A northern mining town may not be an obvious place to get a great STEM education, but Sudbury’s Laurentian University is worth exploring. With a beautiful campus surrounded by lakes, hiking trails, and wilderness, Laurentian boasts all the amenities of a large, modern, urban university, but with an intimate, small-town feel. Smaller class sizes make for a more relaxed and personalized learning experience, and the availability of many programs in French enables students to use what they’ve learned in both official languages.
Through the Faculty of Science, Engineering, and Architecture, Laurentian offers world-class STEM programs. With a curriculum that’s tied into Northern Ontario’s unique industrial economy, environment, and culture, students get hands-on opportunities to apply what they’ve learned in ways that can’t be found anywhere else in Canada. Outings to explore the natural and industrial landscape feature in many of these programs and most sites are an easy 15-minute drive from the campus.
Whether it’s a design-build focusing on climate change resilience in northern communities, new ways to treat neurological disorders, or solving complex crimes, the faculty’s hands-on STEM programs provide students with opportunities to apply and execute what they’re learning in the real world — ensuring they’re career-ready when they graduate.
As architecture becomes more interdisciplinary, tomorrow’s designers need to embrace different ways of learning, thinking, and doing. Laurentian’s Bachelor of Architectural Science program — with its tricultural anglophone, francophone, and Indigenous learning mandate — provides students with rich and diverse experiential learning beyond the drafting table. Through design-build and community design projects geared to northern climates, as well as two co-op work terms in the building industry and a design office, students are prepared for many design-related career paths —professional architecture, urban planning and community design, ecology, and sustainability.
Combining traditional knowledge and craft, learned from Indigenous elders on staff, with cutting-edge digital fabrication is integral to the program. The emphasis is on developing expertise in wood and sustainability, and designing structures with minimal materials that can have a regenerative ecological effect. What better program for students to gain the skills needed to make the world a better place?
As one of the faculty’s most popular STEM programs, the Honours Bachelor of Science in Behavioural Neuroscience degree program attracts students who are truly passionate about the study of human behaviour with neurobiological perspectives. With a curriculum that combines the best of biochemistry, biology, and psychology, students get an all-encompassing education in neuroscience as well as other sciences, which makes them eligible for multiple career paths when they graduate in fields such as biology, dentistry, medicine, neuroscience, and psychology.
There’s lots of dedicated lab space for students to explore and test ideas that interest them. The program comes with a mandatory fourth-year thesis, with many students having the opportunity to work on cutting-edge neuroscience projects. With growing demand for scientists and technicians with expertise in both behavioural and biochemical sciences, graduates from this program have a competitive edge in the job market.
The undergraduate Forensic Science program offers a solid education in how scientific data is generated, analyzed, and interpreted to solve criminal investigations. Students may take a single concentration in forensic science or a combined concentration with either chemistry or biology. Through a partnership with the Ontario Police College and the Canadian Police College, students can also obtain a Certificate of Forensic Identification concurrently with their degree by completing a series of online courses.
The possibilities are endless, with career opportunities that include forensic identification officer, forensic pathologist, forensic anthropologist, DNA scientist, police officer, forensic chemist, and laboratory technologist, as well as opportunities in medicine and law.
All faculty members are forensic practitioners, who bring their own casework, experience, and respective areas of scientific expertise to the classroom. Through research projects, teaching laboratories, and fieldwork, students also get hands-on exposure to relevant crime scene investigation techniques. The education and training ensure that graduates are well-equipped to work to the benefit of Canada’s justice system.