Why Study Chemistry?

Chemistry is a stimulating and challenging intellectual pursuit, and a dominant force in shaping our civilization. The subject places a strong emphasis on an understanding of the structure and properties of matter, from the macroscopic to the molecular level. From the conception and synthesis of new materials, to the design of devices and novel equipment, to the creation of theory that explains the behaviour of matter: these are all part of the study of chemistry.

Many of the concepts of physics and the methods of mathematics are fundamental to chemistry. As a problem-solving discipline, chemistry is in turn of primary importance to many other subjects, such as astrophysics, biological sciences, environmental science, geology, materials science, pharmaceutical science and the medical sciences. If you are coming to the University of Toronto for a science program then it's very likely you will take a year or more of chemistry. We think you will enjoy the experience in our Department since chemistry is all about your daily life as a human being. After all, look around you: what in the world isn't chemistry?


What Can I Do with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry?


There are career opportunities in many diverse fields, including:

  • pharmaceutical/drug development
  • science education
  • patent law/intellectual property
  • mining and metallurgy
  • science journalism
  • computers and telecommunications
  • optics and photonics
  • chemical analysis/forensic science
  • chemical synthesis

In these areas, the chemist’s role may be concerned with quality control of products; management; industrial hygiene; manufacturing; process control; research and development; environmental protection; and technical sales and service. Chemists are also hired by federal, provincial, and municipal government agencies in the areas of education (at all levels); public health; forensic investigation; water and air quality protection; mineral analysis; waste management, development of technical and analytical information; and research and development in the primary sectors of energy, mining, forestry and agriculture. Many of our students, after completing their chemistry degree, enter professional programs including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, education or journalism.