Faculty of Science launches innovative program that bridges science disciplines

This fall, the Faculty of Science at York University launched Integrated Science, the University’s first interdisciplinary program for first-year science students.

a group of students

The first cohort of the new Integrated Science program

Connecting concepts in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, the program promotes active participation, collaboration and inquiry in small classes. Science professors and an educational development specialist work closely to integrate and deliver interdisciplinary content. They use evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning science so that the students learn not only science, but also how to learn effectively and think critically.

“Scientific and technological developments that transform society are often the product of new knowledge found at the boundaries of traditional disciplines,” said Ray Jayawardhana, dean of the Faculty of Science. “We’re excited to offer a new program that starts students on this path of learning and discovery from day one of their university education.”

By integrating four key science disciplines, students experience how each area contributes to solving problems that matter to the world. For instance, the inaugural cohort will work through two fascinating, comprehensive themes this academic year. This fall, students are exploring the habitability of Mars − investigating topics in rocket science, life and planet essentials, and the future prospects of sending humans to the red planet. In the winter term, the program turns its focus to viewing sustainability from different perspectives, including global population dynamics, health, transportation, energy, and food and water systems.

Students can take Integrated Science as their first year in any of York University’s Faculty of Science programs and then continue with their program of choice in their second year.

The development of the Integrated Science Program was funded through the Academic Innovation Fund, a competitive funding pool that supports initiatives aligned with York’s strategic teaching and learning priorities. Twelve professors from all five departments in the Faculty of Science, as well as the Associate Dean of Students and educational development specialist in the Faculty contributed to the development of the program.

For more details, visit http://science.yorku.ca/future-students/integrated-science/

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