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International Bachelor of Science

Explore the world while you study with the International Bachelor of Science (iBSc) program at York University.

This distinctive program, available in Biology and Biomedical Science, is designed not only to deepen your scientific knowledge but also to expand your global perspective—an invaluable asset in today’s interconnected world.

Science is a universal language, and an international experience is integral to understanding its global impact. By studying abroad, you’ll gain firsthand insight into different scientific approaches and cultural perspectives. This experience is highly valued by a wide range of employers, from government agencies to international corporations, who recognize the importance of cultural awareness and adaptability in a global workforce.

Program Overview

The iBSc program offers two specialized pathways:

  1. Biology: Focusing on fundamental biological sciences and extending into specialized fields such as ecology, molecular genetics, animal physiology and microbiology.
  2. Biomedical Science: Concentrating on the intersection of biology and medicine, this pathway prepares students for careers in healthcare and biomedical research.

The iBSc degree program requires study in a second language and at least one term of study abroad.

Degree Requirements

The iBSc program is structured to include 120 credits, distributed as follows:


These are comprised of core and elective science courses that are aligned with traditional BSc degree requirements.


  • 12 Credits in Language Study: Students choose from a variety of languages offered at York, preparing them for their international experiences.
  • 12 Credits in International Content Courses: These courses, which must be approved by an iBSc advisor, explore global issues, foreign cultures, and international policies, enhancing students’ global awareness.
  • 6 Additional Credits in Language or International Content: Depending on their interests, students may opt to further their language proficiency or deepen their understanding of international topics.


These allow students flexibility to explore other areas of interest across the university.

Academic Resources

York students walking outside

iBSc Handbook

This handbook is designed to provide students with information needed to plan and complete the International Bachelor of Science degree, including advising inquiries, degree requirements, and sample programs.

International Bachelor of Science Handbook [PDF]

Alumni Success Stories

Graduates of the iBSc program are exceptionally well-prepared for careers that demand scientific expertise and a deep understanding of global issues. They are equipped to work in multinational corporations, global health organizations, research institutions, and beyond, or to continue their studies in graduate or professional schools.

Hear from our iBSc alumni about their career paths and how the program shaped their professional lives:

“I studied at York from 2009-2014 in the iBSc Biology program. As part of my unique program's requirements, I took advanced courses in French, English literature, European history, and Irish poetry. It was a great way to round out my science course load with opportunities to strengthen my academic writing skills, exercise some creativity, engage in academic debate, and learn about cultures I wouldn't have otherwise been exposed to. I also participated in a number of extracurriculars within Bethune College, making connections and building community with peers. The poetry course made such an impression on me that I chose to travel to Ireland for my exchange semester, where I studied Biotechnology at Dublin City University.

My experience in the Biology program at York shaped a very strong foundation of scientific understanding that allowed me to keep up with my courses while I was abroad. I had engaging courses with passionate instructors at York, and their mentorship inspired me to pursue an Honours thesis in my last year. Research became a path I was no longer intimidated to follow, as I had guidance and encouragement from professors I held in high esteem. I honed my skills in science communication and gained confidence in my scientific literacy. After graduating from York, I studied Dentistry at McGill University.

My background in French language studies opened up many opportunities in my clinical work, allowing me to connect and communicate effectively with a broader demographic of patients. I returned to Toronto after graduating from McGill, and I have been working as a general dentist in private practice for the last six years. I strongly believe in patient advocacy and education through open communication, which is a skill I cultivated early on as a peer mentor and academic advisor in the Faculty of Science at York. I have a great passion for the hands-on aspects of dentistry, both surgical and cosmetic.

The lab courses and research projects I was involved in at York were engaging and challenging in a way that taught me to be more methodical, disciplined, and detail-oriented; this mindset, combined with my artistic abilities, is essential for the quality of clinical work I take pride in doing every day. It's been ten years since I left York, but the experiences and connections I had here have stayed with me.”

Dr. Bahar Madani
Pronouns: she/they

Dr. Bahar Madani
Bahar Madani

Nargol is currently completing her PhD at York University, researching plant-animal interactions and the impact of artificial shelters on animals in specific microclimates. Her research has taken her to places such as the Mojave Desert and the Carrizo Plain National Monument in California. Her future plans are to continue her career as a research scientist.

As an iBSc student, Nargol studied both French and Spanish in addition to completing her science courses. In her third year she went on exchange to the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Autonomous University of Madrid) in Madrid, Spain.

Thinking about the value of completing an iBSc, she notes that having had experience travelling to and living in a different country while on exchange prepared her in many ways for her work as a graduate student. “I was so young and I went to a different country …it’s different from when you go on vacation …I had to speak the language and survive and live within that system. When I applied for graduate school, I had to live and work in a different country in a remote area for months at a time. Having had the experience of going on exchange at 19, it was very helpful as I felt confident I could handle living and doing field research in another country.”

Her time in Spain also improved her language skills. “Living in a different culture, language and system and having to connect with the people there really brought my Spanish to another level. When I came back and had to take third year Spanish for my language certificate, I was in a class with Spanish speakers and I felt like I was at a pretty similar level at that point. Also a lot of desert ecology research takes place in Latin America and many good journal articles are published in Spanish only, so I can actually read them without having to get them translated.” Nargol’s language skills have also come in handy working with collaborators, as her lab collaborates with researchers in Latin America. She has already published 15 research articles, including one published in February of 2024 in Restoration Ecology titled “The Relative Effects of Artificial Shrubs on Animal Community Assembly.

Nargol’s experience in the iBSc program has helped her develop confidence and independence, learning how to navigate new environments. Not surprisingly, she also met new people and created new lasting friendships. “I met a lot of other people on exchange from Europe and South America and many of us are still in touch.”

