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Chemistry

You + Waterloo = great chemistry.

Fire up the Bunsen burners in one of Canada’s top 10 chemistry programs. You’ll study everything from biochemistry and inorganic chemistry to polymer chemistry, nanoscience, and more. 

Meanwhile, you can gain 20 months of paid work experience through Waterloo's co-op program, allowing you to explore possible career paths while earning money to help pay for your education.

If you’re eyeing a career in teaching or academia, hone your instruction skills as a teaching assistant.

Grab your lab goggles

With 20+ laboratory courses to choose from, you’ll log more than 200 hours at the bench by the end of your second year. In your final year, you’ll delve into the world of research with a year-long project.

Get professional credentials

When you graduate, you’ll be eligible for a professional chemist membership from the Chemical Institute of Canada — and be ready to create the future of fuels, plastics, drugs, foods, and other consumer products.

 

blue powder

The program balances theory and practical work. Follow your interests by choosing to focus on areas such as analytical, organic, and polymer chemistry.

About the Chemistry program

Breifcase Available as a co-op and regular program

ClickApply to Physical Sciences and select Chemistry as your major

CapEarn a Bachelor of Science degree in Honours Chemistry

PersonQualify for membership in the Chemical Institute of Canada

BeakerOffered through the Faculty of Science

book iconAvailable as a major and minor
 

Chemistry 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)
    • Two of: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Mathematics of Data Management, or Physics (Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, and/or Physics are recommended)
  • Admission averages: Low 80s
  • An Admission Information Form is recommended
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements

How to apply

Apply to Physical Sciences and choose Chemistry as your major.

Careers in Chemistry

Graduates with a Chemistry degree typically pursue careers in industrial research and development, bio-based materials, the food industry, pharmaceutical or agricultural companies, energy and the environment, or with universities and research institutions.

Recent graduates

  • Analytical Chemist, Apotex Pharmachem Inc.
  • Chemist, GlaxoSmithKline Healthcare Inc.
  • Contact Lens Integration Lead, Medella Health
  • Organic Chemist, NeurAxon Inc.
  • Senior Technician, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
  • Instrumentation Analyst, ALS Environmental
  • Product Developer, JD Sweid Foods

First-year Chemistry courses 

September to December

CHEM 100 - Introduction to Chemical Sciences
CHEM 120/120L - Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter/Laboratory
MATH 127 - Calculus 1 for the Sciences
ENGL 193/SPCOM 193 - Communication in the Sciences
Choose one of:
 • PHYS 121/121L - Mechanics/Lab
 • PHYS 111/111L - Physics 1/Lab
Plus 1 elective

January to April

CHEM 123/123L - Chemical Reactions, Equilibria and Kinetics/Laboratory
CHEM 140 - Introduction to Scientific Calculations
MATH 128 - Calculus 2 for the Sciences
Choose one of:
 • PHYS 122/122L - Waves, Electricity and Magnetism/Lab
 • PHYS 112/112L - Physics 2/Lab
Plus 1 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

 

Customize your Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree

Add a specialization in Bio-based Chemistry or Computational Chemistry or include a minor in another subject to broaden your interests.

 

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

  • Brewing analytical technician
  • Chemical technologist
  • Science tutor
  • Discovery analyst (pharmacology)
  • Quality assurance technician
  • Pharmacist assistant
  • Product developer

Sample co-op employers

  • Colgate Palmolive Canada
  • Labatt Ontario Breweries
  • Agriculture & Agri-foods Canada
  • Apotex Inc.
  • Grand River Foods Ltd.
  • Ontario Ministry of Environment & Climate Change
  • University of British Columbia
 

Learn more about Chemistry