Why Study Chemical & Physical Sciences?

Chemistry students conducting lab experiment
From examining energy generation, to space exploration, quantum computing and more — the study of CPS propels you into a range of fulfilling career paths, while providing you with the critical tools to address global issues.

As a CPS student at UTM, you'll join a community of dynamic educators, researchers and students who are continually evolving our understanding of our planet and the universe as a whole.

On this page:

What makes CPS at UTM distinctive?

1. Rich opportunities for student engagement and experiential learning

As a CPS student at UTM, you'll have plenty of opportunities to participate in hands-on, experiential learning. These opportunities include:  

  • Research Opportunity (ROP) Program: an opportunity to conduct year- or summer-long research with CPS faculty in their lab or in the field.
  • CPS400Y5: a yearlong internship opportunity that will place you with an employer in the GTA to gain real industry experience. 
  • CPS401Y5: a yearlong opportunity to develop pedagogic materials and share them with high school students. 
  • CPS489Y5: a yearlong chance to dive deeper into research with CPS faculty.
  • Earth Science field courses (ERS225, ERS325, and ERS425): from day trips, to weeklong trips to Manitoulin Island or the Canadian Rockies, these courses offer the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in the field.

2. Vibrant, interdisciplinary research

The CPS department is home to 24 full-time faculty, including award-winning educators and researchers. Our research labs address: how cells are programmed, how proteins function, how we develop materials for human health and a sustainable future, how Earth’s climate and biosphere change over time, how we monitor and predict natural hazards, how students learn to approach these challenges.

To learn more about our award-winning research, please visit the Research page.

3. A lush campus and strong sense of community

In addition to the program and department, as a CPS student at UTM, you'll be immersed in a truly extraordinary campus experience, participating in learning opportunities led by the world-class educators, scientists and researchers that you'd expect from Canada's largest and most acclaimed university.

At the same time, you'll also enjoy the down-to-earth sense of community that a campus – situated on 225 acres of lush, protected greenbelt – can provide.

Astronomy student using a telescope within an observatory at night
Program options

Undergraduate studies

Graduate studies

Skills you'll develop

  • Research: conduct journal research and evaluate the validity of sources; and utilize logical reasoning to interpret results/data derived from scientific experimentation.
  • Technical: experience with state-of-theart laboratory technology and instruments; ability to use computer programs to manipulate and display data; and comply with safety regulations and quality control procedures while conducting experiments.
  • Quantitative: analyze data for trends and apply statistical packages to data to test for significance.
  • Communication: organize research ideas and information into comprehensive reports; adapt vocabulary to suite a wide variety of audiences including the general public and senior scientists; and interact professionally with a multidisciplinary team of researchers, technicians, students and professors.
  • Problem-solving: see relationships among factors; analyze data; and interpret observations.

Career opportunities

Studying CPS provides you with the interdisciplinary training to help solve global problems such as energy conservation, environmental pollution, nuclear waste disposal and famine. It also prepares you for a multitude of meaningful career choices.

While not exhaustive, here's a list of career options that are available to you as a CPS graduate (some require further education and experience):


  • Food Scientist
  • Laboratory Manager
  • Quality Controller
  • Technical Sales Representative
  • Biochemistry Technologist
  • Environmental Policy Maker
  • Pharmacologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Toxicologist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Patent Agent


  • Environmental Epidemiologist
  • Ecologist
  • Water Quality Inspector
  • Environmental Risk Assessor
  • Air Quality Specialist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Planner (Urban)
  • GIS Analyst
  • Environmental Marketing Specialist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Agronomist

Geology & Earth Science

  • Mine Geologist
  • Surveyor
  • Minerals Processing Technician
  • Regulatory Law Associate
  • Mining Engineer
  • Climatologist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Geologist
  • Engineering Technician
  • Explosives Specialist
  • Paleontologist
  • Chemical Engineering Technician


  • Aerospace engineer
  • Artificial intelligence developer
  • Astronaut
  • Avionics instrument mechanic
  • Computer software engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • Nuclear medicine technologist
  • Nuclear physicist
  • Robotics technician
  • Seismologist

For a full list of career opportunities, visit these Careers by Major pages:

Additional resources