“I like the iBSc Program because there are pretty much no other programs like it in Canada for science students. I wanted to do science but wanted electives that were language. It’s a very niche degree and I really like that about it – it’s a fantastic opportunity.”

Nargol Ghaziantafrishi
Pronouns: she/her

Nargol Ghaziantafrishi
Nargol Ghaziantafrishi

“After graduating from York University with the iBSc. - Biology, I returned to Hong Kong, where I went on exchange, to work at the University of Hong Kong’s AIDS institute to support the development of cancer vaccines. Through the guidance of my colleagues there, I determined that generally speaking, medical research was heading towards a computational direction, and that I should plan accordingly. I returned to Toronto and studied at Seneca College to pick up programming and data management skills. After developing those skills, I went down to New York City where I worked at the Department of Genetic Medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College to manage their internal patient database and information portal as a Research Data Specialist. After some time there, I looked for other opportunities locally, and became a Research Data Analyst with Simons Foundation, a non-profit foundation that funds grants and houses multiple organizations devoted to research ranging from computational quantum physics to studying genetic determinants of autism spectrum disorder. When the pandemic hit, I returned to Toronto, where I recently worked with Klick Health, a pharmaceutical marketing agency as a Data Engineer.

In terms of how my undergraduate experience shaped my life, being able to go on exchange broadened my understanding of what was possible. Personally and professionally, I still maintain strong ties to Hong Kong and see it as a second home. Without the year of exchange, I wouldn’t be able to connect so thoroughly with the family I have there, the local friends I made, and my cultural heritage. I continue speaking and using Chinese on a regular basis, and have the iBSc. program to thank for that fact, I’m grateful for the unforgettable experience and seeds that the program planted for the life that I have now.”



Kelsi is a clinical epidemiologist now living in Sweden who works in both the private and public sectors in Europe. She specialises in real-world evidence and data, using larger register-based studies to help better the lives of people living with disease.

Kelsi completed an iBSc degree in Biology at York, while playing on the tennis team, studying French and going on exchange to a university in Lyon France where she studied biology and honed her French language skills. After finishing her exchange year, Kelsi remained in France for the summer to complete a summer research internship at INSERM (a world-renowned research institute for biomedical research and human health). She then returned to York to complete her degree, continuing her research training by volunteering in a research lab and completing her fourth-year honours thesis working with people with Parkinson’s disease. After graduation she moved to Paris to work, then returned to school for graduate studies. She was accepted at the Sorbonne in Paris, but opted to go to the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, where she learned Swedish while completing an MSc in Public Health and Epidemiology followed by a PhD in Epidemiology, Genetics and Neuroscience with a specific focus on identifying risk factors for multiple sclerosis. She now speaks English, Estonian, French and Swedish.

Reflecting on her career trajectory and thinking about completing the iBSc at York, Kelsi notes, “I don’t think I would be where I am now if I hadn’t done the exchange program as part of the iBSc degree. Getting into the iBSc program was the reason I chose York. Doing the exchange, I discovered how much I liked Europe. Having been able to do the internship in France helped me to know what I wanted to do for graduate studies. I would not even been as aware of other universities outside of Canada where I could study if I hadn’t done the iBSc.” Her connections with both Canada and Europe have remained strong, as she received competitive funding in her PhD from both Canadian and Swedish funders for innovative and cross-disciplinary research in multiple sclerosis.

She also remembers that her undergraduate university experience was not without challenges. “I really struggled in my second year and felt directionless. My iBSc advisor helped me get through that difficult semester, and with her help and encouragement my grades improved, I went to France, found a great thesis project and completed the degree. I was worried that I would have few options after my degree; going on exchange changed all of that.”

How did the iBSc experience support her personal growth?

“It helped me relate to and try to understand an entirely new culture and a way of thinking and working that initially felt really different from my own. At Lyon I got to play tennis and explore all sorts of new opportunities. I got to meet a lot of different international students too during my time in Franc. Everything was different – career opportunities, banking, grocery shopping … it was a whole cultural shift.”

“You have to rely on yourself a lot too. I didn’t know a single person in France – so that was a really interesting challenge … I realized I could actually stand on my own two feet and get through things. This really helped me later when I decided to again move countries to Sweden to do my Masters and PhD, again not knowing a single person or even the language.”

“Science at York is so hands-on, with so many opportunities to develop lab skills and get lab experience. I still tell everyone interested in science to go to York!”

Dr. Kelsi Smith
iBSc 2015, MSc 2018, PhD 2023

Dr. Kelsi Smith
Kelsi Smith

Advising Support & Guidance

paula wilson

Professor Paula Wilson


Professor Paula Wilson serves as the academic advisor for the International Bachelor of Science programs in the Department of Biology at the Faculty of Science. She can be reached via email.

Tip: When sending an email, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself, mention your interest in the iBSc program, and clearly state any questions or concerns you might have. This will help Professor Wilson provide you with the most relevant and helpful information.

Specific advising for international exchanges:

Please reach out to one of our global learning coordinators who can help you through the exchange application process.

Global Learning

For general science advising:

Science Academic Services (SAS) is the undergraduate advising office for all Science students at York.

Science Academic Services

Additional Opportunities

York Student

Beyond the classroom, iBSc students have access to:

  • Summer School Abroad: Short-term programs that provide intensive academic and cultural experiences.
  • Internships: Through the York International Internship Program, students can gain practical experience in a global setting.
  • Research Projects: Opportunities to participate in international research, often led by faculty members, which can enhance their scientific and investigative skills.

Interested in becoming an international collaborative partner with York Science?

Please contact Hugo Chen, Director of International Collaborations and Partnerships, at