Study the science of living things

a Life Sciences student in a lab coat standing next to a microscope

Life Sciences is the study of living organisms, ranging from the very tiny world of microbiology and genetics to the physiology and zoology of the world’s great mammals – with plants, botany, and more in between!

At Waterloo, Life Sciences is a group of related majors.

Each of the majors bring together disciplines such as biology, chemistry, physics, and math to help you learn how living systems work and interact. When you apply to Waterloo, you'll select one of the majors and get to do labs and experiments starting right in first year. You can choose the co-op program or the regular system of study in all majors, except Biomedical Sciences, which is regular only.

You'll graduate with a Bachelor of Science in your major (Bachelor of Science in Honours Biochemistry, for example) and will be well prepared for careers in science or for further education in specialized graduate programs and health professions such as medicine, optometry, and pharmacy.

Get tips on how to choose a program within the Faculty of Science.

A student with a Life Sciences degree looks through a microscope.

As a Life Sciences student, you'll be able to specialize in your major of interest in your first year. Upon graduation, you'll be prepared to tackle current issues in medicine, technology, agriculture, and more.

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Monthly topics include how to choose a university program, what it's like to be a Waterloo student, and more.

Questions? Ask a student!

Contact a Science student ambassador to learn about their experience.

Ask them questions such as why they chose their program, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.


First-year courses

Most students take five courses per term, plus associated labs if applicable. Select your major of interest to see a list of first-year courses.


Life Sciences 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, Physics

Admission averages: Low 80s

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.

Connect with us

Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?

Please contact Alisia, our Science recruitment coordinator who can answer any questions you have.

Alisia Mar


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