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Co-op study/work sequences

When will I have my first co-op work term?

If you have been admitted to Architecture,  you will start co-op in the winter term of your second year. 

If you have been admitted to:

You will be in Stream 4, which means your first work term will begin in January of your first year.

If you have been admitted to:

You will be in Stream 8, which means your first work term will begin in May of your first year.

If you have been admitted to:

You will be in either Stream 4 or Stream 8. You will be assigned to a stream in late June when classes are scheduled. Students who have confirmed their offers can request a specific stream by e-mailing eng.stream@uwaterloo.ca before Thursday, June 1, 2017. If you have special circumstances or a strong preference for a certain stream, we recommend that you send your request as soon as possible. We will make every effort to accommodate your request, but cannot guarantee your placement in a particular stream.

Stream Advantages

Students in stream 4 may have a financial advantage in first year since they pay for only 4 months of school and are then on a work term.

Students in stream 8 have more time to settle in at university before applying for their first co-op jobs.

Co-op/Study Sequences

The following charts identify the sequences of study and co-op terms employed by our programs.

  • Stream 4: Environmental, Geological, and Systems Design Engineering
  • Stream 8: Civil, Management, Nanotechnology, and Software Engineering
  • Streams 4 or 8: Chemical, Mechanical, Mechatronics Engineering
  • Program-specific streams: Architecture, Biomedical, Computer, Electrical, and Nanotechnology

Standard streams

Most of our programs follow either stream 4 or stream 8, with students beginning their first co-op term after one study term (4 months of study) or two study terms (8 months of study). 

Fall term = September to December
Winter term = January to April
Spring term = May to August

Year Term Stream 4 Stream 8
1 Fall Study Term 1A Study Term 1A
Winter Co-op Term 1 Study Term 1B
Spring Study Term 1B Co-op Term 1
2 Fall Co-op Term 2 Study Term 2A
Winter Study Term 2A Co-op Term 2
Spring Co-op Term 3 Study Term 2B
3 Fall Study Term 2B Co-op Term 3
Winter Co-op Term 4 Study Term 3A
Spring Study Term 3A Co-op Term 4
4 Fall Co-op Term 5 Study Term 3B
Winter Study Term 3B Co-op Term 5
Spring Co-op Term 6 Study Term 4A
5 Fall Study Term 4A Co-op Term 6
Winter Study Term 4B Study Term 4B

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) offers both stream 4 and stream 8. However, in contrast to the standard progression, stream 4 students complete their 3B and 4A study terms consecutively, aligning all ECE students for the final year of study. There are no changes to stream 8.

Year Term Stream 4 Stream 8
4 Fall Co-op Term 5 Study Term 3B
Winter Study Term 3B Co-op Term 5
Spring Study Term 4A Study Term 4A
5 Fall Co-op Term 6 Co-op Term 6
Winter Study Term 4B Study Term 4B

Mechatronics Engineering

Mechatronics Engineering offers both stream 4 and stream 8. However, in contrast to the standard progression, stream 8 students complete their 5th and 6th co-op terms consecutively, aligning all Mechatronics students for the final year of study. There are no changes to stream 4.

Year Term Stream 4 Stream 8
4 Fall Co-op Term 5 Study Term 3B
Winter Study Term 3B Co-op Term 5
Spring Co-op Term 6 Co-op Term 6
5 Fall Study Term 4A Study Term 4A
Winter Study Term 4B Study Term 4B

Program-specific streams

Architecture students complete three terms of study prior to their first work term, with the spring of first year away from school. Unlike other Faculty of Engineering programs, the final study term is completed during the spring term of the fifth year.

Biomedical students begin with two consecutive study terms in first year (stream 8), but complete two consecutive work terms in the fourth year, followed by their final two study terms.

Nanotechnology students begin with two consecutive study terms in first year (stream 8). After the 2B study term, the progression changes to eight months of co-op and eight months of study.

Year Term Architecture Biomedical Nanotechnology
1 Fall Study Term 1A Study Term 1A Study Term 1A
Winter Study Term 1B Study Term 1B Study Term 1B
Spring Off Co-op Term 1 Co-op Term 1
2 Fall Study Term 2A Study Term 2A Study Term 2A
Winter Co-op Term 1 Co-op Term 2 Co-op Term 2
Spring Study Term 2B Study Term 2B Study Term 2B
3 Fall Co-op Term 2 Co-op Term 3 Co-op Term 3
Winter Study Term 3A Study Term 3A Co-op Term 4
Spring Co-op Term 3 Co-op Term 4 Study Term 3A
4 Fall Study Term 3B Study Term 3B Study Term 3B
Winter Co-op Term 4 Co-op Term 5 Co-op Term 5
Spring Co-op Term 5 Co-op Term 6 Co-op Term 6
5 Fall Study Term 4A Study Term 4A Study Term 4A
Winter Co-op Term 6 Study Term 4B Study Term 4B
Spring Study Term 4B