Biochemistry

Degree: Honours Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biochemistry
Departments: Joint with Biology and Chemistry

Systems of study available: regular or co-op

biochemistry student in lab with column

The study of how chemical substances, whether organic or inorganic, change or maintain living systems and their components.

Specializations

  • Biotechnology
    Learn how biochemistry can be integrated into industrial processes through the use of enzymes, microorganisms, and biological
    processes. One of the most famous examples of biotechnology is the discovery and use of penicillin in the first half of the twentieth century.

Bioinformatics Option

  • Combine your interests in both life sciences and information technology. Bioinformatics develops and uses computer
    programs to analyze biological and biochemical data — playing a major role in biological research including genome analysis,drug design, and medical diagnostic procedures.

Overview

Study the chemical processes in living organisms and utilize your foundation in chemistry, to better understand biological systems.
Biochemistry has been studied since Antiquity, and has gained a solid foundation as a stand-alone branch of science in the past two centuries, once instrumentation became sophisticated enough to observe and discover molecules (such as enzymes) and processes (such as the Krebs Cycle). Much of the scientific focus of Biochemistry deals with metabolism, and how organisms utilize chemical compounds to remain healthy or improve their condition. This multi-disciplinary program provides students with hands-on opportunities to understand the chemistry of life, with access to state-of-the-art labs and equipment. With supportive faculty, as well as an engaging and dynamic program, students who are keen to learn will excel and thrive.

First-year courses

Beginning in first year, you'll have access to a large number and variety of state-of-the-art labs. Informal seminars and research lab tours can keep you current with the latest research being conducted by your professors.

fall term winter term

Upper-year courses

View the full list of upper year courses in the Academic Calendar.

Co-operative education (co-op) available : Yes

Biochemistry co-op students at work
  • Genome Expression Researcher, Michigan State University
  • Virus Indexing Technician Assistant, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Research Assistant, Harvard Medical School
  • Molecular Diagnostics, Hospital for Sick Children

Learn more about co-op and how much you can earn on co-op work terms.

Career fields

Biochemists work in medical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology research facilities; forensics; food and agriculture industries; and many other diverse areas.

What our grads are doing now

  • Technical Officer, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Sr. Scientist, Roche Molecular System Inc.
  • R&D Chemist, Apotex Inc.
  • Graduate Student, Yale University
  • Chemist, Environment and Climate Change Canada
See more in the science careers list.

Admission Information for Future Students

  • Apply via Life Sciences on the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC).
  • Visit Waterloo’s main future student website for details on admissions, financing, housing, and more.

Meet Our Ambassadors

Find out more about life as a Waterloo Biochemistry student. Come in for a tour or to one of our open houses and you might even meet them in person!

 
 
2017 QS World Subject Ranking Biological Sciences Ranked2017 QS World Subject Ranking Chemistry ranked
 

Explore other biochemistry-related programs

Build your own BSc

Another way to study biochemistry-related courses is our flexible, build-your-own-degree Honours Science BSc program.

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