Medicinal Chemistry

A prescription for career success

Want to create the life-saving drugs of tomorrow? Earn a chemistry degree with a difference.

As well as covering all the basics of physical, analytical, and organic chemistry, you’ll also take specialized courses like bio-based chemistry and pharmaceutical drug design. Meanwhile, you’ll hone essential research and laboratory skills through your choice of 20+ chemistry lab courses and an independent research project in fourth year. Students also have the opportunity to enrol in the co-op stream, where they'll gain paid work experience as they pursue their degree.

As a Medicinal Chemistry graduate, you’ll be equipped to design, create, and evaluate potential medications, setting the stage for a career with real impact. You'll also qualify for membership in the Canadian Society of Chemistry and the Chemical Institute of Canada.

Program highlights

  • Get insights from industry. Because our professors collaborate closely with industry, they’ll bring plenty of practical examples to your labs and lecture halls.
  • Build an awesome résumé. In this co-op only program, you'll gain valuable work experience in pharmaceutical companies and hospitals — and get paid for it.


Student in the Medicinal Chemistry program at the University of Waterloo.

Labs, such as our Analytical Chemistry Lab, will introduce you to advanced equipment and computer-assisted techniques. Your professors will bring real-world examples of chemistry to the classroom through their research and collaboration with industry.


What will you learn?

First-year courses

In your first year, you'll take a mixture of Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics 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 Medicinal Chemistry degree.

Customize your degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one of the minors available to all Waterloo students.

 

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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.

 


What is the difference between a medicinal chemist and a pharmacist?

Medicinal chemistry is about creating and studying new drug candidates. You'll learn how drugs are made in the lab and how they impact people or animals. A pharmacist prescribes drugs and ensures patient safety.


Medicinal Chemistry admissions 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

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.

How to apply

Apply to Physical Sciences and select Medicinal Chemistry as your major for first year.

Connect with us

Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?

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

Katelyn Doerbecker

 


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