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York Science Scholars Award (YSSA)

Seeking Applicants of Exceptional Promise

York University’s Faculty of Science eagerly awaits applications for its prestigious York Science Scholars Award (YSSA) program.  In keeping with our vision of preparing global thinkers to advance knowledge and human progress, the Science Scholars program nurtures the intellectual and career development of high-achieving, passionate science students entering our Faculty.

What is the York Science Scholars Award Program?

The York Science Scholars program provides up to 12 first-year entering students with awards worth $10,000 each.  This Faculty of Science award is considered separately and in addition to any other York University or Faculty of Science admissions awards and scholarships.

The York Science Scholars Award of $10,000 is provided in two parts:

  • $5,000 as an entrance scholarship
  • $5,000 following a guaranteed summer research position following the first year of study

What makes this Award different?

At York’s Faculty of Science, we also acknowledge the importance of hands-on experience in academic and career success.  The York Science Scholars Award program combines:

  • $5,000 entrance scholarship
  • guaranteed full-time, 12-week summer research position for the summer following a student’s first year
  • $5,000 scholarship upon successful completion of the summer research position
  • leading-edge research facilities, and
  • one-on-one mentorship from outstanding faculty members

York Science Scholar winners are given the priceless opportunity to earn tuition in a guaranteed summer position during their first summer while participating in advanced scientific exploration.

Applications for Fall 2024 Open December 15th!

Past YSSA Winners

Jacqueline D

The YSSA award has given me a chance to explore other subjects outside my major, broadening my skills in statistical analysis and data manipulation. It has allowed me to write a paper on a very current topic and has given me the opportunity to be mentored by professors with experience in the field. I have learned many new skills throughout the summer that will help me succeed in my university career.

Read More about Jacqueline

Sakina H

Through the YSSA experience, I have had the opportunity to connect with other students as well as faculty. I was able to connect with other like-minded individuals and forge new friendships. It has also been an incredibly rewarding experience to work with distinguished members of the faculty and grow as a student.

Read More about Sakina

Aleeza Q

The York Science Scholar Award has given me the opportunity to fund my university experience in a nurturing environment that supports scientific exploration and global thinking. I have gotten one-on-one mentorship from distinguished faculty members, and been given the opportunity to take part in innovative research

Read More about Aleeza

Please contact if you do not find the answer to your question(s) below.

All students, Canadian and International, who have applied for entrance to the York University Faculty of Science for full-time study starting in Fall 2024 are eligible to apply for this program. Newly enrolled first-year Faculty of Science students are not eligible to receive this award.

The YSSA program is a combination of an entrance scholarship and a guaranteed research placement in the summer after the first year of studies. The placement is full time for 12 weeks and runs from May to August. Award winners are expected to commit for the full 12 weeks and are responsible for their own living expenses.

$5,000 Entrance Scholarship:
Upon enrolment and registration in the York University’s Faculty of Science, the entrance scholarship will be credited to the student’s account.

$5,000 Summer Research Placement:
In the winter term (January) of the first year, students will be matched with a summer research placement based on factors such as their area of study, research opportunities, and preferences. Upon successful completion of the summer placement, $5,000 will be credited to the recipient’s York tuition account. Please note that a student must maintain a B+ average to retain their summer research placement.

1) High academic achievement: Although we consider the YSSA applications holistically, competitive applications tend to have a minimum average of A- (80%, or its equivalent) and higher.

2) Demonstrated passion for science and community service, demonstrated leadership skills, and a desire to make a difference for their communities.

3) Well-rounded candidates who demonstrate involvement beyond academics, for example, in community service, achievement in sports, the arts, or hobbies.

4) English Language Scores:
For international students requiring an English language test for admission to York University, competitive English test scores are:
• YELT: band 1
• TOEFL: iBT 100
• IELTS: 7.5

Given the prestige of the York Science Scholars program, its $10,000 financial component, and, perhaps most significantly, the experience provided by the summer placement, applicants to the York Science Scholars program have very competitive applications. Please begin the process of putting your application together very early. Please note that you may submit your application prior to receiving an offer of admission to York University’s Faculty of Science.

1) Complete the application form
You can fill out the application form through our online portal when the portal is open. Please open the YSSA Application Guidelines file below to view detailed instructions.

YSSA Application Guidelines

2) Write your personal statements
Please read the guidelines below carefully and complete two statements for your application.

Personal Statement Guidelines and Topics

3) Prepare and upload your resume
Please include all paid employment, volunteer experience and any involvement in clubs and activities.

4) Arrange for two references. Only one can be an academic reference (teacher).
Choose references who know you well in a professional or academic setting and can write in regards to your character and qualities. Please include two references, only one of which is an academic reference (teacher). Your second reference can also be a teacher if they are from a non-academic setting (e.g. a coach, volunteer supervisor, etc).

To be eligible for the YSSA, you must provide two (2) letters of reference. The reference letter form is available for download below. Please have your references fill out the reference letter form and email it directly to Reference letters must be sent to us DIRECTLY by your references. You cannot submit letters on behalf of your references. All documents needed for your application, including your reference letters, must be received and date stamped by the Faculty of Science before March 1st, 2024 at 12:00PM ET

YSSA Reference Letter Form

You are responsible for ensuring that these documents are submitted on time when applications are open or your application will be at risk of disqualification.

5) Submit your application!

Applications for Fall 2024 will open on December 15th 2023

Applications are due before March 1st, 2024 at 12:00pm ET

Automatic Entrance Scholarships:
In addition to the YSSA, candidates to the Faculty of Science automatically receive consideration to a number of entrance awards, including an additional $2,000 for entering science students who have a 90%+ final average. Please note that the York Science Scholars’ Award is awarded in addition to any other awards received.

Although the YSSA requires supplementary application materials, York Entrance Scholarship and Science Entrance Scholarship are automatically assessed. Other automatic awards:

Final Admission Average AmountAmount
95+%$18,000 = ($4,000 renewable for 4 years) + $2,000 Science Entrance Scholarship
90-94.9%$10,000 = ($2,500 renewable for 4 years) + $2,000 Science Entrance Scholarship
$6,000 = ($1,500 renewable for 4 years)
$4,000 = ($1,000 renewable for 4 years)
Please visit for more information on these and other awards.

In addition to the YSSA program, our undergraduate students have multiple opportunities to gain scientific research experience in addition to research exposure in class.

For example

  • Research Practicum Courses: Students apply to work with researchers to advance Professors’ research and Student work experience
  • Research @York: Paid positions to work with professors in their labs
  • NSERC USRAs: The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) offers prestigious paid Undergraduate Summer Research Awards (USRAs) every summer.
  • Dean’s Undergraduate Research Awards (DURA): Exclusive to the Faculty of science, students undertake research in labs for 16 weeks over the summer.
  • Capstone Project Courses: Independent research projects with the help of a supervising professor leading to publications in scientific journals or conference proceedings.
  • Biology Field Courses: In the field training in ecology and conservation.