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Introduction to the Integrated Science Program

Dalhousie’s Integrated Science Program is an alternative and unique way for a serious, well-prepared science student to complete the first year of a BSc.  In addition to learning the core material of several first-year science subjects, students gain an interdisciplinary perspective, develop transferrable skills, and conduct research, all in their first year.

The core Integrated Science course (SCIE 1505) is taught by a team of integrated science professors and includes two terms of Biology and Psychology, and one term of Earth Science, Statistics, and Writing in Science. Our students also take the companion Humanities course, Ethics in Science (PHIL 1050). Other co-requisite courses may include Calculus, Chemistry, and (optionally) Physics. These courses are taken with other BSc students.

Program options

The three registration options provide some flexibility in preparing for second year science classes. Each option incorporates a slightly different suite of subjects and is designed to prepare you for a certain range of degree programs at Dalhousie. Learn more about the program options.

Research opportunities

Conduct scientific research in your first year of university. The research project component of the program is unique to any integrated science programs in the country. It allows students to present their research in a formal scientific conference format, an opportunity most students will not get until their third or fourth year, if at all.

Classes and activities

Classes and activities (field trips, labs and other exercises) integrate Biology, Earth Sciences, Philosophy, Psychology, and Statistics, and also link to concepts covered in the co-requisites.  Many Integrated Science students choose to major in interdisciplinary subjects or design their own joint honours programs.

Class size

Students learn from a team of instructors representing most of the departments in the Faculty of Science. Students become a part of a cohort of up to 70 students.

Integrated writing class

The program satisfies Dalhousie’s first-year writing class requirement. Philosophy 1050, Ethics in Science, is a fully integrated and complementary half-credit humanities class. This introduction to ethical questions that arise in the practice of science relates to examples in the scientific topics studied at the same time. Instruction and practice are integrated across the Philosophy and Integrated Science courses. Students hone their scientific writing skills in formal writing for biology in fall and their research projects in winter.


Integrated Science students can expect a higher workload than regular first-year BSc students. Considering the larger number of subjects, the writing class, and the research project component, a higher workload is unavoidable, and is excellent preparation for higher workloads in the second year of a BSc. Note that workload will vary with the Option chosen, depending on the specific science co-requisites included in each Option.


On transcripts, students receive a single letter grade for the core course, SCIE 1505. A breakdown of the core's subject marks (Biology, Earth Science, Psyhcology, Statistics, and Writing in Science) is available upon request. Students receive separate grades in all of their co-requisite courses.

Download an Integrated Science brochure here [PDF].