Get the information you need for academic planning and connect with experiences to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that employers are seeking.

This resource is meant as a guide to provide suggestions throughout your time at university (refer to the Academic Calendar for a complete list of program requirements). Develop a plan and timeline that suits you best. Make intentional choices for your courses and work experiences.

  • Student spotlight

    “The absolute best advice I could give is to get lab experience as early as possible! Apply for summer grants and talk to professors about undergraduate research. It teaches you so  much, allows for great networking opportunities and can actually be a lot of fun.”

    Teassa MacMartin, biological sciences co-op student

Life Sciences at UM

As a life sciences student at the University of Manitoba, you will learn about the structure and function of living organisms. The Faculty of Science has many opportunities for you to explore with five main areas of study in the life sciences:

  1. Biochemistry: the study of the chemical compositions, reactions and energy conversions of living systems.
  2. Biological Sciences: the study of life, from molecular processes inside cells to large scale interactions between organisms in their environment.
  3. Genetics: the science of heredity which deals with the mechanisms of inheritance.
  4. Microbiology: the study of the structure and function of microscopic organisms: bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa.

Skills you will gain by studying LIFE SCIENCES

  • The ability to safely operate complex equipment and follow technical manuals
  • The ability to collect, analyze and interpret data using statistical analysis and make reasoned judgements on the basis of the available data
  • The ability to apply scientific knowledge to analyze real-world issues in the various fields of study
  • The ability to think critically and develop a systematic approach to solve complex problems
  • The ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing


Year 1 - 30 credit hours


Course requirementsBIOL 1020 and BIOL 1030, CHEM 1100, CHEM 1110, and CHEM 1120MBIO 1010, plus additional course requirements for your major

To do this year:

  1. Know the requirements for your degree. Meet with an academic advisor in the Faculty of Science to help you plan your program.
  2. Use UM Achieve by running "what-ifs" to explore different program options & corresponding requirements.
  3. If you need academic support, visit the Academic Learning Centre for workshops or to meet with a learning skills instructor.


Start planning your career:

  1. Meet with a career consultant to generate career ideas based on your interests, values, personality and skills.
  2. Research occupations that match your skills and interests.
  3. Set up a UM Connect account to view job postings and register for workshops and events.
  4. Set up your Experience Record, an official record of university-approved activities.


Link experiences to your career interests. Options include:

  1. Student groups including BUGS, Chem Club and Science Students’ Association.
  2. Volunteer for UM Orientation events to help welcome new students to campus while gaining experience.
  3. Student work opportunities including Work-StudySTEP Services or Federal Student Work Experience Program.
  4. Experiential education opportunities such as Community Engaged Learning programs and the Student Leadership Development Program.


Considering international opportunities? Check out the International Centre website to learn more international opportunities for UM students.

Explore communities and cultures you want to work with: Visit Migizii Agamik, the International Centre for Students or learn about local agencies via 211 Manitoba

Year 2 - 60 credit hours


Course requirements: Refer to the Academic Calendar for course requirements in your honours or major program

To do this year:

  1. Meet with a department and science advisor to declare your honours or major program.
  2. Use UM Achieve to prepare a plan for registration.
  3. Considering a professional program? Refer to the Admission Office's Applicant Information Bulletin to familiarize with the pre-professional requirements.
  4. Consider taking a minor and choose courses that will open opportunities.


Make professional connections:

  1. Join the Career Mentor Program to learn from professionals.
  2. Attend career fairs to connect with employers.
  3. Become a student affiliate with the Bioscience Association Manitoba.
  4. Use UM Achieve to prepare a plan for registration.
  5. Develop professional connections with professors by applying for an Undergraduate Research Award.

Market your skills: Develop your resumé and cover letter and refine your interview skills.


Explore student research opportunities: Apply for a research assistant position, Undergraduate Research Award or NSERC grant.

Gain practical experience by volunteering: Check out Let’s Talk ScienceWinnipeg Regional Health Authority, WISH Clinic or environmental conservation and ecological organizations (e.g. Ducks Unlimited).

Earn while you learn: Consider applying to the Science Co-operative Education program once you have completed 60 credit hours.


Develop global career skills and expand intercultural learning: Consider an international student exchange, the Parks Canada Parks Life Program or the Wetland Ecology Field Course at Delta Waterfowl Station.

