Co-operative education

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You can find answers to some of the common questions asked by Math students concerning the co-operative education program here. If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to your Math co-op advisors here at the Math Undergraduate Office as we are always happy to help!

Frequently asked questions

How has co-op been affected by COVID-19?

Co-operative Education continues to support students as the pandemic evolves with regular updates available on Co-operative Education's central website.

I am a regular student. How can I switch into co-op?

If you are in your 1B term (having a minimum of four units and no more than six units) you may apply to switch to the co-op program. Students admitted to the Faculty of Mathematics with a substantial number of transfer credits may not be able to switch into co-op because they are too far advanced in their plan.

Information sessions to apply to co-op are held at the beginning of the third month of each term (March, July, November). Application forms are available online and are due on or before the last day of classes.

I want to quit co-op. How do I do that?

If you are thinking of leaving the co-op program, then (providing you are in a plan that allows both co-op and regular systems of study) you can switch to regular by submitting a Plan Modification Form. Contact a co-op advisor with your request, as well as your rationale for wishing to leave co-op. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to speak to the Associate Dean, Co-operative Education for final approval.

Can I take courses during my co-op work term?

Outside of Professional Development (PD) courses, you may take up to one course during a work term without permission. In order to take two courses, you must first obtain permission from your employer and then forward that written permission to Co-op Math. Make sure you send it from your Waterloo email account and include your student ID number.
Note: Registration in more than one course will open approximately one week before the start of the term. Please note that registration is prioritized for students who are scheduled to be on an academic term.

How do I change my co-op sequence?

You may need to change sequences if certain required courses are only available in certain terms or if your employer requests an extended co-op term, or for some other extenuating circumstances.

Not finding employment is not a valid reason for a sequence change.

Step 1: To change your sequence, complete a sequence change form.

Step 2: Contact your academic advisor for signature approval*.

Step 3: Forward the completed and signed form to the Math co-op advisors for final approval.

*If you are a Computer Science or an undeclared major, then you do not need your advisor to sign the sequence form.

What are the sequence change deadlines?

Sequence changes are not intended to facilitate additional opportunities to participate in the co-operative education’s facilitated interview process.
Should you request a sequence change during term X when you have a work term scheduled during term X+1 then, assuming your request is to change term X+1, you will be restricted from using WaterlooWorks during your next job search. In some cases, it may be possible to move the Waterloo Works reduced access from the next scheduled work term to the following one (that is, to the first work term after term X+1). This should be reviewed with the math co-op advisors at the time the sequence change is requested.

Specifically, suppose during term X we are at academic week N. Performing a sequence change at this point would restrict access to WaterlooWorks for the first N academic weeks during the affected job search.

Note: students need to inform a math co-op advisor to have the restriction lifted when the time comes.
If you have a sufficient number of remaining work terms then you could possibly elect to forfeit your upcoming work term (i.e. term X+1) and convert it to a school term. This would incur no restrictions on WaterlooWorks access, though you would be down one work term. This may or may not be possible depending on your program and your past work history. Consult with a Math co-op advisor for further clarification.

I heard work report requirements are changing for Math students. What does this mean?

At recent Faculty Council and Senate Undergraduate Council meetings, a motion was passed to remove the WKRPT courses from degree requirements for Math co-op students. This change is effective immediately. The WKRPT courses will not be offered anymore, starting Fall 2022.

All other co-op degree requirements (number of work term credits, PD courses, number of full-time terms) remain unchanged, as noted in the university calendar. In particular, all math co-op students are still required to complete PD11. 

Note that past calendars will not be updated to remove the WKRPT requirements, but they will no longer be checked when you submit your application to graduate. Any questions about degree requirements should be addressed to the math co-op advisors

Can I take one or more terms off and still remain in the co-op program, how does that affect my co-op sequence? 

Any math student can take up to 3 consecutive terms off without needing to apply for readmission. This also applies to co-op students. Note however that international students will need to check with an immigration consultant as to whether such a plan is recommended.

As for co-op sequences, students will need to return to full-time studies prior to any work terms. That is, you cannot take a term (or two or three) off and then immediately follow that with a co-op term.

Furthermore students who are off and in the middle of applying for jobs for their upcoming term cannot use an off term as a substitute for the work term. That is, the work term is unlikely to be moved in their sequence (barring any exceptional circumstances).

I’m thinking about taking only 1-2 courses in a term. Will that affect my co-op sequence?

 Students must be enrolled in full-time studies during their recruitment terms. So, for example, if you are scheduled for a Fall work term, that means the Spring term must be full-time (at least 1.5 units of courses, not counting PD courses). If you are only in 1-2 courses, that is a part-time term, and you will be removed from the recruitment process. In addition, if you are an international students, be sure to consult with the registered immigration consultants about the possible effects of a part-time term.