Science School Frequently Asked Questions

A Science School student uses a pipette to transfer a liquid into a test tube

About the Program

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

While the curriculum is the same, what sets Science School apart is our unique environment and our emphasis on group collaboration, science communication, lab work and real-world problem-solving. 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 does the Innovation Course credit count 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 that you can use this credit towards your postsecondary application.

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

Each university and college treats IDC4U courses differently. Most will accept the Innovation Course 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 option for you.

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

When you attend Science School, you will register at one of our partner schools. If you attend second semester, this may mean that your diploma is issued by that partner school. Please discuss with your guidance counsellor whether you can participate in any graduation ceremonies at your home school.

Are there field trips?

Yes! Past trips have included science-based university lectures, museums and chocolate factories. 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

How will students be selected?

All students who have the required prerequisites and submit their complete applications by the due date will be considered. 

Science School has 36 available spots per semester. To ensure the Science School student population reflects Ontario’s diverse demographic composition, we will reserve 10 spots for students living outside the GTA and 10 spots for students living in priority neighbourhoods within the City of Toronto. If some reserved spots are unfilled, we will fill them via random draw along with the 16 remaining spots. We will also create a waitlist via random draw.

We will contact you if you have received a spot in the program or on the waitlist. You will have two weeks to accept your placement. If you do not respond within two weeks, your spot will be offered to the next student on the waitlist. We will continue this process until all spots are filled.

What information do I need to include in my application?

The information you provide is strictly confidential and will only be shared with the selection committee for the sole purpose of evaluating your application for admission.

On the online form, we will ask you to provide:

  • Your name, address, email address and phone number
  • The name and address of your school
  • Your guidance counsellor's name and email address
  • The names of the courses you would like to take while attending Science School
  • Your current academic transcript

We will also ask you to provide a written expression of interest. Please provide a 300-word response to the following prompt:

  • Please describe either: a) something you have done lately that you are proud of, or b) something you’ve learned recently that you found interesting.

Additionally, we will ask for a short written reflection completed by a parent or guardian. Please have your parent or guardian provide a 200-word response to the following prompt:

  • What aspect of Science School do you think the applicant would find the most meaningful? From what you know about Science School, why do you think this student would benefit from this experience? (200 words)

Please note that we will use the above responses to gauge your interest in the program; they will not be formally graded or evaluated.

If the process is a random draw, why is there a question to answer?

Answering this question confirms your interest in attending Science School. Your answer provides us with insight into you as a person and lets us know about your expectations of the program.

Why is there a question for a parent or guardian?

This question will help us understand expectations of the program.


Please obtain an official copy of your current academic transcript, including any available mid-term marks, and upload it using the link in the application form. Please note: It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all the prerequisites before you enrol in any Science School course. The prerequisite for the IDC4U Innovation Course is any university or university/college preparation course.

Housing and Transportation

You will be responsible for any housing or transportation required to attend Science School. We will provide all Science School students with a short list of local rental locations where students have stayed in the past.

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.

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 our partner school boards (TCDSB, PDSB, DDSB) will oversee the transfer of your enrolment and provide general guidance support. You are responsible for arranging your own accommodation, travel and living expenses while you are attending Science School.

Can I choose which semester I attend?

It is possible to make a case for choosing your semester 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?

Yes, you can apply as long as you’ve completed the prerequisites for the courses you are planning to take at Science School.

Can I attend as an international student?

Before you apply, please discuss with your home school guidance counsellor, as acceptance to Science School will affect the fees you pay as an international student.

About the Classes

What kinds of teachers teach at Science School?

Science and math teachers are seconded to Science School for two years from one of our partner school boards. They are members in good standing of the Ontario College of Teachers, and they have to apply for a spot at Science School, just like students.

Are summer classes available?

No. The school operates from September to June.

How many students are in each class?

Class sizes depend on the number of students who enrol in any given course but do not exceed 30 to 36 students (depending on the number of students registered in a semester).

Can I change my courses after I select them?

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

Can I retake any Grade 12 classes at Science School?

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

What does a course schedule look like?

Classes start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:35 p.m. every day. Each day consists of three 75-minute periods, a 35-minute lunch break and a double period at the end of the day. Any period in which you are not enrolled in a course is considered your spare.

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. You will be a member of the Science Centre team during your time at Science School, and we ask that you keep this in mind when dressing for school.