Co-op Information for Students

Welcome Students!

Interested in learning more about the UNBC Co-op program?

Feel free to scroll down to read more about the program or choose a topic from the list below. You can also always connect with us to learn more!

What is co-op?

As defined by Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada), a co-op program is an educational model that “formally integrates a student's academic studies with work experience.”

In co-op programs, students usually alternate academic terms with co-op work terms so that they can put what they've learned into action and bring their co-op work term experiences back into the classroom and onto the UNBC campus.

Why enroll in co-op?

Students who enroll in co-op ensure they are ready for anything that comes their way – be it a summer job or life after graduation.

Studies also show that students who graduate from undergraduate co-op programs experience:

  • higher employment rates,
  • better self-reported occupation-to-field-of-study matches, and
  • higher earnings.

Co-op students benefit by:

  • participating in exclusive pre-employment workshops and training,
  • gaining quality work experience in a variety of fields with multiple employers,
  • receiving competitive wages for their work, and
  • building their professional networks.

Additionally, UNBC Co-op students specifically benefit from a centralized, one-stop-shop co-op office that works closely with employers, UNBC faculties, and other UNBC departments to ensure its students are given access to the workshops, training, and mentorship that will help them succeed, and quality co-op work term opportunities for them to succeed in!

How does co-op work?

A typical journey through the UNBC Co-op program is reflected in the timeline below. However, keep in mind that UNBC Co-op students can participate in co-op work terms during September and January semesters as well and employer hiring processes may not follow this timeline (e.g., an employer may start looking in October for a May semester student).

Timeline for Students

To graduate with a Co-operative Education designation on their transcript, students are required to:

  • attend an info session and meetings with the co-op office,
  • participate in pre-employment workshops and training,
  • successfully complete a minimum of three co-op work terms (4 for Engineering students) prior to graduation (co-op work terms are evaluated on a pass/fail basis and are not for academic credit),
  • end their time at UNBC on an academic semester.

Apply for admission into the Co-op Program

  • Be enrolled full time in one of the following: Commerce, Computer Science, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, any undergraduate degree included in Ecosystem Science and Management
  • Have a minimum CGPA of 2.50
  • Have completed 30 credit hours of study (70 for Engineering) before starting your first work term.
Co-op Application Process

Next application deadline is September 30, 2020. Applications can be submitted via email, or by visiting the Co-op Office. To apply:

  1. Attend an information session. 
  2. Complete the Application and Student Terms and Conditions forms. 
  3. Submit the Application, Student Terms and Conditions forms, along with your resume to 
    Work Terms

    If you are a transfer student who has previous co-op credit please contact the UNBC Co-op Office.

    A typical co-op work term is full-time work for approximately four months, mirroring an academic semester. E.g.,

    • May semester: May – August
    • September semester: September – December
    • January semester: January – April

    You may also find co-op work term opportunities that are eight or twelve months long. Co-op work terms that are eight months long are counted as two co-op work terms.

    There is also the possibility to complete a parallel co-op work terms, where you work part-time for eight months while enrolled in a few courses. Please contact the co-op program office for more details regarding parallel co-op work terms.

    Co-op Work Term Checklist 
    Before First Work Placement

    Attend Pre-employment Workshops: 

    • Job Seeking
    • Resume Writing
    • Cover Letter Writing
    • Interview Skills
    • What to expect on the job

    Finding a Work Placement

    • UNBC Co-op job board
    • Source own employment

    Before the Work Term

    • Complete Learning Objectives and submit them to the Co-op Office
    • Complete Course Approval Form and pay tuition
    • Email job posting and employer contact information if sourced own placement

    Near the Halfway Mark

    • The UNBC Co-op Office will conduct a mid-site visit or call.

    Two Weeks Before the End of Work Term

    • Meet with employer supervisor and complete the student evaluation form. 
    • Complete and submit your reflective paper. 
    Registering in a co-op work term
    As a UNBC Co-op student, you register in a Co-operative Education (COOP) course through the co-op and registrar's office for each four-month co-op work term you participate in. This course will appear on your transcript, is evaluated on a pass/fail basis and is not for academic credit. For more information on the fee associated with the COOP course, please visit the Fees section.


    As a UNBC Co-op student, you pay a tuition fee to enroll in a COOP course, just as you would to enroll in an academic course. The tuition fee is $553.29 per four-month co-op work term you participate in. You do not pay for enrolling in the program or participating in the pre-employment workshops and training.

    Please contact the co-op office for inquiries regarding self-developed co-op work terms.

    The co-op work term tuition fee is non-refundable and is subject to change without notice.

    Connect with us!

    Interested in learning more? Have a particular employer you’d like to work for? | 250-960-5447 | 7-234 (across from the UNBC Bookstore)