Environmental Chemistry Specialist (HBSc)

Admissions Category: Physical & Environmental Sciences

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trees in red water

Program Overview

Chemistry is central to almost all environmental problems, whether climate change or various types of pollution of air, water and soil. This program offers an in-depth study of chemistry, with a specialization in how to apply chemistry to solve environmental problems. The first year of the program emphasizes learning fundamentals across various disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, math and environmental science. As students progress into upper years, they develop skills in the fundamental areas of chemistry while also taking specialized courses in environmental chemistry. In their fourth year, students have the opportunity to contribute to the creation of scientific knowledge by participating in a directed research project.
This program is accredited by the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC). It meets the national standards of education required by the CSC, ensuring that graduating students possess skills in both the core chemical concepts and practical laboratory skills that are necessary to thrive in today’s workforce. Graduates of these programs will receive a certificate stating that they have completed a nationally accredited chemistry program.

Check out future career opportunities and skills acquired from completing this program:

Competencies & Skills

  • Understanding of the fundamental scientific basis of environmental issues
  • Design and conduct laboratory research including data collection, analysis and interpretation
  • Write technical reports and project proposals
  • Present scientific research in an organized and succinct manner for a wide variety of audiences

Careers for Graduates

  • Water Treatment Specialist
  • Environmental Assessment Analyst
  • Environmental consulting
  • Environmental Auditor
  • Government Scientist (Provincial and Federal)
  • Quality Assurance in Manufacturing (Food, Paper, Chemical, Plastics)

Further Education

  • Environmental Chemistry – Master and Doctorate Degrees
  • Environmental Science – Bachelor or Master
  • Biotechnology – Master
  • Regulatory Affairs – Post-Graduate Certificate
  • Quality Assurance – Post-Graduate Diploma
  • Occupational Health & Safety – Certificate

Program Pathway

Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4

Year 1
Choose Your Courses Wisely

Complete 4.5 credits:

BIOA01H3 Life on Earth: Unifying Principles

BIOA02H3 Life on Earth: Form, Function and Interactions

CHMA10H3 Introductory Chemistry I: Structure and Bonding 

CHMA11H3 Introductory Chemistry II: Reactions and Mechanisms or CHMA12H3 Advanced General Chemistry]

EESA01H3 Introduction to Environmental Science

EESA06H3 Introduction to Planet Earth

MATA29H3 or MATA30H3 Calculus I for Physical Sciences 

MATA35H3 or MATA36H3 Calculus II for Physical Sciences

PHYA10H3 Physics I for the Physical Sciences or PHYA11H3 Physics I for the Life Sciences

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
Apply Theory to Practice
  • Attend the UTSC Faculty Mix & Mingle Fair to connect with professors and learn more about their specialties.
  • Start building your Co-Curricular Record (CCR) and search for Experiential Learning opportunities.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career

Year 2
Choose Your Courses Wisely

Complete 4.5 credits:

CHMB16H3 Techniques in Analytical Chemistry

CHMB23H3 Introduction to Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics: Theory and Practice

CHMB31H3 Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry

CHMB41H3 Organic Chemistry I

CHMB42H3 Organic Chemistry II

CHMB55H3 Environmental Chemistry

EESB15H3 Earth History

and 0.5 credit from the following:

CHMB21H3 Chemical Structure and Spectroscopy

CHMB62H3 Introduction to Biochemistry

and 0.5 credit from the following:

EESB03H3 Principles of Climatology

EESB19H3 Mineralogy

  • Use Degree Explorer and meet with your Program Advisor to ensure you are on track with your degree.

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Check the Research Catalogue and jobs on CLNx for possible research opportunities.
  • Drop by the Math & Statistics Learning Centre to have your course-related questions answered.
  • Consider doing a directed research course: PSCB90H3 - Physical Sciences Research Experience.

Apply Theory to Practice
Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career
  • Gain experience by applying for a summer, part-time or Work Study position via CLNx (>Jobs & Recruitment).
  • Considering grad school? Speak to professors and advisors early so you are on track.
  • Explore careers through the AA&CC’s Job Shadowing and In The Field programs.

Year 3
Choose Your Courses Wisely

Complete 4.0 credits from the following:

CHMC11H3 Principles of Analytical Instrumentation

EESC07H3 Groundwater

EESC20H3 Geochemistry

STAB22H3 Statistics I

and 1.5 credits from the following:

CHMC16H3 Analytical Instrumentation

CHMC31Y3 Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry

CHMC41H3 Organic Reaction Mechanisms

CHMC42H3 Organic Synthesis

CHMC47H3 Bio-Organic Chemistry

and 0.5 credit from the following:

EESB04H3 Principles of Hydrology

EESB05H3 Principles of Soil Science

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
Apply Theory to Practice
  • Build on your skills and knowledge through relevant events offered through your department, student groups, DSL and the AA&CC.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career

Year 4
Choose Your Courses Wisely

Complete 3.0 credits:

CHMD16H3 Environmental and Analytical Chemistry

EESC13H3 Environmental Impact Assessment and Auditing

EESD02H3 Contaminant Hydrogeology

EESD15H3 Fundamentals of Site Remediation

and 1.0 credit from the following:

including 0.5 credits from CHMD90Y3, CHMD91H3 and CHMD92H3:

CHMD11H3 Application of Spectroscopy in Chemical Structure Determination

CHMD59H3 Modelling the Fate of Organic Chemicals in the Environment

CHMD89H3 Introduction to Green Chemistry

CHMD90Y3 Directed Research in Chemistry

CHMD91H3 Directed Research in Chemistry

CHMD92H3 Advanced Chemistry Laboratory Course

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Apply for the Academic Travel Fund through DSL to conduct research, present at a conference, or engage with the academic community internationally.

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Attend the Summer & Full-time Job Fair in January to meet with potential employers looking to hire students for summer and full-time positions relevant to your field.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
  • Participate in the AA&CC’s Partners in Leadership program to learn and network with an alumni mentor about transitioning into the work field or further education.

Plan for Your Future Career
  • Attend the AA&CC’s Get Hired job search conference in April/May.
  • Attend a Jobs for Grads orientation for a job search “crash course” and for access to full-time job listings.
  • Discuss grad school plans early with staff at the AA&CC and your professors; get your Personal Statement reviewed in the AA&CC.


  • AACC - Academic Advising and Career Centre (www.utsc.utoronto.ca/aacc)
  • CCR - Co-Curricular Record (https://clnx.utoronto.ca/ccr/overview.htm)
  • CLNx - Career Co-Curricular Learning Network (https://clnx.utoronto.ca/home.htm)
  • CTL - Centre for Teaching and Learning (https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/ctl)
  • EPSA - Environmental and Physical Sciences Students Association (https://www.myepsa.ca)
  • SCSU - Scarborough Campus Students Union (https://www.scsu.ca)


Departmental Contact

Dr. Lana Mikhaylichenko

E-mail: lana.mikhaylichenko@utoronto.ca
Location: EV


Chemistry Librarian

Sarah Guay

E-mail: sarah.guay@utoronto.ca


Academic Advising & Career Centre

E-mail: aacc.utsc@utoronto.ca
Location: AC213


Department of Student Life

Location: SL157
Phone: 416-208-4760


Environmental & Physical Sciences Students’ Association (EPSA)

E-mail: president@myepsa.ca
Location: EV264


UTSC Environmental Chemistry graduates are working in Government Research, Education, and Operations.