Courses for your Chemistry degree

 First-year courses and beyond

Programs/majors in the Faculty of Science start right in first year. To select your program with confidence, here’s some handy info to get you started.

September to December

January to April

  • CHEM 125/125L - Chemical Reactions, Equilibria and Kinetics/Laboratory
  • CHEM 140 - Introduction to Scientific Calculations
  • MATH 128 - Calculus 2 for the Sciences
  • Choose one of:
  • Plus one elective

After first year

Most of the classes you’ll take will be Chemistry courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

View a list of all the courses required for your degree.

Sample upper-year courses

CHEM 381 – Bioorganic Chemistry
CHEM 357 – Physical Biochemistry
CHEM 340 – Introductory Computational Chemistry
CHEM 356 – Introductory Quantum Mechanics


Types of courses you'll take

59% Chemistry courses, 27% electives, 7% math, 5% physics, 2% communications coursesThis is a general guideline. The ratio of courses may change slightly from year to year.

Skills you'll develop with this major

  • Technical laboratory skills, including designing experiments and manipulating DNA
  • Critical thinking
  • Data analysis
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

This isn't an exhaustive list – rather a glimpse into the skills a Chemistry major can provide.

Your experience will be unique, and the skills you develop will depend on your goals; which courses you take; and your involvement with any clubs, jobs, or research projects.


Advisors are here to help

With so much flexibility, you might have a lot of questions. We're here to help! If you're applying for admission, contact our Faculty of Science recruitment co-ordinator.

Once you're a Waterloo student, you'll have access to academic advisors who can help you

  • choose your courses,
  • select minors and specializations,
  • ensure that you're meeting the requirements for your degree, and more.

Next steps