If you're a future student and have questions about any of the Faculty of Science's 17 different majors, admissions, customizing your degree, changing majors, financing your education, etc., this is where you'll find answers.
If you're a current student, visit the Science Undergraduate Office for support with items such as dropping or adding courses, course selection dates, etc.
How do Science programs work at Waterloo?
- Choose from 17 majors and take courses in your chosen field, beginning from day one of your first year.
- You're not required to take a general first year, but if you'd prefer to sample different types of sciences in your first year, Honours Science could be a place for you to start.
- Most majors are flexible enough that you can still switch before your second year if you change your mind. Talk to the Science Recruitment Team if you have questions about the flexibility of your chosen major.
What do the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences entry-level programs mean? How do these work?
- At Waterloo, we offer 12 majors under the entry-level programs Life Sciences and Physical Sciences.
- It's important to note that Life Sciences and Physical Sciences are entry programs. We do not offer a general first year labelled Life Sciences or Physical Sciences. Rather, you start in the major that you choose on OUAC when you apply. For instance, if you wish to apply into the Life Sciences entry program, and you select Biochemistry as your subject of major interest (SMI), you'll be starting in the Biochemistry major in the fall of your first year.
- You'll receive an offer into Life or Physical Sciences, but the subject of major interest that you select on OUAC is your major and is what will appear on your degree. For instance, if you select Physical Sciences as your program, and Chemistry as your subject of major interest, you'll receive an offer to Physical Sciences. However, when you start at Waterloo, you'll be starting in Chemistry (all of your courses will be aligned to that major) and your degree will state Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.
- For example: If you want to be in the Biomedical Sciences program, you need to choose Life Sciences as the entry-level program and then Biomedical Sciences as your SMI. You will begin courses related to Biomedical Sciences in your first year and you will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences.
How can I customize my degree?
Choose to customize your degree by adding a specialization, option, or minor(s).
- Specializations: These add additional focus to your major through specific courses and modifications. Specializations are offered in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Life Physics, and Science and Business. For Environmental Science and Earth Sciences, you must specialize and we'll connect with you to confirm your specialization in June prior to starting in first year. For all other majors that offer specializations, they're optional and you can remain unspecialized if you wish. All declared specializations will appear on your degree when you graduate.
- Minors: A minor is a set of around eight courses that offer additional concentration to your degree. Not all majors or programs have the room/flexibility for minors, so talk with your academic advisor if you wish to add one. See the full list of Waterloo minors.
- Options: An option is like a minor, but it's typically offered only to students within a specific Faculty. In the Faculty of Science, we offer one option - Bioinformatics.
What are the admission requirements for my major?
How do I apply to my major?
What's it like to be a Science student at Waterloo?
How many hours of class will I have per week and what is the workload like?
It depends on your major, but you will have around 15 hours of class per week and around 3-8 hours of labs and/or tutorials. Check your program page for a list of first year courses and labs you will take.
Where can I live?
How much is tuition? What are the other fees I should expect?
How can I finance my education?
How do I book a campus, residence, or Science tour?
How do I order and/or read viewbooks and brochures?
Who can I contact for more information about Science majors?
Waterloo Science students answer frequently asked questions
How do I transfer from another Ontario university?
Applicants will need to provide both a high school transcript and interim transcripts from their current university.
You will also need to meet the minimum admission requirements.
To be eligible, you will need to meet the minimum average for continuing in the program to which you have applied (normally a 65% average, higher averages may be required for some programs, including co-op versions)
Once you have been admitted as a transfer student, we will review your courses in which you have greater than 60% for possible transfer credit (Note: it is a good idea to include course descriptions as part of your post-application package). We will be looking at courses that are relevant to you new program at University of Waterloo and for which we have an equivalent course.
Important: the maximum number of transfer credits you can have is two years towards your University of Waterloo degree.
For more information, visit our Transferring to Science page.