Co‑op is available to students in all areas of concentration. Employment opportunities in public, private, and non-profit organizations range from research and planning positions to public relations and organizational functions such as staffing, training, and supervisory activities. Assignments to these positions are secured through the assistance of the Co-operative Education and Career Action (CECA) centre in the Tatham Centre building. Students will be paid a salary by their employers.

An info session will be arranged during Orientation. For more information, please visit the Centre for Career Action and familiarize yourself with the websites CareerHub and WaterlooWorks.

The application for the MA co-op program is due by the end of September in your first term. Students admitted to the Co-op option must also submit:


Students must maintain an 80% overall average in all academic terms prior to their work term(s) in order to be eligible for the co-op option. If a student’s average drops below 80% they will no longer be eligible to proceed with the co-op option and will be asked to switch back to either the MRP or Thesis regular option.

The Graduate Committee will make application decisions in the Fall term. Students will be notified via email if their application has been accepted or declined.

Please note, International students interested in co-op must have a valid work visa. More information is available through the Student Success Office International Student resources.

All students accepted in the co-op program will complete one or two 4-month work terms, from May to August (Spring term), or May to December (Spring and Fall terms) following the course work requirements in first two terms. After the work term(s), students will return for one more academic term to finish their MRP/Thesis.

Students on a work term are charged a co-op fee. Regular part-time tuition, in addition to the co-op fee, is only charged if a student is also taking courses during their work term.

All junior (undergraduate) and senior (graduate) jobs posted to WaterlooWorks are advertised, recruited for, and interviewed together. It is important that students in the co-op option review and are up-to-date on CECA’s Important Dates Calendar in order to ensure they are not missing job posting and application deadlines. The majority of interviews for Spring co-op positions will take place in February and March. The majority of interviews for Fall co-op positions will take place in June and July.

If a placement is secured for the Spring term, you must submit a Change of Enrolment Status form to the Graduate Program Coordinator no later than May 15. If a placement is secured for the Fall term, you must submit a Change of Enrolment Status form no later than September 15. You can contact the Political Science Graduate Studies Co-op Advisor if you have any questions.

Work-term Report

Each co-op student is required to write a 10-12 page work term report investigating an aspect of the co-op experience from an academic perspective.

The final report is due one month after the completion of the work term and is submitted to the Graduate Chair for evaluation.

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