Biology and Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
  • Honours Life Sciences*
  • Honours Molecular Biology and Genetics*
  • Honours Neuroscience**
  • Honours Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
  • Honours Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour – Mental Health Specialization
  • Honours Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour – Music Cognition Specialization

*Co-op programs are available, beginning in Level III

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

  • Honours Human Behaviour
  • Honours Human Behaviour – Autism & Behavioural Science Specialization
  • Honours Human Behaviour – Early Childhood Education Specialization

Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.) Programs

  • Life Sciences

Minors

  • Minor in Biochemistry
  • Minor in Biology
  • Minor in Psychology

For additional information about these programs please refer to McMaster’s Undergraduate Calendar.

Careers or Options Beyond This Program

  • Anesthesiologist
  • Biochemistry Technologist
  • Immunologist
  • Science Communication: Science Education, Research in Education,
  • Clinical/Counselling Psychology
  • Development
  • Education
  • Ethics
  • Food and Drug Inspector
  • Forensics
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Government: Health Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, Agriculture, Law, Public Policy, Global Health, Media Relations,
  • Health Science Professional Schools: Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry, Pharmacy
  • Health Technologies: Biological Imaging, Medical Laboratory
  • Healthcare: Dentistry, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Human Resources
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Industry: Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Pharmaceutical, Consulting, Data Management
  • Journalism
  • Medical Drug Development
  • Medicine
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nursing
  • Pharmaceutical Research
  • Pharmaceutical Sales
  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmacy
  • Post-graduate Professional Schools: Law, Business (MBA)
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Rehabilitation Services
  • Research: Environmental, Biological, Genetic, Microbiology,
  • Scientific Writing
  • Teaching
  • Toxicologist
  • Virologist

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.

Some Courses You May Take

Students conduct an individual research project under the supervision of a faculty member. If any of PNB 3Q03 A/B, 3QQ3 A/B, 4Q03 A/B or 4QQ3 A/B are taken concurrently with PNB 4D06, a different faculty member must supervise each course.
For information and guidelines regarding this course, refer to the department web site at http://www.science.mcmaster.ca/pnb/undergraduate/courses.html and click on PNB 4D06, or contact the Course Administrator.
Prerequisite(s): Registration in Level IV of an Honours or Combined Honours Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour program with a Grade Point Average of at least 8.0; and PNB 3RM3, 3XE3; and permission of the Department
Antirequisite(s): ORIGINS 4A09 A/B, PNB 4D09 A/B, 4DD6 A/B
Cannot be taken concurrently with ISCI 4A12 A/B or PNB 4SC6 A/B. Permission is by preregistration ballot. (See Department Note 3 above.)
Students conduct an individual research project under the supervision of a faculty member. If any of PNB 3Q03 A/B, 3QQ3 A/B, 4Q03 A/B, 4QQ3 A/B are taken concurrently with PNB 4D09, a different faculty member must supervise each course.
For information and guidelines regarding this course, refer to the department web site at http://www.science.mcmaster.ca/pnb/undergraduate/courses.html and click on PNB 4D09, or contact the Course Administrator.
Prerequisite(s): Registration in Level IV of an Honours or Combined Honours in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and Another Subject (B.A.) program with a Grade Point Average of at least 8.5; and PNB 3RM3, 3XE3; and permission of the Department
Antirequisite(s): BIOLOGY 4C09 A/B, 4C12 A/B, 4F06 A/B, NEUROSCI 4L09 A/B, 4L09 A/B, ORIGINS 4A09 A/B, PNB 4D06 A/B, 4DD6 A/B
Cannot be taken concurrently with ISCI 4A12 A/B or PNB 4SC6 A/B. Permission is by preregistration ballot. (See Department Note 3 above.)
 
