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 integrates paid work experience as part of your university degree. As a co-op student at Waterloo, you’ll normally alternate between four months in school and four months as a full-time employee of the organization you're working for. It's an amazing way to explore careers, gain relevant experience, and make money while earning your degree. You’ll learn to successfully interview for jobs, apply your skills to real-life problems, and graduate with up to two years of valuable experience.

How is co-op different from an internship?

Co-op terms are normally paid, while internships are often unpaid.

Co-op at Waterloo

Employers sitting at a desk.

7,100+ employers

Take advantage of Waterloo’s huge network of co-op employers – the largest of any 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 $8,400 to $18,000 per work term in Canada

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.


82%of Waterloo co-op grads earn $50,000+ two years after graduation compared to 45% of Ontario graduates
96%of our co-op grads employed six months after graduation find jobs related to skills they aquired at Waterloo, compared to 79% of all university graduates in Ontario.

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 involves 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.

Though co-op can be challenging, we're here to help. Career advisors can help you with job search strategies, creating a résumé and cover letter, practising for interviews, and figuring out your overall career direction – all key skills for your career. You’ll also be assigned to a specific co-op advisor who can help you navigate the application process and offer support throughout your work term. Co-op work terms start in first or second year, depending on your program.

Ready to learn more?