Student Frequently Asked Questions

Want to learn more? Explore the frequently asked questions we've collected from other students interested in co-op.

Applying to co-op

International students are eligible to participate in co-op. The fees and application process are the same for international and domestic students.

The Co-op program office partners with Global Engagement to assists international students in applying for a work permit once they are successfully admitted to the co-op program.

The Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program sees a significant number of applications every year, making the admission process competitive.

In general, applicants are assessed on the following criteria:

  • Academic standing (minimum cumulative GPA of 70%) however we still encourage applicants with GPAs below this to apply as applications are assessed on multiple factors including communications, teamwork, maturity and demonstrated career motivation.
  • Have a minimum of 21 academic credits remaining after the academic year in which they are applying
  • Dedication to self-development, and the ability to take a leadership role while representing UBC within industry and community
  • Open-mindedness and willingness to step outside of their comfort zone
  • Developed communication, interpersonal, organization, and teamwork skills
  • Maturity and career motivation
  • Flexibility towards pursuing co-op opportunities regardless of geographical location (mobility)
  • Commitment to completing 3 work terms, or 12 months of co-op work experience prior to graduation

Students admitted to the program will compete for work opportunities, just like they would during a “real world” job search.

Therefore, we strive to admit well-rounded students who would be strong ambassadors for the program and campus. A student’s application should reflect this, with a strong focus on professionalism in content and format.

Co-op fees help to cover operational costs of the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program, including but not limited to:

  • administration of the entire program,
  • recruitment process for Co-op work opportunities,
  • ongoing relationship development with new and existing industry and community employer partners
  • individual coaching for students and
  • staff salaries.

Applications to the Co-op Education program are open between September 1–30.

The work term tuition fees are due at the beginning of each four-month work term.

Positions for 8 or 12-month durations will be assessed a course fee for each four-month duration.


Co-op typically added one year to a standard four-year degree. We recommend that you review the Co-op Sequencing Optionsand speak with a program coordinator to plan your personal co-op journey.

UBC Okanagan undergraduate students registered in co-op work term courses are responsible for withdrawing from academic courses for the periods when they are engaging in co-op work experience.

In accordance with the UBC Co-operative Education Terms & Conditions, students are required to limit their enrolment in academic courses to those delivered outside of their employer’s business hours, and max one (1) course per work term and obtain permission from both employer and Faculty in conjunction with the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program prior to commencing the course.

If a student wishes to obtain permission to take one (1) academic course, they must read and follow the Additional Academic Course Request Guidelines and complete the Additional Course Request form.

Students have participated in Go Global during academic terms; however, it is highly recommended to connect with both the Co-op and Go Global Offices to discuss your specific situation.

Transfer students who have completed terms of co-op experience will need to confirm eligibility by contacting the Co-op Program Office.

First and second year students are encouraged to focus on their academics and building community on and off campus.

Students could consider gaining some part-time work experience or volunteerism. Experience doesn’t need to be related to your discipline, but can be a great way to build a competitive edge.

Additional resources and supports are available to assist you in your participation of both on- and off-campus career-related activities. We recommend you start your exploration of these activities with the Academic & Career Development Office.

If you would like to receive a reminder when applications open in September 2023 for the 2023-2024 academic year, please fill out the form below.


Finding a job

Co-op students have exclusive access to an online job board of available opportunities and have support to conduct an independent job search.

If a student finds their own job, that job must be approved by the Co-op Program Office to ensure it satisfies program requirements.

To be approved, the position must include the ability to provide meaningful learning opportunities, a supported workplace with supervision and paid, full-time employment for a minimum of 420 hours and 12 weeks for each co-op work term.

No, students are not guaranteed co-op work experience.

Students are provided with support, training and coaching along with exclusive access to an online job board with applicable opportunities, but it is the student’s responsibility to select and apply to specific opportunities of interest and to secure a co-op position.

The Co-op Program Office encourages students to explore the many regional opportunities available on the Co-op Job Board.

These curated regional experiences offer students the opportunity to broaden their professional network with local employers, develop skills in-demand within the region and build a resumé with professional experience to support their post-graduation career goals.

Hundreds of different employers have hired co-op students from UBC Okanagan.

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
  • Research
  • 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 companiesFood and beverage manufacturers
  • Start-up companies
  • And many more!

Students are allowed to pursue international work term opportunities to countries that are deemed low risk by Global Affairs Canada travel advisories.

Low-risk destinations are those with an advisory that states travellers should practice normal or increased security precautions. Destinations with an advisory that states travellers should avoid non-essential or all travel will not be approved for work term experiences.

Most students opt to complete work terms in countries with similar conditions to Canada, or in a country where they have family or other established support network.

All Co-op work term opportunities must be vetted by the Co-op Office and meet the criteria of a Co-op position.

During your placement

Yes, co-op work experiences are paid employment opportunities.

Wages do vary, and are competitive with market rates for the industry and type of position.

Yes, students may work for different employers and in various positions.

Positions are typically posted as a one term (4-month), two term (8-month) or three term (12-month) in length, so you may experience multiple companies throughout your time in co-op or work within one organization.

Students are encouraged to keep an open-mind when searching for opportunities and to plan ahead in order to have the flexibility to consider the variety of possibilities that may be presented.

Student supports

Do you self-identify as Indigenous to Canada? Self-identification is a personal and voluntary process, and we ask in order to create an equitable and accommodating program.

Learn more about self-identification

Interdisciplinary Co-op is committed to encouraging and supporting Indigenous students to participate in co-op and work-integrated learning opportunities through continued supports and strategies to create more equitable, inclusive and empowering experiences.

In addition to an assigned Co-op Coordinator, Indigenous students will have access to the Indigenous Co-op Coordinator for other unique Indigenous student needs.

In addition, the co-op administration and workshop fee will be waived for Indigenous students in the program.

The Indigenous Co-op Coordinator can assist you with:  

  • Searching culturally relevant co-op work terms, internships and other opportunities
  • Connecting with Indigenous organizations and First Nations communities
  • Navigating Band funding and the process of participating in co-op

Learn more about supports offered by the Interdisciplinary Co-op Office

Learn more about work-integrated learning for Indigenous students

The Global Engagement Office and the Co-op Program Office assists international students in applying for a Co-op work permit when first being admitted to the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program.

For instructions, required documents, and other important information about applying for or extending a co-op work permit, visit UBC’s student services page.

Note: Within the resources contact information for the Vancouver campus may be provided. For all Okanagan-based students, please connect with the UBCO Global Engagement Office. 

Career Readiness Curriculum is designed to prepare students for the upcoming job search, interview process and integration into your future co-op work terms.

All co-op students must participate in Career Readiness Curriculum.

This program gives students the opportunity to learn and develop core skills that will prepare them for whatever path they choose after graduation.

The Global Engagement Office and Co-op Program Office assist international students in applying for a Co-op work permit when first being admitted into co-op.

Access instructions, required documents and other important information about applying for or extending a co-op work permit.

Note: Within the resources, contact information for the Vancouver campus may be provided. Okanagan-based students can connect with the UBCO Global Engagement Office.

The Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program strives to be accessible.

If you are seeking resources or have questions in regards to your co-op application, pre-employment and career readiness training, job search, interview preparations, or discussions with an employer, we encourage you to reach out to the program coordinators.

The Disability Resource Centre is also available to support you throughout your co-op journey if you have questions specific to accommodations or your specific situation.  The drop-in schedule can be found here.

Didn’t find your question?

If you have additional questions or would like to connect with a Program Coordinator, contact the co-op office.