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 mayapply 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.

Special considerations are in place for sequence changes during terms affected by COVID-19. Please contact the Math co-op advisors for assistance.

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.

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 your next 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 a recent meeting of the Mathematics Undergraduate Affairs Committee (UAC), the Associate Dean Co-op submitted a proposal to eliminate work reports (WKRPT 200M, 300M, 400M) from co-op degree requirements. These changes will be effective September 1, 2023 assuming they are passed at the upcoming Faculty Council and Senate Undergraduate Council meetings. In the meantime, current students will see some benefits as well.

What does this mean for the Spring 2022 work term? 

  • If you are enrolled in a PD course with a major reflective component (one of PD4, PD7, PD8, PD9, PD10, PD 12, PD13, PD 22), and you pass the course, you will also receive credit for your next WKRPT course and milestone. You will not be enrolled in a WKRPT course in the spring term, and will not need to submit a technical work report. 
  • If your PD requirements have not been met, you should enroll in a PD course in your spring work term. 

What does this mean for students graduating in 2022?

  • Students graduating in winter, spring and fall 2022 will need to complete all work report requirements.
  • Students on their final work term in Spring 2022 who have completed PD requirements but have WKRPT 400M remaining will be enrolled in WKRPT 400M. If you feel this applies to you, but you are not enrolled in the course by the end of May 2022, please contact for assistance.

What does this mean for students graduating in 2023 and later?

  • If this motion is passed at the various committee levels, then students will no longer be required to write technical work reports to meet co-op requirements. You will be completing reflective reports as part of your PD courses. .
  • If the motion is not passed, the faculty will need to review work report requirements again and determine further action.
  • Students intending to complete degree requirements in Winter 2023 and on a work term in Spring 2022 may feel uncertain about how to proceed. Please contact about your options.