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Co-op Education

Waterloo hosts the largest co-op program on the planet, with connections to over 6,900 employers.

As a civil, environmental, geological, and architectural engineering student at Waterloo you'll automatically be entered into the engineering co-op program. Co-operative (Co-op) education combines formal classroom teaching with on-the-job experience. 

Co-op will provide you with a unique schedule for school by having you alternate between school and work every 4-months or 8-months. After the first academic term on campus, students alternate between classroom and engineering-related work experience every four or eight months.

The Co-operative Education office provides students with professional career guidance, contacts potential employers and arranges on-campus job interviews for co-op students. Through a matching system, where students rank employers and employers rank students, a compatible job match may occur.

Depending on your program you will be entered in a different co-op stream that will start either 4 or 8 months into your first year. NOTE: Environmental Engineering, Geological Engineering, and Architectural Engineering students will be in Stream 4S, which means your first work term will begin in January of your first year. Civil Engineering students will be in Stream 8S, which means your first work term will begin in May of your first year. 

Throughout your degree, you'll gain up to two years or a year of real-world experience, build connections in industry and strengthen your professional skills with WatPD-Engineering, an online program that covers résumé writing, networking and more. 

The Co-operative Education department on campus provides students with professional career guidance, contacts potential employers and arranges on-campus job interviews for co-op students. 

For more information on co-op education, please visit the following websites:​

  • Co-op Procedures: Precise details of the co-op employment process are explained in the Co-operative Student Reference Manual.
  • Co-op Salaries: Information about salary scales for co-op students is contained in the Co-operative Education Department's Weekly Earnings Survey.
  • Term Dates: Precise dates for the beginning and end dates of the various terms are shown in the University of Waterloo Academic Calendar.