Jul 14, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Calendar 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Calendar [ARCHIVED CALENDAR]

Chemistry – Chemical Biology specialization

General information

Chemical biology, at the interface of chemistry and biology, is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary area in science. This specialization within the Chemistry program  provides an orientation towards biological processes at the molecular level. Through the synthesis and use of small molecules, probes, or chemically‑modified biological macromolecules, chemistry is applied to help answer questions of biological importance.

In addition to the regular program, a co-op program is also available. Students in Chemical Biology interested in the co-op program , should contact the Faculty of Science Co-op Coordinator as early as the fall of their second year.

Admission requirements

Admission is competitive. The specific average or standing required for admission varies from year to year. Students are selected by taking into consideration a wide range of criteria including school marks, distribution of subjects taken, and performance in subjects relevant to the academic program. Possession of the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Preference will be given to applicants with the best qualifications.

Current Ontario secondary school students must complete the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with six 4U or 4M credits including English (ENG4U), Advanced Functions (MHF4U), and two of Biology (SBI4U), Calculus and Vectors (MCV4U), Chemistry (SCH4U), or Physics (SPH4U). In addition, a combined minimum 70 per cent average in math and science courses is required. It is recommended that all four MCV4U, SBI4U, SCH4U and SPH4U be taken. All other applicants should refer to admissions  for the requirements for their specific category of admission.

Program details and degree requirements

Although reasonable efforts will be made to adhere to the following program map, course requirements and term offerings may change.

Year 1 (30 credit hours)


No more than 42 credit hours may be taken at the first-year level.

*Electives and breadth requirements

All students must complete a total of 33 elective credit hours including 6 credit hours in Senior Chemistry electives. Students who are not accepted into the thesis option (CHEM 4410U /CHEM 4420U ) must take two additional Senior Chemistry electives for a total of 39 elective credit hours. A Senior Chemistry elective is defined as any combination of CHEM 3090U CHEM 3250U CHEM 4010U , CHEM 4040U CHEM 4041U CHEM 4042U , CHEM 4060U , CHEM 4080U, CHEM 4510U CHEM 4520U , and CHEM 4610U . At least 15 elective credit hours must be in courses offered in the Faculty of Science including the Senior Chemistry electives; the additional Senior Chemistry electives required for students who are not enrolled in thesis cannot be used to meet this requirement. In order to satisfy breadth requirements; at least 12 elective credit hours must be in courses outside the Faculty of Science. Students must take the remaining 6 elective credit hours in a general elective (offered by the Faculty of Science or outside the Faculty of Science).

**Thesis project or Senior Chemistry electives

Students in clear academic standing who have completed 90 credit hours of their CHEM program and six third-year required courses may optionally apply to take a two-course sequence consisting of  CHEM 4410U – Chemistry Thesis Project I and CHEM 4420U – Chemistry Thesis Project II. Students not accepted to take the thesis courses must complete two additional Senior Chemistry electives instead. A Senior Chemistry elective is defined as any 4000-level chemistry course not specified in the course map. A student meeting the above requirements who does not take CHEM 4410U and CHEM 4420U may optionally apply to take CHEM 4430U as one of the required senior chemistry electives. Opportunities for the Thesis Project and Directed Studies options are limited; for either of these options, students must apply through Science Advising by March 30 following completion of the first three years of the program.