Congratulations on securing a co-op position!
Let’s start with some quick reminders before you register your co-op.
Prior to accepting an offer of employment, make sure the role meets co-op eligibility requirements (as follows) and/or contact your Career Educator for any questions related to the position meeting the criteria for co-op credit. For a position to be verified as an eligible co-op experience, it must meet the following minimum requirements:
- The role needs to be related to engineering and/or technology.
- The role needs to be a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks in duration, for every 4-month employment term.
- The role needs to be full-time hours. The minimum requirement is 35 hours per week.
- The role must be paid and the wages/salary need to meet provincial or territorial minimums. The current minimum wage requirement for Ontario employers is $15.50/hour (this will increase to $16.55/hour on October 1, 2023)
Completion of the co-op prep course for your program is required in order to be fully enrolled in the co-op option and to accept any co-op work terms with an employer. For undergraduate students, the co-op prep course is ENGINEER 1EE0 or GENTECH 1ET0. For graduate students, the co-op prep course if ENGINEER 701.
To be eligible to register a co-op, a student must be designated as full-time status in the academic term that immediately precedes the work term and must be returning to full-time status in the academic term that immediately follows the work term. As defined by the McMaster Academic Calendar – Full Time Student “full time status” is defined as an undergraduate student who is registered in at least 9 units in an academic term (fall, winter or spring/summer). This enrolment status requirement applies to all undergraduate co-op programs.
While on a co-op work experience, students are eligible to enrol in one (3-unit or 4-unit) academic course. Requests to enrol in more than one course (up to a maximum of two courses) may be granted with approval of the student’s co-op employer and ECCS. Requests to take capstone courses while on co-op require additional levels of review. Approvals are rare, and for some programs, not allowable.
Register a domestic (within Canada) co-op experience:
Please complete and submit the Domestic Co-op Confirmation Form (CCF) along with accompanying documentation (stated within the CCF) prior to the employment start date indicated in your offer of employment.
Register an international (outside Canada) co-op experience:
Please complete and submit the International Co-op Confirmation Form (CCF) along with accompanying documentation (stated within the CCF) at least 3 weeks prior to travel.
We strongly suggest that students begin preparing for their upcoming co-op work term by:
- Meeting with their Career Educator to ensure all requirements of our office are met;
- Reviewing the On the Job Success Guides on the Fireball Academy website;
- Beginning to search for housing or making transportation arrangements to your co-op work position;
- Consulting with the Student Services Centre Global Opportunities team if you are travelling out of Canada to ensure you have all the required paperwork. You can book an appointment with them on OSCARplus;
- If you have OSAP loans, applying for interest-free status while on co-op. Visit the Registrar’s Office website for more information;
- If you require GO Transit while on co-op, visit their transit website for more information.
You are required to log onto OSCARplus to update your co-op work term information within 10 days of beginning your co-op.
Note: Your co-op experience must be registered with our office before you will have access to your co-op work term record. Please allow up to 14 business days after you submit your co-op documents for us to review and approve your co-op and add it to OSCARplus and Mosaic. You will receive an email from us after we have done this.
In order to update your record, please follow these instructions:
- Log on to OSCARplus
- On the Dashboard, click the “Co-op” tab
- Click on the current co-op work term on your record
- Click the button, “Edit”
- Update all fields under the “Student Work Information” section and click “Save.”
Mandatory work term reflections
Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada, requires that all academically recognized co-op work terms have a mandatory reflection completed to meet National accreditation requirements.
Students have two reflections that take place during each 4-month co-op work term. All reflections are administered through a student’s OSCARplus account and connected to their work term record.
Mid-point check-in: The mid-point check-in is sent to students about halfway through each 4-month work term. This is an opportunity to reflect on how the co-op work term is going so far, and to connect with your Career Educator to discuss anything that has come up on work term that you could use support and guidance navigating.
Final work term reflection: Students must complete one final work term reflection for each applicable 4-month term of co-op (e.g. if you do a 12-month co-op, that will span three 4-month terms and you will need to complete three reflections).
The completion of the reflection is required for a final grade of “COM” on the co-op course to be added to your Mosaic transcript. ECCS will send a reminder to your McMaster email about completing the reflection.
Update to work term registration process
Effective Fall 2023, students who secure a co-op job will be required to register the work term by completing and submitting a co-op confirmation form prior to the start date specified in their offer of employment (or employment contract). We have concluded our practice of allowing co-op work terms to be registered retroactively (also known as “backdating co-op”).
Our policy regarding co-op work term registration remains the same; co-op work experiences should be registered prior to the start of your employment. However, our practice of allowing retroactive registration of co-op via a petition process has concluded.
Fees related to co-op enrollment and registered work terms support the annual operation of the program including pre-employment and professional development programming, one-on-one appointments with our team, events and workshops, networking opportunities, curated job board of employment opportunities, and resources that directly support students in securing and succeeding on a work term. We maintain some of the lowest co-op fees in the country in order to maximize participation from a diverse population of students.
Requests for backdating co-op work terms will be reviewed under the guidelines of extenuating circumstances and decisions to approve these will happen on a limited case-by-case basis.