Courses for your Materials and Nanosciences degree

First-year courses

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

  • CHEM 121/121L – Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter/Laboratory
  • CS 114 – Principles of Computing for Science
  • MATH 127 – Calculus 1 for the Sciences
  • MNS 10 – Materials and Nanosciences Seminar
  • MNS 101 – Materials and Nanosciences in the Modern World
  • PHYS 121/121L – Mechanics/Laboratory

January to April


This a sample schedule. Courses or when a course is offered may change depending on availability.

After first year

About half of the classes you’ll take will be Materials and Nanosciences courses with about the other half being Chemistry, Math and Physics 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

MNS 211 – Chemistry and the Solid State
MNS 322 – Polymer Materials
AMATH 250 – Introduction to Differential Equations
CHEM 209 – Introductory Spectroscopy and Structure


Types of courses you'll take

24% materials and nanosciences, 19% chemistry, 10% math, 21% physics, 17% program electives, 7% free, 2% communications

This is a general guideline. The ratio of courses may change slightly from year to year.

Skills you'll develop with this major

  • Advanced chemical/physical research and development applications
  • Fundamental laboratory techniques including synthetic methods and use of modern analytical instrumentation
  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Oral and written communication

This isn't an exhaustive list – rather a glimpse into the skills this 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.

Learn more

Overview of Waterloo's Materials and Nanosciences degree program.