MA Co-op Program Information

MA Co-op Program

Our MA programs provide you with relevant analytical and problem-solving skills through coursework, research and practice. Our co-op option allows you the opportunity to join the work world for two terms. The co-op MA option is a twenty-month program.

Co-op is available to all interested MA students. Our students generally do very well in finding positions. Typical jobs include positions with the various levels of government (federal, provincial and municipal) as well as private sector jobs, often involving data analysis. Many students find positions in the financial industry. Being hired into these positions is secured through the assistance of the of Co-operative And Experiential Education  (CEE) centre in the Tatham Centre building. Students will be paid a salary by their employers.

Students are required to attend all Graduate Co-op Information Sessions that may occur during Orientation, or throughout the Fall and Winter terms. There is one mandatory session in the Fall term that explains everything about the co-op process, before job searches begin, called Co-op 101. For more information, please visit the Centre for Career Action 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.

Please note, international students interested in co-op must have a valid work visa. Students are encourage to consult with an Immigration Consultant in the Student Success Office for further information.

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 in their first two terms. After the work-term(s), students will return for one more academic term to finish their MRP or coursework. Students cannot end their degree on a work-term. A final academic term must be completed on campus in order to be eligible for graduation.

Typically, degree progression in the co-op option looks like this:

  • Fall 1: Term 1: coursework (Sept–Dec)
  • Winter 1: Term 2: coursework (Jan–Apr)
  • Spring: Term 3: 1st 4-month work-term placement (May-Aug)
  • Fall 2: Term 4: 2nd 4-month work-term placement (Sept-Dec)
  • Winter 2: Term 5: final academic term (coursework or MRP) (Jan-Apr)

Students are considered part-time while on a work-term and are charged 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.

All senior (graduate) jobs posted to WaterlooWorks are advertised, recruited for, and interviewed together. It is important that students in the co-op option review and are up-to-date on CEE’s Important Dates Calendar in order to ensure they are not missing job posting and application deadlines. Most interviews for Spring co-op positions will take place in January and February, with a few in March. Most interviews for Fall co-op positions will take place in May and June, with a few in July.

  • 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 6 mandatory core courses (0.5 unit weight)
      • ECON 600, 601, 602, 606, 621, {622 or 623}
    • All students are required to take 3 ECON elective courses (0.5 unit weight).
    • ECON 674, the Co-op Capstone Research Project, must be taken in the final Winter term, after the co-op terms are completed. Students need to register full-time for this 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%.
  • Co-op
    • An 8-month work term experience that is facilitated by the Co-operative 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

Switching From Regular ECON MA to Co-op ECON MA Program

If you are in the Regular MA program and would like to switch into the Co-op MA program, please let the Graduate Coordinator know as soon as possible.

It is permitted for students to switch from the Co-op option to the Regular MA or MRP option (with approval from the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies).