students working togetherThe supervised co-op work terms provide you with an opportunity to apply your course learning in a public service setting. The work term may involve any public service activity or function, such as policy analysis, policy development, program evaluation, communications, and so on. In addition, the co-op experience provides an understanding of the practical realities of public service and exposes you to collaborative working relationships. Check out our co-op examples page for a sample of your future job titles. 

Co-op preparation

You must complete all coursework (except PS 622, Major Team Project) before starting your co-op job. The co-op is intended to be a paid, full-time work experience taking place over eight months (terms 3 and 4, May-December). Co-operative Education & the Centre for Career Action (CECA) administer the co-operative education system for the University of Waterloo. Co-operative Education staff develop employment opportunities, which are then listed on the co-op job posting website, WaterlooWorks. You then formally apply to positions on JobMine and attend interviews on-campus (at the Tatham Centre). In addition, you are also encouraged to search for government employment opportunities yourself, that would then be approved and facilitated by Co-operative Education and CECA staff.

Co-op work placements must:

  • enable you to apply graduate-level competencies acquired in the MPS program;
  • provide the opportunity for you to address a practical public service concern or area of interest;
  • advance your current knowledge and skills;
  • have an on-site supervisor available with the appropriate interest, education and experience to supervise, support and mentor you; and
  • provide the necessary organizational environment and support.

students working together