You + Waterloo = great chemistry
Fire up the Bunsen burners in one of Canada’s top five chemistry programs (Academic World Ranking of Universities 2023). You’ll study everything from organic chemistry and analytical chemistry to polymer chemistry, nanoscience, and more.
You can specialize in computational chemistry to study the fundamental properties of atoms, molecules, and reactions using quantum mechanics and thermodynamics. You'll learn to solve chemical problems using computer modelling and simulations.
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 can delve into the world of research with your own year-long project.
- Get professional credentials. When you graduate with your Chemistry degree, 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.
- Available as a regular and co-op program
- Available as a major and minor
- Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
- Offered through the Faculty of Science
What will you learn?
In your first year, you'll take a mixture of Chemistry, Mathematics, English, and Physics courses to give you the foundations for your upper-year classes. After first year, most of your classes will be Chemistry courses.
Learn more about courses you'll take for your Chemistry degree.
Customize your Chemistry degree
Add a specialization in Computational Chemistry to focus your studies or choose one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students to include additional areas of interest.
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Questions? Ask a student!
Contact a Science student ambassador to learn about their experience.
Ask them questions such as why the chose their program, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.
What sort of labs do you do?
Starting in first year, you'll begin with experiments that focus on your chemical techniques: studying redox reactions, making electrochemical cells, performing titrations, and even creating acetaminophen.
After first year, you'll learn about the organic synthesis of pharmaceuticals as well as experiments with inorganic semi-conductors and nanoparticles, computational models, and instruments used to analyse samples (mass spectrometry, chromatography). By graduation, our students say they feel like a real chemist and have gained solid confidence in the lab!
Co-op = relevant paid work experience
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your Chemistry degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your interests evolve.
Sample co-op job titles
- Brewing analytical technician
- Chemical technologist
- Science tutor
- Discovery analyst (pharmacology)
- Quality assurance technician
- Pharmacist assistant
- Product developer
What can you do with a Chemistry degree?
Many students choose to continue their education (such as a specialized Master's degree) to pursue careers in research or teaching. There are also many chemist positions if you plan to start your career upon graduation.
You can work as quality control and analytical chemists in research and development, bio-based materials, the food industry, pharmaceutical or agricultural companies, energy and the environment, universities and research institutions, craft breweries, water treatment facilities, and other manufacturing factories. These are jobs you can also try out as a co-op student!
- 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
Learn about the future of careers in science.
Chemistry 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
Admission averages: Low 80s
Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.
How to apply
Apply to Physical Sciences and choose Chemistry as your major.
Connect with us
Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?
Please contact Alisia, our Science recruitment coordinator who can answer any questions you have.