Graduate courses

Course requirements for graduate programs in Pharmacy

Course requirements for the graduate programs are noted in the academic calendar. Students should refer to their respective academic calendar for details:

Required courses

Required courses for graduate programs in Pharmacy are typically offered once per year, with the exception of the thesis proposal courses (PHARM 601, PHARM 616A, and PHARM 616B) which are offered every term. Students should sign up in the appropriate term (term 2 for MSc, term 3 for PhD). This is explained in detail on the Thesis Proposal page of the MSc and PhD student handbook.

PHARM 610, which is a required course for MSc and PhD in Pharmacy students, is typically offered in the winter term and should be taken by students within the first year of their program.

The core courses for the MPharm program are offered once per year, in the fall and winter terms, in the first and second terms of the program. MPharm students must take these core courses when they are offered to ensure they meet program requirements on time. 

Recommended biostatistics & quantitative analysis courses for MPharm students

The following University of Waterloo courses are approved to fulfill the biostatistics or quantitative data analysis course requirement:

  • HLTH 605A Regression Models
  • HLTH 605B Quantitative Methods and Analysis
  • HLTH 656 Quantitative Methods and Analysis for Program
  • KIN 630 Research Design and Statistical Analysis
  • REC 622 Foundation of Quantitative Inquiry
  • REC 772 Quantitative Research Data Analysis and Interpretation

To obtain approval for biostatistics or quantitative data analysis courses not appearing on this list, email the administrative coordinator for graduate studies and research a copy of the course syllabus of the proposed course.   

Elective courses

In addition to any elective courses offered in Pharmacy, students may take courses in other departments toward their degree requirements.

  • All students may take courses in other departments; refer to graduate course information and schedules for details.
  • MSc and PhD students are encouraged to discuss suitable elective course options with their supervisor and advisory committee members.

Taking additional courses

Normally, courses are taken 'for credit' and are counted toward degree requirements and included in the calculation of the student’s cumulative grade point average (CGPA)  

Sometimes students wish to take more courses than required and do not want to have the extra courses counted toward their degree. In such cases, a student may choose to “audit” a course, or take a course as “extra” to their degree.

Auditing a course

When a student audits a course, the course appears on their transcript and if all course requirements as required by the instructor are successfully completed by the student, 'AUD' is noted on the transcript.

Taking a course as "extra" to the degree

When a student takes a course as extra to their degree, the course will appear on the transcript and the grade will be noted but not counted in their CGPA, nor toward the degree. Should the student decide to pursue an additional degree at Waterloo or elsewhere, the 'extra course' will be eligible for transfer toward fulfillment of the additional degree.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure their student record is up to date, and to follow up with the course instructor, department, or institution, if any grade is missing from their record. 

Enrolling in courses

All students must enrol in courses via the Quest portal, during the designated enrolment period . See How do I add classes, for instructions.


Students who wish to add or drop a course outside of the enrolment period must complete the graduate studies course drop/add form. Drop periods are posted on Quest. Students who miss drop deadlines will be subject to drop penalties, as posted on Quest.

Students can only take 1 ‘Special Topics’ course for credit toward their graduate degree program requirements.

Graduate Studies Academic Calendar

Taking courses in other departments

Students interested in courses in other departments should refer to the course description to determine if instructor or department consent is required to enrol; then, if required, contact the course instructor or the department coordinator for a permission number to add the course in Quest. Refer to the list of Department/program Graduate Co-ordinators, Graduate Studies to find the appropriate department contact.  

 Sample of elective courses in other departments

BIOL 614 Applied Bioinformatics & Genomics
BIOL 690 Scientific Communication
CHE 640 Principles of Polymer Science
CHE 660 Biochemical Engineering
CHE 765 Research Topics in Biochemical Engineering
CHEM 731 Selected Biochemistry Topics
CHEM 784 Literature Review
HLTH 603 Health Systems and Policy
HLTH 605A Regression Models
HLTH 605B Quant. Methods & Analysis
HLTH 606A Epidemiological Methods
HLTH 617 Population Intervention for Disease Prevention and Health
HLTH 625 Foundations of Qualitative Research Methodologies
HLTH 627 Dementia Care
HLTH 652 Qualitative Methods & Analysis
HLTH 656 Quantitative Methods & Analysis for Program
HLTH 671 Psychopharmacology
NANO 600 Introduction to Nanotechnology