Entry programs and majors

University of Waterloo Biomedical Sciences student in a lab setting

One of the reasons why our students choose Waterloo is because they know that they are taking courses in their subject of major interest beginning in first year. That gives them the skills and knowledge they need to be successful as fast as possible.

Start learning in your chosen major from day 1*

We do things a little differently at Waterloo—it's what you can expect from Canada's most innovative university 25 years in a row.

Rather than making you go through a general first year of Science courses and then declare a major after your first year, we start you in your chosen major from day 1 of your first year*.

This means that you are prepared better and faster for co-op work terms and professional schools like medical, optometry, or pharmacy school.

*Psychology is the only exception where a major is declared after first year

Our programs and majors


Concentrated biology and chemistry courses along with extensive lab experience will prepare you for a career in forensic science, pharmaceuticals, medical diagnostics and analysis, agriculture, biochemical research, microbiology, biotechnology, or genetic engineering.


Study the workings of living organisms, where they come from, and how they evolve and function, gaining insight into our understanding of life. Specialize in animal biology, environmental biology, microbiology, biotechnology, plant biology, or molecular genetics.

Biomedical Sciences

Study a wide range of science and math courses in this highly flexible major. By the time you graduate, you’ll have the foundation in science needed to succeed in most health care professions.

Biotechnology/Chartered Professional Accountancy

Prepare for roles in professional accountancy and advisory services in the growing biotechnology sector. Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible to earn your Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree within only 8 months—an optional next step in becoming a CPA.


The only major in Canada to integrate biotechnology, economics, and paid co-op work terms. As a trained economist, help the world capitalize on breakthrough biotech products like tumour-fighting immune cells and oil-eating bacteria.


In one of Canada’s top 5 chemistry programs, you’ll learn from leading experts with industry connections and work with advanced chemical instrumentation and participate in the department’s cutting-edge research.

Earth Sciences

Explore the world under your feet in close-knit classes and field trips taught by professors known internationally for their geological and water research. 

Environmental Science

Ranked among the top 5 in Canada, this major provides learning in the lab and field, giving you a scientist’s perspective on ecological and geological systems.

Honours Science

If you're looking to really customize your Science degree with interdisciplinary courses and electives, then Honours Science is the major for you. It is our most flexible major allowing you to make your degree your own. Or if you’re still exploring which sciences intrigue you the most, take Honours Science and switch to a more specialized major like Chemistry or Biology later.

Life Physics

Prepare for a medical profession that harnesses the power of physics, such as radiation oncology and medical imaging. If you enjoy biology and physics and are interested in health-related careers, this is the major for you!

Materials and Nanosciences

Learn to harness the power of physics and chemistry to develop new nano-sized solutions for society in a region that’s fast becoming known as Canada’s quantum valley.

Mathematical Physics

Prepare for careers that range from the theoretical foundations of quantum technologies to the mathematically intensive unified theories of nature. This major is similar to the Physics major, but with an emphasis on the mathematical and theoretical sides of physics.

Medicinal Chemistry

Explore the science of drug delivery in this exciting major. You’ll be trained as a chemist and gain the skills for a career that involves the design, synthesis, and evaluation of potential drugs.


Physics is about understanding how the universe works: from quantum particles, quantum computing, and exotic states of matter, to Einstein’s curved spacetime and black holes. In one of Canada’s largest and most comprehensive physics majors, prepare for graduate studies or a wide range of careers requiring advanced problem- solving skills.

Physics and Astronomy

From black holes to the Big Bang, astronomers study the most fascinating phenomena in the universe. Learn from professors who are using satellites and telescopes to explore space. Prepare for careers in astrophysics and space science, or for graduate studies in astronomy or physics.


Explore the mind in one of North America’s top psychology departments. Study a range of disciplines – neuroscience, cognition, clinical, developmental, and social. A BSc in psychology will prepare you for further training in medicine, speech pathology, or other health-related fields. (Also available as a Bachelor of Arts in the Faculty of Arts).

Science and Aviation

Earn a Bachelor of Science while completing flight training and earning your Commercial Pilot License. Focus on physics or earth sciences, or customize your studies to include courses from a range of scientific disciplines.

Science and Business

This one-of-a-kind major in Canada provides a strong foundation in science along with courses in accounting, economics, marketing, computing, statistics, and human resources. 


Professional Schools at Waterloo

School of Optometry & Vision Science

Apply to the Doctor of Optometry (OD) program after 3 or more years of university-level science.

Waterloo is home to Canada's only Doctor of Optometry degree program taught in English. You'll take biomedical, vision, and clinical science courses and gain practical experience in providing vision care to patients in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and other settings in Canada and beyond.

School of Pharmacy

Apply to the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program in as early as your second year of university-level science.

If you are an outstanding high school student you could qualify for Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP) status which gives you a reserved seat in the school after you've completed your 2 years of of required university-level undergraduate studies