Biological Chemistry Specialist

The Biological Chemistry Program, with its solid core of chemistry, plus the required biology and biochemistry courses, will provide an interesting and challenging option in this increasingly important, interdisciplinary area of chemistry. Biological Chemistry examines Nature at the molecular level by using a combination of synthetic, inorganic, analytical and physical chemistry as well as the tools of molecular biology and biochemistry.  This program provides the setting to understand the chemical reactions and interactions that occur in biological processes, as well as how chemical strategies can be used to control these systems. This program includes sufficient flexibility to allow focus in areas such as bioinorganic, bioorganic, biophysical or medicinal chemistry.  Students graduating from this program will be prepared for career paths in the biotechnology, biomedical and pharmaceutical sectors, as well as for research and teaching in related areas of chemistry and biology. This program is accredited by the Canadian Society for Chemistry.

Biochemistry vs. Biological Chemistry

In biological chemistry the focus is more on the chemistry of biological systems and the study of nature at the molecular level, whereas in biochemistry the emphasis tends to be on whole systems. Biological chemists study individual biomolecules so that they can understand the chemical reactions and interactions that go on in biological systems. In addition, biological chemistry involves manipulation of biological systems, either to figure out how they work or to apply what we know about nature in order to design new systems.

In terms of different undergraduate programs, in biological chemistry there is obviously the opportunity to take more chemistry. Depending on interests, students can focus their program with a few extra courses in organic chemistry, or inorganic, physical or environmental. There is a little overlap with the biochemistry program, especially in second year when a lot of the same introductory material is taken. In the upper years the programs are quite different with respect to the approach that we take in studying biological systems.


Professor G. A. Woolley, Biological Organic Chemistry

Enrolment Requirements:

This is a limited enrolment program. Students must have completed 4.0 credits and meet the requirements listed below to enrol.

Completed courses (with minimum grades)
The following courses with the stated minimum grades are required:

• ( CHM135H1 and CHM136H1) (63% in each)/ CHM151Y1 (63%)

Completion Requirements:

(14.0 credits, including 3.0 credits from 400-level courses)

First Year: BIO120H1BIO130H1CHM151Y1 (strongly recommended)/( CHM135H1 and CHM136H1); ( MAT135H1 and MAT136H1)/ MAT137Y1/​ MAT157Y1

First or Second Year: ( PHY131H1 and PHY132H1)/( PHY151H1 and PHY152H1)

Second and Higher Years:

  1. BCH210H1BIO230H1/​ BIO255H1CHM217H1, ( CHM220H1/​ CHM222H1 and CHM223H1), CHM238Y1CHM249H1
  2. CHM347H1CHM348H1CHM379H1
  3. At least 1.0 credit from the following: CHM317H1CHM327H1CHM338H1CHM343H1CHM410H1CHM499Y1/​ PHC489Y1
  4. Additional 300/400-level BCH or CHM courses, including CHM437H1CHM447H1, and CHM479H1 to a total of 14.0 credits. CSB450H1 is also acceptable.