Biology Co-op offers a wide variety of placement opportunities for students, ranging from positions relating to cell biology and genetics to ecology and environmental biology. Your work experience takes the form of four four-month work placements at a variety of organizations in Canada and potentially internationally. You must complete all four work terms in order to receive a Co-op designation on your transcript. Your first work term placement starts in the Winter of third year. To apply to the Biology Co-op program, you must apply for third-year standing or currently be third-year standing in the Biology undergraduate program.

Application Deadlines

Apply in Year Application Deadline Date
2 & 3 Monday, March 2, 2020
3 Thursday, October 1, 2020


We’ll run you through the application requirements, and then you’ll be prompted to create an account in SCOPE, the UBC Science Co-op Information System.

Application Requirements

  • Have a minimum average of around B- (~68%)
  • Be a full-time UBC (Vancouver) student in good academic standing in mathematics, English and the sciences
  • Good communication skills, and a responsible, mature attitude
  • Demonstrated leadership, teamwork and time management
  • Demonstrated interest in your chosen field
  • Be flexible and willing to accept a work placement outside the Lower Mainland
  • If entering your 3rd year, students should register for a 3rd year level lab in term 1 of their 3rd year (BIOL 326, 331, 337, 340, 341, 342, 351, 352, 363, 404, 409, 437, 444).
  • If you are already in 3rd year, you need to have completed or be currently registered in a 3rd or 4th year level lab (BIOL 326, 331, 337, 340, 341, 342, 351, 352, 363, 404, 409, 437, 444).


Work-Term Schedules

Schedule A

Year Fall Winter Summer
2 Study APPLY    -
3 Study & Co-op workshops Work Work
4 Study Study Work
5 Work Study & graduate    -

Schedule B*

Year Fall Winter Summer
1 Study Study    -
2 Study Study    -
3 Study Work Work
4 Work Study Work
5 Study Study    -

*This schedule is intended to accommodate students who wish to complete an 8-month honours thesis in their final year of study.


Schedule - 3rd Year Internship

Year Fall Winter Summer
2 Study Study    -
3 APPLY Study & Co-op workshops Work
4 Work Work Work
5 Study Study & graduate    -

Schedule - 3rd Year Fall Start (3 work terms):*

Year Fall Winter Summer
2 Study Study    -
3 Study APPLY Co-op workshops
4 Work Work Work
5 Study Study & graduate    -

* Please note: students following this timeline will not be eligible for the Co-op designation.

The above schedules are highly recommended by the Co-op Program in order for students to complete their program within the shortest time frame. Alternate scheduling is available in consultation with your Co-op Coordinator.


Sample Jobs and Companies

BC Cancer Agency
Research Assistant Screening for functional shRNA sequences, generation of shRNA expressing cell lines and ES cells, in vitro generation of insulin producing cells, as well as phenotypic analyses. Assist in developing novel tools for shRNA expression by cloning or testing the new technique.
Golder and Associates
Junior Environmental Co-op Student Students will be trained to undertake Phase I environmental site assessments, including data review, site reconnaissance, and report writing; Support Phase II environmental site assessments, including drilling supervision, borehole logging, and sample collection; and Support site remedial activities, including supervision and post-completion monitoring; and undertake geological, hydrogeological, and contaminant data compilation, interpretation, and reporting.
Defense Research and Development Canada
Summer Student Conduct nucleic acid amplification techniques and nucleic acid sequence analysis for the molecular identification of DNA from bacterial sources. Undertake the writing of project report(s) and make a presentation of the work completed.

Success Stories

Sean Montgomery
Honours in Biology, Plant Biology
4 months at Dr. Loren Rieseberg’s lab and 4 months in Dr. Sean Graham’s Lab in UBC Department of Botany, 4 months in Yangzhou University (Jiansu, China), 4 months in BC Blueberry Council (Agassiz) After graduating from UBC with Honours in Biology and Co-op Designation, Sean is headed to a PhD Program in Switzerland that combines his interest in plants and genetics. If you had asked Sean how he decided on his specialization prior to his journey through Co-op, he would never have mentioned botany. Yet, his work experience through the Co-op program sparked a passion in plant biology. His work experience at both a local and international site helped cultivate valuable skills in both his professional and personal life.


We’ll run you through the application requirements, and then you’ll be prompted to create an account in SCOPE, the UBC Science Co-op Information System.

Made a mistake on your application?

Just log into SCOPE and edit your application. For technical support contact

Explore Biology: Visit the department site.