The Integrated Science Program, iSci, at McMaster
Tackling the global challenges of climate, pandemics and energy requires research from multiple fields of science, modern scientists need to have an interdisciplinary foundation. They must ask critical and creative questions, and communicate their work to wide range of audiences across a multiple platforms.
Honours Integrated Science (iSci) is a unique four-year undergraduate program that explores all areas of science via research. Students learn not only cutting-edge science, but also how science works in and for society. Small class sizes, wide breadth of subjects and innovative teaching characterize this award-winning program. We provide students with these essential skills and experiences.
What is iSci?
- A 4-year, research-based Honours degree program
- An interdisciplinary program with its own learning and administrative space
- A student-centered program, enrolling a maximum of 60 students per year
- An innovative program, emphasizing collaborative and experiential learning opportunities
- Integrates scientific concepts with lab, field and mathematical approaches
- Varied instructional methods with co-teaching, multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives
- Assessments strategically aligned with content and skills
- Delivers core learning through lectures as well as group and individual research projects
- Embeds science literacy skills in all years
- Prepares students to transfer into self-directed, independent research
Students build knowledge and skills from each of the fundamental scientific disciplines and develop the ability to think critically and creatively about complex problems.
Starting in second year, students in iSci can streamline their education into a variety of discipline Concentrations. Each Concentration is based upon course and content requirements for pursuit of graduate or professional school in disciplinary fields. Concentration Outlines are generated by each specific department within the Faculty of Science, providing clear guidelines as to which courses students will need to fill their elective course spaces. Students may choose to not concentrate. Students may also choose to pursue a Minor in many subjects offered at McMaster.
McMaster Honours Integrated Science (iSci) is an innovative program that emphasizes the connections between scientific disciplines and encourages students to think outside the box. Interdisciplinary research projects constitute a major portion of iSci and require students to draw on multiple sciences to examine an issue, while developing time management, research and presentation skills. The iSci program also emphasizes independent learning, leadership, lab skills and scientific literacy. Upon graduation, these students' options will include graduate studies, professional school and employment in scientific laboratories. Wherever they go, they are certain to make an impact."Solomon Barkley, iSci 2013 student