Working Students

Co-op courses:  A work term fee is levied by the University for each Co-op work term with designated co-op employers, or for any student-developed co-op that will be used as a Co-op work term. Consult the SFU Calendar regarding fee requirements before registering.

  • SEE 290: Co-op Practicum I (1st Work Term)
  • SEE 390: Co-op Practicum II (2nd Work Term)
  • SEE 490: Co-op Practicum III (3rd Work Term)

Before Your Work Term

Dropping courses

If you are placed after the tuition refund deadline, only the co-op office can drop or add courses without penalties. To drop courses and add a work term after the deadline, send your request by e-mail to your co-op coordinator. Please include your student name, student number, courses to drop, and work term number to add.

Taking additional courses

An appeal must be submitted to the School of Sustainable Energy Engineering if you intend to take a course while on a coop semester. Students are required to upload the instructor’s and employer’s approval with their appeals.

See the appeal form here:


If you are placed outside of Metro Vancouver, you may be eligible for a U-Pass exemption. Your co-op mailing address (including postal code in must be outside Metro Vancouver AND remain outside for the entire term (Sept 1 – Jan 1, Jan 1 – May 1, or May 1 – Sept 1). If you do not yet have an “out of town” address, you must use your workplace address. U-Pass BC eligibility can be checked online. If you have questions, please email or phone their office at 778-782-6805.

During Your Work Term

Preparing for Your First Day

Bridging International Learning (BIL): Students placed outside of Canada will need to complete BIL. Instructions will be sent to you from the International Co-op office.

Expectations: When hiring co-op students, employers expect productive work and professional behaviour in exchange for salary and training time. As a co-op student, we expect you to be an ambassador for SFU in the community. This means that you will be expected to adhere to company policies and seize the opportunity to learn. You should be courteous and respectful of all co-workers, arrive and leave work according to the norm set by the company, and dress appropriately. If problems involving work arise, you should contact a coordinator for assistance. Employers also expect students to work full-time, and you may be required to work overtime. If you plan on getting or keeping a part-time job or taking courses while on a work term, the employer and co-op office should be notified of the situation and must agree to it.

Confidentiality: If your project involves any degree of confidential information, your employer and the School expect you to respect their policies on confidentiality and proprietary information.

Learning Objectives: These are goals that you set out for yourself to ensure that you are learning, contributing, and gaining what you want from this work term. You are required to complete a minimum of 3 learning objectives or outcomes in your myExperience placement profile in the first month on your work term. Go to Experiential Learning > Experiential Learning Overview > Work Term Details > Goals/ Learning Outcomes > Click Create Record

Site Visits

A coordinator will visit students and supervisors on the job. The purpose of the visit is to discuss the student's progress, performance, work report, and future plans. The coordinator will also wish to learn more about current developments within the company and to explore possible university/industry research links.

Options for a remote site visit can be arranged if an in-person visit is not feasible. Students working internationally may recieve their site visit via email or a visit from another SFU representative visiting the geographical area.

Additional Resources for Co-op Success

The Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board’s Core Engineering Competencies 2012:

A: Apply engineering knowledge, methods and techniques

B: Use engineering tools, equipment or technology

C: Protect the public interest

D: Manage engineering activities

E: Communicate engineering information

F: Work collaboratively in a Canadian environment

G: Maintain and enhance engineering skills and knowledge (Source:

Work Term Requirements

All Sustainable Energy Engineering students are required to complete 3 items for each co-op work term:

1. Supervisor Evaluation Student
2. Self Evaluation
3. Work Term Assignment (see below)

Work Term Assignment for Sustainable Energy Engineering students:
Work Term #1: Written Reflection
Work Term #2: Written Reflection
Work Term #3: Oral Presentation

Spring Semester: April 10th
Summer Semester: August 10th
Fall Semester: December 10th

Time Away From Work

Since work term placements are short term, employers do not expect to provide time off. Therefore, any request for time off should be discussed with the employer prior to the start of the work term. Generally, students will receive vacation pay (at a current rate of four percent) as part of salary and will be paid for statutory holidays following a thirty-day employment period. Sick leave or any absence due to illness may mean a loss in pay. If the nature of your illness is such that it will interfere with your work term, notify a Coordinator immediately.