Check out the Co-op Student Guide for more detailed information about Co-operative Education.
Applying to Co-op
What are the CGPA requirements to join Co-op?
Each program has different CGPA requirements. Visit your faculty's co-op page for CGPA requirements and other information.
I do not yet have a CGPA, can I still join Co-op?
If this is your first semester at SFU, you can still apply to Co-op. However, you must meet your faculty's CGPA requirement in the semester before you begin your job search.
I am a transfer student. When can I join Co-op?
You should ideally apply to Co-op as soon as possible. Because you are transferring credits to SFU, you should get involved in Co-op as soon as you come to campus.
I have more than 75 credits/units. Can I still join Co-op?
Please complete a Work/Study Plan to see if you have space in your degree for the required number of work terms, and then contact your faculty's advisor.
I just started at SFU and only have a few credits. Is it too soon to apply?
No, it is not too soon to apply. You should apply to Co-op two semesters ahead of when you want to do your first work term, so you will have plenty of credits by the time you start working.
Do I have to be in full-time courses to apply to Co-op?
Co-op is for full-time students. You should be in 9 units or more in your study terms.
Do I have to submit a separate application to be part of International Co-op?
No. Students who have been accepted into the Co-op program have access to all job postings –international or local. Visit the International Co-op website for more information about finding an international work term position.
Can I do a Co-op work term outside the Lower Mainland?
Yes. Co-op positions are available throughout BC, across Canada and all over the world. To find out about job postings in your country of choice, check out the International Co-op website. If you have any questions, you can make an appointment to speak with a Co-op Coordinator or Advisor from your faculty.
Are students guaranteed jobs?
No. Co-op is a competitive program where students apply and compete for jobs. The more effort you put into the job search and job search preparation process, and the more positions you apply for, the more interviews you are likely to get. Likewise, the more interviews you do, the more likely you are to receive a job offer. Co-op staff are available to assist you in all stages of your Co-op work search, and special preparation for your job search is done through the Co-op workshops process, which helps you tailor your resume, cover letter and improve your interview skills. Aside from preparation, the more flexible students are with regard to the work experience they would like to gain and the locations they can work, the more likely they are to secure a position.
Why do students complete 3 Co-op work terms?
One work term provides a student with just 4 months of work experience. It is to your benefit to have at least 1 year of work experience upon graduation, as well as the related contacts and references this provides. At this time, with the completion of 3 work terms on an alternating basis with study terms, Co-op is noted on the graduation diploma. This is the model of the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE), which is used by accredited universities in Canada.
Is there a minimum or maximum number of work terms a Co-op student can do?
Students must complete 3 work terms throughout their undergraduate degree to obtain their Co-op designation. Masters, post-baccalaureate diploma, and second degree students complete 1 or 2 work terms, though requirements vary between faculties.
What are the average pay rates for a Co-op position?
Undergraduate students in Co-op can anticipate pay rates of $11.35 to $20/hour, depending on employer and position.
Masters students can earn anywhere from $18-$25/hour, based on employer rates of pay.
Can I find/create my own work term opportunity?
Yes. This is called a Self-Directed Work Term. In addition to applying for positions on myExperience, you are welcome to search for your own work term. Please meet with your faculty's Co-op Coordinator for further details.
Can I apply to job postings that are outside of my faculty or major?
Yes. Students are not limited to positions from their faculty. We encourage students to apply for any jobs they find interesting and are suited for.
When do I pay the application fee? Just once?
The application fee is a one-time fee. You won’t pay the Co-op practicum fee until you secure a Co-op position. The application fee must be paid before your next course registration date, or the end of the semester – whichever comes first.
How much is the Co-op fee?
You can find the Co-op practicum fee in the SFU Student Calendar under the "Tuition" heading (click on either the Domestic or International Student tab).
Am I still considered a full-time student during a Co-op work term?
Yes, you are considered a full-time SFU student in some cases by the university when doing a Co-op work term. Students receiving student loans or scholarships should always check with an SFU Financial Aid Advisor to confirm their full-time student status for purposes related to financial assistance.
Please note: for all tax-related purposes, full-time student is defined separately by the Canada Revenue Agency. Any inquiries relating to taxes and student status should be taken directly to the Canada Revenue Agency for clarification.
What kind of workload is expected for a student beginning in Co-op?
The amount of work required for the job application and interview stages is comparable to taking one course. Keep this in mind when registering for courses for your job seeking semester. The workload decreases substantially after you’ve secured your first work term.
Can non-Canadian students participate in Co-op?
Yes. International students must obtain a Co-op work permit (this is different from an off-campus work permit). There are also some limitations, as International students cannot apply for government-funded positions or some positions in the Federal government.