2019 Awards

Arts Co-operative Education Program

Work, earn and learn with Arts Co-op. Gain paid work experience during your studies!



Contact our team for program information or assistance. 

View our employer brochure


Interested in joining the program? 
Learn how to apply 

Already a Co-op student? 
View our Current Student Information 


Keep up to date on the program and join us for events that relate to career development.

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Contact us

Need to talk to our team? 

Contact the Arts Co-op advising team

Enhance your education

Gain career-related work experience before you graduate! You'll get practical experience and develop a professional network while gaining a better understanding of careers in your field. The Co-op advising team is here to help you search for a job, create a strong resume and put your best foot forward when interviewing. 

Year one

Ask an advisor about the Co-op program

Year two

Check your eligibility and apply

Year three and four

Go on work terms

Year five

Graduate with twelve months' work experience!

How does it work?

  • Complete three (12-16 week) work terms to get your co-op designation. A fourth term is optional.
  • Work terms are full-time, paid, relevant positions that provide supervision and feedback.
  • Placements are not guaranteed but Co-op coordinators are here to help you throughout the process! We also have a mentorship program that matches you with senior or alumni co-op students.
  • While on a work term, you will be registered into a Co-op course. You are assessed one course fee and have full-time student status with the university
  • Co-op work terms are in addition to your academic requirements. They do not lessen the number of courses required to complete your degree.
  • Work terms can alternate or be consecutive.

An image of the front page of the employer brochure

Are you an employer looking to hire Co-op students?

Check out our employer brochure for valuable information about the skills our students bring to the table and the timelines and guidelines to consider. If you have any questions, our Co-op advising team is here to help. Contact us at artscoop@ucalgary.ca

View our employer brochure

Important Information - Before You Apply

Students accepted into the Arts Co-op program are charged a $50 administrative fee which will appear on the ‘Financials’ section of their Student Centre in the weeks following their admission. 

Students on their work terms retain their full-time student status, and this is made possible through their enrollment in a course called ‘COOP 511’. Students are charged for this single course each work term, and the fee is assessed under the Domestic and International Fee Rate Group CI. Please see the academic calendar for the most up-to-date information about tuition and fees. Students will also be charged general fees as they would any other semester that they are enrolled in courses.

Please note: even though students are charged tuition for one course per work term, this course does NOT count toward their GPA or toward the number of academic units required to complete their degree. 

Yes. Students who are successful in securing 3 work terms can expect to extend their degree by about one year. This is because students are only permitted to take one academic course per (roughly) 4-month work term, and we often encourage students to refrain from taking academic courses altogether while their working in order to maintain a healthy work/life balance. 

No. We refrain from referring to work term ‘placements’, as we do not actually match you with an employer. Students in Co-op apply for positions like they would any regular job; however, they have access to a designated Arts Co-op job board with postings from employers specifically looking to hire students. This means that employers hiring Co-op students understand that these students won’t necessarily have a wealth of work experience. 

If you join the program, you will also be assigned a designated Co-op Advisor, who can help you develop your resume and cover letter and prepare for interviews. You will also have access to a suite of professional development resources to help you put your best foot forward when applying for positions. 

No, students do not receive academic credit for their Co-op work terms (although we are hopeful this may change in the future). If you complete all three of your Co-op work terms, you will receive a special Co-op degree designation upon graduation. This designation may give you a competitive advantage when applying for positions post-graduation, as it signifies that you have a year of paid, relevant work experience under your belt in addition to your academic accomplishments. 

Co-op students normally begin their work terms during their third year of studies, alternating between periods of work and study and ending on an academic semester. 

Here is one example of what a Co-op student's trajectory in the program might look like: 

First year/term

Fall: Academic

Winter: Academic

Spring/Summer: Vacation


Second year/term

Fall: Academic

Winter: Academic



Third year/term

Fall: First work term

Winter: Academic

Spring/Summer: Second work term


Fourth year/term

Fall: Academic

Winter: Academic

Spring/Summer: Vacation


Fifth year/term

Fall: Third work term

Winter: Academic

Spring/Summer: Graduate

Yes! However, you must be legally permitted to work full-time in Canada in fall and winter terms. Please also note that some Co-op positions will only be open to Canadian citizens or those with permanent residency, for funding reasons. 

If you are an International Student considering the Co-op program or have already been accepted into the program, there are a few things to take into consideration:

  1. Work permits

    International students in the Co-op program must apply for a Co-op work permit. The permit is free, but the application process can be lengthy, so apply early! Be sure to attend a UCalgary International info session for further details.

    Apply for work permit

  2. International student fees

    International students pay a differential fee along with regular tuition and general fees while on work terms. Be sure to pay it by the deadline, or your registration and admission will be cancelled. Change to your immigration status? Provide proof of your new status to the Office of the Registrar by the payment deadline.

    View tuition rates for Co-op work terms

We recommend connecting with International Student Services (ISS), who can provide support and customized advising for all international students adjusting to studying at the University of Calgary.