All engineering undergraduate students at the University of Waterloo participate in the co-operative work/study program. Co-op education combines formal classroom teaching with on-the-job experience. For current students, all matters dealing with Co-operative Education should be directed to Co-operative Education.
Co-op lets you explore careers and gain paid work experience while earning your university degree.
ECE students have the opportunity to explore diverse career areas and employers.
Co-op study/work sequences
ECE students are assigned to Stream 4 or Stream 8 for their study/work sequences. Stream 4 students being their first work term in January while stream 8 students begin in May. Students may request to switch their co-op academic/work term sequence for longer co-op terms or other reasons.
Courses during work terms
You may take up to two courses during each Co-op Work Term, although this count includes any PD courses in which you may be enrolled. If the course hours are during your working hours, you should obtain approval from your employer first. Courses may be taken either on-campus at the University of Waterloo, through the Centre for Extended Learning from the University of Waterloo, at another University (if you are taking an engineering course, the program must be accredited) or through Distance Education at another university such as Athabasca University. Courses taken at another university require a Letter of Permission.
To take a course from the University of Waterloo, either on campus or through Distance Education, you must add these courses by submitting a Course Override Form to the Undergraduate Advisor/Co-ordinator. Indicate in the Comments section of the Course Override Form whether the class is outside of working hours or that you have received approval from your employer to take the courses during working hours. If you do not, the Undergraduate Advisor/Co-ordinator will contact you before the form is processed. You must submit this form before the appropriate Add Period ends. Submitting this form adds the class to your schedule. You will be contacted if a problem arises (e.g., the class is full). Otherwise, the course should appear on Quest after a reasonable processing delay.
If you wish to drop a course during a Co-op Work Term, you must also submit a Course Override Form to the Undergraduate Advisor/Co-ordinator.
You can take up to two UW courses (either distance education or on campus) on a Co-op Work Term, however PDENG 15, 25, 35, 45, and 55 each count as one course. To take an on-campus course, you must be living in or near Waterloo with the intention of attending classes.
If you wish to take a course at another university, either through distance education (such as Athabasca University) on the campus, you must read the page on taking Non-UW Courses. There are a number of restrictions and therefore you should read the aforementioned page thoroughly. Common courses taken during co-operative work-terms are listed in the following table; however, other equivalent courses are listed on the Course-specific Information.
|Athabaska University||COMP 268||Introduction to Computer Programming (Java)||ECE 150|
|Ryerson University||CCMN 314||Oral Communication Course (possibly offered in evenings or on Saturdays)||TPM|
Longer Co-op Work Terms
You can attempt to take an 8-, 12-, or 16-month Co-op Work Term, however, if you do not want to take a term off, you must plan carefully by looking at the Cohort Progression Chart. It is your responsibility to seek employers who will offer longer Co-op Work Terms. Co-operative Education does not have the facilities to assist you in this process; however, they must approve any Work-term Position. You can discuss the possibility of longer Co-op Work Terms with your Academic Advisor.