Chemistry is the central science, and York’s Chemistry program offers an unbeatable learning experience. World-class professors who are active at the forefront of the field will guide you through your studies. Two examples include faculty Professor Krylov, who analyses the components of single cells to study the molecular mechanisms of diseases, and Professor Morin, who images atoms to study the formation of nanostuctures on surfaces, both of whom teach students at all levels from first year to the PhD level. Studying Chemistry at York will position you to take advantage of innumerable career possibilities.
York’s Chemistry program is noted for its close-knit research community and offers a variety of degree options, designed to give you an exciting and rewarding academic experience and to maximize your research and career opportunities in a variety of chemical fields. York offers several Honours-level four-year BSc programs in Chemistry as well as a Bachelors three-year program, giving you the flexibility to choose the option that best suits your interests and goals.
York’s premier Chemistry program is the Specialized Honours B.Sc. in Chemistry, with exposure to sub-fields such as inorganic, organic, physical, analytical or theoretical chemistry. Within the Specialized Honours B.Sc. program, you might consider taking courses in materials chemistry (the science of new materials, such as electrically conductive polymers and biocompatible materials), if you are interested in biomaterials, polymers, electronic, optical or magnetic materials. If you are curious about how instrumentation, computers and numerical methods are useful in the detection and measurement of substances, you might consider taking courses in analytical chemistry. Analytical chemistry is a cornerstone of experimental chemistry, defining the tools, techniques, and processes that chemists in all fields rely upon, especially in research requiring increasing instrumentation, miniaturization, and computerization in response to increasingly demanding problems of analysis and detection, often on small samples of dilute and impure materials.
Recognizing the increasingly blurred boundaries between the traditional disciplines, York also offers a Specialized Honours B.Sc. degree in the exciting multi-disciplinary field of Pharmaceutical & Biological Chemistry. The Pharmaceutical & Biological Chemistry degree stream explores the complex chemical systems of the biological world and their applications in medicine and health. This program of study is ideal for students interested in the biological aspects of chemistry and in pharmaceutical development. The program provides a solid grounding in chemistry, a specialized exploration of the chemistry of biologically and pharmaceutically relevant substances and processes, and extensive hands-on training in the theory and experimental practice of organic chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, and analytical chemistry, while also offering the option of training in molecular biology theory and technique.
The Specialized Honours degree stream in Pharmaceutical & Biological Chemistry provides excellent preparation for entrance to professional schools in the health sciences (including medicine, dentistry, optometry or pharmacy),or in business or law, graduate study and research (but especially in medicinal and biological fields), and career paths in the pharmaceutical and biochemical sectors of industry, business, and government., as well as in teaching.
Toward the end of their studies, students in both Specialized Honours programs engage in a research study under the supervision of a professor of your choice. This can include original laboratory work or a theoretical project and/or field investigations. There will also be additional opportunities for laboratory work and research during summer terms or part-time during the school year. Both Specialized Honours programs are recognized and accredited by the Canadian Society for Chemistry.
There is also an Honours Major program, which gives you the same quality grounding but only as much specialization as you choose. For students with interests in other disciplines, there is an Honours program that combines a Major in Chemistry with a Minor in another subject, be it in another Science or in Arts, Fine Arts, Health or Environmental Studies. You could also do a Minor in Chemistry with a Major in another subject. You may also consider completing a challenging but rewarding Honours Double Major B.Sc. combining Chemistry with equal focus on another science.
York’s Chemistry programs offer a diverse list of degree options, designed to give you an exciting and rewarding academic experience and to maximize your research and career opportunities in a variety of chemical fields. York offers several Honours-level four-year BSc programs in Chemistry as well as a Bachelors three-year program, giving you the flexibility to choose the option that best suits your interests and goals.
