NATS Courses

Credit and a very heartfelt thank-you to James A. Potter for compiling this page.

Note: The course breakdowns on this page might have changed since the original comments were posted. 

Tip: Hit ‘Ctrl’ + ‘F’ on PC or ‘Function’ + ‘F’ on Mac to search for a course code.

GL/NATS 1500 
SC/NATS 1500 3.00 Statistics and Reasoning in Modern Society
SC/NATS 1510 3.00 The History of the Environment
  • “I suggest this class because of professor Ian Slater, who was amazing because he knew his shit and he made it easy to get a good mark. Also the course is pretty easy.”
  • “I have it S1 with Ian Slater and he’s really good at lecturing and explaining how he wants his assignments.”
  • “I just had Dr. Ian Slater last semester and got an A. He explains things really well and is super easy going as long as you maintain communication with him (for due dates and stuff).”
  • “I’m taking NATS 1510 currently and we don’t have to write a lot for our assignments.”
SC/NATS 1520 3.00 The Science and Technology of Music
GL/NATS 1540 6.00
SC/NATS 1540 3.00 Theories of Dinosaur Extinction
  • “I suggest this class because of professor Robert Levine, who was amazing because he knew his shit and he made it easy to get a good mark. Also the course is pretty easy.”
  • “The prof is great, and it was actually a really interesting course. One major assignment (choice of 4 possible ways to do the assignment) that was 30%, 3 quizzes worth 5% each, Tutorial attendance 10%, Tutorial participation 10%, mid-term 15%, final 20%. The readings weren’t that bad content wise and also pretty interesting and I found that it wasn’t too much each week.”
  • “It’s very easy if you do all the readings and watch the videos.”
  • “Interesting course and easy material as long as you do the readings. The prof didn’t surprise us with anything on the exam and quizzes.”
SC/NATS 1550 3.00 Science of Animal Migration
SC/NATS 1560 3.00 Understanding Food
SC/NATS 1570 3.00 Exploring the Solar System
  • "Pretty easy course and done almost fully through Moodle. Prof Helen Armour is very clear in her lecturing and her slides are so that you still need to listen to her lectures (she records herself and posts everything on Moodle with slides and audio) and take notes to get an A but you can get a B with just studying what’s on them. The breakdown was 5% participation with a clicker, 5% reading quizzes (textbook is free and online), 30% 3 assignments, 25% midterm (MC + Short Answer), 35% final (100 MC). Everything but the midterm and final are done on Moodle. Prof Armour was very quick in answering her emails which is always a bonus!"
SC/NATS 1575 3.00 Forensic Science - An Introduction
  • "Prof Iyer Raiji (possible misspelling). She’s VERY approachable and nice. Her accent might be a challenge to non-native speakers/international students, but she’s very helpful so if you have any question you can talk to her.
    Course material is quite easy if you have a highs chool background in chemistry, physics and biology (more on the latter two). I managed a B+ without taking any science class in my grade 12 and I had graduated from highschool 3 years by the time I took this class. An A however is possible; I guess I didn’t put in enough work.
    Also, course material is very interesting and covers a lot of interesting cases. Prof let us watch plenty of videos (almost 1 video per week, usually episodes from Medical Detectives), which will be in the exam and tests.
    Course breakdown: 2 tests, final and an essay/research paper. Pretty hard marker on the paper (which depends on the TAs really). We get most of the test questions in advance (with answer) - MC and short answers. 
    She posted all lecture slides on Moodle, which is basically a summary of your textbook.
    Bottom line: read the textbook and attend ALL lectures (for the videos) and you will do well.” 
GL/NATS 1605 6.00
SC/NATS 1610 6.00 The Living Body
  • “Never went to class, barely studied, got an A+”
  • “Never took biology before and still got an A.”
  • “Take it with Prof. Czaban if you’ve taken high school bio. Got an A and went to one of the exams hungover.”
  • “Really easy if you’ve taken gr 11-12 bio.”
  • “I wouldn’t say 1610 is really easy. Yes, the labs are a piece of cake but the final tests can get you if you didn’t study well.”
  • “If they have NATS 1610 online or during summer or whenever I recommend everyone to take it! It’ll be a breeze especially if you have some basic 11 & 12 biology knowledge!”
  • "Easy B course at least.. If you took grade 12 biology, it should be very easy."
