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Science Co-op is optional for students studying:

  • Biology
  • Biochemistry and Microbiology
  • Chemistry
  • Climate Science
  • Earth and Ocean Sciences
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Mathematics and Statistics

Learn more about how co-op works, program formats, salaries, schedules and more.

Attend an online info session

 In September 2024 we'll run an information session to provide info about:

  • how to join Science co-op
  • program requirements
  • jobs that co-op students in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, earth and ocean sciences, and physics and astronomy students have had in the past
  • and more!

Get your questions answered by the Science co-op coordinators.

How co-op works

Co-op gives you hands-on paid work experience related to what you're studying. It's the perfect way to develop your skills and find a career you love.

Learn more about what co-op ishow it works with your degree, and what to expect as a co-op student

How to join

To join, you must:

  • be majoring in a program in the Faculty of Science
  • have completed your first year of study
  • have a minimum B average
  • be a full-time UVic student
  • enrol in SCIE 201 by September 15

We suggest you join at the end of your first year of courses so that you can alternate terms in class with terms working with employers. This gives you more options in terms of when you complete your work terms.

If you're later in your degree, you can still participate in co-op but your schedule may look different. Contact your co-op coordinator to discuss possibilities.  

Science graduate students are also eligible for co-op. Please speak to your supervisor about your plans.

If you've registered for SCIE 201 by September 15, you'll get access to a checklist of tasks to complete to be accepted into Science Co-op. 

Once you're accepted

You'll begin your co-op education through SCIE 201: Introduction to Professional Practice classes, which you'll take once before your first work term. 

The course takes place in the winter session in addition to the regular course load. It includes 50-minute in-person/synchronous sessions and a mock interview clinic.

The goal of the course is to give you baseline tools and skills to help you in your co-op (and later, full-time) job hunt. You'll learn about the hiring process, passive and active search options, résumé and cover letter writing, professionalism and ethics, interview skills, networking skills and how to be successful on your work term.

You only need to take SCIE 201 once.

Work terms

Co-op work terms begin in January, May and September and are typically 4 months long.

Finding a work term

In addition to the general process for finding a co-op job you need to complete the terms & conditions form in the co-op portal to receive access to co-op job postings.

You can connect with your co-op coordinator and academic advising to make a plan that works for you.

During your work term

Learn more about what happens during your work term.

After your work term

At the end of your co-op work term, you will reflect on your work experience by completing a:

  • work term report - a scientific report on a subject you chose with your work term supervisor
  • oral presentation - a short presentation to an audience of your peers
  • competency assessment – a tool that is part of the co-op and career portal

You should also: 

  • book a debriefing meeting
  • update your résumé
  • complete a release form

Assignment due dates:

  • work term ending in August: due September 15
  • work term ending in December: due January 15
  • work term ending in April: due May 15

If the due date falls on a holiday or a weekend, the assignment will be due the next business day.

See the assignment criteria, guideline and templates in the Brightspace work term course.

Sample employers & jobs

Biochemistry and Microbiology:

  • academic research labs and institutes
    • conducting original research using modern biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology, genomics and proteomics technologies
  • pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • breweries, wineries and distilleries
    • monitoring industrial fermentation processes
  • government agencies
    • testing clinical, environmental, food and water samples for microbial or chemical contamination
  • food, chemical and equipment manufacturers


  • marine biology, fisheries and forestry
    • Eulachon assessment and pelagic ecosystems – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Pacific Biological Station)
  • resource management
    • assistant wildlife biologist – Parks Canada (Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks)
  • pest management
  • ecology and environmental monitoring
    • environment regulatory and sustainability co-op student – Devon Energy Corporation
  • wildlife assessment and tracking
    • junior wildlife rehabilitator – BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre
  • botany
    • biological weed and pest control assistant – Cultural Agricultural Bureau International (Switzerland)
  • medical research, genetics and microbiology


  • academic research projects (theoretical and applied)
  • pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • breweries, wineries and distilleries
  • food, chemical and equipment manufacturers
  • natural resources management and research

Earth and Ocean Sciences:

  • upstream environmental operation, water team – Husky Energy Inc.
  • research geomorphologist assistant – BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
  • laboratory assistant, petrophysics – Natural Resources Canada
  • oceanographic data processing – Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
  • coastal naturalist – Calliope Consulting Inc.
  • junior project officer – Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  • geologist co-op student – Teck Ltd.
  • underwater acoustic analyst – Ocean Networks Canada
  • environmental co-op student – National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces
  • digital remote sensing research – Natural Resources Canada

