MA Co-op Program Information

two ECON MA students working together

MA Co-op Program

Our MA program provides you with relevant analytical and problem-solving skills through coursework, research and practice. The co-op option provides you with the opportunity gain two terms of paid work experience during your twenty-month MA program.

Co-op is available to all interested MA students. Typical positions involve working at various levels of government (federal, provincial and municipal) as well as private sector jobs in the financial industry which often involve data analysis. 

Information sessions

Students are required to attend all Graduate Co-op Information Sessions that occur throughout the year. In the Fall term, the Co-op 101 training session explains everything about the co-op process before job searches begin. For more information, please visit the Centre for Career Development (CCD) and familiarize yourself with the websites CareerHub and WaterlooWorks. You can find further information about the grad co-op program at the Co-operative Education website.

Degree schedule

All students in the co-op program will complete two 4-month work terms, or one 8-month work term following the completion of their course work requirements. After the work-term(s), students will return for one more academic term to complete their Master's Research Paper (MRP), or their two remaining ECON electives. Students cannot end their degree on a work-term. 

Most co-op students follow this schedule:

  • Fall 1: coursework (Sept–Dec)
  • Winter 1: coursework (Jan–Apr)
  • Spring: 4-month work-term placement (May-Aug)
  • Fall 2: 4-month work-term placement (Sept-Dec)
  • Winter 2: final academic term (coursework or MRP) (Jan-Apr)

Students are considered part-time while on a work-term and pay a co-op fee for the semester. Regular part-time tuition is not charged unless a student is enrolled in a course during their work-term.

Hiring process

Our co-op program is supported through Co-operative And Experiential Education (CEE) in the Tatham Centre.

All graduate jobs posted to WaterlooWorks are advertised, recruited for, and interviewed together. Students in the co-op option must review and are up-to-date on Co-operative Education’s Important Dates Calendar in order to ensure they are not missing job posting and application deadlines.

Interviews for Spring co-op positions take place in January and February, and interviews for Fall co-op positions take place in May and June.

Students' co-op salaries are paid by their employers.

Degree requirements

  • Milestones: Milestones are non-course degree requirements (such as the academic integrity workshop, co-op work term report, master’s research paper, etc.) that must be met in order for a student to graduate. Students can keep track of their milestone progress by viewing their unofficial transcript in Quest.
    • Academic Integrity Workshop (completed during Orientation)
    • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
    • Work-term Report
      • One approximate 1500-word work-term report investigating 2-3 problems or opportunities in both of your co-op experiences from an academic perspective must be submitted near the end of your 8-month co-op placement, at the beginning of December. Students will receive an email reminding them of this deadline. Reports are submitted to the Graduate Chair and are marked on a credit/no-credit basis.
      • See the Economics Work-term Report Guidelines for more information.
  • Courses 
    • All students are required to take 5 mandatory core courses (0.5 unit weight) - ECON 600, 601, 602, 607, 621
    • All students are required to take 4 ECON elective courses (0.5 unit weight).
    • Students need to register full-time for their Year 2 Winter term to receive their scholarship funds. Students cannot end their academic career on a co-op term.
    • No more than one elective course may be taken from another department, with the approval of the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.
    • The overall average achieved in the courses must be at least 70%. Students need to maintain an 80% average for funding.
  • Co-op
    • An 8-month work term experience that is facilitated by the Co-operative and Experiential Education Department. This may be completed in one 8-month work term with one company, or in two 4-month work terms with two different companies.
  • Link(s) to courses
Remote video URL

Switching into the MA Co-op

If you are in the regular MA program and would like to switch into the co-op program, please let the Graduate Coordinator know as soon as possible and submit a Graduate Program/Plan Change form to the Graduate Coordinator before the end of the first Fall term.

Students enrolled in the co-op program may switch to the regular MRP option with approval from the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.