Discover the building blocks of life. Like Lego, only better.

Create chemicals. Analyze genes. Explore the fundamentals of metabolism. You’ll start with a broad science foundation in first year, including biology, physics, calculus, and (of course) chemistry.

If you choose to add the Biotechnology specialization, you'll examine the biological and biochemical processes used to make new disease-fighting drugs and other valuable products. And if you choose the co-op stream, you'll get the opportunity to get paid work experience while you pursue your degree.

You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills to work in a wide range of areas, from forensics to pharmaceuticals to food and agriculture.

Grab your lab coat

Thanks to our extensive range of lab courses, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to learn hands-on skills like chromatography, electrophoresis, nuclear magnetic resonance, and more.

Build an awesome résumé

Interested in teaching? Get experience as an undergraduate teaching assistant. Aiming for a career in research? Be a research assistant with one of our world-renowned professors. 


A student in the bachelor of science in biochemistry degree program works in a lab.

TrophyWaterloo is ranked internationally for both biology and chemistry

Breifcase Available as a co-op and regular program

CapEarn a Bachelor of Science degree


Admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Two of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Mathematics of Data Management, or Physics (Biology, Chemistry, and/or Physics are recommended)

Admission averages: Low 80s

We recommend you complete the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


How to apply

Apply to Life Sciences and select Biochemistry as your major in first year.

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First-year courses

September to December

January to April

  • BIOL 239 - Genetics
  • CHEM 125/125L - Chemical Reactions, Equilibria and Kinetics/Laboratory
  • MATH 128 - Calculus 2 for the Sciences
  • CHEM 140 - Introduction to Scientific Calculations
  • Choose one from:

After first year

Most of the classes you’ll take will be Biology and 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 430 – Special Topics in Biochemistry
CHEM 433 – Advanced Biochemistry
BIOL 341 – Fundamentals of Immunology
BIOL 365 – Methods in Bioinformatics


Customize your Biochemistry major

You can include one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular areas of focus include Economics, Mathematics, Psychology, and Biotechnology.

BeakerOffered through the Faculty of Science

ClickApply to Life Sciences, select Biochemistry as your major

book iconAvailable as a major and minor


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Chemical laboratory technician
  • Aquatic toxicity testing technologist
  • Research and development formulation technician
  • Brewing analytical technician
  • Food technologist
  • Undergraduate assurance technician

Sample co-op employers

  • Harvard Medical School
  • Health Canada
  • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Maple Leaf Foods
  • Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
  • Zhejiang University

What can you do with a Biochemistry degree?

Graduates commonly pursue careers with pharmaceutical companies, labs, hospitals and health-related research institutes, agricultural companies, toxicology and in education, research, biotechnology, and more.

Recent graduates

  • Research Technician - The Hospital for Sick Children
  • Public Health Promoter - Huron County Health Unit
  • Quality Assurance Project Leader - Septodont, Novocol Pharmaceutical Division
  • Regulatory Agency Officer - Health Canada
  • Researcher Cancer Centre - Princess Margaret Hospital
  • Quality Compliance Specialist - McNeil Consumer Healthcare
  • Regulatory Affairs Specialist - Nutralab Canada
  • Project Analyst - University Health Network
  • Synthesis Technician - Sigma-Aldrich Canada 

Learn about the future of careers in science.

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