About Co-operative Education
The University of Waterloo operates the largest post secondary co-op program of its kind in the world.
Waterloo is a model of co-operative education, which has spread to more than 100 colleges and universities across Canada.
Breadth and depth:
- 17,300 co-op students enrolled over three semesters in 140 programs.
- 5,200 employers hire Waterloo co-op students.
Co-operative Education & Career Action:
Co-operative Education & Career Action (CECA) manages the co-operative education system and career-related services for the University of Waterloo.
CECA staff liaise with students, employers, alumni, and the UWaterloo faculties and departments to promote and facilitate employment opportunities.
What is Co-operative (co-op) Education?
Co-operative education combines academic studies with work experience. Co-op allows you to gain up to two years of relevant work experience.
Academic terms alternate with work terms forming study/work sequences. Study/work sequences vary between programs and cohorts. Please view study/work sequences to learn more.
Goals of Waterloo’s Co-operative Education
- Actively support you through the job search process, during the work term, and following your work term.
- Work with you, employers, alumni, and Waterloo faculties and departments to determine employment needs and opportunities.
- Recruit relevant and high-quality employers.
- Provide high-quality service to meet your needs.
- Offer career guidance to co-op students.
- Improve the co-op system and employment process.
UWaterloo is a member of the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE). Our accredited co-op program meets the following criteria:
- Each job is approved by Co-operative Education.
- You’re engaged in productive work rather than just observing.
- You receive some form of remuneration for your work.
- Your progress is monitored by Co-operative Education.
- Your performance is evaluated by your employer.
- The total amount of co-op experience totals 50% of the time spent in academic study, and no less than 30%.