Waterloo's co-op program provides up to 2 years of work experience in work terms that alternate with school terms, whereas internships typically involve one year of continuous employment. Because co-op work terms alternate with study terms, you can explore new career areas as your academic interests grow.
Over the course of your degree, you'll have 4 to 6 work terms to try out different careers and build contacts that can lead to employment after graduation. And on average, you'll earn from $30,000 to $75,000 to help finance your education.
If you're admitted to one of Waterloo's co-op programs, you'll complete 4 to 6 paid 4-month or 8-month work terms over the course of your degree studies.
Prior to your first work term, you'll take PD 1 or equivalent for Engineering online course. This non-graded course will provide you with the basic information you'll need to be successful in the co-op process, including résumé writing, interviewing, and performing on the job.
In many respects, Waterloo's co-op program is similar to a true job-hunt process, in which you apply to and compete for jobs that interest you rather than being placed in a job.
When it comes time to find a job, you'll take part in the co-op job process, which consists of
You'll receive academic credit for each co-op term you successfully complete, and in some cases, you'll receive a grade based on your employer's evaluation and your work report, if applicable.
For complete details, please read the Co-op Student Reference Manual.