Program Overview

Students work with the Science Internship office beginning in the fall of their third year. The Science/BMSc internship work experience takes place after the third year of study. This work integrated learning program aims to provide 8-16 month practical and science-related experience in an employment setting. As with a traditional co-op degree, graduation is delayed by one year while the student acquires marketable skills and workplace experience.

Program Structure

In order to complete a Western Science internship, you must meet the eligibility criteria. If you are admitted to the program then the program administrators will formally enroll you in the course Science 3391 - Internship: Planning, Practicum, and Prospects. If you do not secure an internship position, your enrollment in Science 3391 does not continue (there is no academic penalty – no WDN or F), and you return to complete your final year of school. If you are successful in securing and completing an internship position and the associated course, you will earn 1.0 credit.

Please note that registration for Science 3391 on Student Centre is not required (see above). Science 3391 does not count towards a 5.0 full-time course load, nor does it count towards a course "overload." Please register for your courses as you normally would.

The course is comprised of three components:

  1. Internship Preparation (including Finding a Job);
  2. On the Job; and
  3. Final Report and Presentation.

Internship Preparation

It is imperative, in this highly competitive recruitment market, that you are able to demonstrate proficiency in your respective technical/research areas and that you possess strong interpersonal skills as well as a basic understanding of business practices. That's why our workshop series initially focuses on self-marketing including résumé development, as well as interview and networking skills. In the second semester, workplace concepts and behaviours are explored to prepare students to fit into the professional environment. 

Attendance and participation in the workshops are mandatory. An individual résumé review is also required so that you receive feedback on how to best present yourself to employers. The workshop series will be conducted virtually.

Finding a Job

Apply to any jobs that you are qualified for: The employer may not specifically ask for your degree or program, but you may have applicable course work. Don’t be picky at the application stage!

After an interview, you have 48 hours to notify Science Career Services if you do not wish to be considered further for the job. If you remain in the applicant pool, it is assumed you are open to a job offer. If a company extends an offer within the 48-hour period before you remove yourself, you are not obligated to accept it. You typically have 48 hours to consider and accept an offer. We can assist you in understanding your options and making clear decisions. Please consult with us before declining any offers.

On the Job

This component refers to the 8-16 month internship work term. The employer will initiate two performance reviews which will be submitted to the internship program. A site visit with you and your employer will also be conducted over the course of the work term to reflect on your accomplishments to date.

Final Report & Presentation

You will be required to submit a written report and deliver an oral presentation focusing on the technical aspects of the work term and reflecting on your experience. A departmental representative will assign a pass/fail grade to both the written technical report and the oral presentation.

Following the successful completion of all three components, you will return to Western University to finish your fourth year of studies.