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What is a Co-op?

A co-op degree gives you a distinct advantage that will assist your prospects for employment after graduation or for being readily accepted into graduate school. Studies have shown that university students who graduate with a co-op degree have lower debt loads, are employed faster and have higher starting salaries.

Ontario Tech University has developed strong partnerships with leading employers in Durham Region, Ontario and beyond to allow you to connect with experts in the field and gain hands-on, real-world experience.

  • One co-op term is four months long.
  • Complete a minimum of three co-op terms to earn the Co-operative Education Designation on your degree.
  • You can complete up to a maximum of five terms/placements in your undergraduate program.
  • Why Co-op?

    Co-operative Education Work Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) lists the following benefits to students who participate in co-operative education programs:

    • A well-rounded education, enriched by practical application of classroom learning.
    • Documented practical experience, a resumeé, job search skills and a network of contacts upon graduation.
    • Financial remuneration, which helps offset educational costs.
    • Maturity and self-esteem as productive members of the workforce, as well as confidence and skills developed through working with others.
    • Opportunities to gain relevant employment skills and realistic expectations of the workforce before graduation.
    • Opportunities to test and gain broader understanding of career options, often in a variety of employment settings.

How Co-op Works

  • Qualifying for Co-op

    Students complete the qualifying application after their first year of completed studies. If you are a transfer student, you need to have completed at least one full semester at Ontario Tech University.

    Students can apply and go out on co-op up until the 4 th year.  To be eligible to go out on co-op students must return to university for one full semester of school before graduation. (3 full courses)

    To be accepted to continue in the co-op program, students must have all of the following:

    • A grade point average of 2.7 and minimum of 2.7 GPA in core courses
    • A clear academic status
    • No previous record of academic misconduct
  • Student Agreement for Science Co-op

    Ontario Tech University and its partners in business and industry share a commitment and dedication to the development of graduates who will be well prepared for employment opportunities within their fields of study. To that end, the Co-operative Education Program through the Faculty of Science is a part of the academic program designed to provide students with relevant professional experience.

    You agree to attend all scheduled interviews set up between you and an employer (set up through the university or directly between you and employer) and that if you are unable to attend you will notify employer and co-operative education office of the cancellation/rebook.

    As a student accepting a co-op offer you agree to:

    • Withdraw from all other co-op competitions and refrain from applying to any further co-op positions available during the term of this signed contract;
    • Enroll in the corresponding work term course and remit payment of the co-op administration fee to the Accounting Department of Ontario Tech upon notification of the invoice;
    • Return to Ontario Tech to full-time studies to complete your program of study in the appropriate semester immediately following your work term;
    • Notify the Experiential Learning Coordinator and Career Centre of any extensions to your co-op work term.
    • Conduct yourself in the workplace as guided by the Ontario Tech Code of Conduct and represent the university with pride, professionalism and respect;
    • Comply with the terms of the employment contract whether formally written or verbally stated;
    • Comply with the employer’s internal policies and procedures, including requirements under collective agreements and safety regulations;
    • Work co-operatively with co-workers and others as designated by the employer;
    • Be respectful of the employer’s intellectual and physical property;
    • Serve the employer to the best of your ability and render to the employer value for wages paid;
    • Promptly submit to the Co-op and Internship Assistant any performance evaluation/s completed by your supervisor as well as your end of term Work Report;
    • Notify the Experiential Learning Coordinator in all cases of disagreement over the interpretation of the employment agreement or where attempts to resolve workplace problems or conflict have been unsuccessful ; and
    • Advise the Experiential Learning Coordinator of any changes to your personal and professional contact information.

    As a co-op student, you agree to honour the expectations of the co-op program. You understand that the course requirements of the degree program may change in your absence as the needs of business and industry dictate. Should this occur, you will be accommodated in order to meet the academic requirements of your program.

    You understand that in accepting this co-op offer you are committing to the duration of the signed employment contract and are expected to return to Ontario Tech to full-time studies to complete your program of study in the appropriate semester immediately following your work term. Participation in co-op results in a transcript notation and will not contribute to your GPA.


