Co-op programs

Students meet around a laptop in coffee shop at Waterloo, which offers the largest co-op program in Canada.

Explore careers, earn money, and gain experience through North America's largest co-op program.

What is co-op?

Co-op is an amazing way to explore careers, gain valuable experience, and make money while earning your university degree.

As a Waterloo co-op student, you’ll normally alternate between four months in school and four months as a full-time employee of the organization you're working for. You’ll learn to successfully interview for jobs, apply your skills to real-life problems, and graduate with up to two years of experience.

Co-op at Waterloo

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7,000+ employers

Apply to jobs with more co-op employers than at any other university in North America.

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4 to 6 co-op work terms

With multiple work terms, try out different careers to see what you like – or dislike.

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Earn $42,000 to $90,000

Make money to help pay for school and gain experience at the same time!

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Develop skills for your future

You'll learn how to identify your strengths and develop skills essential for future careers.

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Graduate with smaller debt

Waterloo students have smaller student loans and are more successful at paying them back.

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A network for your future

Learn to ace job interviews and networking opportunities so you can hit the workforce as a pro.


Graduate with up to two years of experience

A Waterloo co-op program takes five academic years to complete – a year longer than a regular (non-co-op) program – but you'll graduate with nearly two years of paid work experience!

Get the experience you want

By choosing which types of co-op jobs you apply to, you can focus on the experience or connections you want.


79%of Waterloo co-op grads earn $50,000+ 2 years after graduation compared to 39% of Ontario graduates
96%of our co-op grads employed 6 months after graduation find jobs related to skills they aquired at Waterloo
98.5%co-op employment rate vs. 89% youth employment rate in Canada

Explore potential careers through co-op

Nicole, a student who led a national project for Microsoft Canada, says co-op was one of the best decisions of her life.

How does co-op work?

Waterloo's co-op program is a real-world job application process, preparing you for what you'll experience when you graduate. Very simply, you apply to jobs, have interviews with employers, and then go into a process that matches students and employers based on preference.

And we're here to help. Career advisors can help you with job search strategies, creating a résumé and cover letter, and practising for interviews – all key skills for your career. Co-op work terms start in first or second year, depending on your program.

Ready to learn more?