Beyond the classroom

Abstract cubes, molecule network, student on mountain, globe. Text: Beyond the Classroom

Live the science you learn!

Experiencing science at Western translates into multiple high-impact learning opportunities over the course of a four-year degree. Lectures, flipped classrooms, well-equipped labs, virtual field trips, field courses, international exchanges, and internships all provide a balanced approach to learning and applying knowledge and skills. 

Authentic Learning Contexts

Attend the weekly Physics and Astronomy Undergraduate Seminar to learn about the research taking place across the department and to engage in meaningful reflection and discussion about complex scientific issues.

Take courses that simulate the development arm of software companies and game studios. Develop an innovative business plan to commercialize novel science and emerging technologies through participation in PROTEUS.

Group of students at SCINAPSEExperience interdisciplinary science problem-solving as a participant in the annual multi-university SCINAPSE Science Case Competition or during the Industry Problem-Solving Week.

Apply academic knowledge to exciting projects on the ground in national and international locales; study forest ecology in the Adirondacks, desert ecology in the American southwest, tropical marine environments in Belize, and craters in the Sultanate of Oman. 

You might even be able to participate in an annual Mars analogue planetary exploration mission. Incorporating functional space robotics and implementing relevant tools and learned techniques, students experience the challenges of remote exploration. From developing a mission plan to taking on a technical, scientific and/or management role in ‘Mission Control”, participants learn to plan, troubleshoot, communicate clearly with their supervisors, peers, and even with the robotics technology while carrying out critical tasks in a time-lag context. This opportunity exposes students to the intensity of the moment, the rigour required to ensure mission success, and provides an extraordinary community-building experience.

Learning In the Field

Two Students working in the field.Add first-hand problem-solving experience to your academic portfolio through field courses, from virtual field trips in Computer Science, into the problem-solving core of industry partner enterprises to work on corporate challenges, to tropical marine exploration in Belize with Biology, to studying impact craters in Oman with Earth Sciences.

Discover highlights of learning in the field.

Capstone Projects

Female student working in immunology labBoth the BSc and BMSc programs offer mentored research projects in world-class professors'labs. This could be your hands-on introduction to our cutting-edge facilities, science research, and may even result in your first technical publication.

Students completing a four-year honors degree in science deliver a research project that reflects the knowledge and skills learned over the course of the degree. The Department of Chemistry, in particular, provides skill-development opportunities as part of this degree path including interviews, workshops, and an opportunity to present the student's capstone project to an audience of professional scientists, while attending the National Undergraduate Capstone Open Source Project.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Female NSERC URSA WinnerWorking in a lab over the summer is a great way to explore your research interests, develop technical skills, and expand your new network. Embedded in research groups, undergraduate students experience both the support of seasoned faculty supervisors and their graduate students as well as the autonomy to explore important questions, use cutting-edge technologies and share acquired expertise and passion for science in written and oral reports, conference presentations and, in some instances, in peer-reviewed publications! Anna Zhu, for example, a two-time beneficiary of the NSERC USRA, turned her expertise in applied mathematics to the study of the biological mutation of Ebola and ended up contributing to a peer-reviewed article on managing the financial risk and controlling the spread of the deadly virus. 

International Learning Opportunities

Students in a Vineyard.

Experience a new culture, language or exotic venue while developing your knowledge, skills, and network through exchanges and study abroad programs with other universities, field schools, summer research, internships, and volunteer opportunities across the globe. Learn more at International Learning.

Internships

Internship student for IBMGain significant work experience, ‘try on’ a career, and make valuable contacts – all while earning a full salary. These 8- to 16-month paid positions in industry and government are open to Year 3 students. Hear from past interns highlights or go to our Science Internship page for more information.

Science Communications

Share your research and get experience developing content for peer-review. The Western Undergraduate Research Journal: Health and Natural Sciences (WURJHNS) is a student-run open access, peer-reviewed, and faculty-reviewed online journal that publishes original research, review articles, and Students in the Field reports. For more information visit the Western Undergrad Research Journal Scholarship @ Western page.

Student Life

Western Science provides a warm, supportive, and vibrant environment to help our students grow as individuals, scholars, and members of a life-long international alumni community. With multiple associations and societies, and an active Science Students’ Council, opportunities to engage in our rich student life are numerous.

It's all part of our unique Western Experience. We look forward to sharing it with you.

Learn more about Student Life at Western Science.