What is Co-op?

Co-op is an opportunity to gain work experience in a student’s field of study before graduation. Co-op programs require the student to complete four-month work terms in academic, industrial, commercial or laboratory settings. Work terms are paid, full-time employment in areas relevant to the student’s major and interests.

How does Co-op affect my graduation date?

Participating in Co-op will add one year to the duration of a student’s degree.

How do I find a placement?

Students apply to positions posted in an online database exclusive to Co-op students. Selected candidates are then interviewed by prospective employers. Students can also develop jobs on their own through contacts in industry or academia.

If I find my own job, is it counted as Co-op?

Yes. The job will need to be approved by your Coordinator and must satisfy the basic Co-op requirements including relevancy to your major and whether the position is paid, full-time work.

Can I participate in Go Global and Co-op?

Yes. Students can participate in both programs.

How many work terms will I go on?

In order to receive the Co-op designation, most students must complete sixteen months of work terms. Work terms can be four, eight, twelve, or sixteen months. The Pharmacology, Physiology, Biotechnology, and Bachelor of Computer Science programs require fewer work terms.

Who are the employers?

Hundreds of different employers have hired UBC Science Co-op students. Students have worked in a range of jobs in the public and private sectors, from small to large organizations, and from a wide variety of industry sectors. Employers include:

  • Commercial labs
  • Environmental consulting firms
  • Pharmaceutical & Biotech companies
  • Federal government agencies
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Academia and research centres
  • Internet and gaming companies
  • Food manufacturers
  • Software development companies
  • Engineering firms
Am I eligible for Science Co-op?

Full-time students with a cumulative average of 68% or higher may be eligible for Co-op. Some academic disciplines accept applicants in their first year, while the majority of students apply in their second year. Third-year students may be accepted depending on their schedule and academic discipline; those in fourth year and above are ineligible for Co-op . Students in combined and double majors should speak with the respective program coordinators in order to determine which program they should apply to.

When do I apply?

Application deadlines differ for all disciplines. Please check the Science Co-op website for your discipline’s deadline.

Which Major do I apply to if I am in Combined Major (Double Major)?

Students in a double majors or combined majors program only need to submit ONE application to the program of their choice (based on career preference). Once students are admitted into the Science Co-op program, they will have access to ALL the job postings in different disciplines.  There is no need to submit applications to multiple programs. Should the two combined programs have different application timeline, we recommend that you apply to the program that accepts applicants with an earlier timeline.

Are international placements available?

Yes, Co-op placements can be anywhere in the world! The most frequent destinations are Germany, the United States, Japan, China, and various countries in Europe. If a student is hired in an international placement, then the Co-op office will assist in applying for visas and obtaining the proper work permits.

Will I be paid?

Yes. Work terms are paid. Depending on the employer, students will receive a salary or stipend.

How much will I earn?

Compensation varies between disciplines. Please refer to our Salary Statistics for general guidelines on salary ranges.

I am an international student, can I participate in Co-op?

Yes, international students can participate in the Co-op program. The fees and application process are the same for international students. The Co-op office assists international students in applying for a Co-op work permit at the start of a student’s job search process. International students are not eligible to apply for federal government postings, positions that require government funding. Your Co-op needs to be 50% or less of the total program of study.

What kinds of experiences are available for my major?

Please refer to the our discipline pages available on our website for more information.

I am also enrolled in the B+MM program.  Are there any business related opportunities available to me through Science Co-op?

Science Co-op job board has a limited number of business-related postings. However, B+MM students who have been successfully admitted into Science Co-op program will be invited to apply to the B+MM Co-op program hosted through Sauder after they have completed one work term with Science Co-op.  Eligible students will receive an invitation to apply when the time comes. For further details, contact your Co-op Coordinator or the Sauder Co-op Program at coop@sauder.ubc.ca

Are there Co-op options available in the Wine Sector?

UBC Co-op has launched a new Wine Sector Co-op Specialization. Students interested in this program can apply, usually in December, to aim for Wine sector Co-op positions to start in the following Summer. Students need to be part of their home faculty Co-op program to be eligible. For more information, please visit: https://coop.ok.ubc.ca/wine-sector-co-op/