Degree: Honours Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biotechnology/Economics
Systems of study available: co-op
Length: 5 years (includes both study and work terms)


  • Biotechnology is positioned to be the dominant technology of the first half of the 21st Century and many consider biotechnology to be the next revolution following right on the heels of the information age. This program has a specific technical focus on biotechnology, which will impact many facets of our lives including healthcare, food and agriculture, and energy and the environment.
  • Integrates fundamental principles and applications of biotechnology with a more specialized business focus on economics.
  • Offered through the Science and Business umbrella of programs.

Combining science and business — the workshops

Participate in our 4 workshop-style courses, one each year. Develop your ability to apply business know-how to industrial and scientific technologies. Identify, investigate, and solve business problems from a scientific vantage point, leveraging your strong analytical skills. Issues such as technology innovation, assessment of the current utility of a technology, scale-up of the technology, projected return on investment (ROI), rate of return (ROR), and hurdles (production, regulatory, market competition, intellectual property protection) come under discussion during the workshop panel debates and focus groups. Strengthen your public speaking and team management skills. Learn in an atmosphere where you and your classmates will be encouraged to both challenge and support one another other.

First-year courses

First-year courses develop your skills and knowledge in both science and economics.

Fall Term (1A) Winter Term (1B)

BIOL 130 Introductory Cell Biology

BIOL 240/240L Fundamentals of Microbiology

CHEM 120/120L Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter

SCBUS 123 Science and Business Workshop 1 

One elective (AFM 123 Accounting Information for Managers 
is recommended)

BIOL 239 Genetics

BIOL 241 Introduction to Applied Microbiology

CHEM 123/123L Chemical Reactions, Equilibria and Kinetics

CS 100 Introduction to Computing through Applications

ECON 101 Introduction to Microeconomics 

ECON 102 Introduction to Macroeconomics 

Upper-year courses

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

Beyond the classroom

We believe in your personal development. In addition to motivating you to attain high academic standards, emphasis is placed on developing your personal and career skills. Learn to become confident in your life decisions. Be challenged, mentored, and motivated to develop specific plans and goals related to your personal and career development. Identify the entrepreneur, manager, leader, and scientist within you. Become well-rounded and prepared for the challenges of academic, job market, and national and global environments.


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)

This program is offered through the co-op system only. Career opportunities vary from working for a pharmaceutical company to a brokerage house, from a bank or government agency to a research firm or consulting company. Benefit from opportunities created by the expanding field of biotechnology.

In the second term of your second year, you're able to begin your first co-op job. You'll complete 4 months of co-op, then return for 4 months of school. This pattern will continue for the rest of your undergraduate experience. 

Co-op students at work

  • Quality Control, National Microbiology Laboratory, Winnipeg
  • Research Officer, National Taiwan University
  • Research Analyst, Capital West Mortgages, Vancouver
  • Marketing Assistant, Biotechnostix Incorporated
  • Neurosurgery Research Assistant, St. Michael's Hospital
  • Portfolio Analyst, Ontario Power Generation Inc.

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


Explore, grow, and develop your skill set and become a polished professional in a multitude of fields. Graduates have succeeded in various careers from biotechnology research in the field of science to marketing and project management in business environments.

See more in the science careers list.

Important information for future students

Visit Waterloo’s main future student website for details on admissions, financing, housing, and more.