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

The 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 PEY Co-op program is a 12-16 month, project-based, paid employment placement that takes place between the 3rd and 4th years of undergraduate study. It provides you with an opportunity to apply the knowledge you have acquired in the first three years of university to private- or public-sector settings. You could be placed at pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies, university research labs, university-affiliated organizations or governmental research agencies.

The advantages of the PEY Co-op experience far outweigh the additional undergraduate year spent completing it. This program gives you real-world experience where you gain exposure to new technologies and develop new skills related to laboratory research, project management, client relations, clinical information management, report writing and regulatory affairs. During the program, you may be able to narrow down your career choices, gain background for a possible future career path, and basically try out a career in industry without making a long-term commitment. You will work with professionals whose experience will be invaluable and who can assume the roles of mentor and advisor. In the end, the program will provide you with knowledge, experience, qualifications and contacts that can place you at a distinct advantage when looking for future employment or career development.

The PEY Co-op program offers you 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 in turn 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 program at the end of their 3rd 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 you go out to the employer, you will attend a series of training workshops that delve into the process and the benefits of the experience. These workshops are rigorous and enable students to best present themselves 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.

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PEY Co-op Program
University of Toronto 
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Medical Sciences Building, Room 4207 
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A8 
Phone: 416-978-2728