Study the science of living things.

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.

What are Life Sciences majors at Waterloo?

The four Life Sciences 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'll graduate with a Bachelor of Science in your major, e.g., Honours Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, and will be well prepared for careers in science or for further education in specialized graduate programs, medicine, optometry, pharmacy or other health professions.

Choose the co-op and regular systems of study in all majors, except Biomedical Sciences, which is regular only.

    Life Sciences student looks through microscope at the University of Waterloo

    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 agriculture, medicine, technology and more.

    About the Life Sciences program

    BreifcaseMost Life Sciences majors offered as a co-op and regular program

    ClickChoose from 4 different majors within Life Sciences

    CapEarn a Bachelor of Science in your major


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

    First-year courses

    Most students take 5 courses per term, plus associated labs if applicable. Select your program of interest to see a list of first-year courses.

    Gain relevant work experience through co-op

    By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore careers in Life Sciences as your career interests evolve and earn money to help pay for school.

    Co-op work/study sequences

      Fall Winter Spring
    First year School School Off
    Second year School Co-op School
    Third year Co-op School Co-op
    Fourth year School Co-op Co-op
    Final year School School  

    Fall = September to December, Winter = January to April, Spring = May to August
    School = 4-month school term
    Co-op = 4-month co-op work term
    Off = You can make your own plans for that term (work, travel, vacation, etc.)

    The order of school and work terms may vary, depending on the major you choose.

    Learn more about Life Sciences