General Questions About Joining Co-op
Frequently Asked Questions
Applying to Co-op
What are the CGPA requirements to join Arts Co-op?
You must have a CGPA of 2.75 or higher to apply to Arts Co-op. Anyone who applies with a CGPA below 2.75 will be denied for now, and encouraged to re-apply to Co-op once their CGPA increases to 2.75 or above.
I do not yet have a CGPA, can I still join Co-op?
If this is your first semester at SFU, you can apply to Arts Co-op. However, you must achieve a CGPA of 2.75 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 send the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need help with this, please email email@example.com to make an appointment or see a Co-op Advisor during drop-in hours.
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.
If you have questions about your particular situation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification.
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 by emailing email@example.com.
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 or more 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. With the completion of 3 work terms on an alternating basis with study terms, students are given a Co-op designation on their 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 complete 3 or more work terms throughout their undergraduate degree to obtain their Co-op designation, respectively. 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 $10.25 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. In the event that you are successful in finding your own work term that complies with Co-op regulations, you will be rewarded with a $100 gift certificate to the SFU Bookstore upon completion of your work term. Guidelines and additional material to support and assist you in your search can be found here. Please meet with your Arts Co-op Coordinator for further details.
Can I apply to job postings that are outside of my faculty or major?
Yes. We encourage students to apply for any jobs they find interesting and are suited for. You can learn more about Arts students who have completed work terms in other faculties in our SFU Co-op Connect Newsletter, or by reading work reports at the Arts Co-op office (AQ 3020). This will be discussed in more detail as part of your review session with a member of the Arts Co-op team.
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.