  • "A lot of work and memorization! :S"
  • "If you have taken bio in high  school … This will be a simple course … I basically studied for tests the night before and ended up with an A in the course. Never read  the textbook, just attended lectures and studied from her ppt slides.  The there are 4 tests, 2 major and 2 minor. The lab mark is worth 20% I believe and everyone got like 90s. I would highly recommend it! =)"
  • "If you have taken Grade 12 biology this class is a breeze, especially with Prof.Barbara C. You learn the basics of things like evolution, cells, easy cycles (water, carbon), body systems. Does not go into to much depth with it all. If you have not taken science since grade 10 i wouldn’t recommend this course. It’s 4 tests which add up to 75% and bi-weekly labs which account for 25% of your grade. The labs don’t always relate to the lectures but they are pretty simple from my experience."
SC/NATS 1650 6.00 Human Anatomy for the Fine Arts
  • “NATS Anatomy was a lot of memorizing, but none of science/biology type of stuff. I did really well. You just have to have a memorizing technique. I got an A in anatomy, btw, it’s very straight forward and interesting.. but then again I’m an anatomy fan. The class involves learning pretty much all anatomy. Starting with bones  which was kinda awesome; and joints etc. Then muscles, which were the hardest out of everything, but totally doable, you just need to sit down and study. And then you learn all of the body systems: nervous, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, etc. Of course you won’t learn it in as much detail as med school students, but still you’ll learn a lot, which is kinda awesome. You’ll learn how things work in your body. I enjoyed it very much. And what I liked the most - it’s not like biology-either you get it or not. With anatomy it’s either you remember what things are called, etc or not.”
SC/NATS 1660 6.00 The Biology of Sex
  • "Pretty interesting, not to hard and the labs are fun!"
  • "I’d highly recommend it. I have professor Vicari and he was great. They teach you all you need to know about biology and it’s really interesting! Great 6 credit course."
SC/NATS 1670 6.00 Concepts in Human Health and Disease
SC/NATS 1675 6.00 Human Development
  • I took this course with Professor Barbara Czaban.  If you took Grade 11/12 Biology and Chemistry in high school, then, this should be a very easy course.  If not, then it is very difficult for non-science students.  The prof always posts the powerpoint online, so going to the lectures are not necessary as she goes through each slide.  I find the textbook helpful for non-science students.  The mark breakdown are 4 tests (each of them are 20%) and two assignments (10% each).  The tests are all multiple choices and the assignments are extremely easy in a way that you have to find 10 articles and write two paragraphs consisting the summary and your opinion for each article. In order to pass, memorization and repetition are key in order to pass this course, every single day.
  • “I just took this course, it’s made up of 4 tests and 2 assignments. The course involves basic biology and chemistry, so if you took them in high school you should be fine. It’s also focused on human development before birth, fyi. If you took grade 11 bio and chem, then you’ll be fine. A lot of the bio involves mitosis and meiosis, the reproductive systems, and then towards the end you learn about punnett squares. And the chemistry at the beginning is mainly focused on electrons, protons and neutrons, basic stuff like that. It’s not difficult if you pay attention.”
  • "Good for those that haven’t taken science in gr10. skips over anything to do with real science and sticks to easy definitions."
SC/NATS 1690 6.00 Evolution
  • "I got an A+. 4 tests all multiple choice and super easy labs. It will help a lot if you have a background in biology. — The first half of the course deals with basic biology (grade 11/12) like cells and genetics. The 2nd half focuses more on several topics on evolution.  I would say a lot of bio is involved, but its basic stuff.  There is a bit of history involving Charles Darwin and other scientists."
SC/NATS 1700 6.00 Computers, Information and Society
  • Dov Lungu makes the class super easy. Hard to understand in lecture or focus but he posts all his powerpoints online. Easy A. Tries to allow students to succeed!”
  • "Seemed to be pretty easy. The math part through me off though.  Converting decimals into Binary, Hexadecimal and the list goes on…"
  • "The questions about computers  was really easy, its kind of confusing because its like learning 3 different topics at once, if your good at math (computer math) converting back and forth then go for it"
  • "NATS1700 online seems very  easy thus far this summer. 3 tests 2 assignments. the tests are fair but tight for time, however not a lot of material on each test."
  • "I took that with Prof. Kashiyama who no one seemed to like because he didn’t spoon feed us. He gave clear and concise instructions but most people in the class were extra stupid that year, I think. The course was 3 exams online, 2 assignments and 3 mini reflections in the class forum. It was very easy but if you aren’t familiar with HTML/making a website and can’t be  bothered to learn, don’t take the class because that’s what the two assignments involved. There was also binary which people hated. I  personally really liked the course and found it to be super easy."
