Co-op work/study sequences

Students on path with green trees at the University of Waterloo

As a co-op student, you'll either be studying full time or working full time in a job related to your program.

In the school term before your first co-op term, you'll take a professional development course to help guide you through Waterloo's co-op process. You'll gain valuable tips for success and start applying to jobs and going to interviews with employers while throughout your school term.

After that, you'll typically alternate every 4 months between school and work terms, and may sometimes have two school or work terms back to back. However, there are many variations of co-op work/study sequences.

Example 1: Co-op starts in first year

Engineering and some Math students will have co-op work terms in January or May of first year.

  September to December (fall) January to April (winter) May to August (spring)
First year School School Work term
Second year School Work term School
Third year Work term School Work term
Fourth year School Work term School
Final year Work term School  

School = 4-month school term, Work term = 4-month co-op work term

Example 2: Co-op starts in second year

Some students have their first work term halfway through or at the end of second year.

  September to December (fall) January to April (winter) May to August (spring)
First year School School Off
Second year School Work term School
Third year Work term School Work term
Fourth year School Work term School
Final year Work term School  

School = 4-month school term, Work term = 4-month co-op work term
Off = Make your own plans (work, travel, vacation, etc.)

When will your first co-op work term be?

If you're not sure which faculty offers your program of interest, view our programs grouped by faculty. The dates are for students starting in September 2020.

More about co-op