    • Participation in a co-op program may affect eligibility for Ontario Tech scholarships contact Student Awards and Financial Aid Office at Ontario Tech.
    • To avoid OSAP loans going into repayment, you must complete a Continuation of Interest Free Status form each semester (whether you are in school or on co-op) and submit the form to the Student Awards and Financial Aid Office at Ontario Tech.

    Any student accepting a co-op will incur administration fees of $624.24 per semester. This fee is subject to change, without notice, based on Ontario Tech Board approval. Students accepting co-op positions must also agree to attend a mandatory Co-op Success Workshop prior to the commencement of the work term.

    Any student accepting a co-op will not be eligible to enroll in any part-time credit courses at Ontario Tech or through another institution while on a work term.

  • International Students

    If you are an International Student, the co-op program offers you an opportunity to be paid and gain Canadian work experience while you complete your degree.  You can apply for any co-op jobs posted for your program.

    Please visit for more information. 

  • What Do Fees Cover?
    • Promoting co-operative education to the external community and within the university
    • Providing assistance to students in various areas related to a successful placement, including resume preparation, interview skills and job-search techniques
    • Recruiting potential employers
    • Sustaining employment opportunities for students
    • Co-ordinating the Employer Evaluation process
    • Facilitating and co-ordinating the process that matches the needs of the employer with the qualifications and skills of the student
    • Interacting with the Office of the Registrar on the validation of work term employment for degree credit
    • Maintaining co-op-related student records to validate the requirements for the awarding of a co-operative education degree
    • Monitoring co-op student work terms, including on-site visits and interviews
    • Organizing and scheduling job interviews
  • Work Term Schedules
    You can work at one employer location or work for different employers.  You can go on placement for up to 16 consecutive months at one location. Many employers prefer students to be on location for 8 – 16 months.
    Start Date
    Length May September  January 
    4 months May- Aug 31 Sept- Dec 31 Jan- Apr 30
    8 months May- Dec 31 Sept- Apr 30 Jan- Aug 31
    12 months May- April 30 Sept- Aug 31 Jan- Dec 31
    16 months  May- Aug 31 of following year

    First opportunity for a student to go out on a co-op placement is the Winter of 2nd year. 

       check with your academic advisor regarding your program map before accepting a position

    Students must return to school for a minimum of one full time semester before graduation to qualify for co-op placement.

  • You Are Accepted into Co-Op, Now What?
    1. Agree to the Student Agreement for Co-op Terms and Conditions on the Career Centre Portal.
    2. Register for and successfully complete the Science Co-op Success course  SCCO - 0999U.
    3. Discuss your placement goals with your Experiential Learning Officer.
    4. Apply for co-op positions on the career centre job portal, through or through your network contacts.
    5. Attend interviews for any position you are a candidate for.
    6. If you are the successful candidate, you will receive a formal job offer and must respond within 48 hours of the offer being presented to you.
    7. Once you accept the job offer, verbally or in writing, you are bound to fulfil the employment you have agreed to, and you will be removed from the pool of available students for that term.
    8. Attend a ‘Co-op Success Workshop’ with the Experiential Learning Officer
  • Responsibilities While on Co-Op Work Term
    1. Participate in a work site visit with your co-op coordinator and work supervisor during your first work term. (distance from university will dictate on-site feasibility)
      1. Before the first visit you will receive a Site Visit Handbook to complete and share the employer portion with your supervisor.
      2. During the visit your co-op coordinator, you and your supervisor will discuss
        1. how your work term is going
        2. your work projects and responsibilities
        3. the skills and knowledge you're developing
        4. your goals and what you'd like to learn
    2. Complete a work term report at the end of each term. There are two types of reports:
      1. Formal Work Term Report – skill development and job role report
      2. Summary Work Term Report – reflection report
    3. Employer Evaluation completion
      1. Your manager/supervisor is to complete an evaluation (available on the portal) and uploaded it onto the Career Centre portal.
Contact to learn more about any of the above.