SC/NATS 1710 6.00 The Nature and Growth of Scientific Thought
SC/NATS 1720 6.00 Light and Sound
SC/NATS 1740 6.00 Astronomy
  • “With Patrick Hall. Just go to the labs, It’s so easy…The online quizzes and stuff you can just google the answers.”
  • “With Patrick Hall. I didn’t find it so easy, but other people did. The lectures are really boring, and you have to do these online quizzes every week. It’s not a super hard course, if you keep up with it, but it’s def not easy. There are two assignments, one for the fall and the other for winter, and then you have labs every other week which are easy. The exams are all multiple choice but aren’t super easy…I personally would suggest another NATS course.”
  • “For online course: Same thing as in class, the lectures are recorded. Easy course. There’s an on campus midterm & final worth 31% each. A 20% project, 6 very easy Assignments worth 2% each, And 12 reading quizzes worth 0.5% each.”
  • “The lectures are pretty much summaries of the textbook sections, so that shouldn’t be too bad.. the lab is easy.”
  • “Took the online section with Tatiana Ouvarova Paulin for NATS 1740. She wasn’t bad but you pretty much have to study everything on your own. If you have any questions she answers them without taking much time. And the exams are really easy (pretty much from the assignment questions and online study guide). The projects were a bit annoying though. There was a project where you had to go out and observe the moon for like a week. And then a research essay for any topic related to the course content.”
  • “No essays at all. Purely online quizes, in-class assignments, which are both EASY. Midterm/exam are 100 mc questions.”
  • "Easy if you still remember the physics and chemistry of grade 11 &12."
  • "I also took the course with Tatiana O. Paulin online last summer, and like the person said before me - you literally have to study everything on your own. I actually hated the course because of this and found it to be really tedious with the assignments, projects, and moon readings. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this course to people who have a hard time learning on their own or teaching themselves. There was also an in-class midterm and final exam for which you had to come to York to write. The assignments were all online through the Student Access Kit and so was the textbook, the moon readings were divided into two parts - so you had to hand in one part in the first half the course and the second part in the second half with the project. The professor also wanted you to take a picture of yourself standing in the same area from which you took moon readings as proof that you actually did it. Verdict - I will never tell anyone to take this course ever."  
SC/NATS 1745 6.00 History of Astronomy
  • “Took it with Robin Metcalfe. Easy, interesting plus an easy A.”
  • “Online class recommended. Easier course work.”
  • “I wouldn’t suggest NATS 1745 as it is a lot of memory work if you are not interested in that field.”
  • “DO NOT recommend History of Astronomy AT ALL! Don’t know if it was just cause it was my 1st year or I am just not Astronomy kind of person, but I was SO lost. I would Avoid anything with Astronomy (even my math major friend recommended to avoid anything with Astronomy, lol, I didn’t listen of course)”
  • “No essays at all. Purely online quizes, in-class assignments, which are both EASY. Midterm/exam are 100 mc questions.”
  • “NATS 1745 with Robin M is a great and easy course. When I missed some classes she let me have access to the online one. It’s all the same except you won’t have ppl around you to help out with the homework assignments. The only memorization is the exams and it’s all mcq and pretty straight forward. Just a warning it’s always the fastest filling course in all NATS so if you didn’t get in, email the prof to be on the waiting list etc. She can add 10 ppl past the limit. Course outline: 32% Midterm Exam, 32% Final Exam, 15% Term Project, 15% Homework assignments (best 5 out of 6, 3% each), 6% Reading quizzes (12 quizzes, 0.5% each). The term project is 3 one-page essays, very easy and tons of time. The homework assignments can be done in 35 minutes and there are only 6 of them with best 5 marked. Reading quizzes are open-booked chapter by chapter but timed (more than enough time to find the answers). That’s the average for all NATS and from comparing this one had a lot less work.”
  • “One of the easier NATS courses. I had online Moodle quizzes, 4 mini assignments, a midterm and a final! And there is some grade 12 math involved in it.”
  • "I suck in science while I was in high school and I never took any chemistry course, also my high school was 8 years from now, but I can say 1745 with Prof. Robin is quite easy. It is easy but have to put some efforts on memorization.”
  • "As long as you do the work an A is easily attainable."
