FAQs

COVID-19

Where do I find updated information about Covid-19?

Please keep yourself informed on the current issue, Covid-19, by following this page at https://www.sfu.ca/coop/covid19.html.

All questions and concerns, including actions for Co-op students, staff, and employers as well as health concerns, are referenced and updated on this website.

Is there any funding support to hire Co-op students?

Yes, find Funding Info here: https://www.sfu.ca/hire/coop/funding.html

Important Dates

What’s the deadline to enrol in the seeking co-op course?

The Co-op office will send Co-op students an email at the beginning of every semester with instructions on what they need to do to be eligible to apply for Co-op jobs.

Make sure to check your SFU email regularly in order to not miss out on important information

General MSE Students Questions

How many Co-op terms do I need to complete?

Within the MSE program you need complete the mandatory three (3) co-op terms to complete the MSE program and receive the Co-op designation on your degree, which is recognized across Canada. For MSE, subject to eligibility you may be able to complete up to six (6) co-op work terms, for more information on this please contact your Co-op Coordinator.

New Students Questions

Who is my Co-op Coordinator?

Last Names (A-L) Stephanie DeRapp:
stephanie-derapp@sfu.ca

Last Names ( M-Z) Ryan McDonald:
ryan_mcdonald@sfu.ca

What is the application fee?

Similar to applying into university, there is an application fee for registering into co-op and your account will be auto- charged this fee within the first month of being admitted the program, as you are registered in a mandatory co-op program. This is a one-time cost that is applied to your goSFU account and must be paid within 10 days of receiving your acceptance letter into the co-op program.

Please visit https://www.sfu.ca/coop/apply.html for more details.

Where does my co-op tuition go?

Just like tuition for academic courses, your Co-op tuition goes directly to SFU general revenue. It does not go to the Co-op office and it does not cover the cost of operating the Co-op program. There is no correlation between Co-op placement numbers and Co-op's operating budget or staff salaries.

For more information, please visit https://www.sfu.ca/coop/apply/support-for-learning.html

When should I plan to seek co-op?

Students begin the seeking process starting at the beginning of the semester prior to their work term, but must first have completed the mandatory preparation requirements. Ideally, you should plan to seek your first co-op in the semester that you will complete 70 – 75 credits (end of second year). If you are a transfer student, or have more than 10 credits that do not count towards your graduation requirements it is advised you reach out to the co-op office as soon as soon as possible to review your situation and requirements.

As an international student, how do I apply for my Co-op Work Permit?

All international students are required to have a valid co-op work permit before you can apply to co-op jobs. This permit can take up to 4 months to receive once you submit your application, so please apply at the beginning of your New Student semester. To apply you must submit a letter from the Co-op office indicating you are a part of the Co-op program along with your application. Contact our MSE Program Assistant for the letter.

Click here for instructions on how to submit your work permit application. Please direct any questions you have regarding your work permit to International Services for Students.

How do I opt in the seeking group?

Mechatronic students typically start seeking for Co-op in their 2nd year. Make sure to check your SFU email regularly in order to not miss out on important information.

The Co-op office will send Co-op students an email at the beginning of every semester with instructions on what they need to do to be eligible to apply for Co-op jobs

If I attend the workshops a few terms before my seeking term, do I need to attend them again?

No, you are only required to attend the workshops once. Therefore, if you attend the workshops a few terms before your seeking term, you do not have to attend again.

How to sign up for BOL I course?

For BOL I course, you have to register through myExperience. When the starting date of BOL I course is near, you will be invited to take the course on Canvas. If you are accepted to the program, you will be invited to the courses.

What if I have worked before in an engineering related job, can it count as a co-op?

Seeking Students Questions

How many jobs should I apply?

We recommend that new students apply to 30 - 60 positions throughout the term and senior students to be actively applying throughout the term. This can take 7-12 hours a week and can be compared to taking another course.

Can I find my own co-op?

If you are interested in finding your own co-op job, you can discuss strategies with your Co-op Coordinator. By taking a proactive approach, you can increase your opportunities and find the job that is right for you, or target a specific industry or location. You may use your own connections such as family and friends, current employers, or people you meet through networking. You could also be monitoring other job boards and submitting applications independently. To meet the Co-op requirements, a student must be paid minimum wage or above, work 420 hours minimum, be supervised, and should be in your area of study or related to your career aspirations. Find more details on the Self Directed Work Terms by connecting with the Co-op office.