Students conduct an individual research project under the supervision of a faculty member. If any of PNB 3Q03 A/B, 3QQ3 A/B, 4Q03 A/B or 4QQ3 A/B are taken concurrently with PNB 4DD6, a different faculty member must supervise each course.
For information and guidelines regarding this course, refer to the department web site at http://www.science.mcmaster.ca/pnb/undergraduate/courses.html and click on PNB 4DD6, or contact the Course Administrator.
Prerequisite(s): Registration in Level IV of the Honours Biology and Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (B.Sc.) program with a minimum Grade Point Average of at least 8.5; and PNB 3RM3, 3XE3; and permission of the Department
Antirequisite(s): BIOLOGY 4C09 A/B, 4C12 A/B, 4F06 A/B, NEUROSCI 4L09 A/B, 4L12 A/B, ORIGINS 4A09 A/B, PNB 4D06 A/B, 4D06 A/B 
Cannot be taken concurrently with ISCI 4A12 A/B or PNB 4SC6 A/B. Permission is by preregistration ballot. (See Department Note 3 above.)
A library project under the supervision of a faculty member that may extend over both terms.
Prerequisite(s): Registration in Level III or IV of a program in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (Faculty of Science)
If PNB 3Q03 is taken concurrently with PNB 4D06 A/B, 4D09 A/B or 4DD6 A/B, a different faculty member must supervise each course.
Permission is by preregistration ballot. (See Department Note 3 above.)
A laboratory project under the supervision of a faculty member that may extend over both terms.
Prerequisite(s): Registration in Level III or IV of a program in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (Faculty of Science)
If PNB 3QQ3 is taken concurrently with PNB 4D06 A/B, 4D09 A/B or 4DD6 A/B, a different faculty member must supervise each course.
Permission is by preregistration ballot. (See Department Note 3 above.)
A library project under the supervision of a faculty member that may extend over both terms.
Prerequisite(s): Registration in Level IV of an Honours or Combined Honours in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and Another Subject (B.A.) program
If PNB 4Q03 A/B S is taken concurrently with PNB 4D06 A/B, 4D09 A/B, 4DD6 A/B a different faculty member must supervise each course. Permission is by preregistration ballot. (See Department Note 3 above.)
A laboratory project under the supervision of a faculty member that may extend over both terms.
Prerequisite(s): Registration in Level IV of an Honours or Combined Honours in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and Another Subject (B.A.) program
If PNB 4QQ3 A/B S is taken concurrently with PNB 4D06 A/B, 4D09 A/B, 4DD6 A/B, a different faculty member must supervise each course. PNB 4QQ3 A/B S may be repeated once with permission of the course coordinator. Permission is by preregistration ballot. (See Department Note 3 above.)

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

Introductory Chemistry (Lab)

9:30 a.m.
BIOLOGY 1A03

Cellular and Molecular Biology (Lab)

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

Cellular and Molecular Biology (Lecture)

12:30 p.m.
MATH 1LS3

Calculus (Lecture)

MATH 1LS3

Calculus (Lecture)

ENVIRSC 1C03

Environmental Sciences (Lab)

MATH 1LS3

Calculus (Lecture)

1:30 p.m.
PSYCH 1X03

Introduction to Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour (Tutorial)

2:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
PSYCH 1X03

Introduction to Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour (Lecture)

MATH 1LS3

Calculus (Tutorial)

4:30 p.m.
ENVIRSC 1C03

Environmental Sciences (Lecture)

ENVIRSC 1C03

Environmental Sciences (Lecture)

ENVIRSC 1C03

Environmental Sciences (Lecture)

5:30 p.m.
CHEM 1A03

Introductory Chemistry (Lecture)

CHEM 1A03

Introductory Chemistry (Lecture)

In addition to spacious, well equipped, general laboratories the departments have:

  • An Electron Microscope Facility that contains a Transmission Electron Microscope, an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM), Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis and a Cryogenic Specimen Preparation System for ESEM
  • Animal Quarters
  • Biophotonics Imaging Facility
  • Centralized Facilities for DNA Synthesis, Automated DNA Sequencing, Electron Microscopy, NMR Spectroscopy
  • Facilities for Fish Holding Recombinant DNA Research
  • Fluorescence Microscopes
  • Greenhouses and Plant Growth Chambers
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • High-Throughput Screening Laboratory
  • Infrared Spectroscope
  • Insect Rooms
  • Instrumentation For Protein Analysis, Purification And Biophysical Characterization
  • LIVE (Large Interactive Virtual Environment) Auditory Laboratory – unique research-based performance theatre and testing centre
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Oligonucleotide Synthesizer
  • Protein Crystallography Facility
  • Radioactivity Counters
  • Sequencing Facility
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Ultracentrifuges
  • UV-Visible Spectroscopy

Profiles & Alumni


Overview: Life Sciences