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Hoping to Bask in a BASc

A photo of Siwalge Siwalge
Clever title, huh? I thought so. Well, as the title suggests, I am hoping to enter a Bachelor of Arts and Science program at university. I am currently in grade 13 and have thought this over quite thoroughly, however, I have been stunted by both my own remarkable indecisiveness and the university websites, which are harder to navigate than the path of enlightenment in Rome.

I am very interested in the fields of quantum and particle physics (I enjoy things that are very small, I guess), and am currently taking science and math courses to meet the entrance requirements for the big players (88+% is easy). I am also looking into the field of archaeology, having taken many history classes, enjoying every one immensely. Plus, I can easily see myself getting weak kneed at the sight of St. Peter's Basilica or the Pantheon (sorry, I'm currently reading Angels & Demons).

I realize that this program is obscure, but I have seen it at McMaster, to some extent. Recently, however, I took a trip to Mac, and was, shall we say... unimpressed. The faculty centres were vandalised, beautiful old buildings were boarded up on the inside, and worst of all (for me), despite the remarkable age of the campus, I found very little in the way of reminders of that fact. There were next to no murals, statues, fountains, art, and for a school famed for it's engineers, it was surprisingly dull to the eye. I am also looking into Queen's, McGill, and St. Francis Xavier, only having visited Queen's previously, however briefly. I have considered other options, such as double majors, and of course, there is always the option of switching later on if my chosen program doesn't work out.

Goodness, this is getting long... Alright, here is the gist of what I'm asking:

Could somebody please tell me (from experience, research, or general knowledge) about St. FX, Queen's, McMaster, and McGill (those in order of my preference) and their programs pertaining to physics and archaeology in a Bachelor of Arts and Science. Also, if there are other institutions I have missed in my research that offer this kind of program, I would be happy to know of them.

Thank you in advance,


*EDIT - Sorry about any grammatical, spelling, or syntax errors on my part, by the time I had finished writing this, the website had logged me out and I had to start all over.
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A photo of ktel ktel

@Siwalge wrote
There were next to no murals, statues, fountains, art, and for a school famed for it's engineers, it was surprisingly dull to the eye.

I think you're confusing engineers with architects...

I visited McMaster a few years ago for an engineering design competition, and found the campus to be quite lovely, and I had a lot of fun.

All the schools you are considering are really good ones, so I don't think you can go wrong. Just based on what you've written here it kind of sounds like you will be wanting to pursue grad school after your undergrad, and with that in mind I suggest you look at specific professors at each school and see what they are researching and whether that interests you. Then you can get try to get involved in that research (which might be easier to do at some universities than others).
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A photo of Siwalge Siwalge
Ah, yes, I suppose I am. Silly of me. It was lovely in certain spots, but I found the general campus to be lackluster. Grates over stained glass windows really turned me off.

Yes, Grad school is where I want to end up. The problem is, I'm not really sure where I want to focus my studies. That's why I was looking for a broader program, such as the BASc.
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A photo of ktel ktel
Well all universities have an arts faculty and a science faculty, and it's typically very easy to take both arts and sciences courses during your degree.
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A photo of Siwalge Siwalge
Excellent. That's what I figured, I just needed somebody to say that it could be done. All I've gotten so far are 'maybe's and 'I'm not sure's.
I will take your advice and look into the professors at each school. Perhaps something will jump out at me.
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A photo of kyleigh711 kyleigh711
Hi Eric,

I'm in first year artsci at Mac and I'm no expert but I did a decent amount of research into Arts and Science programs before applying to University, so I can give you an overview of what I found. I don't have much insight on physics or archaeology but I think some of what I do know may be applicable anyways. I apologize in advance if I write an essay.

First, Arts and Science programs vary quite a bit so it is good you are doing research before you apply. Also be aware that there is a difference between an arts and science program and an arts and science faculty. Queens, for instance, has a Faculty of Arts and Science but not an arts and science program. I don't know much about St. Francis Xavier, but from a quick google search I don't think they have an arts and science program either.

You mentioned the possibility of doing a double degree, which may be the easiest option since you have two very specific majors in mind, simply because you can choose any school that is strong in both areas.

