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Why Science Co-op

Interested in applying to Science Co-op? We look forward to having you join us!
Science Co-op is more than just a job. By joining Science Co-op, you will:

  • icon award

    Gain degree related work experience - Your competitive advantage!

    Build your resume by learning new skills and developing professional work experience. Enhance your employability after graduation.

  • icon partners

    Build your professional and career network

    Develop key employer and industry contacts from your co-op work terms; as well as mentoring opportunities with professionals.

  • icon money

    Earn money while you learn

    Co-op is paid work. Help pay for your education or future travel plans.

  • icon book

    Apply your classroom learning to real-life work

    By complementing your academic studies with co-op work terms, you apply what you learn in class to real-world work environments and then apply what you learn on your co-op work terms to your classroom studies.

  • icon lightbulb

    Career exploration

    Learn more about your career options. Test-drive different types of work experiences prior to graduating.

  • icon community

    Build life-long friendships

    Make lasting connections with like-minded, talented people through co-op work placements.

How Science Co-op works

Co-op education relies upon a three-way partnership between students, employers, and the university.

The Science Co-op education program is a professional development program in which you alternate regular academic terms with paid, full-time employment in your area of study. It is an excellent way to add to your classroom learning with on-the-job experience. As an undergraduate student, it can help you choose the career areas you may want to pursue after graduation.

With the Science Co-op option, regular 4-year programs are completed over 5 years to allow you to complete a minimum of three, or a maximum of four, work terms. Each work term is completed within a 4-month period beginning in January, May or September. Students must successfully complete the equivalent of three work terms to receive the co-op designation on their degree.

Work-term placements are with private companies, industries, government departments, non-government organizations and universities, and may be local, national or international.

Different types of industries:

Co-op employers may be carrying out research and development or delivering programs in:

Programs and skills

Find out more about the programs and skills depending on your preferences.

Biochemistry

The study, understanding and exploration of biological processes using chemical and biological techniques.

Here’s what Biochemistry students can do for you:

  • Basic laboratory techniques including; media preparation and molecular techniques including; PCR and cloning, gel electrophoresis, protein and nucleic acid purification, enzyme assays as well as lab safety protocols
  • Routine operation of instruments; incubators, UV/vis spectrophotometers, centrifuges and liquid handling
  • Sample collection and preparation
  • Data collection, analysis and visualization-R, Python, SPSS, MATLAB
  • Research – experiential design; scientific literature searches

Transferable skills

Science Co-op students are equipped with a solid foundation of transferable skills which include:

  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving
  • Research, analysis and project management
  • Communications and writing
  • Digital technology
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Cultural and historical awareness

For a detailed list of courses to learn of the areas covered by Biochemistry lectures and labs, please refer to the University of Manitoba’s Academic Calendar.

Biological Sciences

Biological Science deals with many different levels of the organization of life:  structure, functioning and evolution of organisms and the interactions of organisms and with the environment.  These levels encompass large differences in scale, ranging from molecules such as DNA to the functioning of ecosystems.  Biology students may specialize in one of two areas of concentration or have the option to choose courses from both areas:  Ecology and Environmental Biology and/or Cellular and Molecular Biology.

Here’s what Biological Science students can do for you:

  • Basic laboratory techniques including; media preparation and molecular techniques including; PCR and cloning, gel electrophoresis, protein and nucleic acid purification, enzyme assays as well as lab safety protocols
  • Routine operation of instruments; incubators, UV/vis spectrophotometers, centrifuges and liquid handling
  • Environmental sample collection and analysis
  • Data collection, analysis and visualization-R, Python, SPSS, MATLAB
  • Fundamental field techniques; surveying, water and soil sampling, plant/tree ID, wildlife and IPM
  • Research – experiential design; scientific literature searches

Transferable skills

Science Co-op students are equipped with a solid foundation of transferable skills which include:

  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving
  • Research, analysis, and project management
  • Communications and writing
  • Digital technology
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Cultural and historical awareness

For a detailed list of courses to learn of the areas covered by Biology lectures and labs per theme, please refer to the University of Manitoba’s Academic Calendar.

Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of properties of materials, syntheses of compounds, characterization and determination of structures of compounds, measurement of reaction kinetics and understanding the mechanisms of chemical processes.