Physics and Astronomy:

  • academic research projects (theoretical and applied)
  • computational and quantum physics projects
  • renewable energy research and production projects
  • geophysics
  • nuclear physics
  • oceanography
  • medical research

Mathematics and Statistics:

  • environmental assessment co-op student – Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • investment operations intern – BC Investment Management Corp.
  • junior developer – Workday (MediaCore)
  • modelling and analytics support technician – Alberta Environment and Parks
  • survey methodology co-op student – Statistics Canada
  • Toronto investments analyst – Manulife Financial

Learn more about the various jobs students can do.

Average salaries

You'll receive a salary from your employer during each co-op work term. Co-op salaries vary according to many factors, including:

  • your previous work experience
  • the industry you're working in
  • the responsibilities of your co-op job

Here are average monthly salaries for a work term:

  • Biology: $2,958.72
  • Biochemistry and Microbiology: $2,880.61
  • Chemistry: $2,931.40
  • Earth and Ocean Sciences: $3,338.95
  • Physics and Astronomy: $3,127.85
  • Mathematics undergraduate: $3,070.28
  • Mathematics graduate: $4,168.00
  • Statistics undergraduate: $3,070.28
  • Statistics graduate: $4,168.00

View salary estimates for all programs.


Co-op students pay a co-op tuition fee for each work term. It's free to join co-op and attend the preparation course—you'll pay your tuition fee after you secure a co-op work term.

You'll pay your fees according to the same tuition fee deadlines as regular course fees.

Fees per work term for undergraduate students:

  • domestic students: $776.20
  • international students: $1,510.16

Fees per work term for graduate students:

  • domestic students: $776.20
  • international students: $976.27

Note that the graduate co-op tuition fee is different than the graduate installment fee. If you are a grad student and register for a co-op work term, during that term, you'll pay:

  • the grad co-op program fee  
  • the grad ancillary fees

If you register for a course (e.g. thesis 596 or 598) and a co-op work term in the same term, during that term, you'll pay:

  • the grad co-op program tuition fee
  • the course tuition fee
  • the grad ancillary fees

Questions about co-op tuition fees? Email us or call 250-721-7032 for assistance.

Transfer students

If you've completed a co-op work term at another accredited post-secondary institution, you can apply for transfer credit (or a work term transfer) for up to 2 work terms.

The work term that you want to receive transfer credit for must have been:

  • paid
  • evaluated (you submitted a final written report)
  • supervised by a co-op practitioner
  • a minimum of 4 months (or 420 hours) of full-time work
  • relevant to your academic program

Contact the Science Co-op office to let us know that you plan to apply for a work term transfer.

Previous work experience

You can apply to register previous work you completed before entering the co-op program as a work term challenge, for up to 2 work terms.

The work must have:

  • been completed before acceptance into the Science Co-op Program
  • helped you establish and achieve your career goals
  • been supervised
  • totalled a minimum of 420 hours
  • been paid
  • helped you develop competencies, such as:
    • analysis
    • problem-solving
    • decision-making
    • organizing/managing self and others
    • written/verbal communication
    • technical/computer
    • interpersonal relations
    • initiative and self-reliance
    • industry/job specific

Learn how to apply for a work term challenge.

Office & contacts

Our regular business hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Science Co-op is located on the second floor of the Bob Wright Centre (BWC).

Biochemistry and Microbiology (BCMB)

Co-op coordinator:
Heather Croft
Office: BWC A237

Biology & Earth and Ocean Sciences

Co-op coordinator:
Diane Luszniak
Office: BWC A241
Biology Co-op questions:
EOS Co-op questions:

Physics and Astronomy / Chemistry / Mathematics and Statistics (PACMS)

Co-op coordinator:
Jeremy Pearce
Office: BWC A239

Science Co-op assistants

Kandie Husband & Jessica Abriel
Office: BWC A243/245

Get support

We're here to support you with every step in your co-op journey, from applying to co-op to making sure you're supported at work. Contact your co-op coordinator or office for assistance.

If you identify as having a disability or a mental health condition, if you belong to an equity group, or if you identify as Indigenous, we have additional supports for your co-op experience. 

Science Co-op blog

Read recent stories and student experiences on our Science Co-op blog.

Find answers to commonly questions about Science Co-op on our FAQ.