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Co-op Program

The Engineering Co-op Program provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to gain valuable engineering work experiences before they graduate. The Co-op Program is administered by the Engineering Co-op and Career Services Department (ECCS). The Graduate Co-op option is administered by the Career Development & Relationship Manager - Graduate Studies. 

Why Co-op?

The Engineering Co-op Program combines academic study with alternating work terms of durations from 4-months to 16-months in length. Working in several industries gives students a competitive edge when going out into the workforce and the opportunity to earn for their education. Co-op gives students an opportunity to apply academic knowledge outside the classroom and enhance their academic experience through paid employment. Co-op students are paid for their work experiences, which are supervised and evaluated by both the employer and McMaster University. 

Gain Experience

Co-op allows you to test out your future career before you graduate.

Connect with current McMaster students and alumni working in your field of interest. 

Earn Money

In 2016/2017, our students made an average of:

$46,800 for 12-month co-op terms

$10,400 for 4-month co-op terms 

Flexible Work Terms

The co-op program is flexible and highly customizable based on the co-op experience you are looking for! 

4-months, 8-months

12-months, 16-months

Network with Employers

Meet employers face-to-face and build your professional network. 

Learn about potential job opportunities and gain insight into the hiring process.

 

Did you know...

1,617

students engaged in credited co-op employment last year

2,522

One-to-one student career development appointments with our staff in 2016/2017

$25,536,453

The total wages earned by Engineering Co-op Students in 2016/2017

Video: 

What Our Students Think of the Engineering Co-op Program

Claire Xu, Electrical and Biomedical Engineering

Claire Xu, Electrical and Biomedical Engineering

"I gained invaluable work experience and was encouraged to develop my professional and leadership skills within and beyond the technical realm. Hydro One was truly invested in ensuring that I had an exceptional experience in my role as a Planning Analytics - Corporative  Standards Co-op Student."

Steve Dolson, Automotive & Vehicle Technology (Class of 2012)

Steve Dolson, Automotive & Vehicle Technology (Class of 2012)

“In my co-op at McMaster it helped me decipher what I want to do for the better half of my life. I leveraged the experience from my first co-op to get a better job in my second co-op which has led to my career. It was a great start and co-ops are a great peak into the industry you want to work in. I am happy I went through my co-op because it gave me a competitive advantage and experience over the other students that didn't go through with co-op. Experience is key and drive will get to where you want to go."

 

Vanessa Raponi, Materials Engineering & Management

Vanessa Raponi, Materials Engineering & Management

“I saw co-op as a great opportunity to test the waters to see what it would be like to be an engineer and to explore different areas of engineering. These experiences have broadened my understanding of what could be in store for me and what I’m capable of."

Enrollment

Before you are fully enrolled in co-op and eligible to complete a co-op work experience, you must complete the follow steps: 

The Co-op program is an optional program that allows students to gain engineering work experience prior to graduation. You may join co-op at any time up until your final year of academic studies, but most students join the co-op program in Level 1. 

Step 1: Login into OSCARplus and create your online profile. Click on My Account from the Dashboard tab and fill out required information. 

Step 2: Ensure that your academic record on Mosaic has the Co-op option. If you registered with Co-op on your OUAC application, this step should be completed. If you do not see Co-op on your academic record, please contact our office for further instructions. 

Step 3: Register for the Undergraduate Co-op Prep Course, ENG 1EE0 on Mosaic. Attendence in all sessions is mandatory, and you must complete this requirement before you are eligible to go out for co-op work terms. The course is four 2-hour sessions in length. 

Step 4: Fill out the Undergraduate Registration Agreement. This agreement will be given to you upon completion of the ENG 1EE0 prep course.

Step 5 (International Students Only): International students must have a valid co-op work permit before they go out for a co-op work term. Please refer to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website for more information. 

Please note: Students must be in good academic standing with the Faculty of Engineering in order to participate in the co-op program. 

For B.Eng co-op fee structure, please click here.

The Co-op Program for Bachelor of Technology students is a mandatory program that allows students to gain engineering work experience prior to graduation. Students are required to complete a minimum of 12-months of work experience prior to graduation. 

Step 1: Login into OSCARplus and create your online profile. Click on My Account from the Dashboard tab and fill out required information. 

Step 2: Register for the Undergraduate Co-op Prep Course, ENGTECH 2PW3 on Mosaic. You must complete this requirement before you are eligible to go out for co-op work terms. This course is offered in Year 2 during the 2A term. 

Please note: The Engineering Co-op & Career Services office occassionally offers a condensed Year 1 Prep Course, which allows B.Tech students to pursue co-op opportunities after Year 1. Please view the events page on OscarPlus for course availability.  

Step 3: Fill out the B. Tech Undergraduate Registration Agreement. This agreement will be given to you during your ENGTECH 2PW3 prep course, or during the Year 1 prep course. 

Step 4 (International Students Only): International students must have a valid co-op work permit before they go out for a co-op work term. Please refer to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website for more information. 

Please note: Students must be in good academic standing with the Faculty of Engineering in order to participate in the co-op program. 

For B.Tech co-op fee structure, please click here.

The Co-op Program for Bachelor of Technology, Degree Completion Program students is a mandatory program that allows students to gain engineering work experience prior to graduation. Students are required to complete a minimum of 8-months of work experience prior to graduation. 

Step 1: Login into OSCARplus and create your online profile. Click on My Account from the Dashboard tab and fill out required information. 

Step 2: Register for the DCP Co-op Prep Course, ENGTECH 1ET0 through Mosaic

Step 3: Email Thuy Dam, Career Development & Relationship Manager, to schedule a time to complete the ENGTECH 1ET0 course. This must be completed before you are eligible to go out for co-op work terms. 

Step 4: Fill out the DCP Registration Agreement and submit it to the Career Development and Relationship Manager. This form will be given to you at the time you take ENGTECH 1ET0. 

Step 5 (International Students Only): International students must have a valid co-op work permit before they go out for a co-op work term. Please refer to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website for more information. 

Prior Learning Assessment

Students who have completed valid work experiences prior to beginning their studies in the Degree Completion Program can opt to have up to 8-months of work experience count towards their co-op degree requirements. For more information on this process, please contact engcar@mcmaster.ca

For B.Tech, DCP co-op fee structure, please click here.

The Co-op Program for Graduate students is an optional program that allows students to gain engineering work experience prior to graduation. Students are required to complete a minimum of 8-months of work experience for Masters students, and 12-months of work experience for Ph.D. students prior to graduation. 

Step 1: Login into OSCARplus and create your online profile. Click on My Account from the Dashboard tab and fill out required information. 

Step 2: Obtain your supervisor’s permission to participate in the co-op option and submit the Approval Form to the Career Development and Relationship Manager – Graduate Studies. Students will not be eligible to participate without their supervisor’s approval.

Step 3: Fill out the Graduate Registration Agreement and submit it to the Career Development and Relationship Manager – Graduate Studies.

Step 4: Register for the Graduate Co-op Prep Course, ENG 701 through Mosaic. This must be completed before you are eligible to go out for co-op work terms. 

Step 5 (International Students Only): International students must have a valid co-op work permit before they go out for a co-op work term. Please refer to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website for more information. 

Please note: Only full-time Masters and Ph.D. students in good academic standing are eligible to participate.

For Graduate student co-op fee structure, please click here.

When Can I Work?

Our co-op program is highly flexible and customizable with many different options depending on when you want to work. Some typical co-op sequences include: 

Bachelor of Engineering (4-Year), Computer Sciences

The Bachelor of Engineering and Computer Sciences program is a non-mandatory co-op program. Students can complete anywhere from 4-months to 24-months of verified co-op experience. For more information on these programs, please click here

Bachelor of Engineering (5-Year), Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences

The Bachelor of Engineering (5-Year) programs and Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences program is a non-mandatory co-op program. Students can complete anywhere from 4-months to 24-months of verified co-op experience. For more information on these programs, please click here

Bachelor of Engineering, 5-Year programs include: Engineering & Management, Engineering & Society, and Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

Bachelor of Technology Program (4.5 Years)

The Bachelor of Technology program is a mandatory co-op program. Students are required to complete a minimum of 12-months of verified co-op experience prior to graduation. Students may complete additional co-op terms, to a maximum of 24-months of verified co-op experience. For more information on these programs, please click here

Bachelor of Technology, Degree Completion Program (2-Year)

Students from the Bachelor of Technology, Degree Completion Program are required to complete a minimum of 8-months of work experience prior to graduation. Students can complete a work term any time during the academic year.