Here’s what Chemistry students can do for you: 

  • Basic laboratory techniques including; media preparation and molecular techniques including; PCR and cloning, gel electrophoresis, protein and nucleic acid purification, enzyme assays as well as lab safety protocols
  • Routine operation of instruments; incubators, UV/vis spectrophotometers, centrifuges and liquid handling
  • Sample collection and preparation
  • Data collection, analysis and visualization-R, Python, SPSS, MATLAB
  • Research – experiential design; scientific literature searches

Transferable skills

Science Co-op students are equipped with a solid foundation of transferable skills which include:

  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving
  • Research, analysis, and project management
  • Communications and writing
  • Digital technology
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Cultural and historical awareness

For a detailed list of courses to learn of the areas covered by Chemistry lectures and labs, please refer to the University of Manitoba’s Academic Calendar.

Computer Science

Computer Science hosts one of the largest Co-op programs at the University of Manitoba with an average of 180 placements per year. Our program revolves around three four-month work terms per year where students are employed by companies and government departments across Canada and internationally.

The majority of our Co-op students are in 3rd or 4th year of a four year honours or majors Computer Science degree program. Admission to the Computer Science Co-op program is based on grade point average, performance in completed second year Computer Science courses and other factors.

Normally, the first Co-op work term takes place January 2 through April 30. Students must successfully complete the equivalent of three work terms to receive the Co-op designation on their degree.

Most students who participate in the Co-op Program graduate in December of their fifth year, rather than April of their fourth. We also provide the Co-op option for students enrolled in the following joint Honours programs with Computer Science: MathematicsPhysics and Astronomy and Statistics.

Here’s what Computer Science students can do for you:

Co-op students will have completed courses covering a broad range of topics that may include:

  • Algorithms and data structures
  • Programming in Java, C, C++, Assembly
  • Object Oriented Design (OOD)
  • Databases
  • Operating systems
  • Software engineering
  • User Interfaces (UI)
  • Computer organization and digital logic
  • Analysis of algorithms
Transferable skills:

Science Co-op students are equipped with a solid foundation of transferable skills which include:

  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving
  • Research, analysis and project management
  • Communications and writing
  • Digital technology
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Cultural and historical awareness

For a detailed list of courses to learn of the areas covered by Computer Science lectures and labs, please refer to the University of Manitoba’s Academic Calendar.

Data Science

Data Science is an emerging field of study that combines mathematics, statistics and computer science to collect, analyze, visualize and interpret data.

Visit the Data Science website for more information.

For a detailed list of courses to learn of the areas covered by Computer Science lectures and labs, please refer to the University of Manitoba’s Academic Calendar.

Genetics

Genetics explores advances in medicine, agricultural techniques, heritable IQ, genetically modified organisms, genetic counselling and gene therapy.

Here’s what Genetics students can do for you: 

  • Basic laboratory techniques including; media preparation and molecular techniques including; PCR and cloning, gel electrophoresis, protein and nucleic acid purification, enzyme assays as well as lab safety protocols
  • Routine operation of instruments; incubators, UV/vis spectrophotometers, centrifuges and liquid handling
  • Sample collection and preparation
  • Data collection, analysis and visualization-R, Python, SPSS, MATLAB
  • Research – experiential design; scientific literature searches

Transferable skills

Science Co-op students are equipped with a solid foundation of transferable skills which include:

  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving
  • Research, analysis, and project management
  • Communications and writing
  • Digital technology
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Cultural and historical awareness

For a detailed list of courses to learn of the areas covered by Genetics lectures and labs, please refer to the University of Manitoba’s Academic Calendar.

Mathematics

Here's what Mathematics students can do for you:

  • Sample design
  • Survey form creation and maintenance
  • Questionnaire design
  • Data collection, analysis and visualization-R, Python, SPSS, MATLAB
  • Editing and imputation of data
  • Estimation of parameters of interest and their variance
  • Data protection and confidentiality
  • Quality control/assurance
  • Survey evaluation
  • Research – experiential design; scientific literature searches
  • Actuarial reporting
  • Independent projects

Transferable skills:

Science Co-op students are equipped with a solid foundation of transferable skills which include:

  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving
  • Research, analysis, and project management
  • Communications and writing
  • Digital technology
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Cultural and historical awareness

For a detailed list of courses to learn of the areas covered by Mathematics, please refer to the University of Manitoba’s Academic Calendar.