Facilities and Opportunities
Your studies in Chemistry at York will prepare you for a very diverse range of career options. These might include jobs in applied fields such as pulp and paper, petrochemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, protective coatings and polymers, or in biotechnology and other high-tech industries. You could also combine your chemistry degree with a diploma from Seneca. Honours studies in chemistry will prepare you for graduate study or research careers at universities, in hospitals, industries, government, or in medical laboratories. York graduates gain admission to a wide range of professional schools, including medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary studies, optometry, business and law. Some York students combine their chemistry degree with training in education and become teachers. Several graduates have gone on to become university and college professors themselves.
First Year Courses
• Physics and/or Biology
• Computer Use
• General Education course
In second year you will probably take:
• Analytical Chemistry
• Inorganic Chemistry
• Organic Chemistry
• a general education course
You can choose to concentrate in the following areas:
• Analytical Chemistry
• Materials Chemistry
• Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry
Courses in your upper years may include:
• Instrumental Methods of Analysis
• Biological Chemistry
• Atmospheric Chemistry
• Industrial and Green Chemistry
• Macromolecules of Biochemical Interest
• Pharmaceutical Discovery
• Research Project (student/professor research collaboration)
Career options for Chemistry majors include:
• Analytical Chemist
• Materials Chemist
• Organic Chemist
• Molecular Biologist
• Cosmetic Chemist
• Air Quality Specialist
• Water Quality Analyst
• Regulatory Affairs Specialist
• Clinical Trial Coordinator
• Quality Control Chemist
• Laboratory Technician
• Technical Sales Representative
• Technical Writer
• Quality Assurance Chemist
• Process Development Chemist
• Organic Mass Spectrometrist
• Forensic Lab Analyst
• Chemical Information Specialist
• Occupational Health and Safety Officer
• Medical Laboratory Technician
• Food and Drug Analyst
• Pollution Controller
• Environmental Consultant
• Education – elementary, high school, college, university
• Professional Schools – Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Law, Business, etc
• Graduate Studies/Academic Careers
Chemical reactions often involve two uncharged molecules. However, scientists have long known that mixing charged molecules, or ions, with uncharged molecules can yield some of the fastest reactions known to chemistry. These reactions and how they take place in the universe is leading York chemistry Professor Diethard Bohme on a quest that looks to the heart of the very existence of life. “An understanding of these reactions,” says Bohme, “may greatly contribute to an understanding of how life developed in our universe.” With the help of mass spectrometry, Professor Bohme, who is Canada Research Chair in Chemical Mass Spectrometry, is identifying and studying these extraordinarily fast reactions as they occur in the great interstellar clouds between the stars. Building on the work of radio astronomers – who have identified more than 100 different kinds of interstellar molecules – Bohme and graduate student Voislav Blagojevic have revealed the chemical reactions that produce simple amino acids in these interstellar clouds. “And amino acids,” said Bohme, “are the building blocks of life.” Bohme’s work is interdisciplinary, drawing on astronomy, physics, chemistry and biology.
The Department of Chemistry at York University has many other talented and internationally recognized scientists working in other forefront areas. These include Professors Sergey Krylov in bio-analytical chemistry and cancer research, Michael Organ and Art Orellana in synthetic organic and pharmaceutical chemistry, Sylvie Morin in surface chemistry and electrochemistry, Derek Wilson in biological mass spectrometry, Philip Johnson and Gerald Audette in structural biochemistry, Muhammad Yousaf and Valeria Tsoukanova in bio-materials science, Barry Lever and Gino Lavoie in inorganic chemistry, Don Hastie and Rob McLaren in atmospheric chemistry, and too many others to list here. These individuals bring their dedication and know-how to the classroom, at all levels.
York also offers outstanding chemistry research facilities and research centres, including the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, the Centre for Research in Mass Spectrometry, the Center for Research in Biomolecular Interactions, and the Combinatorial Chemistry Facility. New laboratories and equipment in the new Life Sciences Building add to these state-of-the-art facilities. As a chemistry student at York you will have opportunities to use cutting-edge instrumentation and participate in exciting research endeavours, whether as part of the extensive laboratory training you will receive through your course work, in Honours Thesis research or in extra-curricular research.