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Information for

Co-op sequence change requests

See work term requirements for the prescribed academic and work term sequence for Honours Psychology 'Departmental' Co-op and Honours Psychology and Arts and Business Co-op. 

Approval is required to deviate from the prescribed sequence.  Examples of the circumstances that would require approval: 

  • two consecutive work terms.
  • two consecutive school term.
  • an 'off term' meaning that a particular term is neither a work term or a full-time school term.
  • participation in an international exchange program that overlaps 2 University of Waterloo school terms,
  • to forgo a work term. This is only an option for those in Arts and Business Co-op who are eligible for more than 4 work terms.
  • a change in course load that would disqualify you from the next work term and/or result in a delay in the target for graduation.
  • etc.

Please review carefully all of the following information before requesting a change to your academic versus work term sequence.

Documentation required for the request

Complete the Request for Academic/Work Term Sequence Change Form.

Include the following information in the work sequence chart on the form to indicate your plans for each term:

  • work term (WT) e.g,. WT1, WT2, etc.
  • year/level for school terms e.g., 2A, 2B, etc.
  • 'OT' for an off term.
  • 'exch' for an exchange program.

Indicate the reason for the request in the comment section of the form. If there isn't sufficient space, attach a page with the additional information.

Before submitting the form, consult with any relevant advisors (Arts and Business, double major advisor, Psych major advisor) to make sure that you can still get all of your required courses with the new sequence change.

Submit the documentation to the Psychology Undergraduate Advisor (Emily Mininger) directly (PAS 3007) or by attachment to email (emininger@uwaterloo.ca). The advisor will comment on your request and then forward for approval by your other academic advisors (if applicable) as well as by your Co-operative Education and Career Action (CECA) Contact. The name of your individual CECA Contact is listed on your JobMine Profile.

Course load requirements and restrictions for Co-op students

Co-op students should maintain a full course load (defined as at least 2.5 academic units per school term) and follow the prescribed academic versus work sequence (see work term requirements).

You can reduce your course load to 2.0 academic units in a given school term without formal approval; if you do so, you should consider making-up the fifth course by taking a course during the previous or next work term, or taking 6 courses (3.0 academic units) instead of 5 (2.5 academic units) in the previous or next school term.

If for any reason you need to reduce your course load to 1.5 academic units in a given school term, please consult with your academic advisor. Fewer than 1.5 academic units in a given school term would disqualify you from participating in the search for a co-op position for the following term.

If you take fewer than 2.5 units per term, your year level will eventually fall behind and this may impact your ability to take certain courses when you need them (such as PSYCH 391 which requires a student to be at the 3A year level). If you are concerned that this may be an issue, please contact your academic advisor

Normally, co-op students may not take more than 1 course (.5 academic units) during a work term.

Course planning

When you develop your course plan, note the following:

  • PSYCH 291 is offered Fall term only. PSYCH 291 must be taken in Fall 2A term.
  • PSYCH 292 is offered Winter term only. PSYCH 292 must be taken in the Winter 2B term for departmental co-op students and in the Winter 3A term for Arts and Business co-op students.
    • Failure to follow this sequence for PSYCH 291 and 292 will result in expulsion from the co-op program. If you need to deviate for any reason, please get in touch with the Psych Undergraduate Advisor

Please review the course sequencing tips for your program:

Psychology course offerings

Taking courses at other universities

Scheduling work terms

No more than two Spring work terms are allowed.

According to the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE), all work terms and work-term report requirements must be completed before the final school term. The Undergraduate Calendar (see Change of Study/Work Term Sequence) also states that you may not end your school/work sequence with a work term. 

See student success for warnings regarding accelerated course completion.

Requests to switch from the co-op to the regular system of study after the fourth work term will not be granted.

Co-op fees are not refunded to students who do not obtain co-op positions or to those who find their own co-op positions. Further, those in Arts and Business Co-op who are eligible for more than 4 work terms but choose to only do 4 work terms, will still be required to pay co-op fees through to the final school term (4B).


Last updated: March 24, 2017

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