 

Microbiology

Here’s what Microbiology students can do for you:

  • Basic laboratory techniques including; media preparation and molecular techniques including; PCR and cloning, gel electrophoresis, protein and nucleic acid purification, enzyme assays as well as lab safety protocols
  • Routine operation of instruments; incubators, UV/vis spectrophotometers, centrifuges and liquid handling
  • Sample collection and preparation
  • Data collection, analysis and visualization-R, Python, SPSS, MATLAB
  • Research – experiential design; scientific literature searches

Transferable skills:

Science Co-op students are equipped with a solid foundation of transferable skills which include:

  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving
  • Research, analysis, and project management
  • Communications and writing
  • Digital technology
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Cultural and historical awareness

Modern microbiology has had a great impact on medicine, ecology and industry due to the active research conducted in the many areas covered by both the basic and applied aspects of this science.

Some microbiologists are interested in the basic biology of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae, protozoa) and may concentrate on particular functional processes. They work in areas such as microbial cytology, biochemistry, physiology, ecology, genetics and molecular biology.

Others may have a more applied orientation and they work on practical microbiological problems in medicine, food and dairy industries, public health and biotechnology.

Recent surveys indicate that career prospects in these areas are better now than at any time in the recent past and openings may be available in the medical field (national research labs, hospitals, universities); ecology (environmental institutes, marine and freshwater biology labs, soil labs, pollution control centres) and in applied and basic research in industries (biotechnology, food, dairy) and universities.

For a detailed list of courses to learn of the areas covered by Microbiology lectures and labs, please refer to the University of Manitoba’s Academic Calendar.

Psychology

Here’s what our Psychology students can do for you:

  • An understanding of physiological, emotional, cognitive and social determinants of behaviour
  • Basic understanding of the various disciplines in psychology as well as major theories and history of psychology
  • Familiarity and experience with the psychological research methods, including data collection and analysis
  • Knowledge of research ethics
  • Earn research participation marks towards your final grades with the opportunity to have an “up close” look at psychology research.
  • Specific knowledge and abilities related to your specialization (ie: Cognition, Neuroscience, Developmental, Social, HCI, Forensic, etc.)

Transferable Skills:

Science Co-op students are equipped with a solid foundation of transferable skills which include:

  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving
  • Research, analysis, and project management
  • Communications and writing
  • Digital Technology
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Cultural and historical awareness

For a detailed list of courses to learn of the areas covered by Psychology lectures and labs, please refer to the University of Manitoba’s Academic Calendar.

Physics and Astronomy

Students from these programs have solid backgrounds in electronics optics, quantum mechanics, thermal physics, particle physics and medical physics.

Here’s what our Physics and Astronomy students can do for you:

  • Data abstraction, acquisition and analysis
  • Fundamentals in organic chemistry and biochemistry
  • Basic to intermediate electronic skills
  • Lab work in molecular biology and immunology, cell physiology
  • Complex variable and differential equations
  • Fundamentals in quantum mechanics and thermal physics

Transferable skills:

Science Co-op students are equipped with a solid foundation of transferable skills which include:

  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving
  • Research, analysis, and project management
  • Communications and writing
  • Digital Technology
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Cultural and historical awareness

For a detailed list of courses to learn of the areas covered by Physics and Astronomy lectures and labs, please refer to the University of Manitoba’s Academic Calendar.

Statistics

Here’s what Statistics students can do for you:

  • Sample design
  • Survey form creation and maintenance
  • Questionnaire design
  • Data collection, analysis and visualization – R, Python, SPSS, MATLAB
  • Editing and imputation of data
  • Estimation of parameters of interest and their variance
  • Data protection and confidentiality
  • Quality control/assurance
  • Survey evaluation
  • Research – experimental design; scientific literature searches
  • Actuarial reporting
  • Independent projects

Transferable skills:

Science Co-op students are equipped with a solid foundation of transferable skills which include:

  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving
  • Research, analysis, and project management
  • Communications and writing
  • Digital Technology
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Cultural and historical awareness

For a detailed list of courses to learn of the areas covered by Statistics, please refer to the University of Manitoba’s Academic Calendar.

International students

International students are welcome to apply for Co-op. If accepted into the co-op program, international students must follow the steps below:

  • Apply for a co-op work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This permit allows international students to participate in off-campus cooperative education employment.
  • Request a letter from the co-op office detailing the conditions of their co-op participation and employment. This letter will ask that the co-op work permit be valid until the completion of all three co-op work terms. It must be included in the above application package.
  • Submit the entire package immediately to IRCC. Check the IRCC website for information on how to submit the application and the processing times.
  • Students must have a valid study permit to apply for a co-op work permit.

There is no fee for the co-op work permit application within internship or co-op programs. International students may contact or see an advisor at the International Centre for co-op work permit-related questions.

A copy of the co-op work permit must be submitted to both the work term employer and the co-op office prior to the commencement of the work term.

