A Typical Week

First year iSci students will typically have 24 hours of contact time a week. Below is of an iSci schedule. Students will have one elective in addition to this class time, which will take up 3 or 4 hours depending upon the course.

1a24 typical week - 2011

iConS (Integrated Concept Seminars) are at the heart of the iSci week.  iConS are where key concepts and topics are introduced, where research project material is shared, and faculty members interact with the iSci group.

Field trips will punctuate the schedule, challenging students to think about field work, the local environment, and data collection outside the lab.

Labs begin by introducing students to essential scientific skills and techniques, and progress to include experiments based on research project objectives. Students will learn how to design experiments, analyse data, and present results in a variety of formats. Students will  be expected to take increasing responsibility for decision making in experimentation as the course progresses.

Invited Speakers Seminars will be presented by researchers, policy makers, and industry leaders.  Students will have the opportunity to learn from the wider population of practising scientists both within and outside McMaster.


Science Literacy Sessions are integrated with research project requirements for information management, written and oral communication skills, and the use of scientific literature.  McMaster’s award-winning library resources, as well as a Science Fluencies Librarian, are an integral part of the iSci program.

Outside the classroom students will be involved in individual and group research activities and will complete assignments focussing on the development of both core knowledge and professional skills.


The Heart of the iSci: Learning Community is located on the third floor of the H.G. Thode Library of Science & Engineering.  It consists of a state-of-the-art interactive classroom (the Thode Interactive Knowledge (ThInK) Space), a dedicated study area for iSci students (iStudy), and faculty offices.

Contact iSci

H.G. Thode Library, 306
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West Hamilton ON L8N 3Z5