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Science

Science Co-op is optional for students studying:

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

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
bcmbcoop@uvic.ca
250-721-8813

Biology & Earth and Ocean Sciences

Co-op coordinator:
Diane Luszniak
Office: BWC A241
Biology Co-op questions: biocoop@uvic.ca
EOS Co-op questions: eoscoop@uvic.ca
250-721-8649

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

Co-op coordinator:
Arkady Futerman
Office: BWC A239
scicoop@uvic.ca
250-721-7713

Science Co-op Assistants

Kandie Husband & Jessica Abriel
Office: BWC A243/245
scico@uvic.ca
250-721-6122

Program formats

Choose one of the following program formats:

  • traditional co-op: 16 months of work alternating with your academic terms
  • work experience program: 4 to 12 months of work alternating with your academic terms
  • co-op internship: 12 months of consecutive work
  • post-degree internship: 4 to 12 months of work following the completion of all your academic terms

Learn more about these types of co-op.

Requirements & deadlines

To apply, 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

Application deadline:

  • September 15 for students in their second year of study.

Alternate entry points may be possible; please contact your co-op office.

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

Once admitted, you'll complete the Introduction to Professional Practice program in Brightspace. This course includes self-directed reading and assignments, as well as workshops.

Fees

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: $760.98
  • international students: $1,414.67

Fees per work term for graduate students:

  • domestic students: $760.98
  • international students: $957.14

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.

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: $3,159
  • Biochemistry and Microbiology: $2,965
  • Chemistry: $2,997
  • Earth and Ocean Sciences: $2,870
  • Physics and Astronomy: $3,072
  • Mathematics undergraduate: $3,170
  • Mathematics graduate: $3,485
  • Statistics undergraduate: $3,956
  • Statistics graduate: $3,686

View salary estimates for all programs.

Work terms

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

Work term transfer

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.

Work term challenge

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

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

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.

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

Biology:

  • 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

Chemistry:

  • 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.

Get support

If you identify as having a disability or a mental health condition, or if you belong to an equity group, we can support your co-op experience.

We'll help you with every step, from applying to co-op to making sure you're supported at work. 

How to apply

In addition to completing an application form, you must register for SCIE 201: Introduction to Professional Practice.

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.

When will you hear back?

We'll do our best to update you on your application status within 10 business days, as long as you submit it before September 15.

Applications received after September 15 will be considered for the following year’s intake.

Science Co-op blog

See recent stories on our Science Co-op blog.

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

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