At Waterloo, co-op students alternate study terms with co-op work terms and graduate with relevant, paid work experience. This means learning how to navigate the hiring process, applying your skills to real-life problems and learning about yourself along the way.

In Arts, co-op is available in Peace and Conflict Studies through Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business.

Co-op eligibility

Co-op is only available to students in Honours academic plans.

As an Arts student, in most cases you will be assessed for co-op eligibility when you declare your major.

If you are eligible, you will be admitted to co-op prior to starting your second year Fall term (academic level 2A). Learn more about Arts co-op eligibility and speak with the PACS Undergraduate Officer if you have any questions.

Co-op sequences

You will have five work term opportunities in your sequence and you need to complete a minimum of four work terms. The sequence you follow is determined by when you start your studies and your academic plan(s). For example, students in Honours Arts and Business follow a different sequence than students in Honours Arts.

Learn more about which sequence you follow as a PACS major.

If you are requesting a sequence change, please see:

Co-op fees

Co-op at Waterloo is predominantly funded by a student-paid co-op fee. Similar to tuition, this fee is associated with being enrolled in a co-op program and is paid in instalments throughout your time at Waterloo. To learn more about these fees and what they cover, visit the Co-operative Education’s fee page.

Work term reports and Professional Development (PD) courses

Co-op students in Arts must successfully complete four work reports. The first work report, which is to be completed during your first work term, will be satisfied by successful completion of PD12: Reflection and Learning in the Workplace. Learn more about the Arts work term report requirements.

Co-op students in Arts must successfully complete four Professional Development (PD) courses. These courses help you increase your employability and assist you with seeing connections between workplace experience and what you learn in the classroom.

PACS-specific work term report requirements

After the PD 12 work report is submitted, your subsequent work term reports will be specific to your PACS major. The elements of the PACS work term report are as follows.

Introduction

Prepare a one page summary containing a description of the job, your role, and how your work complemented or supplemented the work of others. Also, include a statement at the bottom of the page indicating whether or not you will allow the report to be maintained in a work report archive that will be made available as a resource for future co-op students.

Body

The work report should be an analysis, approximately 2,000 words in length, of one aspect of your job that can be related to a PACS theme.

You might analyze a particular project, an ongoing process, or a continuing duty of your position. The method of analysis is up to you, but it should demonstrate techniques and skills you have developed as a PACS student at the University of Waterloo. Any aspect of your job you found particularly interesting (positive or negative), and that suits such an analysis, is appropriate as a topic for the work report.

PACS is about the application of peace or conflict theory to any aspect of life, any work situation can be analysed through a PACS lens. Try to be as clear and direct as possible. Define your terms. Cite the appropriate literature and specify how you will be applying the theory and literature to the rest of the report.

Note: materials produced on the job are not acceptable as work reports. You may, however, include such materials with your analysis.

Some possible topics include:
  • conflict resolution/management processes at your employer;
  • decision-making processes;
  • use of rights, interest and power;
  • analysis of corporate or institutional culture related to PACS;
  • analysis of how the employer or industry involved contributes to building a peaceful and just society;
  • communication procedures and processes;
  • how issues of gender or concerns of minority employees or staff are addressed;
  • inter-office politics or policies;
  • effects of power structures on communication in the organization;
  • analysis of use of language within the organization; and
  • techniques of collaboration, e.g. individualism vs. communitarianism.

By no means are you limited to the topics listed above. They are simply suggestions. Nor is it necessary to clear the topic with the PACS Undergrad Officer, although you are certainly welcome to discuss your topic at any time.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Summarize what you have learned from this project and experience. Suggest possible further research that might be useful to you as you apply what you learned to other work situations.

References/bibliography

Include citations to sources you have used in preparing your report, including all articles, books, web sites and other materials used. Organize alphabetically by authors' last names, also providing year of publication, title, and other pertinent information. Citations can be in any style as long as it's consistent.

If you have any questions, speak with the PACS Undergraduate Officer.

Co-op supports

As a co-op student, you will have a team of support. Learn how to connect with your team.

All students (co-op and regular streams) have access to Centre for Career Action resources and supports at any point during their time at Waterloo.

The PACS Undergraduate Officer is also available to support you throughout the co-op process.

Co-op student experiences

Hear from former PACS students about the kinds of jobs they had in co-op and reflections on their experiences on the co-op student experiences page.

Co-op student jobs

In previous years, students have held co-op jobs with a wide ranger of employers, including:

  • City of Waterloo
  • Manulife Financial
  • Live Different
  • Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Foreign Affairs Trade and Development Canada
  • Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Toronto District School Board
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc.
  • Li-Cycle
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation

Some of the job titles that PACS students have held include:

  • Business Development Associate
  • Project Delivery Officer
  • Assistant Project Manager
  • Junior Analyst
  • Technical Sales Assistant
  • Assistant Coordinator - Volunteer Resources Team
  • Events Assistant
  • Talent Administrator
  • Teaching Assistant