Program overview

How Science and Business works

Excited to get started? You won't need to wait. Unlike some other programs where you spend a year or even two taking general courses, all Science and Business (SCBUS) programs get going on your first day, with business courses, SCBUS workshops and science classes from your specialization. You'll learn to incorporate principles from both science and business in your thinking and decision-making, preparing you for your co-op work terms, and your future career.

Waterloo: Open year-round

The academic year at Waterloo has three semesters: Fall, Winter, and Spring (which runs into the summer season). In other words, we're up and running year-round. If you're a co-op student, you'll cycle between academic semesters on campus and work terms off campus after 2A. If you're a student in the regular stream, you have the option to attend classes during the spring semesters to reduce your course load during the rest of the school year, take care of family responsibilities or complete your degree faster.

Waterloo offers credit courses in a variety of different formats

  • Lecture - The most common type of course.  Your classes are led by award winning faculty members and experts in their fields, delivering material to help form the basis of your academic foundation.
  • Lab - Turn theoretical knowledge into hands-on scientific experience. With required lab courses in all SCBUS programs, you will graduate with significant skills and knowledge of laboratory practices.
  • Field - Real learning doesn't always happen in the classroom. Field courses are available in Biology, Earth, and Environmental Studies, exposing you to the principles and hands-on expertise behind field methods.
  • Research - Options are available in several specializations for interested students to take on an independent research project or an undergraduate thesis. Approvals are required from your undergraduate advisor and relevant departments.
  • Workshop - Interactive and collaborative, these classes incorporate discussion, group work, research and presentations, to mirror a real world enterprise setting. All SCBUS plans have a required workshop component.

Course descriptions are available in the Undergraduate Calendar.

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Course sequencing

Each program and specialization has a recommended sequence of courses, based on prerequisites and scheduling. Check it out and be sure to contact your advisor for advice on planning your classes.

Program breakdowns

  Biotechnology/CPA Science and Business
Offered In Co-op only Regular and Co-op
Minimum average required to remain in the program

Cumulative Science average of 65%

Cumulative Accounting average of 70% 

Cumulative overall average of 70%

Cumulative overall average of 65% in both Science and non-Science

Find out more about your degree requirements:

Co-operative education

Co-op is more than just a few semesters of employment – it’s the authentic, real life work experiences  that Waterloo is known for. Co-operative education programs are up to 5 years in length. They run continuously, switching between work and study terms after 2A.  Take a closer look at the study/work sequence corresponding to Science and Business and Biotechnology/CPA here.

You'll start the process of applying for co-op positions in 2A, and your first work term will take place in 2B, the winter semester immediately after. Online professional development courses help you cultivate the extra skills you need to succeed in the workforce, like decision making, conflict resolution and professional responsibility and ethics.  

You'll complete 4 work terms and submit 3 work reports to graduate with a respected degree and a resume packed with achievements and accomplishments. 

Regular Program (not Co-op)

If you're in Science and Business, you can choose to enrol in the regular system of study. Like the traditional university experience, you'll attend school during the fall and winter semesters, and take the summers off to work, travel or manage family obligations.  This way, you can complete your degree in 4 years.

You can also build your background in experiential learning  by taking a professional development certificate open only to Regular stream students. Called the Waterloo EDGE program, it's aimed at identifying and growing your marketable skills, with workshops and volunteer opportunities.

(Please note that the Biotechnology/CPA academic plans are available in co-op only).


Leadership roles often come with a host of challenges. Learn how to be an effective leader with the Waterloo Student Leadership Program. Consisting of 12 workshops, this certificate program for both regular and co-op students helps cultivate and enhance the skills you'll need as a decision maker or influencer in any organization.

More in store

There's so much more to the Waterloo experience!

You can also book a campus tour to see our campus, facilities, and students up close.

If you have questions about the Science and Business program and what it can do for you, contact Okechukwu (Okey) Igboeli, Director of the Science and Business program for more information.

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