Careers in health care and medicine

Students in lab coats standing in hallway at the University of Waterloo talking about careers in health

With 100+ undergraduate programs, Waterloo can help you prepare for medical school, optometry, pharmacy, nursing, and careers in many other health professions.

Four steps to careers in health care

1. Learn about your end goal

Do you want to be a physician? Dentist? Physiotherapist? Research your health profession schools of choice to see what's available and figure out the difference between each school while reaffirming your desire to study in that specific field. Here are a few resources to get you started.


2. Research the admission requirements

Once you determine the professional schools that you're interested in, learn about the admission requirements. Each school has its own set of criteria – often both academic and non-academic – that you must meet in order to be considered for admission. For example, you may need to take specific courses and labs (e.g. biology, kinesiology, organic chemistry, etc.) for different programs and universities.

3. Consider the possibilities

Now that you know the requirements for admission, find undergraduate programs that meet the academic criteria and that interest you the most. Make note of programs that may help you meet the requirements faster than others, and how you can use electives to obtain the necessary courses.

Some programs have built-in flexibility while others are more structured. Find programs that align with your goals and desired time frames.

Health professions and Waterloo programs that can be good preparation 


4. Study what you love

Choose an undergraduate program that enables you to study your passion. A good place to start is to look at Waterloo's health-related programs. Over time, you’ll refine your interests and learn about the many career options available in health-related fields – some may even be brand new to you. 

Why study health at Waterloo?

Learn by doing

More than 120 courses include labs – and you'll learn even more through North America's largest co-op program.

Receive outstanding support

Advisors can help you plan the steps towards your dream career. Meet like-minded students through clubs such as pre-med, pre-optometry, or pre-pharmacy.


Customize your path

Choose from nine programs plus many more specializations, minors, and options. After two or three years of university, you can apply to one of our professional programs: Pharmacy or Optometry.

Participate in research

Work with professors and researchers to help launch new discoveries. Or bring your own ideas to life: create your own health or life sciences startup through Velocity Science or GreenHouse.


Download or request our Pathways to Health Professions brochure to learn more about preparing for careers in health.

Email or call 519-888-4567, ext. 36243

Email or call 519-888-4567, ext. 36220