Please note that international students will not be eligible to apply for positions with Canadian federal departments and agencies requiring secret security clearance within the federal government.

Fees

 There is a co-op work term fee which is paid for each confirmed 4-month co-op work term. 

The current co-op work term fee is $558.25 (subject to change).

Tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University of Manitoba Board of Governors. For the latest fee information, please visit the fee section of the UM Academic Calendar

Your co-op fees are used to cover costs directly related to the management, administration, and marketing of the Science Co-op program. 

For all other fee information (including ancillary fees, Health and Dental and U-Pass), please consult the UMSU website and/or UM Academic Calendar as appropriate. 

Information sessions

Computer Science information session

Please use your UM credentials to watch the recorded information session.

Eligibility

Science Co-op is available for students in the following undergraduate 4-year degree programs:

Computer Science

  • Computer Science (Major, Honours)
  • Joint Honours with Computer Science
    • Computer Science and Mathematics Joint Honours
    • Computer Science and Physics and Astronomy Joint Honours
    • Computer Science and Statistics Joint Honours

Computational Sciences

  • Data Science (Major)
  • Mathematics (Major, Honours, Double Honours)
  • Applied Mathematics (Major)
    • Computer Science Option (Major)
    • Economics Option (Major)
    • Statistics Option (Major)
  • Physics & Astronomy (Major, Honours)
  • Statistics (Major, Honours)
    • Statistics – Mathematics Joint Honours

Life and Physical Sciences

  • Biochemistry  (Major, Honours)
  • Biological Sciences (Major, Honours)
  • Chemistry (Major, Honours)
  • Genetics (Major, Honours)
  • Microbiology (Major, Honours)
  • Psychology (Major)

To apply, students must meet the following minimum requirements: 

  • Being a full-time student in one of the above programs.
  • Have completed the majority of 2nd-year course degree requirements, with not less than 54 credit hours passed. Please note that Computer Science Co-op students must have all of the second-year required courses completed by the end of the Winter Term in their application year.
  • Have a minimum of 30 credit hours remaining in their program of study before the beginning of the first work term (in most cases, this would mean at the end of the fall term in the application year).

Students must start and begin on an academic term and must maintain a full-time course load during their academic terms.

  • Have a minimum GPA:
    • 2.50 for all Major programs (except Psychology – 3.00 required)
    • 3.00 for all Honours programs

Students are advised that satisfying the entrance requirements does not guarantee a place in Science Co-op. Enrollment is limited and acceptance is based on academic performance, availability of co-op work positions, and completion of a successful intake interview. Science Co-op reserves the right to determine and select the best-qualified applicants for admission into the Program. 

Students must be in full-time studies to enter and continue in the Science Co-op.

Students who have special circumstances and may not be sure whether they are eligible for Science Co-op should contact us via email at Science.Co-op@umanitoba.ca.

Apply to Science Co-op

Computer Science

Information sessions

Near the end of March each year, there will be an information session for 2nd year students, presented by the Computer Science Co-op team. The session will include general program information as well as an overview of the application process, including the deadline date.

Timeline

The Computer Science Co-op intake process, for Major and Honours Students, occurs only once per year. Students should apply at the end of their 2nd year of study in April.

Eligibility

To apply, students must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Have full-time student status.
  • Have completed the five, 2nd year required courses (COMP 2140, 2150, 2160, 2080, 2280) and have a minimum of 54 credit hours. These courses must be completed by the end of the Winter term in the application year.
  • Completed COMP 3380 (Database I) or enrolled for the Fall 2024 Term.
  • Must have a minimum of 30 credit hours remaining in a study program, at the end of the Fall Term in the application year.
  • Have a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA):
    • 2.50 for Major
    • 3.00 for Honours

Application steps

  1. Interested students will need to submit the application form on this page when it becomes available in April 2024.
  2. The application requires a current resume and an unofficial web transcript from Aurora. Please include all work and volunteer experience on your resume, even if it is not Computer Science related.
  3. If you are selected to move forward to the next step of the intake process, the Co-op Office will contact you, via email, in May 2024 to sign up for an intake interview. The interviews will be held between May and August 2024.
  4. Following the interview, you will receive access to an online application in UMConnect. This is the final step in the process. A deadline for the online application will be provided to you upon completion of the interview.
  5. Announcements will be sent to all students, via email, stating the outcome of their application. This communication will be sent in early September. Students who have been accepted into the program will receive an invitation to an orientation meeting, where complete details regarding the Co-op Program will be presented.

Please note that incomplete submissions will result in a declined application.

