Admissions & co-op fee

Co-op student walking in the door at work

Quick links:

Applying to a Waterloo's co-op program

  • Check the co-op box when you apply to Waterloo through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre.
  • Co-op admission occurs at the same time you’re accepted into your program. Some programs admit students into the co-op program in second year.
  • Learn more about co-op on our future students website.

Co-op varies by program

The study/work sequence chart in the undergraduate calendar shows a list of co-op programs.

  • To stay in the co-op program your faculty requires you to maintain a minimum academic standing and average.
  • To view co-op academic standings and averages, visit the undergraduate calendar according to your program of study and cohort, in the co-op stream.
  • Study terms alternate with work terms, creating a study/work sequence. Study/work sequences also vary by program, as do the minimum amount of required work terms.

What can I do before getting into co-op?

  • Depending on your availability, you may consider working full-time, part-time, or volunteer for a company that does work related to your university studies. 
  • Check with your parents and other relatives to see if the organization that employs them does work in your area of study and find out if they have a sons-and-daughters job program or summer job program. 
  • It’s possible the company that hires you for your pre-university summer may have a suitable job for you for your first co-op work term.
    • Even if they do not rehire you as a co-op student later, the work experience you’ll gain from them over the summer will be an asset on your résumé and will likely give you a competitive edge over other students when applying to co-op jobs.
  • Additional job search information can be found at the Centre for Career Action (items 14-17, 19, etc.). You may also consider obtaining an unrestricted driver’s licence (or a licence with minimum restrictions). Some co-op jobs require a driver’s licence.

Co-op fee

There is an additional fee to be in the co-op program. Depending on your program of study, the fee is applied beginning one or two academic terms prior to your first work term and continuing every subsequent academic term up to and including your last academic term. For a deeper look at why you pay and where your money goes, check out our co-op fee comprehensive review!

About the fee:

  • Currently: $729
  • Not a job "placement" fee.
  • There is a separate mandatory work report-marking fee for all co-op students. 
  • The co-op fee provides access to Co-operative Education and the Centre for Career Action support services for co-op students. Note: a student’s level of access to WaterlooWorks (the employment administration system) varies by academic/work term.

  • The fee is non-refundable.
  • The co-op fee is reviewed and may be adjusted accordingly on a regular basis.

For further information about the co-op fee, please view the Department of Finance’s tuition fee schedule.

Operating costs of Waterloo’s Co-operative Education program include:

Co -op related activities costs

  • Recruiting potential employers.

  • Organizing and scheduling job interviews.

  • Preparing students for work-terms.

  • Job search training and career guidance.

  • Résumé preparation counseling.

  • Discussing job options and locations.

  • Monitoring co-op student work-terms, including work site visits.

  • Interacting with the university faculties about student and employer concerns.

  • Validating jobs are suitable for co-op credit.

  • Maintaining co-op student and employer records.

  • Under Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities regulations, the fee can cover the following expenses:

    • Salaries and benefits of staff who assist students in finding employment

    • Travel, telephone, mail, printing, copying, publicity, computing, equipment, furnishings, supplies, and external meetings

    • Maintenance costs (utilities, custodial and security services) of space for employees and employers