Guelph, Windsor, and McGill have arts and science programs where you choose two specializations, one in the arts and one in the sciences. The main feedback I have heard about McGill's program is that it is basically a free-for-all when you choose courses. These programs may be a good fit for you since you have two very specific things you may want to specialize in. Also, I believe Windsor has a specialized program in quantum physics. Carleton has another interesting program called directed interdisciplinary studies where you essentially choose yourself what you want to focus your studies on.

McMaster Artsci and Waterloo Knowledge Integration are both a little bit different. Neither give you a specific major or specialization. Knowledge Integration focuses mostly on integration of different subjects and Mac's program focuses a lot on inquiry and skills like writing and critical thinking. These programs have a lot more required courses, so less time if you want to focus on a specific subject. You can do a combined honours, but overall I'm not sure if these programs are what you are looking for.

I hope some of this is helpful to you, and good luck with your applications!
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A photo of Siwalge Siwalge
Thank you! That was very helpful. I was very unclear about what Mac's ArtSci program really WAS. They seemed to advertise it as a sort of 'one size fits all' program, and I thought that would be good for me. All of the schools other than Mac, I would be doing a double major.

Thank you for addressing the differences in faculty:program. I was aware of that, however, I was a bit fuzzy on my options regarding cross-faculty studies. I guess I'm just a bit too used to the high school way of doing things.

I'm currently in the process of booking a guidance appointment, but unfortunately, the guidance secretary won't do anything for me without having the proper forms filled out, sent in, sent back, soaked, dried, shot by beta particles through a ceramic screen, given to her mother to bake into a cake, eaten, excreted, pressed, soaked again, distilled, turned into paper, rewritten, and finally given to me two weeks afterward. Yes, it takes a while. Plus, I'm not allowed to get a university oriented appointment until the head of guidance makes the university presentation which I've already seen twice.

That was longer and whinier than I first planned... Oh well. Thank you again for your time and words.
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A photo of Meridian Meridian
I can't really offer you info on Physics or Archeology, but based on your MAC comments, you do need to start planning your fall road trips to see the schools you are interested in.

Go to the fall open-houses at Queens (Oct29/Nov12) & McGill (Oct23) & MAC (Oct29). They are all medium sized schools with beautiful campus's. UWO falls into the same campus style. The open houses allow you to see a lot more than just a general walk-around. St-FX might be a problem to get there, but if you are serious about it being you #1 choice, don't accept without first visiting next spring.

You have to see and experience these places yourself.
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A photo of Siwalge Siwalge
Yes, I agree completely with you. I've already planned on visiting all of the campuses... Campi? Cam... never mind, the point is, I've made plans to see them all. UWO doesn't have the programs I'm looking for, though I do agree that it is rather pretty. Lots of stone and murals.

There are two reasons that St. FX is my first choice:
1) The campus (through pictures, virtual tours, and research) is lovely, lots of brickwork and greenery. Plus, it's located in Antigonish, which means there will not be many high buildings and congested streets like in Hamilton or Montreal.
2) It's very far away, almost guarenteeing my being detached from anybody I know here in Ontario. This may sound odd to some, but not being known at all by anybody really appeals to me.

My guidance appointment was made today, and I will be talking to my favourite councillor about programs and choices very soon.

The open houses are a great suggestion, thank you. I will look into them, and see what I can do about a trip to the east.
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A photo of xsara xsara
I am at St.FX right now, I did a B.Sc adv major in Biology and am currently in the education program.

The campus is gorgeous, the tallest building in town is maybe 7 or 8 stories (and it's on campus), and the sense of community is absolutely incredible.

I could ramble about it forever, and while I don't have any direct connections to the physics department, I have several friends who did honours degrees in physics and could probably get you in contact with them!

As far as archaeology goes, we have a fantastic earth science program and I think they offer courses in archaeology.

Really, you have to visit the campus and take a tour (given by students!) to appreciate it fully.

If you have more questions just send me an email, x2007tjm@stfx.ca, I never check this website. I could honestly go on and on about the good points of this school (and some negatives too, every school clearly has some).
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A photo of Siwalge Siwalge
Thank you everyone, this thread has been a great help in my decision making. As you can see in my signature below, my preferred schools are ready to go, in order of preference.

Thanks again!
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