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

Systems of study available: regular or co-op
Length: 4 years (regular), 5 years (co-op — includes both study and work terms)

biochemistry student in lab with column

"Co-op has given me what I thought it would and more. I explored my interest in understanding human diseases and I like to think I made a difference along the way."  – Chanèle, Biochemistry, co-op

Fascinated by discovering why things go wrong in living organisms, Chanèle was drawn to Waterloo Science. Her co-op jobs with Health Canada, St. Michael’s Hospital, and a nuclear isotope facility added unexpected career possibilities, but her courses and working in a professor’s lab are keeping her targeted on her original goal — to find answers for puzzling diseases related to body chemistry. Chanèle is heading to graduate school and potentially a career in research or teaching.


  • Spanning a broad area of science, biochemistry appeals to those who like to understand how life works.
  • If you're interested in an expanding field with almost unlimited potential for enriching our quality of life, biochemistry offers the opportunity for a fulfilling and rewarding career.
  • 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

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.

Beyond the classroom

Chemical synthesis, virology, enzymology, and microbiology are just a few of the areas of study available to you, providing you with opportunities to work on interesting and practical projects. You'll learn scientific methods specific to biochemistry through hands-on labs common to most courses. Modern equipment will give you experience in analytical techniques like chromatography, electrophoresis, and nuclear magnetic resonance. If you choose to add the Biotechnology specialization to your program, you can explore biological and biochemical processes used to make new products, including novel drugs to treat disease.


Minors add additional areas of expertise to your degree. View a complete list of minors. Choose minors within Science or even in other faculties. Some restrictions may apply depending on your program.

Co-operative education (co-op)

Biochemistry is available as a co-op system of study. You'll need to indicate if you choose co-op when you apply.

What is co-op?
In the second term of your second year, you are able to begin a co-op job. You will complete 4 months of co-op, then return for 4 months of school. This pattern will continue the rest of your stay at University of Waterloo.
Biochemistry co-op students at work
  • Forensics Technician, Canada Customs And Revenue Agency
  • Research Assistant, Harvard University
  • Biopolymer Technician, Dalton Chemical Laboratories Inc.
  • Viral Lab Research Assistant, Health & Welfare Canada Communications
  • Organic Synthetic Chemist, Torcan Chemical Ltd.
  • Biotechnology Researcher, National Research Council

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


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

  • DNA Forensic Technologist, The Centre for Forensic Sciences
  • Microbiologist, Novocol Pharmaceutical of Canada Inc.
  • Regulatory Affairs Officer, Procter & Gamble
  • Toxicologist, Environment Canada
  • Product Development Chemist, 3M of Canada Ltd.
See more in the science careers list.

Important information

  • 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.
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.

Related links