Faculty of Science

Do you wonder how life originated on Earth four billion years ago? Do you puzzle over finding an environmentally responsible way to provide stable, cost-effective energy? Have you questioned whether nano-machines can be constructed at the molecular level? Then Chemistry is for you.

Chemistry sometimes is called the "central science" because it connects sciences to each other, such as biology, physics, geology and environmental science. At York, our chemistry program spans the traditional to the new: analytical, physical and organic chemistry to nanomaterials and biological chemistry. We offer a stream in Pharmaceutical & Biological Chemistry that combines knowledge of the biological, medical and physical sciences in the study of molecular-level biological process such as protein folding and drug functionality.

Offered as an optional study plan within the honours program, Materials Chemistry is centered on the rational synthesis of novel functional materials using a large array of existing and new synthetic methods. Similarly, the Analytical Chemistry option focuses on the fundamental tools and methods of chemical analysis and separation including instrumentation, miniaturization and computerization in a range of settings.

It is our goal to help you succeed in whatever field of Chemistry you choose to explore.

There are several areas of study from which to choose including:

Pharmaceutical & Biological Chemistry

This fast-growing field looks at how biological and chemical systems interact. For example, how do you design drugs to target a specific problem in the biological system? If you’re interested in the life and health sciences, this option provides solid grounding in both chemistry and the basics of biological science. Pharmaceutical & Biological Chemistry is an official stream of study and will be reflected on your transcript. 

Materials Chemistry

This program is designed for students with an interest in polymers, electronic materials, optical materials, magnetic materials, surface chemistry, biosensors, biomaterials, crystallography and other aspects of chemistry related to the preparation, characterization and use of specialized solid state materials. This stream will provide you with a solid grounding in Chemistry as well as a specialized exploration of the chemistry of solid-state substances, their preparations and properties.

Analytical Chemistry

In the Analytical Chemistry stream, you will receive training in the fundamentals of chemical analysis and separation. As a graduate from this stream, you will be highly desirable to industry and government agencies.

What can you do with a Chemistry degree?

Studying chemistry puts you in an excellent position to choose from a wide variety of rewarding careers. A chemistry degree also serves as an excellent foundation for advanced study in the health sciences a number of related areas (medicine, dentistry or pharmacy). Careers may range from forensic scientist to brew master, medical or cosmetic product developer, chemical engineering technologist to textile chemist, environmental policy-maker to bacteriologist.

York’s Career Centre provides information about careers with a Chemistry degree. You may also want to check out professional associations for their information on careers in Chemistry: Chemical Institute of Canada, American Chemical Society, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers; and the Canadian Medical Association to name a few.

Program Details

Offered by

Faculty of Science

Offered at

  • Keele Campus

Degrees offered


Ways to study

Full-Time, Part-Time

Experiential Education

Co-op or internship

Fall entry

Yes (first and upper year)

Winter entry

Yes (first and upper year)

Summer entry

Yes (first and upper year)