person working in lab, holding syringe

Biological and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Co-op Student Information

About The Program

Chemistry is the study of the structure and behaviour of molecules. This includes the construction of molecules with specific properties for use in areas such as pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. In the Biological and Pharmaceutical Chemistry program, you will also study the necessary theoretical and practical insights to acquire a thorough interdisciplinary understanding of material at the interfaces of chemistry, biology, and pharmacology. It is a chemistry-based approach to the synthesis, analysis and investigation of biological and pharmaceutical structures in the context of biological function and pharmaceutical applications.

Why Co-op?

As a co-op student, you will gain relevant work experience, build professional networks, and develop essential interpersonal skills needed to succeed in the workplace, all while getting paid and earning your university degree. Guelph’s co-op program is unique due to the exceptional level of support provided throughout the co-op experience. Students will complete a comprehensive course preparing them for the co-op employment process, and will receive guidance from a knowledgeable team of staff dedicated to their development and success.

Course Sequencing








Acquired Knowledge & Skills


A sound knowledge of the theoretical foundations of the chemical sub-disciplines of analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Well-developed computer literacy and problem-solving abilities.


Practical laboratory experience in wet bench chemistry including inorganic and organic synthesis, quantitative analysis, and analytical instrumentation.


Excellent laboratory technique skills as well as written and verbal communication skills.

Sample Jobs

Quality Control Technician

This is a laboratory-based position with a leading Canadian manufacturer of pharmaceutical premixes and other animal health products. You will perform chemical, physical, spectroscopic and chromatographic examination of raw materials and finished product; preparation of test solutions, reagents, standards and other common laboratory solutions; and record keeping to current GMP standards. You’ll also perform maintenance of laboratory equipment.

Analytical Technologist

In this role, you will assist in analysis of water samples using various instrumental techniques. You will participate in the determination of basic water quality parameters including pH, alkalinity, colour and conductivity. Additionally, you will analyze major cations using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry and anions in aqueous samples using Ion Chromatography. Computer skills will be required to assist in sample submission and data tracking.

Quality Assurance Specialist

You will be supporting the team objectives through documentation and assisting with activities related to internal departments. Your main functions will be to prepare worksheets and test procedures for the laboratory, prepare and implement standard operating procedures as well as prepare and implement the manufacturing orders for Processing Department.

Sample Employers*

  • McNeil Consumer Healthcare
  • Bio Agri Mix LP
  • Health Canada
  • SUEZ International
  • GPI

*This shows a sample of recent co-op employers and will vary depending on employer recruitment needs. During a job search, students are encouraged to be actively engaged and are supported in establishing and maintaining their own personal contacts.

Salary Information

Students receive compensation from their employer for co-op work terms. The rate of pay will vary depending on a number of factors including the industry, the student’s program of study, and work term level. For your reference, a Co-operative Education Salary Guide is available on our website, which provides hourly rates (averages and ranges) for each degree program.