  • "Pretty straightforward. 4 assignments with a bit of math involved(nothing really past HS math skills needed)"
  • “History of Astronomy is an easy A - with the prof Robin Metcalfe, anyway. When you do assignments, you start them in class and the prof is happy to answer any questions. There is some math, but it’s pretty simple. It’s a great course! It’s really interesting too.”
SC/NATS 1750 6.00 The Earth and Its Atmosphere
  • “Easy A course. 2 hour lecture, twice a week, there’s no tutorial but 8 labs (most of them are very easy). 2 essays throughout the term, 2 test 2 exam.”
  • “It was super easy with Ian Mcdade (Australian prof)”
SC/NATS 1760 6.00 Science, Technology and Society
  • “With Jones-Imhotep, you have to go to every lecture and take really good notes, but I liked the course overall and you can easily take it with little background in science. One short essay, two midterms and a final.”
  • “NATS 1760 was easy! I had Ian Slater… Very few assignments, two exams (I think). His notes were amazing so I didn’t do many of the readings and came out with a B+”
  • “So boring yet so easy.”
  • "I was gonna take it but I just read up on the profs teaching and supposedly they’re horrible :/"
  • "It’s hard."
  • "Of what I’ve read if you do the work and do the textbook readings it’s not that bad. And the professor is pretty good!"
  • "I found it very easy actually. There were 3 tests 20% each and an essay.  The tests were essay based. The lectures were straight forward & easy to understand, readings were a little more challenging. But I just studied the lectures and always got an A on the tests. And for the essay you read another  book called Sacred balance by David Suzuki, such an interesting book! It talks about the environment.  Overall, I found the class interesting & reasonable in terms of the workload."
GL/NATS 1770 6.00
SC/NATS 1775 6.00 Technology and Civilization
  • “Take it with Prof. Vera Pavri. Very straightforward lecturer, posts detailed notes online. There’s an essay worth 30% that I didn’t enjoy writing, but other than that I barely did any work. (You could do much worse for a NATS course, believe me. There are probably a few that are easier and some that are just terrible/misleading.)”
  • “Easy. You only have 2 big assignments, a midterm and final exam.”
  • “NATS 1775 is really easy. The prof posts her own lecture notes and explains the material really well in lecture. The mark is broken down into one small book review, one major paper, a midterm and final all of which are really easy.”
  • “It had a paper based off a book you read 7% — it was what you learned from the book, it was about like common science myths like buying a more expensive face cream will work better but in actuality it wont and talks about that stuff and then a major essay worth 25%”
  • "Take it! The prof is just wonderful! if you attend class you’ll do very well! She’s clear and when you  attend you know exactly what will be on the exam she makes it obvious that it is important plus attendance counts for your mark she puts up lecture notes before class and they are pretty informative so then you can just input any expansion of her points that she says in class! loved  the prof."
  • "No physics nothing hard just info its midterm a final and one essay if I remember correctly, its  about different technologies and how different societies used them, it covers telephone, telegraph, the Manhattan project etc… its quite interesting."
  • "With Vera Pavri - it’s an easy class to get a B or even an A in. The lecture notes are already provided ahead of time, and the exam itself is SO easy, the midterm was 80 multiple choice and 3 short answer questions. There are little assignments that are really easy and then an essay which isn’t too hard either, and ofcourse the final exam."
SC/NATS 1780 6.00 Weather and Climate
  • “NATS 1780 with Prof Ian Lumb. It is a great course! It had 4 assignments (@5% each), 4 quizzes (@5% each), 1 mid-term (25%) and 1 final exam (25%).”
  • “It’s not an easy NATS course, that’s for sure. You will learn a lot though, if you’re interested in weather and climate you will definitely like the course. There is math involved and a lot of course content. If you are a science student it shouldn’t be difficult.”
  • “Lots of math. Be prepared, not easy at all. You have to calculate things like density and pressure and if you get the first one wrong it screws up the rest of the answers. I had Ian Lumb. He did not give examples and just expected us to figure it out on our own. He drops a lot of hints so as long as you go to class and review past exams it’s all good.”
  • "The perfect first year course. I hated this class honestly, it was boring for me to sit through but actually a good class if you a) like meteorology in the slightest or b) don’t like any other NATS class. Lectures once a week for three hours but the prof (Lumb) records them with the lecture slides and puts it online so if needed you can skip the lecture and watch it on your own time. Tutorials are 4 times a semester with a sheet you fill out in tutorial due. No midterms just a final exam that isn’t hard if you just go to class or do the readings. Two assignments a semester and a optional tutorial that you can ask questions in before it is due. It’s perfect because the prof understands you mess up in your first year and its a transition. Worst test mark each semester is dropped, grants extensions if you have a valid reason, doesn’t expect you to know everything, is clear about what is on the exam exactly, bonus assignments in you mess one up."
