As a biology co-op student, you’ll alternate your academic terms with co-op terms working for real biology employers. You’ll gain relevant, paid work experience, build competencies and hop on the fast track to career success.
You could work for co-op employers in:
- marine biology
- fisheries and forestry
- resource management
- pest management
- environmental monitoring
- wildlife assessment and tracking
- genetics and microbiology
- medical research
Wondering what it's like to be a biology co-op student? Check out our student stories!
- How to apply
- The co‑op process
- Fees and funding
- Find a co‑op work term
- WHMIS test
- During your work term
- After your work term
- Sample résumés and cover letters
- Co‑op student stories
- External job sources
- Co‑op forms
How to apply
To apply to Biology Co-op, you must:
- maintain at least a B- average
- have completed your first year of study in the Faculty of Science
You should apply to co-op by September 30 of your second year of study, although entry later in your degree program is also possible. Applications received by September 1 can be considered for a spring work term, and applications received by September 30 are for summer or fall work terms.
Graduating with co-op designation
If you successfully complete the requirements of the co-op program, you'll earn a co-op distinction on your degree.
- Undergraduate students must complete four work terms to graduate with co-op designation.
- Graduate students must complete two to three work terms.
What to include in your application package
- A completed application form
- A cover letter: Your one-page cover letter should introduce yourself and explain why you’re applying. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off to Cunningham 105.
- A recent résumé: Include your latest experiences, including extracurricular activities (volunteering, sports, outdoors, arts, etc.). Email to email@example.com or drop off to Cunningham 105.
- Two completed reference forms, preferably from one academic reference and one employer reference. Please email this link to your references and ask them to submit it.
- College and other university transcripts: Order these from each institution.
- UVic transcript: We can access these, so don’t worry about submitting them.
- Proof that you have a valid driver’s license: Not required but recommended. Many biology jobs involve driving, and employers can’t accept “N” status if you’re going to be driving corporate vehicles.
Each part of your application package will be held until it is complete.
When you'll hear back
If you applied before September...
...you’ll hear back by early September. If you’re accepted, you’ll probably do your first work term in January.
In the middle of September, you’ll attend prep sessions to learn how to apply for jobs. At the end of September, you can attend presentations by students who have just finished a work term.
If you applied in September...
...you’ll hear back by mid-October. If you’re accepted, you’ll probably do your first work term in May.
In the middle of October, you’ll attend prep sessions to learn how to apply for jobs. You’ll probably start applying for jobs in January.
Biology Work Experience Program
Not sure if co-op is right for you? As a biology student, you can apply to the Biology Work Experience Program at any time during your degree and complete one or two paid work terms instead of four. You’ll receive the same benefits and support as a co-op student, and you can choose to transfer into the Biology Co-op Program later on (if it's still early enough in your studies).
Program requirements and the application process are the same as for co-op—please see the other tabs on this page.
Questions about the Work Experience Program? Please contact us.