The study of chemistry in regards to pharmacology, where drug design, chemical synthesis, and drug development occurs.

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Christian works on his lab experiment in CHEM 123 - Chemical Reactions, Equilibria, and Kinetics.

We've got great chemistry.

Since the discovery, development, and distribution of Aspirin in the late 19th century, chemists have been challenged to design and synthesize pharmaceuticals to treat or prevent diseases. From antihistamines to vaccines, medicinal chemists research, design, and test new pharmaceutical agents so that humans and other biological creatures can lead better lives.

Gain valuable skills in this co-op-only program, working with researchers, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies that are focused on drug discovery and synthesizing new medicines. The Medicinal Chemistry program at Waterloo provides you with the opportunity to learn about all aspects of drug design, with the option of focusing on a specific discipline within medicinal chemistry, be it organic synthesis, computer modelling, or biochemistry.


Medicinal Chemistry Ambassadors - We'd love to meet you!

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



This major is only available in the co-op stream of study


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  • Synthetic organic chemistry skills
  • Ability to design and execute on scientific experiments safely and accurately
  • Analytical skills needed to identify organic compounds
  • Ability to analyze scientific and technical data
  • Problem solving, critical thinking, and time management skills


Advanced and highly specialized industry-level laboratories await those who choose Medicinal Chemistry. They are not just state-of-the-art, but the teaching methods are forward thinking as well - challenging students to design their own experiments, to learn from their failures, and become more confident researchers.

Check out this article on how our own Julie Goll (one of our amazing instructors here at Waterloo) is changing how we see "hands-on learning."

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