Explore careers, earn money, and gain experience through North America's largest co-op (paid internship) program.
As a co-op student at Waterloo, you’ll typically alternate between four months in school and four months as a full-time employee of the organization you're working for.
Waterloo's co-op program is an amazing way to learn to successfully interview for jobs, see how your degree relates to real-life problems, graduate with up to two years of valuable experience – and make money!
Why co-op at Waterloo?
- Access North America's largest selection of co-op jobs and experiences for university students.
- More employers means more choice for you.
- Make money to help pay for school – and gain experience at the same time!
Earn while you learn
- Students typically make between $9,000 and $21,500 per four-month work term in Canada.
- You'll have between four to six co-op work terms.
- Waterloo students typically have smaller student loans and are more successful at paying them back.
- Use your work terms to explore different careers and to see what you're good at and what you love to do.
- Learn to ace job interviews and make contacts – before you start your career!
Explore potential careers through co-op
Warriors get there faster. In addition to the classroom learning, industry experience, and career support woven throughout your degree, there are many more resources.
- Workshops on résumé writing, skills identification, researching careers, networking, and more
- One-on-one advice for planning your career or further education, résumé feedback, preparing for interviews, and more
- Support for student entrepreneurs as they form and validate ideas, build prototypes, and develop businesses
- Job posting exclusively for Waterloo students and graduates
Source: Ontario University Graduate Survey (published 2022)
How does co-op work?
Is co-op right for you?
Waterloo students complete approximately 25,000 four-month work terms each year, helping them round out their learning with future-ready skills. You'll have between four and six co-op work terms depending on your program. Like every choice you make in life – whether it's coffee or tea, co-op or a regular program – there are pros and cons to both.
Among other benefits, co-op
- allows you to graduate with a solid résumé,
- helps you earn money towards paying your tuition,
- gives you access to opportunities you can't find anywhere else,
- teaches you how to network with prospective employers,
- gives you a break between school terms, and
- increases your chances for employment upon graduating.
While co-op can be highly rewarding and open new doors, it's a competitive program and you aren't guaranteed a job. Being in a co-op program
- may add stress to your academic terms,
- adds a co-op fee (almost $500) to support the cost of the running the co-op program,
- may require you to move to another city for your co-op term
- could limit time for other activities, and
- adds an extra year to your degree.