You + Waterloo = great chemistry

A student in the Chemistry program at the University of Waterloo.

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. 

Specialize in bio-based chemistry and learn how to synthesize chemicals from renewable resources such as ethanol, corn, or cellulose. You'll focus on designing chemical products that are biodegradable. Or 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.

Breifcase Available as a co-op and regular program

PersonQualify for membership in the Chemical Institute of Canada

book iconAvailable as a major and minor


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 (Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, and/or Physics are recommended)

Admission averages: Low 80s

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

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


How to apply

Apply to Physical Sciences and choose Chemistry as your major.

Blue powder in a container in a chemistry lab.

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

What will you learn?

Programs/majors in the Faculty of Science start right in first year. To select your program with confidence, here’s some handy info to get you started.

Skills you'll develop with this major

  • Technical laboratory skills, including designing experiments and manipulating DNA
  • Critical thinking
  • Data analysis
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

This isn't an exhaustive list – rather a glimpse into the skills a Chemistry major can provide.

Your experience will be unique, and the skills you develop will depend on your goals; which courses you take; and your involvement with any clubs, jobs, or research projects.

Types of courses you'll take

59% Chemistry courses, 27% electives, 7% math, 5% physics, 2% communications coursesThis is a general guideline. The ratio of courses may change slightly from year to year.


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megaphone icon"We gain lots of hands-on experience, including advanced six-hour labs in upper years! In chemistry, it's so important to apply what you learn in class. I actually felt like a 'real' chemist and was prepared to take on research during co-op terms."Lilli, fourth-year Chemistry student (specialization in Materials Chemistry)

ClickApply to Physical Sciences and select Chemistry as your major

BeakerOffered through the Faculty of Science

CapEarn a Bachelor of Science degree in Honours Chemistry



Ready to learn more?

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.