Professional Experience Year Co-op Program (PEY Co-op)

Qualified students are also eligible to participate in an optional 12 or 16-month co-op program. This project-based, paid employment placement takes place between the third and fourth years of undergraduate study. It provides the student with an opportunity to apply the knowledge acquired in the first three years of university to private or public-sector settings. Placements are available in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, university research labs, university-affiliated organizations and government research agencies.

The Professional Experience Year Co-op Program (PEY Co-op program) in Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Chemistry is jointly offered by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. It is associated with the Professional Experience Year Office at the University of Toronto.

The advantages of the PEY Co-op Program experience far outweigh the additional undergraduate year spent completing it. A co-op gives students real-world experience and exposure to new technologies. It facilitates the acquisition of new skills related to laboratory research, project management, client relations, clinical information management, report writing and regulatory affairs. During their co-ops, students may be able to narrow down their career choices, gain background for a possible future career path, and try out careers in the industry without making long-term commitments. Students will work with professionals whose invaluable experience position them well to assume the roles of mentor and advisor. The co-op provides students with the knowledge, experience, qualifications and contacts that may provide them with an advantage when looking for future employment or career development.

The PEY Co-op Program offers students enough time to be involved in large-scale projects, build relationships with employers and reach professional accomplishments and milestones. Students who participate in the program make industry contacts and gain valuable career skills and significant professional experience before graduation. Employers gain access to a rich pool of specialized talent whose work and training will maximize the company’s return on investment.

Students are accepted into the PEY Co-op Program at the end of their third undergraduate year. They are drawn from the Specialist programs in Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Chemistry. They will have an excellent academic record with a minimum 3.0 GPA and should also be well-rounded individuals with a variety of non-academic interests, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and a high degree of achievement motivation. The program usually runs from the beginning of September to the end of August. Occasionally, there are 16-month internships running from the beginning of May until the end of August in the following year.

Before students begin their placements, they attend a series of training workshops focused on the process and the benefits of the PEY Co-op Program. These workshops are rigorous and enable each student to best present himself/herself to prospective employers by developing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that foster successful life-long career management competencies.

The PEY Co-op Program is more than an exposure to a job. It is about accomplishments achieved by being involved in large-scale projects of significant value to the company. It is also about developing lasting relationships with employers, while gaining significant practical experience outside of the classroom. It is about career preparation and development. For more information regarding the program and admissions procedure, visit the Professional Experience Year Co-op Program (PEY Co-op) website. Interested candidates can look out for announcements on Quercus, and also contact the PEY Office at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology: