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Map out your career pathway from the start of your academic journey!

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

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Life Sciences at the U of M


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. Biotechnology: the application of the principles of chemistry, biochemistry and microbiology to the development of new technologies.
  4. Genetics: the science of heredity which deals with the mechanisms of inheritance.
  5. 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


This resource is meant as a guide to provide suggestions throughout your time at university. Develop a plan and timeline that suits you best. Make intentional choices for your courses and work experiences.

* Refer to the Academic Calendar for a complete list of program requirements.

Year 1 - 30 credit hours



Course requirements: BIOL 1020 and BIOL 1030, CHEM 1300 and CHEM 1310, MBIO 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. 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 careerCONNECT account to view job postings and register for workshops and events.
  4. Set up your Co-Curricular Record (CCR), 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. Join the University of Manitoba Volunteer Program to volunteer for Science, Engineering & Technology Day.
  3. Student work opportunities including Work-Study, STEP Services or Federal Student Work Experience Program.
  4. Experiential education opportunities such as Alternative Reading Week Winnipeg and the Student Leadership Development Program.


Considering international opportunities? Attend World Opportunities Week in November for information about opportunities around the world.

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


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. Considering a professional program? Refer to the Applicant Information Bulletin to familiarize with the pre-professional requirements.
  3. 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 Life Sciences Association of Manitoba.
  4. 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 Science, Winnipeg 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 or Alternative Reading Week Ecuador, Parks Canada Northern Engagement and Outreach Program or the Wetland Ecology Field Course at Delta Waterfowl Station.

Staying local? Check out the Wildlife Project in Churchill or the Leaf Rapids Service-Learning Experience. Consider learning a new language and culture through the Volunteer Language Exchange 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 for honours or major program approval.
  2. 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 such as the TechFutures Program.
  4. Create a LinkedIn profile to network with professionals.

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


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

Check out student job opportunities with: City of Winnipeg, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Mini U, Oak Hammock Marsh, Office of Rural and Northern Health and WISE Kid-Netic Energy.

Search for job opportunities online: Check out Science.ca, Eco.ca or other search engines.

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


Did you travel abroad? Write an article about your experience for World W.I.S.E magazine.

Participate in the multicultural opportunities on campus: Attend International Week, 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 for honours or major program approval.
  2. Meet with your co-op advisor (if applicable).
  3. 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 the LSAM Annual General Meeting to network with industry leaders.

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 or register for a Workplace Cultural Competence Workshop through Extended Education.


Sample Jobs





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.



239 Machray Hall, 186 Dysart Road
(204) 474-8256, science_advisor@umanitoba.ca

Faculties, Departments and Schools

Experiential Education

Recommended Annual Checklist

On Campus Resources


Taylor Morriseau

“Explore your options by taking a variety of courses and speak to your professors about their research to find out what truly interests you. Get involved with student groups as soon as possible and take full advantage of the support systems in place.” Taylor Morriseau, microbiology and genetics double honours student

Information for Career Counsellors

Life Sciences Compass (PDF)

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