Roadmap to Co-op

Co-op prepares you for success beyond SFU. Whether you're a first-year undergrad, or in the middle of your degree, use this roadmap as a guide to prepare for co-op.

Which one are you?

A first-year undergrad

If you just started post-secondary and are already thinking about co-op, you're thinking ahead. While you may not be ready to join the program just yet, there are steps you can take now to begin setting yourself up for success.

Almost halfway through your degree

If you have completed about a year or two of studies, or are a transfer student from another college or university, now is a good time to contextualize your academic knowledge in the workplace. Start your Co-op Program program application today. 

Start Here



Gain extra insight into what you can expect from the program:

Understand if co-op is for you

Consider the benefit

SFU's Co-operative Education program offers you the chance to take a break from your studies, earn an income between terms, and gain degree-relevant industry experience that can add context for when you return to the classroom. It it also a great way to 'try out' jobs and know if your degree is setting you up for the career you want.

Know the essential requirements

As a start, you should know if co-op is optional or mandatory for you to complete as part of your degree. If you're an international student, understand the Co-op work permit and other requirements before enrolling in the program. Every student should also be aware of the GPA requirements to remain in good-standing while in the co-op program, as these can vary by faculty.

Make Co-op Work for You

Did you know there are multiple ways to enhance co-op beyond the standard experience? Think about taking an unconventional approach to the program to make it work with your individual situation or goals. Ask our staff if some of these options fit for you:

  • Co-op abroad
  • Entrepreneurship Co-op
  • Research Co-op
  • Student-developed work terms
  • Co-op as a pathway to CPA
  • Co-op as an NCAA Athlete
  • Co-op as an SFSS Student Executive
  • Co-op for Graduate Students
Firm Kongthong

Succeeding by pursuing passions

Firm, a student from the School of Interactive Arts & Technology, made the most of Co-op by expanding her skillset and discovering her passions. After gaining a variety of experiences as a Design & Multimedia Associate and Visual Designer, she decided to try a co-op position as a Video Content Creator & Editor.

The culmination of these experiences opened the door for her to work alongside a product design team on her most recent work term. Co-op grew her skillset, and gave her the confidence to ask for projects that directly aligned with her interests.

"Co-op experience allowed me to try a variety of jobs, which helped me figure out which career path to pursue. After working THREE semesters, I was able to improve my technical skills and learn to adapt with various teams and work environments. These opportunities benefited me because they all made me a stronger candidate on my future job applications."



Connect with us

Whether it is at a campus event, an info session, or an advising appointment, our dedicated Co-op staff are here to help guide you on your career journey.

Attend a Co-op Info Session

Various co-op programs offer virtual and in-person info sessions in the first month of every term. This is a great way to gain an understanding of the entire Co-op Program roadmap from the application process to what a work term might look like.

Check for co-op info sessions

Speak with Co-op Staff

Visit or contact your co-op program office with our directory of program offices. If you need to meet with someone one-on-one, you can book or drop-in to meet with a co-op advisor.



Prepare to submit your Co-op Program application

Are you in the second term of your first academic year (approximately 24 – 30 units)? Now is the best time to join the SFU Co-op Program. If you're a bit futher along (approximately 45 - 60 units), or you've transferred from another college or university, you should join soon if you're interested in the program.

What if I am an international student?

Understand the Co-op work permit and other requirements before enrolling in the program.

What if I have more than 70-80 credit hours?

You should submit your application as soon as possible, and speak with our staff to discuss your options. You may need to submit a Work/Study plan as part of your application.

What if I have more than 90 credit hours?

It is often too late to join the Co-op Program in this scenario, but you should still speak with our staff to discuss your options.

What if co-op is mandatory as part of my degree?

You are automatically enrolled and do not need to apply to the Co-op Program. Your Co-op program will be in contact with you over email.

Can I get a refund if I change my mind?

Review the refund policy before applying to the Co-op Program.

Get ready to join co-op

Begin the application process

  • Follow the instructions on our website to apply to co-op via myExperience
  • Pay the one-time application fee

Wait for confirmation of acceptance

Upon receiving your application, staff will contact you within ten business days to advise you of your Conditional Approval to the Program. There will be faculty-specific steps that you will need to complete in order to be fully accepted.

Apply to Co-op

Start your application

Are you ready?



Join Co-op and seek for jobs

Preparation term

After acceptance into our Co-op program, you will remain in classes, and be registered into a pre-requisite Canvas course in which co-op staff work with you to develop your job search skills. You will also register for and complete three required workshops: resume, cover letter, and interview.

Seeking terms

You will be granted access to the Co-op job postings to apply to positions that will begin the term after this one. Successful candidates will be selected for interview times which will be coordinated between co-op staff, the student, and the employer.

Work terms

You will take a break from classes, be registered into a Co-op practicum, and begin a four or eight month work experience. A site visit with co-op staff will be arranged mid-way through each working term to ensure work term objectives are being met and to hear about their successes and challenges on the job. Students must pay tuition for every work term.

Think about your timeline

Students typically have approximately 45 – 60 credit hours at the start of their first co-op work term, so it can be a good idea to join the program earlier and complete the initial workshops and requirements before this point.

Make the most of co-op

Co-op is about learning what type of work you like and don't like. We encourage our co-op students to apply for jobs that cross diverse fields during education. By the time you graduate, you’ll have formed ideas about the type of work environment you’re best suited to, and these will be grounded in real life work experience.



Explore different ways to approach your Co-op experience

Sometimes your journey through co-op may allow you to take an unconventional path.

The availability of these options may be dependant on other requirements such as your faculty, grades, credit hours, or student status. 

Additionally, some of these approaches to co-op can be combined to create a co-op experience that is unique to you.

Co-op Abroad

International Co-op provides you with the opportunity to travel the world and adapt to new environments, while gaining experience in the workplace.

Learn more

Research Co-op

If you're a student in Engineering Science, Mechatronic Systems Engineering, or Sustainable Energy Engineering, you have an opportunity to participate in research
co-op terms, where you can gain experience in academic lab settings at SFU.

Connect with ENG, SEE, or MSE Co-op Staff

Co-op as a pathway to CPA

Practical experience is an essential part of becoming a CPA, which is why Beedie Co-op students who gain experience in accounting and finance related work terms can count it towards the 30 months of work experience needed for the CPA designation.

Connect with Beedie Co-op Staff

Co-op & SFSS Student Executives

Elected candidates to the Executive Committee of the SFSS, have the option to count their SFSS executive roles as co-op work terms.

Learn more

Entrepreneurship Coop

Entrepreneurship Coop (eCoop) allows you to receive a paid salary while working
full-time on your very own start-up—complete with dedicated mentorship and space from Coast Capital Venture Connection.

Learn more

Student-Developed Work Terms

Student-developed work terms are opportunities for students to seek out co-op placements outside of the job postings listed in our system, such as through networking. These can be considered for approval by our staff and must be with a new employer who has not yet worked with SFU Co-op.

Learn more

NCAA Student Athletes & Co-op

NCAA athletes have a busy schedule which can sometimes make co-op seem like a challenge to participate in. The Co-op program has worked with SFU Athletics to understand the specific scheduling challenges NCAA students face, and has developed pathways to make co-op a possibility for these students.

Learn more

Graduate Students & Co-op

Co-op is a great way to add relevant industry context for students pursuing studies beyond your undergraduate degree. The following programs offer this option: Arts & Social Sciences, Communication, Computing Science, Environment, and Science.

Learn more

Apply to Co-op

Start your application

Are you ready?