All students in Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo participate in the co-operative work/study program. Co-op education combines formal classroom teaching with "on-the-job" experience, and satisfactory performance in both areas is required for graduation.

After the first academic term on campus, students alternate between classroom and engineering-related work experience every four months.

The Co-operative Education office provides students with professional career guidance, contacts potential employers and arranges on-campus job interviews for co-op students. Through a matching system, where students rank employers and employers rank students, a compatible job match may occur. The student employment rate in Mechanical Engineering has been very close to 100% in recent terms, particularly for students in the later years of the program. The process is outlined below.

All First-Year Mechanical Engineering students enrol in September and spend the first Fall term (September to December) together at the University. During that first academic term, students will be assigned to one of two streams, Stream 4 or Stream 8, defined as follows:

  • Stream 4: Students who are assigned to Stream 4 complete four months of academic study (term 1A) before going into industry for the first work term, starting in January.
  • Stream 8: Students who are assigned to Stream 8 complete eight months of academic study (terms 1A and 1B) before going into industry for the first work term, starting in May.

Learn more about the two different streams and how to request a specific stream, visit the prospective student web site.

After the first academic term, the two groups switch places for the next three years, but they come together again to complete the last academic term of the Mechanical Engineering program, prior to graduation. Upon graduation, students in both streams will have completed 8 academic terms on campus and 6 work terms in industry, and students who enter together, graduate together.

For more information on co-op education, please visit the following websites:​

  • How co-op works: visit the prospective students site about co-op
  • Co-op Procedures: Precise details of the co-op employment process are explained in the Co-operative Student Reference Manual.
  • Co-op Salaries: Information about salary scales for co-op students is contained in the Co-operative Education Department's Weekly Earnings Survey.
  • Career Development: More information on career development is available in the Co-operative Education Department's Career Development Manual.
  • Term Dates: Precise dates for the beginning and end dates of the various terms are shown in the University of Waterloo Academic Calendar.

More information