Student Directed Seminars

Course Description

IntSci students can propose to create and lead a course currently not offered at UBC. To apply students must find a faculty sponsor for their proposed seminar, develop a course outline and submit it as well as an application to UBC's SDS Advisory Committee for approval. ISCI 490 counts as elective credit and will not count towards the discipline requirement for Integrated Sciences students.

The Student Directed Seminars (SDS) program is a student-driven experience that allows undergraduate students to create, organize and lead their own course. The SDS program provides upper-year undergraduate students with the opportunity to participate in an enriched educational experience by initiating, coordinating, and leading small, collaborative, group learning experiences for their peers on a topic of their choosing. SDS courses are particularly relevant to IntSci students who have their own unique programs. A course, for example, could be designed around the theme of an IntSci student's integration.

Applications open in late 2021 for 2021/2022 course offerings. Please visit the SDS Application website for more details. Please also feel free to contact the IntSci main office with questions relating to SDS courses.

Current ISCI 490 course offering

ISCI 490-202: Intersectional and Multidimensional Analysis of Disordered Eating and Diet Culture

Class Time: Tues and Thurs 5:00-6:30

Class Description: Our bodies are perceived and criticized differently, contributing to our difficult relationship with food, identity, and liberation. Fatphobia, racism, gender identity and ableism are all intertwined and connected within this discourse yet are often left out of the research and conversation. In order to counter disordered eating and diet culture, these experiences and factors must be addressed and dissected. This seminar hopes to explore intersectionality in the context of disordered eating and diet culture, analyzing different disciplines and concepts to chip away at how we perceive ourselves, how society perceives us, and how we can combat and understand these nuances. 

Prerequisites and Registration: A letter of intent will be required to register (does not need to be ISCI students)-sent to In this letter interested students can outline courses that they believe would be sufficient background and why they would like to enroll in this course.  

Past ISCI 490 course offerings

  • Intermittent Fasting and Human Metabolic Health (2020W Coordinator Kevin Ren)
  • Making Smart Choices Post-COVID-19: Implications for Future Careers in Science and Medicine (2020W Coordinator Saman Fouladirad)
  • Placental Origins of Human Health and Disease (Coordinator; Elizabeth Wong, Faculty Sponsor: Wendy Robinson)
  • Human Bio-Psycho-Social Development (Coordinator: Saman Fouladirad Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Catherine Ann Cameron)
  • Biological Embedding: How Epigenetics, Neurodevelopment + Sociocultural Context Intersect to Shape Lifetime Health + Development (Coordinator: Sunny Chen Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Steven Barnes)
  • Modern Methods in Neuroscience (Coordinator: Jasmyne Kassam Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jason Snyder)
  • Addiction: A Comprehensive View of Substance and Behavioural Dependency (Coordinators: Farah Kassam and Richard Rigby; Faculty Sponsor:  Dr. Michael Souza)
  • The Politicization of Science (Coordinator:Elizabeth Hendren, Faculty Sponsor:Dr. Sunita Chowrira)
  • Science and Civilization in Islam (Coordinators: Aalia Sachedina and Raheem Noormohammed, Faculty Sponsor:Dr. Shafik Dharamsi)
  • Globalization and the Environment (Coordinators: Ashley Good and Shelby Tay, Faculty Sponsor: Dr. George Spiegelman)
  • A Scientific and Experiential Exploration of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (Coordinator: Muneera Hussain, Faculty Sponsor:Dr. Lyren Chiu)
  • Community Ecology & Communicable Diseases (Coordinators: Rehana Nanjijuma and Shazia Karmali, Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Shafiq Dharamsi)
  • Medical Innovation and Healthcare Politics (Coordinator: Pouya Rezazadeh-Azar, Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Ian Scott)
  • An Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Marine Protected Areas (Coordinator: Becky Freedman, Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Lee Gass)
2021 WT2