Staying local? Check out the Wildlife Project in Churchill or Community Engaged Learnin programs. Consider learning a new language and culture through the Language Partner Volunteer Program.

Year 3 - 90 credit hours


Course requirements: Refer to the Academic Calendar for course requirements in your honours or major program

To do this year:

  1. Meet with your department advisor and science advisor if needed for honours or major program approval.
  2. Use UM Achieve to prepare a plan for registration.
  3. Meet with your co-op advisor (if applicable).


Investigate your career options:

  1. Look at sample job postings to ensure you have the qualifications upon graduation.
  2. Develop employability and essential skills sought by employers.
  3. Explore supports available to entrepreneurs for business planning including the Stu Clarke Centre for EntrepreneurshipWorld Trade Centre Winnipeg, and the Manitoba Government.
  4. Create a LinkedIn profile to network with professionals.

Consider continuing your studies: Check out the Faculty of Graduate StudiesExtended Education or other professional programs.


Continue or start research: Participate in the Undergraduate Research Poster Competition.

Check out student job opportunities with: City of WinnipegFisheries and Oceans CanadaMini UOak Hammock MarshOffice of Rural and Northern Health and WISE Kid-Netic Energy.

Search for job opportunities online: Check out or other search engines.

Use your networks and connections: Inquire about unadvertised job openings (the "hidden job market").


Did you travel abroad? Become an exchange mentor for the International Student Mentorship Program, join the exchange student community at the University of Manitoba or write an article about your experience.

Participate in the multicultural opportunities on campus: Participate in the Intercultural Development and Leadership Program or take part in the Graduation Pow Wow.

Year 4 - 120 credit hours


Course requirements: Please refer to the Academic Calendar for course requirements in your honours or major program

To do this year:

  1. Meet with your department advisor and science advisor if needed for honours or major program approval.
  2. Meet with your co-op advisor (if applicable).
  3. Use UM Achieve to check eligibility to graduate.
  4. Confirm eligibility to graduate with a science advisor and declare intent to graduate in Aurora.


Start job search 9 months in advance: Contact Career Services to refine your job search and self-marketing strategies. You can visit the office up to 6 months after graduation.

If you are continuing on to a professional program or graduate school: Finalize your application materials and required tests. Use the awards database to search for funding and awards to help finance your continuing education. Contact your department to find out how their awards deadlines are advertised.


Ensure you have references in place: Ask your professor for a reference or a letter of recommendation if you're applying for graduate school.

Find opportunities to market yourself: Attend conferences and other networking events through Bioscience Association Manitoba (BAM).

Assess your resumé: Identify any gaps in experience and fill them through volunteering, work placements or internships such as the Science and Technology Internship Program.


Prepare to work in a multicultural environment: Visit Canada's National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation on campus and register for the Intercultural Leaders program through the International Centre.

What do employers want?

Industries such as biotechnology, education, food and dairy, government, health and pharmaceutical development would value a life sciences degree in combination with the employability skills that are highly sought after by employers. These include:*

  • Oral and written communication
  • Numeracy and data use
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Digital technology
  • Industry specific knowledge
  • Continuous learning

Attain skills through your classroom education by taking advantage of experiential education opportunities.

*Information has been adapted from Employability Skills 2000+ and Workplace Education Manitoba – Essential Skills.

Get one-on-one help

  • Meet with a career consultant

    Meet with a career consultant for a confidential discussion about your career goals, job search, resumé/CV and interview preparation.

    Contact Career Services at or call 204-474-9456 to make an appointment.

  • Talk to an academic advisor

    Talk to an academic advisor who will guide you to resources to help you make important decisions for your future. Advisors are specialized, often by program, faculty/school or unit.

    Find your advisor

Alumni Stories

Continue exploring


Select a Career Compass

Use Career Compass as a guide to develop a strong connection between your studies and your occupational choices. It will provide you with suggestions for academic and career planning specific to your program.

Information for career counsellors

Contact us

For help seeking advice and information, please visit the Faculty of Science Academic Advising page.

Faculty of Science
230 Machray Hall
186 Dysart Rd
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

Our office is open Mon - Fri, 8:30 am to 4:30pm