Co-op Program


Co-operative (Co-op) programs are 4-16 week work placement programs where academically deserving students gain practical experience in the workplace and in some cases, are paid by the employer. Co-op programs are particularly beneficial to international students as they will get an opportunity to experience Canadian workplace. Students also get a chance to gain important work experience and to establish contacts with potential employers. Many graduates of co-op programs find full-time employment with their co-op employer.

Co-op gives students the opportunity to:

  • Explore career interests during their study period, to help them determine the kind of job they want to obtain after they graduate from their study.
  • Gain practical knowledge about various workplace environments, ethics, behaviors and expectations in Canada.
  • Develop skills and gain work experience relevant to their study.
  • Expand network and get contacts which will help the student get a full-time job after they graduate from their study.

Some facts about Co-op Programs:

  • Co-op programs are normally offered in the second or third year of study.
  • Co-op programs are normally offered to the best and brightest students, based on their academic achievements.
  • Co-op Staff work with small, medium to large companies, associations, non-profit and government organizations to develop co-op work term positions.
  • Success in obtaining a Co-op work term will depend on the efforts made by the student in working with the Co-op staff to search for relevant Co-op work position. Co-op Staff will post Co-op job vacancies, forward resumes to employers, schedule interviews, and notify students of hiring decision.
  • Co-op Staff provide direction to help prepare students for the job search process, interviews and the expectations of the workplace through delivery of the required Co-op Preparation Course.

Some co-op programs are paid programs and some are not.

  • Placement in a co-op program is not automatic or guaranteed, rather students must use their own initiative and work together with the Co-op Adviser to search and obtain good co-op placement.
  • A small administration fee/co-op placement fee may apply. Please check with the co-op placement center at your college/university.


In order to work in a Co-op work term in Canada, International Students must complete the work-permit process required by Canada Employment and Immigration. If Canadian Immigration authorities, for whatever reason, do not approve an individual student’s work permit, those students will not be eligible to work in Canada and therefore do not meet the Co-op program graduation requirements. Your work permit is only valid the duration of your work term as outlines on your Co-op work term agreement form.


The Co-op Office must see the original copy of a work permit and/or job validation and a copy of the Social Insurance Number. This information must be submitted to the Co-op Office before a student can begin a work term. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their Co-op work permit is valid for the duration of the work term.


Co-op Job Requirements:

Getting Credit in a Co-op work term

In order to get credit for the Co-op work term, students are required to work throughout the entire Co-op term, generally a minimum of 10 weeks of employment with one employer (Minimum Total hours of 360 hours), or otherwise stated in each Co-op work placement. Students are expected to work the entire academic semester unless otherwise agreed by the employer prior to the commencement of the Co-op work term. Work in a position that is relevant to your program that was approved by the Co-op Office. Receive a satisfactory work term evaluation from your employer at the end of the work term. The evaluation you receive must be marginal or higher.


Possible marks for a Co-op work term

Students may get either a pass or fail. Students are required to pass the course, attend classes and complete all assignments on time and receive credit for the Co-op work term.


Dismissal from a Co-op work placement

Each company/employer has the right to dismiss a student for just cause. Students who are terminated by an employer must notify the Co-op Office immediately. If you are terminated from your co-op job, the situation will be reviewed by the student, employer, and Co-op Officer to assess the circumstances. The students’ grade/credit will be based on the outcome of the review. The school and its employees will not be held liable in any way for losses incurred due to dismissal from Co-op employment.


Quitting a Co-op Job

Students are not permitted to quit or leave a Co-op job. A student who resigns from their co-op job may receive a failing mark and not get a credit for their work term. In the case where a student leave a Co-op job without consultation and agreement with the Co-op Staff and employer, the student will receive a failing grade and may be prohibited from continuing in the Co-op program in the future.