At Waterloo, co-op students alternate study terms with co-op work terms and graduate with relevant, paid work experience. This means learning how to navigate the hiring process, applying your skills to real-life problems and learning about yourself along the way.

In Arts, co-op is available in English through Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business.

The English co-op program gives students the ability to earn income and gain experience in the workplace. You may take any Honours English degree in either the regular mode or the co-op mode. 

The academic requirements of Honours English degree plans are identical whether you are a regular or a co-op student.

You should apply for co-op when you apply for entry into your Honours English program at the end of 1B term or the beginning of 2A term. You will then complete six further terms of study on campus (2A/B, 3A/B, 4A/B) and at least four work terms with participating employers in fields such as education, media, business, government, industry, and the non-profit sector.

Co-op eligibility

Co-op is only available to students in Honours academic plans.

As an Arts student, in most cases you will be assessed for co-op eligibility when you declare your major. If you are eligible, you will be admitted to co-op prior to starting your second year Fall term (academic level 2A). Learn more about Arts co-op eligibility and speak with an English advisor if you have any questions.

Co-op sequences

You will have five work term opportunities in your sequence and you need to complete a minimum of four work terms. The sequence you follow is determined by when you start your studies and your academic plan(s). For example, students in Honours Arts and Business follow a different sequence than students in Honours Arts.

Learn more about which sequence you follow as an English major.

If you are requesting a sequence change, please see:

Co-op fees

Co-op at Waterloo is predominantly funded by a student-paid co-op fee. Similar to tuition, this fee is associated with being enrolled in a co-op program and is paid in instalments throughout your time at Waterloo. To learn more about these fees and what they cover, visit the Co-operative Education’s fee page.

Work term reports and Professional Development (PD) courses

Co-op students in Arts must successfully complete four work reports. The first work report, which is to be completed during your first work term, will be satisfied by successful completion of PD12: Reflection and Learning in the Workplace. Learn more about the Arts work term report requirements.

Co-op students in Arts must successfully complete four Professional Development (PD) courses. These courses help you increase your employability and assist you with seeing connections between workplace experience and what you learn in the classroom.

At the conclusion of each co-op work term, returning students must submit a work report for credit. To graduate with a co-op designation, undergraduates must submit four satisfactory reports. Submit your work report to the dropbox on Learn. You do not need to submit the report to your employer unless the employer makes that a requirement. 

Details of the Work Report

The work report is an analysis of one aspect of your job. You might analyze a particular project, an ongoing process, or a continuing duty of your position. The method of analysis is up to you, but it should demonstrate techniques and skills you have developed as an English major at UW. Any aspect of your job you found particularly interesting (positively or negatively), and that suits such an analysis, is appropriate as a topic for the work report.

Note: Materials produced on the job are not acceptable as work reports. You may, however, include such materials with your analysis.

Some possible topics include:

  • Decision-making processes
  • Communicative procedures and processes
  • Design choices
  • Gender issues in texts or other institutional communications
  • Analysis of corporate or institutional culture
  • Corporate or organization image-making
  • Inter-office politics or policies
  • Effects of power structures on communication in the organization
  • Assimilation or use of technical language or organizational language
  • Techniques of collaboration
  • Techniques for explaining processes or procedures
  • Metaphoric structures in job-specific communication
  • Deconstructive analysis of job-related texts
  • Semiotic patterns in company information
  • Applications of critical theory to texts or job activities

By no means are you limited to the topics listed above. They are simply suggestions. Nor is it necessary to clear the topic with the Co-op officer, although you are certainly welcome to discuss your topic with them at any time.

For work report guidelines, see the Faculty of Arts Co-op work report guidelines.

Co-op supports

As a co-op student, you will have a team of support. Learn how to connect with your team.

All students (co-op and regular streams) have access to Centre for Career Action resources and supports at any point during their time at Waterloo.

You can also reach out to an English Advisor if you have questions about your co-op plan.

Co-op student jobs

Some recent co-op positions include the following:

  • Technical writer
  • Software developer
  • Cost and planning analyst
  • Web developer
  • Marketing director
  • Communications coordinator
  • Archivist
  • Information analyst
  • Policy and communications intern
  • Research Assistant
  • Assistant office manager
  • Lecturer
  • English tutor
  • Computing assistant
  • Correspondence writer
  • Residential assistant
  • Sales assistant
  • Editorial assistant
  • Fundraising intern
  • Library clerk