Co-op and hands-on learning

Earn as your learn

Get ahead of the competition with experiences that can help you define your future. Waterloo is a global leader in co-operative education. You can explore potential careers, build your network, and master new skills through up to two years of work experience – plus you’ll earn dollars that will go a long way to help cover the costs of tuition, books, housing, and anything else you need.

Co-op at Waterloo

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7100+ employers

Apply to jobs with more co-op employers than any other university in North America.

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4-6 co-op work terms

With multiple work terms, try out different careers to see what you like - or dislike.

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Develop your skills

You'll learn how to identify your strengths and develop skills essential for future careers.

Sample co-op jobs

In the co-op program, you will get the opportunity to try different career paths, to learn more about what inspires you. These are just a few of the jobs that math students have explored:

Full sample jobs list

  • Data scientist
  • Risk Analyst
  • Software developer
  • Actuarial analyst
  • Project manager
  • Financial analyst 


Financial Analysis & Risk Management (co-op)

Anita Chen smilingAnita used her co-op terms to explore the rapidly expanding field of data science and discovered a passion for the ethics of artificial intelligence. She even had the opportunity to help develop her employer’s first set of ethics guidelines for machine learning algorithm development. “It was definitely a life-changing experience,” reflects Anita. “I would not have discovered my passion in AI ethics, and ethics in general, if not for the co-op program.”

You're not alone

The Centre for Career Action is available on campus to help you polish your résumé, develop interview skills and navigate your career path.

Hands-on learning

The University of Waterloo has lots of opportunities for you to participate in hands-on learning. If you want to put your knowledge to work, here are just a few ways that you can get involved!


Test your creativity and technical abilities by attending a hackathon! At a hackathon, people come together, form teams around a problem or idea, and then collaboratively come up with a unique solution from scratch.

Hack the north   Starterhacks


WATonomous is a student design team at the University of Waterloo at the forefront in the design, creation and neural training of autonomous self-driving vehicles.



EDGE is the University of Waterloo’s experiential education certificate program. EDGE is your opportunity to develop key professional skills, explore your career options, and market yourself to employers.



Are you entrepreneurial and dream to found your own startup? Concept is Velocity’s experiential entrepreneurship and pre-incubator program at the University of Waterloo. Concept can give you the support you need to bring a concept to reality!


Reflect wins $5k pitch competition

Shivam SharmaThe University of Waterloo’s first-ever virtual Concept $5K competition challenged entrepreneurs to pitch to an online audience instead of a packed auditorium. Confident in the value of their creation, the founders of Reflect rose to the occasion and walked away with $5,000 to invest in their growing business.

Shivam Sharma (Computer Science) created Reflect to help people incorporate mindfulness practices into their everyday lives. The guided journal app, available on the App Store or Google Play, asks users daily reflection questions related to their thoughts and experiences. For $3 per month, a premium subscription plan includes features like mood tracking analytics and customizable content.

Read more about Reflect's win at Concept.