Applications for the Computer Science Co-op are now closed. The next opportunity to apply will be in April 2024.

If you are a Joint Honours Student, please contact us at scicoop@umanitoba.ca to set up a meeting, as the process and timing for admission differs for students enrolled in any of the Joint Honours programs.

Life and Physical Sciences, Computational Sciences

Timeline

Students generally apply during the Winter Term of their 2nd year, once they have completed the majority of required 1st and 2nd-year courses and a minimum of 54 credit hours with a minimum of 2.50 degree GPA (major except for Psychology) or 3.00 degree GPA (honours and Psychology).

Please note that even if you are using the summer term to meet these requirements, you should still submit an intake form that year.

Applications for Life and Physical Sciences, and Computational Sciences Co-op will open on January 22, 2024, and close on February 29, 2024.

Application process

  1. Complete the Science Co-op application form 2024
    You will need a current resume and an unofficial web transcript from Aurora.
  2. Verify that your UM Connect account is up to date and that your contact information is accurate.
  3. If you satisfy all eligibility requirements, the Co-op Office will contact you, via email, between April to May 2024 to sign up for an intake interview. The intake interviews will be held in person between May and July 2024.
    • Students not selected for an intake interview will be advised by the Co-op Office, via email.
  4. Following the interview, students will receive an email with the results by the end of August 2024. 

Incomplete submissions will result in an ignored or declined application.

Please check out UMAchieve or contact a science academic student advisor to check your academic requirements if necessary.

Co-op schedule

Co-op students alternate their academic terms with paid work term placements. Each work term is completed within a 4-month period. Work terms will add a minimum of one year of career-related experience to your academic program, extending your program from 4 years to 5 years. Students should plan their Program over a two-year period, to ensure they obtain all required academic and co-op requirements.

Computer Science

Academic schedule

Fall

(Sept – Dec)

Winter

(Jan – April)

Summer

(May – Aug)

Year 3 Study term – 3A Work term 1 Study term – 3B
Year 4 Work term 2 Study term – 4A Work term 3
Year 5 Final study term – 4B    

The above table represents the schedule for Computer Science students who enter co-op in September of their third year and participate in their first work term in January. This is referred to as a “regular stream”.

There are a variety of reasons why co-op students may not follow this schedule. Here are three situations that might find students “out-of-stream”:

  • Students seeking their second degree require fewer credit hours than first-degree students. These students may be allowed to join co-op at different times.
  • Students seeking a joint Honours Degree can normally only participate in summer work terms. Intake for these students occurs in December with an anticipated first work term in the summer between the 2nd and 3rd year.

It is possible some students who enter co-op in September will not receive job offers for the winter work term (January to April). If these students have followed all co-op procedures and guidelines, job placement may be deferred to the summer recruitment period, and may require an eight-month work term (May to December).

Life and Physical Sciences and Computational Sciences

There are the two basic schedules Co-op students in Computational, Life and Physical Sciences can choose for alternating their academic and work terms.

Winter start

Academic schedule

Fall

(Sept – Dec)

Winter

(Jan – April)

Summer

(May – Aug)

Year 3 Academic term Work term 1 Work term 2
Year 4 Academic term Academic term Work term 3
Year 5 Final academic term Graduate  

Summer start

Academic schedule

Fall

(Sept – Dec)

Winter

(Jan – April)

Summer

(May – Aug)

Year 3 Academic term Academic term Work term 1
Year 4 Work term 2 Academic term Work term 3
Year 5 Final academic term Graduate  

Students must start and begin on an academic term and must maintain a full-time course load during their academic terms.

Schedule B is strongly recommended for International Students to allow time for application and obtainment of Science Co-op Work Permit required for every International Student who is successfully admitted to Science Co-op to apply for co-op positions. See more details.

Alternate scheduling is available in consultation with your coordinator.

Psychology

This is the basic schedule for Psychology Co-op students for alternating their academic and work terms.

Summer start

Academic schedule

Fall

(Sept – Dec)

Winter

(Jan – April)

Summer

(May – Aug)

Year 3 Academic term Academic term Work term 1
Year 4 Work term 2 Academic term Work term 3
Year 5 Final academic term Graduate  

Students must start and begin on an academic term and must maintain a full-time course load during their academic terms.

Alternate scheduling is available in consultation with your coordinator.

Contact us

Science Co-op offices
Engineering Information and Technology Complex (EITC)
EITC E2-482, 483, 484 and 499
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry Campus)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 5V6 Canada

204-474-7863
Our office is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.