Person looks at plants indoors as part of an experiment.

Plant Science Co-op Student Information

About The Program

Students in the Plant Science major have the opportunity to investigate the many wonders of plants, exploring the intricacies of plants through the study of their diversity, growth and development, plant-environment interactions, advances in molecular biology, and the various economic uses. Students in the program study alongside one of the largest concentrations of plant scientists in Canada, and gain hands-on knowledge of plant ecology, systematics, physiology, botany, genetics, agriculture, ethnobotany and biotechnology.

In addition to gaining a fundamental background in plant science, students can supplement core courses with an area of emphasis, preparing students to become leaders in the field of plant science. Careers in this field are unique, flexible, and in high demand, and co-op offers the opportunity to explore the various career path options.

Why Co-op?

As a co-op student, you will gain relevant work experience, build professional networks, and develop essential interpersonal skills needed to succeed in the workplace, all while getting paid and earning your university degree. Guelph’s co-op program is unique due to the exceptional level of support provided throughout the co-op experience. Students will complete a comprehensive course preparing them for the co-op employment process, and will receive guidance from a knowledgeable team of staff dedicated to their development and success.

Course Sequencing








Acquired Knowledge & Skills


Understanding of different scientific disciplines and their effect on plant diversity. In depth knowledge in the role of ecological interactions of plants and their impact on global, cultural and societal issues in a professional working environment.


Hands on experience with advanced technology to explore plant ecology, systematics, physiology, botany, genetics, agriculture, ethnobotany and biotechnology.

 Problem Solving

Strong problem solving and collaboration skills while working alongside one of the largest concentrations of plant sciences in Canada.


Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Sample Jobs

There is a diverse selection of jobs made available to Plant Science co-op students, in government, academic, and private sectors. Students may work in a laboratory, in the field, or in an office setting. Below are some examples of positions that may be held by Plant Science Co-op students:

Plant Biology Research Assistant

The student will assist in designing and conducting studies to understand existing and potential new products’ ability to improve plant heath. The student will be responsible for collecting data on plant growth parameters such as root and leaf surface area, biomass, yield, relative chlorophyll content, and chlorophyll fluorescence.

Junior Officer, Plant Programs

The successful candidate will work collaboratively within a small team environment on cross-disciplinary projects contributing to the implementation of plant health priorities. Tasks will include gathering information and creating written documents which will be used to inform strategic decision-making and to support innovative approaches to the delivery of Plant Health programs for Canada.

Botany Student Students

work under the supervision of the Field Botanist and Herbarium Curator to assist with vegetation and ecological inventories, monitor for invasive species, collect and process botanical specimens for the Herbarium from both natural lands and gardens, and assist with preparing and delivering plant-focused educational programs.

Sample Employers*

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Corteva Agriscience
  • University of Guelph
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

*This shows a sample of recent co-op employers and will vary depending on employer recruitment needs. During a job search, students are encouraged to be actively engaged and are supported in establishing and maintaining their own personal contacts.

Salary Information

Students receive compensation from their employer for co-op work terms. The rate of pay will vary depending on a number of factors including the industry, the student’s program of study, and work term level. For your reference, a Co-operative Education Salary Guide is available on our website, which provides hourly rates (averages and ranges) for each degree program.