GL/NATS 1800 3.00
SC/NATS 1820 6.00 Molecules and the Mind
SC/NATS 1840 6.00  Science, Technology and the Environment
  • “Prof. Slater is so laid back he let us hand in our final paper on the last day of exams.”
  • “Pretty simple. I had no idea what I was doing, whatsoever, throughout the entire course and I dropped science in high school after grade 10; I managed a B+. Two exams, all multiple choice, a few labs to do at home (fool proof), two tests per term, and a research assignment per term. Many of the TA’s mark everything very very simply.”
  • “There was only tests short online quizzes (very easy, trust me) and participation (through clicker). Talked about toxic chemicals in the environment (pesticides, DDT, gas plant explosions etc). There were no labs or anything when I took it.”
  • “Science, Technology and the Environment with Ian Slater. 10% Attendance, 2 10% assignments, a 20% mid-term, a 30% major essay, and a 20% final exam. If you go to class and listen in lectures, you’ll get an A without doing much of the readings for the tests. His lectures are only 1.5 hours, with another hour dedicated to an optional question and answering session if you REALLY need some clarification on the subject matter. It’s basically a history class of how science and technology emerged in various societies, and how such technologies affect(ed) the environment - and Dr. Slater is an excellent lecturer (check his ratings onratemyprofessor.com and see for yourself).”
  • "Really easy, barely went to the lectures and tutorials and came out with a B+! (Although, I don’t advise that lol go to class) Only 2 essays, 1 10% proposition letter, one midterm and a final! - with Prof. Ron Chopowick"
SC/NATS 1860 6.00 Science: Past, Present and Future
SC/NATS 1870 6.00  Understanding Colour
  • “Took it with Professor Raji Iyer; easy but boring. There are only 4 tests, and everything on them are from the lecture slides.”
  • “For SU term, online: Pretty easy just have to keep up with the lectures. The assignments are quite easy as well. Getting a 90 by just keeping up with the videos. Easy.”
  • “Take it with Mary Helen Armour. Easiest class ever.”
  • “Understanding Colour is the best class I ever took. You learn some cool stuff! There’s only 2 tests, 2 exams and 1 assignment. A is possible in this class. The math is really simple.”
  • “Understanding color is the easiest course I’ve ever taken…A+ is achievable.”
  • “Actually the easiest and best course! It’s a little more workload than usual but it’s very easy. So the breakdown is great because it helps you walk into exams with a higher mark. There is 20 quizzes, 2 exams, small assignment. I took it online with Tatiana Paulin and I really enjoyed it.”
  • "I have a mixed feeling for this course. took it last summer. easy but super tedious.  The breakdown consists of online quizzes every week, 5 assignments, research paper (not a real paper.. you just compare the news in a newspaper the with the original  academic article), a midterm and a final."
SC/NATS 1880 6.00 Life Beyond Earth
  • “Horrifying. A lot of work. Hated it.”
  • “Life Beyond Earth’s pretty easy. It’s basically astronomy for dummies, and all the lecture notes get posted on Moodle… and it’s got an Australian prof, too!”
  • “Easy. If you do your readings and attend lectures then you’ll get 90%, if you just attend lectures and rarely do the readings you’ll get 70% and above.”
GL/NATS 1890 6.00
SC/NATS 1910 6.00 Food, Science and Technology
  • “Food, Science and Technology was super easy. I took it during the summer three years ago and there were just four non-cumulative tests based on the textbook readings.”
SC/NATS 1920 6.00 The Nature and Growth of Ideas in Mathematics
SC/NATS 1930 6.00 The Science of Computation
SC/NATS 1945 6.00
GL/NATS 2203 6.00
GL/NATS 2205 6.00
GL/NATS 2300 3.00
GL/NATS 2310 3.00
GL/NATS 2920 6.00
GL/NATS 3200 6.00
GL/NATS 3230 6.00
GL/NATS 3635 3.00
GL/NATS 3642 3.00
GL/NATS 3670 3.00
GL/NATS 3675 3.00
GL/NATS 3690 3.00
GL/NATS 4205 3.00
GL/NATS 4215 3.00
GL/NATS 4620 3.00