Integrated Sciences

The Integrated Sciences (IS) program is an alternative to a traditional Major or Honours program for students whose interests cross disciplinary boundaries within the Sciences.

The program gives third- or fourth-year students the opportunity and the guidance to design their own curriculum, demonstrating that they are developing a vision of their own education that encompasses more than one discipline, and that it is more valuable for them to explore those fields as a set rather than independently. Examples of recent integrations include:

  • Astronomy and oceanography
  • Biochemistry and medical genetics
  • Biology and chemistry
  • Chemistry and math
  • Microbiology and ecology
  • Physics, biology and math

These custom curricula also include Integrated Sciences 'core' courses that are highly interactive and generally stress active learning, group discussion and collaborative research. They are usually taught by a team of faculty from different disciplines who actively discuss each other's content in the classroom, much as they would do in a research environment. This converts the classroom into a microcosm of the scientific enterprise in general. Furthermore, this significantly broadens students' scientific horizons. Core courses aim strongly to develop transferable skills and attitudes to support the students' other studies.

Sample skill sets

  • Maintaining study master files including: ethics approvals, protocols, case report form instructions, pathology specifications, consent documents, clinical trial material shipping orders
  • Coordinating the movement of laboratory samples and the resulting data
  • Participating in departmental planning sessions, literature review, and SOP development.
  • Ensuring procedures are in place for appropriate optimization of patient participation into clinical trials.
  • Recruitment of participants; administering of questionnaires, lab sample collection (when required)
  • Assisting in the preparation of study documentations such as completion guidelines, patient brochures, electronic database capturing specifications.
  • Preparing and presenting status reports as directed
  • Remote monitoring of sites for data query resolution and regulatory submissions.