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Specialized Honours in Chemistry

The Specialized Honours Degree is the premier program in Chemistry offered at York University and the program into which most students will enter. It is a four-year honours program specializing in chemistry (with at least 68 CHEM credits) and providing a solid grounding in various sub-fields of chemistry: analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic and physical/theoretical chemistry as well as the opportunity to focus on subjects in one or more of these areas. The program also includes requirements and options in computer science, mathematics and physics, and general education requirements in such areas as the Humanities and Social Sciences.​

For easy transferability between programs, the first two years of this program are, since 2013, identical to all other Chemistry degrees except those of the Pharmaceutical and Biological stream and the Biochemistry programs, which have additional requirements in Biology and Biochemistry.​

This program provides an ideal preparation for graduate studies in Chemistry.​
[More on suitability for graduate studies]​

This degree program is fully accredited by the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC).​

Degree Requirements

Academic Calendar

  • Required CHEM Courses: CHEM 1000 3.0, CHEM 1001 3.0, CHEM 2000 3.0 (see Note 1), CHEM 2011 3.0, CHEM 2020 3.0, CHEM 2021 3.0, CHEM 2030 3.0, CHEM 2050 4.0 (see Note 2), CHEM 2080 4.0, CHEM 3000 3.0, CHEM 3001 3.0, CHEM 3010 3.0, CHEM 3020 3.0, CHEM 3030 3.0, CHEM 3080 4.0 and CHEM 4000 8.0​
  • Upper-level CHEM Courses: at least 18 other CHEM credits at the 3000 or 4000 levels to include at least 9 at the 4000 level (see Note 3)​
  • Science Breadth Courses: LE/EECS 1020 3.0 or 1520 3.0 or 1530 3.0 or 1540 3.0; MATH 1013 3.0 and MATH 1014 3.0 (see Note 4); PHYS 1011 3.0 & 1012 3.0 or PHYS 1411 3.0 & 1412 3.0 or PHYS 1421 3.0 & 1422 3.0 (see Note 5); 9 other non-CHEM science credits to include at least 3 above the 1000 level (see Note 6)​
  • Non-Science Breadth Courses: 12 credits in eligible non-science General Education courses in at least two subjects​
  • Additional electives in any subject and at any level to achieve at least 120 credits in total​
  • A cumulated grade point average of 5.50 over all courses​


  1. CHEM 2000 3.0 is a required course for students who entered the Faculty of Science as of Fall 2021 or later.
  2. Students transferring from another program with credit in both BCHM/BIOL 2020 3.0 and BIOL 2070 3.0 are exempted from taking CHEM 2050 4.0. Students with credit in one but not the other should consult the Undergraduate Program Director on how to proceed. Except for one degree program, Chemistry majors are not normally permitted to take those courses.​
  3. Depending on 4000-level course selections, some additional 3000-level prerequisites may be needed above the minimum requirement; those taken in excess of the minimum will usefully contribute toward the total upper-year credits required.​ CHEM 4100 6.0 will not count towards the 4000 - level degree requirement.
  4. Students transferring from another program with credit in other MATH courses may be wholly or partially exempted. For instance, transferring students with credit in MATH 1505 6.0, MATH 1506 3.0 and MATH 1507 3.0 may be exempted from MATH 1013 3.0 or from both MATH 1013 3.0 and MATH 1014 3.0, depending on the grade earned. Chemistry majors are not permitted to take MATH 1505 6.0, MATH 1506 3.0 and MATH 1507 3.0 and should in general not take MATH courses that are credit exclusions of MATH 1013 3.0 or MATH 1014 3.0 except by permission from the Undergraduate Program Director.​
  5. PHYS 1010 6.0, PHYS 1410 6.0 AND PHYS 1420 6.0 are also suitable Science Breadth Courses
  6. With the exceptions below, eligible non-major science courses are those in BCHM, BIOL, BPHS, EATS, EECS (formerly CSE), ENVB, GEOG, MATH and PHYS that are not cross-listed with a CHEM course, nor a course credit exclusion with a CHEM course. Also eligible are designated science courses in PSYC and KINE, as well as STS courses that are not cross-listed with a non-science course.​
    Ineligible are BIOL 1500 3.0, MATH 1510 3.0, MATH 1515 3.0, MATH 1520 3.0, PHYS 1510 4.0, most ISCI courses (i.e. those that are course credit exclusions with required courses) and all NATS courses.