Pharmacists are medication experts who identify, resolve, and prevent medication-related problems for their patients. Many pharmacists work in community pharmacies, but they also provide care in hospitals, family health teams, and long-term care facilities, often collaborating closely with other health professionals.

As the only co-op pharmacy program in Canada, you'll get paid, hands-on experience throughout your studies. Spend co-op work terms at a community pharmacy practice, or choose to explore careers in industry and government.

The School of Pharmacy is located at our Health Sciences Campus in downtown Kitchener, approximately five kilometres south of Waterloo's main campus. You'll gain direct experience in patient care through close collaboration with the other services at the Health Sciences Campus, including a full-service medical clinic.

Be sure to visit our Beyond Ideas website to learn how to become a pharmacist in Canada.

A student in the pharmacy degree program reviews paperwork with a prof

Through co-op work terms, you'll gain paid work experience and be able to explore different areas and types of employers within the pharmaceutical industry.

About the program

  • Available as a co-op program only
  • Requires previous university study
  • Graduate with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD)

Admission requirements

  • Successful completion of at least two full years of university-level science with specific course requirements
  • Minimum overall university average of 75%
  • Admission Information Form, reference, online assessment of personal characteristics (CASPer test), interview, Fundamental Skills Assessment required
  • High school students may qualify for Conditional Admission to Pharmacy

Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP) status

Normally, applications to the Pharmacy program are considered from university students who have completed at least two years of undergraduate science. By applying to – and receiving – CAP status at Waterloo, high school students receive a conditional offer of admission to begin the Pharmacy program after two years of studies at Waterloo.

As a CAP student, you can connect with the School and pharmacy students through events and activities and learn more about the degree program and the profession. With the connections and friendships they establish, CAP students will have a smooth transition into the Pharmacy program. In addition, School of Pharmacy staff are available to guide CAP students toward successful admission into the PharmD program.

  • Get complete details about the Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP) including requirements and how to apply.
  • The application deadline is January 31, 2020.
  • If you are admitted to CAP, you will receive two offers of admission: one to Honours Science or Life Sciences (Biology or Biomedical Sciences as your major) and one for CAP. You need to accept both offers of admission. 

First-year courses

January to April

  • PHARM 110 - Systems Approach to the Study of the Human Body
  • PHARM 120 - Introduction to the Profession of Pharmacy
  • PHARM 124 - Pharmaceutics 1
  • PHARM 126 - Pharmaceutical Calculations
  • PHARM 127 - Professional Communication Skills in Pharmacy Practice
  • PHARM 129 - Professional Practice 1

May to August

  • PHARM 111 - Systems Approach to the Study of the Human Body 2
  • PHARM 125 - Pharmaceutics 2
  • PHARM 130 - Professional Practice 2
  • PHARM 141 - Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry, Toxicology and Pharmacology
  • PHARM 151 - Foundation and Application of Health Informatics
  • PHARM 155 - Introduction to Drug Information Fundamentals

What other courses will you take?

    Gain experience through Canada's only co-op pharmacy program

    By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you'll gain paid work experience and can explore different areas and types of employers within the pharmaceutical industry.

    Sample co-op positions

    • Pharmacy Assistant, Department of National Defence
    • Reconciliation Pharmacy Student, Guelph General Hospital
    • Pharmacist Student - Special Projects & Patient Care, St Joseph's Health Care, London
    • Pharmacy Assistant, Costco
    • Special Projects Coordinator, Centre for Family Medicine

    Co-op work/study sequences

      September to December January to April May to August
    First year School School
    Second year School Co-op School
    Third year Co-op School Co-op
    Fourth year School School School

    School = four-month school term, Co-op = four-month co-op work term
    The Pharmacy program starts in January each year.


    Recent graduates

    • Clinical Consultant and Operations Pharmacist, Remedy's RX Specialty Pharmacy
    • Clinical Pharmacist, St. Mary's General Hospital
    • Drug Safety Associate, Actavis Canada
    • Pharmacist, Shoppers Drug Mart
    • General Surgery Pharmacist, Victoria Hospital
    • Pharmacist, Rexall Pharma Plus
    • Inpatient Pharmacist, Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital
    • Pharmaceutical Processor, McNeil Consumer Healthcare
    • Pharmacist, Parkwood Hospital

    Possible professional designation

    Ready to learn more?