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. Enrol 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, biotech 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.

Money FlowerStudents earn $13,350 on average per co-op work term
BreifcaseGraduate with 16 months of paid co-op experience
CapEarn a Bachelor of Science degree

Admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12U 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, Physics (Recommended courses: Chemistry, Biology, Principles of Financial Accounting)

Admission averages: Low 90s

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

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


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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 and 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 a third of the classes you’ll take will be Biology and the other two thirds 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 443 – Fermentation Biotechnology
BIOL 331 – Advanced Cell Biology
AFM 433 – Business Strategy
AFM 231 – Business Law


MAccMove directly into the Master of Accounting program after graduation

ClickApply directly to this program on your application

BeakerOffered by the Faculty of Science


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

  • 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

What can I do with a degree in Biotechnology/CPA?

This program leads to the Master of Accounting 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

Learn about the future of careers in business.

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