Initiative, confidence, resilience and creativity are the traits employers are looking for in today’s rapidly changing world.
Learning through experiences like Co-op provides you the chance to enrich your education and extend your classroom learning through to the workplace and beyond.
Co-op students benefit from diverse opportunities at many different employers from a broad range of sectors and workplaces including public organizations, non-profit agencies and large corporations, to small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups.
Apply your classroom learning to work experiences throughout the region and beyond. Co-op students gain employable skills, have a chance to explore different career options, and can build a professional network—all before graduation.
Co-op students learn critical career development skills such as resumé and cover letter development, job search strategies, interviewing preparation, and networking skills. Co-op is a paid opportunity for students to gain professional, real-world experience relevant to their future career goals.
Our program follows the Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada guidelines which define Co-opertive Education as “a program which alternates periods of academic study with periods of work experience in appropriate fields.” Visit the CEWIL website to learn more about the criteria.
You must be a third-year student enrolled in full-time studies with a cumulative academic average of 70 per cent in order to qualify. Due to support from hiring organizations and demand from students across campus, the program has expanded to include a broad range of students and disciplines across UBC’s Okanagan campus:
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Fine Arts
- Bachelor of Human Kinetics
- Bachelor of Management
- Bachelor of Media Studies
- Bachelor of Science
Note: Students studying Engineering need to connect with the UBC Engineering Co-op for details and applications.
International students can also participate in the Co-op program. The fees and application process are the same for international students. The Co-op Office assists international students in applying for a Co-op work permit at the start of a student’s job search process.
If you have questions about your eligibility, contact the Co-op Office.
Students must first apply to the Co-op Education program and be accepted.
Co-op students complete pre-employment training, consisting of online programming to make sure they are ready for the recruitment process. During pre-employment training, students receive one-on-one resumé and cover letter review services, job search strategies, interview preparation, career advice and personalized support to help secure work-term employment.
Co-op students have exclusive access to an online database of available positions. Selected candidates are then interviewed by potential employers. Students can also secure employment on their own through contacts in industry or school. The Co-op Office actively communicates with students throughout the work term, ensuring they stay connected to UBC and benefit from new opportunities, applied learning and reflective growth.
A one-time Co-op administration and workshop fee of $261.75 is required upon acceptance into the program. As each Co-op work term is an approved UBC course, the associated course fee of $805.75 is due at the beginning of each four-month work term.
Many students often find the Co-op program provides good return on investment. Professional resume services typically cost $100 to $200 for reviews, and career counsellors can charge $125 per hour for interview preparation. Students also find the Co-op work term can financially support their education.
* Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2%. Please see Academic Calendar for current fees.
Applications are submitted online.
Applications are accepted late summer until end of September annually for students with third year standing in their program of study.
Student applications for the 2021-22 Co-op intake will open September 1. Questions about your eligibility? Connect with us.
The Co-op Program Office works to ensure both students and employers have positive employment experiences. Student applications are assessed based on the eligibility criteria and their ability to demonstrate positive employability traits. These traits include (but are not limited to): maturity, career motivation, strong communication skills, resiliency, resourcefulness and organization.
Please note: The Co-op Program Office sees a significant number of applications every year, making the admission process competitive.
This co-op is probably one of the best things I could have undertaken to expose me to the health science industry.
–Savannah, Bachelor of Human Kinetics student
About Co-Op Work Terms
In order to receive the Co-op designation, three work terms must be completed. Work terms are typically four months long. Some community partners seek Co-op students for longer periods of time, such as eight or twelve months. Any terms completed will appear on your transcript.
Participating in Co-op will typically add one year to the length of your undergraduate studies. We recommend that you talk with our team to plan how co-op can best fit your schedule.
Yes, work terms are paid. Students will receive a salary competitive with market rates for the type of position, given their current experience and skill.
No, students in the Co-op program are not guaranteed work terms. Students are given individualized support and exclusive access to an online database of posted positions available, but it is the students’ responsibility to apply to jobs and to secure a co-op position.
Co-op students have exclusive access to an online database of posted positions available. Selected student candidates are then interviewed by potential employers. Students can also secure employment positions on their own through contacts in industry or academia.
If students find their own job, that job must be approved by the Co-op Coordinator to ensure it satisfies the basic Co-op requirements, which include the ability to provide meaningful learning opportunities and paid, full-time work.
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, all UBC international mobility programs have been cancelled. This cancellation was extended through Term 1 of the 2020-21 Winter Session. Guidelines and most up-to-date information about UBC international mobility programs can be found on the: Student Safety Abroad Policy page.
Hundreds of different employers have hired UBC Co-op students. Students have worked in a range of positions in the public, private and non-profit sectors, from small to large organizations, and from a wide variety of industries. Employers and opportunities include:
- Digital media companies and marketing agencies
- Health care agencies
- Energy and mining companies
- Accounting firms
- Tourism and Hospitality
- Municipal, Provincial, and Federal government agencies
- Agriculture and forestry companies
- Non-profit organizations and social enterprises
- Art, design and entertainment companies
- Consulting firms
- Sport, recreation and wellness companies
- Food and beverage manufacturers
- Start-up companies
And many more!
All newly enrolled Co-op students are required to participate in pre-employment training courses prior to starting their co-op work experiences. The pre-employment courses support students in their career development, professionalism, and workplace readiness. Students complete courses to prepare for and execute a suitable job search. Evaluation is based on involvement, participation, and the successful implementation of the training, which further determines progression within the Co-op Education Program.
Pre-employment training will provide a wealth of critical inter-personal skills that not only aid in successful Co-op work terms, but also as students launch their careers after graduation. The Program Office staff carefully design relevant training and resources on topics including:
- Resume and cover letter writing skills
- Interview preparation
- Job search strategies
- Networking and professional relationship development
- Career management and career research strategies
- Professionalism and communication in the workplace
- Labour market information
- Work-term expectations and requirements
Pre-employment training takes place during a students’ third year of study. Students accepted into the Co-op Program will be provided pre-employment training schedules upon entrance.