UBC Co-operative Education Programs in Science

The BIOT honours program has an obligatory co-operative education component.

The MBIM honours and the MBIM major programs allow an optional co-operative education component.​

In each program, the co-operative education component integrates academic study with related and supervised, relevant, paid work experience by sequentially combining four four-month periods of work with four four-month periods of study.

The BIOT program requires co-op terms in the last three years of the program. The MBIM programs allow co-op terms in the last two years of the programs. Admission to the BIOT program co-op is automatic when students are admitted to the BIOT program. Admission to the co-op program in Microbiology and Immunology offered as an option for the MBIM programs is by application to the Science Co-op Office in February of second year (interested students that miss the deadline will be considered if they apply before the available positions are confirmed).

Selection will be based on previous academic performance, communication abilities, and interpersonal skills, as assessed by a submitted resume and an interview. Admissibility to one of the third-year Microbiology and Immunology (MBIM) programs is a prerequisite for admission to the co-op option. For more information about co-op, please contact the Science Co-op Education Office.

Co-operative Education: 

  • The opportunity to set your career goals, by integrating learning in the classroom with related work experience

  • Awareness of specializations in your area through a variety of work experiences

  • Access to special career orientation events, such as workshops on interview, résumé and job seeking skills, seminars with other Co-op students and faculty members, as well as individual career advice

  • Valuable employment contacts which, combined with your co-op work experience, will improve your chances of designed the kind of permanent employment you want when you graduate.

Applications are available from the Science Co-op Office and are normally due in February of your second year. Late applicants can be considered if there is space.

Science Co-op Education Program Office for Life Sciences:

Co-op Coordinator: Barbara Seredick
Room 2010, D.H. Copp Building
2146 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Telephone: 604-827-3303


Main Science Co-op Education Program Office:

Room 170 Chemistry & Physics Building
6221 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Telephone: 604-822-9677
Fax: 604-822-9676

What Can Co-op Students Do?

UBC Co-op programs are optional and selective. Students are selected on the basis of their academic performance, communication abilities, and interpersonal skill. These students attend a series of workshops to help them become motivated and effective workers. The students develop expertise in their field of study due to challenging, demanding curriculum at UBC.

How does the Co-op Program Work?

Three times a year, the Co-op office invites employers to submit job descriptions for Summer (May-August), Fall (September-December), and Winter (January-April) work terms. The invitation includes information on subjects students are available in, and their level of experience. Job descriptions are posted in the Co-op office. Students are allowed to apply for jobs that interest them and their resumes/transcripts are sent to employers. Employers then select students to be interviewed. The Co-op office arranges the interviews, usually at UBC. Telephone interviews can be arranged if necessary. After the interviews, employers and students send their rankings to the Co-op office. The Co-op coordinator matches employers and students based upon these rankings. Employers make a formal employment offer to the selected student(s).

The Co-op Coordinator keeps in touch with the work supervisor and student to ensure a trouble-free, productive work term for both. Midway through the work term, the student is normally visited by a coordinator at the workplace to discuss the student’s work progress with the supervisor and the possible topics for a technical report. Towards the end of the work term, students finish their technical report and evaluate their work term. The employers will also evaluate the work term.

Technical reports are marked by the faculty advisors (or by the work supervisor if the report is confidential). Unsatisfactory reports must be re-written. A summary of the student’s evaluation is sent to the employer and the employer evaluation is discussed with the student.

Students’ Commitments

  • To follow all workplace rules/regulations

  • To complete the assigned tasks to the best of their abilities

  • To complete a technical report for each 4 month work term

  • To keep in touch with the Co-op office and the faculty advisor

Employers’ Commitments

  • To provide full-time work related to the academic discipline of the student

  • To provide a competitive salary

  • To provide guidance and assistance concerning students’ technical reports

The academic is the same for co-op and non co-op students. Aside from the co-op work term, there are no special course requirements.