Science School Frequently Asked Questions

Three students in goggles and lab coats perform an experiment.

If you have a question that isn’t covered below, please contact us here or call us at 416-696-4620.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

How are the Science School courses different from my high school?

While the curriculum is the same, what sets the Science School apart is our unique environment as well as an emphasis on group collaboration, science communication, lab work and real-world problem-solving. Also, our Innovation Course is one of a kind in Ontario. We’re dedicated to hands-on learning and preparing students for university. Graduates have gone on to remarkable careers in science, math, engineering, medicine, art, music and more.

How is the Innovation Course credit counted towards my Ontario Secondary School Diploma?

Our Innovation Course is an IDC4U credit. For your diploma, you may take up to three interdisciplinary studies courses (IDCs) as electives. However, you can take only one of each of IDC3O, IDC4O or IDC4U. Check with your guidance counsellor to confirm if you can use this credit towards your postsecondary application.

Can the Innovation Course be used as part of my university or college application?

As you apply for university, each school treats IDC4U courses differently. Most will accept it as part of your top six courses in calculating your average, but some specialized programs will not. Specialized programs may have a very specific list of prerequisites. Check the university website and talk to your guidance counsellor to determine the best choices for you.

Will I be able to attend graduation at my home school?

Yes. If you are attending the second semester of the school year at Science School, you will be transferred back to your home school before the end of the semester.

Are there field trips?

Yes! Past trips have included attending science-based university lectures, museum visits and chocolate factory visits. Students are encouraged to explore the city together by participating in activities like art festivals, attending Blue Jays games, or skating at Nathan Phillips Square.

ABOUT APPLYING

What are the course prerequisites?

The prerequisites for our Grade 12 university-level science courses will be the same as at your home school, as they follow the Ontario curriculum. There is no prerequisite for the Innovation Course.

Can I apply if I’m from outside Toronto?

Yes, as long as you are enrolled in a school board within the province of Ontario. Guidance counsellors from the Toronto Public and Toronto Catholic school boards will oversee the transfer of your enrollment and provide general guidance support.

Can I choose which semester I attend?

It is possible to make a case if necessary. When you apply to Science School, include a letter to the selection committee explaining why you are only able to attend during one of the semesters.

I am in Grade 10. Can I attend Science School next year?

It is possible, as long as you’ve completed the prerequisites for the courses you are planning to take at Science School.

Can my Grade 8 teacher write my recommendation?

No. All teacher recommendations must be from secondary school teachers. One of the two can be from a non-science or non-math teacher if you wish.

I am homeschooled. Who should write my recommendation?

Select someone who is not a family member who can comment on your study habits, how you work with others and your ability to take on challenges. For example, this could be a supervisor from work or a volunteer position you hold, a coach or a music teacher.

When will I be informed if I am accepted?

We typically communicate offers of acceptance in May. You will hear from us in time to choose your courses for next year with your school’s guidance department.

ABOUT THE CLASSES

What kinds of teachers teach at Science School?

Teachers are Toronto District and Toronto Catholic District School Board high school science and math teachers. They have to apply, just like students.

Are summer classes available?

No. The school operates from September to June.

How many students are in each class?

Enrollment in any particular class can range from 15 to 30, depending on its popularity.

Can I change my courses after I selected them?

Yes. Your course selection does not become final until your guidance counsellor registers you at the Science School.

Can I retake any Grade 12 classes at the Science School?

If you already received a credit for the course, you cannot retake the class at the Science School.

What does a course schedule look like?

Classes start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. every day. No more than four classes run each day, and they rotate time slots, ranging from an hour and five minutes to two-and-a-half hours long. When you are not in a class, those time slots are considered spare periods.

What can I do between classes?

During your spare and lunch periods, you can eat or do homework, complete your practicum hours, go for a walk in the Don Valley or participate in other Science Centre activities like media events, exhibit prototyping or workshops.

Is there a dress code at Science School?

Yes. As you move through the building every day, our visitors will look to you as a member of the Science Centre team to assist them with their visit. The dress code is business casual but still represents you.