Biotechnology/Chartered Professional Accountancy

Spreadsheets + science = career success.

In the world of biotech, specialists who can understand both spreadsheets and gene sequencing are a hot commodity. Enroll in the only accountancy program in Canada that combines biotechnology, accounting, and paid co-op work terms.

You’ll learn about biology, biochemistry, and biotechnology in the Faculty of Science. At the same time, you’ll take accounting, auditing, financial management, and taxation courses in Waterloo’s top-ranked School of Accounting and Finance.

Outside the classroom, you’ll have all kinds of opportunities to get involved in competitions and student clubs. You’ll graduate ready to succeed in your choice of fields: accounting, bio-tech business development, financial analysis, and more.

Get career-relevant skills

Our curriculum emphasizes case-based lectures and workshops, along with the communications and analytical skills you’ll need for roles in leadership and management.

Build an awesome résumé

Explore possible career areas and acquire valuable on-the-job experience during your co-op work terms (experience that you may be able to credit towards a CPA designation!).


Female student headshot

Companies value the transferable skills that Isabel is developing in biotechnology, as well as her knowledge and expertise in financial management, accounting, auditing, and taxation.

About the program

Breifcase Graduate with 16 months of paid co-op experience

ClickApply directly to this program on your application

CapEarn a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology/CPA

MAccMove directly into your Master of Accounting after graduation

BeakerOffered by the Faculty of Science

Money FlowerStudents earn $13,350 on average per co-op work term

Admission requirements

  • Ontario students: 6 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)
    • 2 of: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Mathematics of Data Management, Physics (Recommended courses: Chemistry, Biology, Principles of Financial Accounting)
  • Admission averages: Low 90s
  • An Admission Information Form is recommended.
  • Available only to Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents.
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


This program leads to the Master of Accountancy program, which will qualify you to write the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants exam required to become a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).

Possible career areas

  • Audit and tax
  • Research and development monitoring and assessment
  • Pharmaceutical and medical technology

First-year Biotechnology/CPA courses

September to December

AFM 101 - Introduction to Financial Accounting
BIOL 130 - Introductory Cell Biology
CHEM 120/120L - Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter/Laboratory
SCBUS 225 - Organizational Behaviour in Scientific Technical Workplaces
ENGL 193/SPCOM 193 - Communication in the Sciences

January to April

AFM 102 - Introduction to Managerial Accounting
BIOL 239 - Genetics
CHEM 123/123L - Chemical Reactions, Equilibria and Kinetics/Laboratory
ECON 101 - Introduction to Microeconomics
SPCOM 111 - Leadership, Communication, and Collaboration


After first year

About half of the classes you’ll take will be Biology and Chemistry courses, and the other half will be Accounting and Financial Management courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas.

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

Sample upper-year courses

BIOL 239 – Genetics
BIOL 331 – Advanced Cell Biology
CHEM 432 – Metabolism 2
AFM 231 – Business Law


Gain relevant work experience through co-op

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

  • Staff accountant
  • Financial analyst
  • Supply chain analyst
  • Tax consultant
  • Assurance, external auditor
  • Wealth management financial reporting analyst
  • Transfer and administration assistant

Sample co-op employers

  • The Hospital for Sick Children
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Deloitte
  • Scotiabank
  • Magna International Inc.
  • Bank of Montreal
  • KPMG LLP Canada

Learn more about Biotechnology/Chartered Professional Accountancy