Criteria for Acceptance to the SFU Co-op Program

Factors considered for acceptance to the SFU Co-op program normally include:

  • cumulative GPA at SFU; 
  • courses and credit hours
  • admission into their chosen faculty and program. 

Acceptance criteria vary from program to program. Students are advised to check with a specific program’s website for up-to-date details. Acceptance is granted by each specific program area. Students are expected to join the co-op program in the faculty, school or department from which they wish to graduate.

Students Transferring from Other Institutions

Fifty percent of SFU’s co-op work term requirements must be completed at SFU. A maximum of one co-op work term may be transferred from another post-secondary institution, provided that the experience gained by the student was in a co-op program accredited by the Association for Co-operative Education B.C./Yukon or the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education at a recognized post-secondary institution.

Students transferring from post-secondary institutions to SFU who have completed co-op work terms should contact their discipline-specific co-op programs before applying to SFU Co-op. Program contacts are available at

An approved transferred work term will be counted as equivalent to one co-op practicum at SFU.

Applications for co-op transfer should include the following:

  • an unofficial transcript from originating institution; 
  • a letter of co-op program completion status from originating institution; 
  • copies of co-op work term reports; 
  • completed evaluation forms by co-op work term supervisors.

Students Transferring within the SFU Program

All co-op students at SFU are eligible to apply for co-op positions posted by all of the co-op programs within SFU. For example, a student in Science Co-op is eligible to apply for jobs posted by the Business Co-op program, and vice versa.

When students officially transfer their student status from one academic discipline to another within SFU, they need to transfer their co-op status to the co-op program in the academic discipline to which they are newly admitted.

Students need to inform the co-op program in their previous academic discipline that their student status has officially changed.

The co-op program will then arrange for the transfer of the co-op student’s status and records to the co-op program in the academic discipline to which the student is now admitted.

International Students

International students at SFU are eligible to join the Co-operative Education Program. International students apply to the Co-operative Education Program at SFU following the same procedure as the other SFU students.

Upon acceptance to SFU Co-op, international students must apply for a co-op work permit through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). There is no application fee associated with this type of work permit, and it is separate from the off-campus work permit.

A valid co-op work permit is required in order to apply for and accept a co-op work term position. Other conditions may be imposed on the co-op work permit related to the type of work performed. For example, international students may be required to undergo a medical examination for some occupations related to health care, childcare or secondary education. It is illegal to work in Canada without the appropriate work permit, and doing so may jeopardize the students’ ability to stay in Canada and could result in deportation. It is the students’ responsibility to obtain the appropriate co-op work permit and fulfill the associated terms and conditions.

Co-op work permit applications can take up to three months (or more) to be processed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, so international students should apply immediately upon acceptance into the SFU Co-op program.

International undergraduate students are normally eligible to complete a maximum of four co-op work terms. International students completing a graduate degree or second undergraduate degree are normally eligible to complete a maximum of two co-op work terms. Students should consult with their co-op coordinator for further details.

To apply for a co-op work permit, students will need a letter confirming their acceptance into the SFU Co-op program. This letter will be given to the students by their co-op coordinator. Students will then need to complete the co-op work permit application form and submit it to the Canada Immigration Case Processing Centre along with all required supporting documents (including the co-op acceptance letter mentioned above). Co-op work permit application forms are available from SFU International Services, and students are strongly advised to drop by SFU International Services during advising hours (Monday – Friday, 9 am – 4 pm, MBC 1200) to meet with an International Student Advisor for the most up to date information about the co-op work permit application process.

If students obtain employment, they will also require a Social Insurance Number (SIN). A SIN is a unique number that the Canadian government requires residents to have for taxation purposes if they are working. Without the SIN, they cannot get paid. If students do not already have a SIN card, they may apply for one once they obtain a co-op work permit. An information sheet on applying for a SIN may be obtained at SFU International.