NOTE: all self-directed co-op placements must by approved by both the Co-op Office and the UCC Chair of the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering.

What do I do if an employer contacts me directly for an interview or job offer?

If an employer contacts you directly, you must notify the Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) Co-op office right away by emailing: fascoop@sfu.ca. Please email your coordinator with the interview or offer details and they will provide you with instructions for your next steps.

What to do after I receive a job offer?

If an offer was sent directly to you from the employer, please notify your Coordinator. As long as the Co-op office is aware of your offer, you will receive a placement email with information and instructions.

Please follow-up with the co-op office if you do not receive the placement email within a few weeks of accepting your offer.

Can I take a course while on a co-op work term?

We do not recommend taking a course during a work term. When on a Co-op work term, your priority and commitment must be to the employer. For students wanting to explore this option, please note only one (1) course is permitted.

NOTE: Capstone courses are not permitted to be taken while on co-op. For all other request you will need approval final approval from the Co-op Office and Faculty.

Can I plan to graduate on a co-op?

No, all student are to complete their co-op requirements within their academic plan and return to finish their program on an academic term.

What should I do, if I have no more classes left and need a co-op to graduate?

Set up a meeting with your Co-op Coordinator to discuss and action plan. Students are required to complete their degree on an academic term, however if you experienced extenuating circumstances you should work with your Co-op Coordinator on how to proceed.

Working Students Questions

What do I do if I can't enrol in my co-op course?

There are a few things that maybe happening. It could be that it is too late in the semester for you to register, in which case let us know and we can register for you. You may be trying to register for the wrong course; each work term number is sequential. One of the most common issues seems to be fees still owing. If you have any outstanding fees, they need to be paid in full before you can enrol in a Co-op work term.

What course do I enrol in for my co-op placement term?

All students placed on a co-op will receive an email outlining what co-op course number and course section to enrol in and what next steps they will need to undertake.

Can I leave a co-op job if it's not working for me?

Before you do anything, contact your Coordinator. They will be able to answer your questions and ask you some relevant questions to problem-solve the situation or give you guidance on what actions you can take, and the consequences incurred as a result.

What type of work reports do I have to do?

Student complete the following reports and presentations:

  • 1st work term semester: 1500 word technical report
  • 2nd work term semester: 1500 word technical report and a 10 min Oral presentation delivered when you return to campus 
  • 3rd work term semester: 3000 word technical report
  • 4th work term semester or higher: Non technical reports assigned by Co-op Coordinator such as reflective report or an article for the SFU OLC

What if my co-op job doesn’t have a specific start to finish project, and I don’t think I can write a technical report because of it?

The goal of the technical work report is to demonstrate your engineering analysis, problem solving, critical thinking and recommend or implement solutions, these skills can capture work as whole or be project specific. We recommend you reach out to your Co-op Coordinator and we will work with you and the MSE TA to help you.

What if I need help with my Technical Report Writing?

Each semester the MSE Co-op has a TA who works with co-op students to discuss technical report requirements. Your online work term course has numerous resources, including a technical report writing guideline handbook. Reaching out to your supervisor in your workplace is recommended as they may have company-based standards you can use.

What if my employer deems my work report or Oral presentation to be confidential?

If the nature of your work is confidential, you should discuss your work report with your supervisor. They may want to review your report prior to submission to ensure it is sanitized of confidential content, or may want to grade the report internally using the SFU Technical Report grading form found in your Canvas course. As the nature of the Oral presentation is based on presentation skills versus technical skills, you are advised to review the Oral Presentation rubric and canvas module, on how to prepare a non-confidential presentation. Our Technical TA can also answer questions on how best to present when the work is confidential as well.

What if my employer wants me to conduct an Oral Presentation in the workplace, can I be exempt from the Oral Presentation when I return to school?

Very often co-op students will present at their workplace, it is a great learning experience to share what you have been working on or have learned on your co-op. You will however, still need to conduct the Oral Presentation when you return to school for co-op, as the nature of our presentations are to based on developing presentation skills versus technical content.