Computer science student Xinyi describes how Waterloo co-op helped guide her career path.
Paid work experience
Gain up to 2 years of work experience in areas such as industry, business, government, social services, or professional fields to add to your résumé.
Help finance your education
Waterloo co-op students earn on average from $25,000 to $80,000 by the time they graduate.
Test drive 4 to 6 careers - before you graduate!
You'll have 4 to 6 work terms, and you can use them to try out a variety of careers to see where you want to take your career.
Build contacts with employers that can lead to a great career when you graduate.
Alternate school and work terms
Typically, once you start the co-op part of your program, you'll spend 4 months taking classes as a full-time student and then 4 months or 8 months working full time.
You'll have exactly the same number of school terms as students who are not in co-op, but with up to 2 years of work experience!
Maximize your degree - the Waterloo difference
Our system of alternating work and study terms means that you'll get the total education picture. You'll find out how your classroom learning is used in the workplace, and you'll discover that what you've learned on your work term provides an extra dimension to your school work. The combination adds enormous value to your university studies.
In contrast, other programs, e.g., internships, typically involve one year of continuous employment.
Job-ready before you graduate
You'll learn how to write a résumé, how to present yourself well at an interview, and how to conduct yourself on the job - all skills you'll need when you're starting your career.
Co-op facts and figures
World's largest co-op program
16,600 co-op students - more than twice as many as the next largest program in the world
More resources and experienced staff to help you succeed
Canada’s largest building completely dedicated to co-operative education and career action
3,500 co-op employers worldwide
That's about 1,000 more than the next largest co-op program, so you'll have a huge network of employers to access when you're looking for co-op jobs.
Co-op earnings mean smaller student loans
Waterloo co-op students tend to have smaller student loans than other students and are more successful at paying them back.
Earn more after graduation
Graduates of Waterloo's co-op programs typically earn 15% more upon graduation than graduates of non-co-op programs.
95% co-op student employment rate per average term
Waterloo co-op students earned $161 million last year
Gain international experience
Each year, 900 co-op students spend their 4-month work terms outside Canada
Co-op term fee
In co-op programs, for some terms, a $609 fee helps to cover the administrative costs of operating the co-op program.
You pay the fee when you pay your tuition for your school term.
The number of terms and the timing of payments are based on which program you're in.