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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 25 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 as a guaranteed summer research position following the first year of study

What makes this Award different?

Everyone understands the importance of finding the funds to successfully complete university.  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:

a $5,000 entrance scholarship
one-on-one mentorship from outstanding faculty members
a guaranteed $5,000 paid summer research position for the summer following a student’s first year, and
leading-edge research facilities.

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.


YSSA Winners

Student Aleeza Qayyum

Aleeza Qayyum

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

Sakina Hasnain

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.

Learn More

Alyssa Duhon

The YSSA award has helped enrich my university experience by giving me the opportunity to expand my academic interests outside of my major. This experience allowed me to connect with professors and students in my research group during weekly meetings. Presenting my research also improved my communication skills and confidence in my work.

Learn More

Please contact science@yorku.ca 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 2020 are eligible to apply for this program. Newly enrolled first year Faculty of Science students are eligible to receive this award.

$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 Paid Summer Research Placement:
In the winter term (January 2021) of their first year, students will be matched with a summer research placement based on factors such as their area of study, research opportunities, and preferences. The summer position will pay $5,000 and upon completion of the summer placement, the funds will be credited to the recipient’s tuition account. Please note that a student must maintain a B+ average to retain their $5,000 paid 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

For a full description of application guidelines, please download the YSSA Application Guidelines 2020/2021

  • YSSA Application Form 2020/2021
  • YSSA Personal Statement Guidelines and Topics 2020/2021
  • YSSA Reference Form
  • Resume
  • Academic transcripts: The application requires transcripts that will already be received by the University as part of the applicant’s university application. The candidate will not need to submit these separately.

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. Your Science Scholar Award application is assessed in parallel to your application to the Faculty of Science.

Please submit YSSA applications directly to the Faculty of Science either digitally or in hard copy by no later than April 1, 2021 at 11:59PM.

1) Complete the application form
The most convenient and encourage method of submission is digitally. You can fill out the application form through our online portal or if you are submitting your application through hard copy, you can complete the form on your computer and then print it.

2) Write your personal statements
Please read the guidelines carefully and choose two topics in which you are the most passionate about.

Guidelines and Topics

3) Find at least two references. Only one can be a teacher
Choose references who know you well in a professional or academic setting and can write in regards to your character and qualities. We will accept up to three references with only one being a teacher (either taught you directly, supervised a club or coached you).

We encourage your referees to submit their form digitally by emailing science@yorku.ca no later than April 1, 2020 11:59PM.

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

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

5) Submit your application!

Digital submission
Please submit your application here:  York Science Scholars Award

Hard Copy submission
Please submit a hard copy of your application to:

York Science Scholars Award
Faculty of Science, York University
352 Lumbers Building, 4700 Keele St.
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

Documents must be received and date stamped by the Faculty of Science by April 1, 2021 at 11:59PM.

The 2021/2022 applications will open September 2020.

Applications for the York Science Scholars Award close as of April 1, 2021, 11:59PM.

Digital submission:
Please submit your York application digitally here.

Hard copy submission:
Please submit a hard copy of your application to:

York Science Scholars Award
Faculty of Science, York University
352 Lumbers Building, 4700 Keele St.
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

They must be received and date stamped by the Faculty of Science by April 1, 2021 at 11:59PM.

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+%$16,500 = ($4,000 renewable for 4 years) + $2,000 Science Entrance Scholarship
90-94.9%$4,500 = $2,500 + $2,000 Science Entrance Scholarship
Please visit futurestudents.yorku.ca/funding 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.