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What is co-op?

Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 09/25/2015 - 10:39am

Co-operative education is an optional academic program that gives students the opportunity to enhance their education by gaining career-related work experience before graduation. Students integrate relevant work experience into their university study by alternating full-time, paid work with study semesters during the third and fourth years of their degrees. 

By combining work with study, students acquire practical experience, develop a network of contacts, and obtain a better understanding of careers in their field. This program allows students to apply knowledge and skills developed in the classroom in a practical work environment, enhancing both the academic and employment portions of their university career.

Stand out

The co-op designation on your degree will make you stand out to employers after graduation.

Get paid

Work terms are full-time, paid and 12-16 weeks in length. Earn money while gaining valuable experience.


In addition to gaining practical work skills, students gain confidence and a professional network.

Work Terms 

Co-op coordinators provide resume, job search, interview and job success guidance.

With the guidance of the co-op advising team, you'll learn how to search for a job, how to create a strong resume, and the best practices for job interviews. In the third and fourth years of your degree path, you will enhance your studies with a year (three semester length work terms) of relevant work experience: work terms are full-time, paid and 12-16 weeks in length. Each position provides supervision and feedback, and gives students a chance to network while learning about potential career paths. The work terms extend the amount of time it typically takes to earn a degree, but the extended time (up to one year) will set you up for success after graduation!

Co-op alumni stories.

Contact us

The co-op education office is located in the Arts Students' Centre, on the first floor of the Social Sciences building.

> Contact a co-op coordinator

Social Sciences 102
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB
T2N 1N4 

8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. & 
1 - 4:30 p.m.