Frequently Asked Questions

 


What is the School? Why now?

The School of Interdisciplinary Science (SIS) came into being on January 1, 2016. Creating the School was a key recommendation of the Faculty of Science Academic Planning Committee, which was struck in fall 2013 and reported to the Faculty in the fall of 2014. The Committee recommended the creation of the School as a way to strengthen interdisciplinary undergraduate programs, and spread effective new pedagogical techniques and classroom approaches throughout the Faculty. More information on the Academic Planning process, and draft and final reports can be found here.

The new School of Interdisciplinary Science aims to be a national and international centre for interdisciplinary science education. Its goal is to foster exploration and discovery while emphasizing experiential, collaborative and student-centred learning. It will be the administrative hub for the Faculty’s interdisciplinary undergraduate programs.


Which programs make up the School?

The School administers the award-winning Honours Integrated Science Program (iSci); the Life Sciences Program, the Faculty’s largest program with approximately 1200 students; and the Medical Radiation Sciences Program (offered jointly with Mohawk College).


What does this mean for the students?

No large changes for current students are planned. Current course offerings will continue; they are not expected to change, allowing students to complete their program requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Calendar. Your program will continue in its current form; a student’s ability to graduate from a program will not change. Thus, for students, this change in administration will have no academic consequences. Details on specific programs can be found on the next page. The faculty members and staff with whom you have been working will continue to have a significant role in the School. 


Where can I go for program advising?

The Academic Advising offices of the Life Sciences and the iSci programs have moved to General Sciences Building (GSB), Room 105, as of January 4, 2016. This is the new home of the School of Interdisciplinary Science. The location of Academic Advising offices of the Medical Radiation Sciences programs remain the same (GSB 105).


What is happening to my program or course offerings?

Honours Integrated Science Program
The Faculty will continue to offer the Honours Integrated Science program. This decision will not have any academic consequences on any current or future registrants. Students will complete their program and degree requirements, according to the requirements stated in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Honours and Bachelor of Life Sciences Programs
For current students, this change in administration will have no academic consequences. The Faculty will continue to offer the Honours Life Sciences, Honours Life Sciences (Co-op) and Bachelor of Life Sciences Programs. Current course offerings will continue; they are not expected to change, allowing students to complete their program requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Calendar. A student’s ability to graduate from a program will not change.

Joint Mohawk-McMaster Medical Radiation Sciences Program
The Medical Radiation Sciences program will continue in its current form, and therefore, the closure of the Department of Medical Physics & Applied Radiation Sciences, effective December 31, 2015, will have no negative academic consequences for current program registrants. Students will complete their program and degree requirements, according to the requirements stated in the Undergraduate Calendar. The name of the degree on your diploma and transcript is linked to the program in which you are registered and for which you complete all of the degree requirements, and not the Department that administers that program. The recent changes will have no impact on your degree name. This change will not affect the accreditation of the Medical Radiation Sciences programs.


Will there be any change to the name of my B.Sc. degree on my transcript when I graduate?

The name of the degree on your diploma and transcript is linked to the program you are registered in and not the  Department that administers that program. As such, the recent changes will have no impact on your degree name.


Who will teach the existing course offerings?

No changes in teaching assignments are planned for the coming year. Several faculty members in the Department of Medical Physics and Applied Radiation Sciences will have their appointments transferred to the new School as of January 1, 2016. The Faculty has issued a call for faculty members to apply to join the School of Interdisciplinary Science. It is expected that decisions about these appointments will be announced before the end of the current academic year. These changes in appointments will not affect course offerings for the next few years.


What will happen to the staff associated with my program?

Staff associated with the iSci, Life Sciences and the Medical Radiation Sciences programs have been reassigned to the School of Interdisciplinary Science. Most staff within the iSci and Life Sciences programs have relocated to General Sciences Building (GSB), Room 105.


How will the current and future programs be administered?

Administration of all undergraduate programs listed above (the iSci, Life Sciences and Medical Radiation Sciences programs) will be moved to the School of Interdisciplinary Science. It will serve as the administrative home for these programs.


Where will undergraduate students go for academic advising?

The Academic Program Advisors for the iSci, Life Sciences and Medical Radiation Sciences programs will be located in the General Sciences Building, Room 105, as of January 4, 2016. They are available to assist students with specific courses and/or program-related questions or concerns. They can be contacted in person, via phone or electronically.

As always, the staff and Academic Advisors, in the Office of the Associate Dean (Academic), BSB 129, are available to offer advice and assistance to students.


With the closure of the Department of Medical Physics and Applied Radiation Sciences, will there be changes to the Medical Physics program?

Students in the existing program will see no changes and will be able to complete their degrees. Students entering McMaster in September 2016 will be eligible to apply for admission to Level II of the Medical Physics Program in September 2017. A working group has been struck to study the way that the discipline of Medical Physics is taught at McMaster, and it is likely that components of the Medical Physics program will be merged with the Biophysics program in the near future. As a result, it is expected that no students will be admitted to the existing Medical Physics Program after September 2017. The Faculty remains committed to creating the best possible undergraduate experience for students.

No changes are planned for the Medical Radiation Sciences program.

Contact SIS

Contact Us

General Sciences Building, Room 105
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West Hamilton ON L8N 3Z5