Students who have previous work experience may be eligible to count up to 8-months of this experience towards the co-op requirement. Please contact ECCS for more information. 

Graduate Program (Masters and Ph.D.)

Graduate students who are enrolled in the co-op option can complete a work term after their first year of academic studies, with permission from their academic supervisor. For more information, please contact Adam Pepler, Career Development & Relationship Manager. 

Timeline

What does the entire co-op process look like for a student? Check out this handy timeline and learn how Engineering Co-op & Career Services can help you every step of the way:

Step 1: Resume & Cover Letter

Step 2: Employer Events & Information Sessions

Step 3: Job Search

Step 4: Mock Interview

Step 5: Job Interview

Step 6: Job Offer

Student Expectations

I've secured a co-op position. Now what?

Congratulations for securing your co-op work term! Before you can begin working, there are three steps that you must complete. It is the responsibility of the student to complete the below steps. Until you do so, your co-op experience is not legally registered with McMaster University, and you are not able to begin working in your co-op. 

Step 1: Register Your Co-op Experience

Step 2: Prepare for your Work Term

Step 3: Update your OscarPlus 

Final Requirements

After you have accepted an offer for co-op and have everything finalized on your co-op record, there are expectations that are required of you while you are working to fulfill the co-op requirements:

Work-Term Evaluations

Work Site Visits

Final Report

Hear from students

Estee Lauder Companies Canada

FAQs

The co-op program for Bachelor of Engineering, Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences, and Computer Science students is optional. In order to receive the co-op designation on your degree program, you are required to complete a minimum of 12-months of co-op experience before graduation. If you do not complete 12-months of co-op, it will not affect your ability to graduate.

The Bachelor of Technology program is a mandatory co-op program. You must complete a minimum of 12-months of co-op experience prior to graduation. 

The Bachelor of Technology, Degree Completion Program is a mandatory co-op program. You must complete a minimum of 8-months of co-op experience prior to graduation. If you have previous work experience prior to starting this program, you can count this experience towards the co-op requirement. 

The Graduate Student Co-op is optional. Once enrolled, Master’s students are expected to complete 8-months of co-op experience, and PhD students are expected to complete 12-months of co-op experience.

For full details on the enrollment process, please click here

Absolutely! OscarPlus is only one resource that students are expected to use in their co-op job search, and is not the only resource that students must use. Job postings on OscarPlus have been pre-approved by our staff before advertising them to you. As long as a position meets the minimum requirements for co-op approval it can be submitted to our office for approval by one of our Career Development & Relationship Managers, who will ensure that this will be a valuable work experience for you.

Engineering Co-op & Career Services is here to support students in all of their experiential education choices and needs. We offer a wide variety of co-op and career development such as:

  • 1:1 career advising
  • Job Search Strategies
  • Resume & Cover Letter Critiques
  • Interview Skills (panel, phone, skype)
  • Summer Research Opportunities
  • Portfolio Development
  • Career Fair Preparation
  • How to Network
  • How to Negotiate an Offer
  • How to improve my Communication Skills
  • How to Develop Business Acumen
  • Employer Panels
  • And more!

Yes! Our office is 100% student funded, all students in the Faculty of Engineering have the ability to access our student career services. This includes services such as resume/cover letter critiquing, job searching, interview preparation, general career support, and access to employer and professional development events.

Only students who are enrolled in the co-op program are eligible to participate in co-op work experiences.

Generally speaking, the only difference between co-op and internship is the length of the work experience.

Co-op positions are usually considered to be 4-12 months in length. Internships are long term co-op positions that are 16-months in length. Internships may also be referred to as "long-term co-ops" or "Professional Experience Year (PEY)".

Students in co-op programs can work on 4, 8, 12 or 16 months in length. Students are required to be in their next to final year of academic study before completing work terms of 12 or 16 months in length.

Co-op work experience gives you a competitive advantage over all other new graduates. You have the ability to stay you already have a minimum of 1 year or more total paid work experience in your field. You can also count this co-op experience towards your PEO certification, if you meet the qualifications.

The most obvious distinction is that you will graduate with a co-op designation on your degree and all the work you have done (even if you do not meet the 12-months of co-op requirement) will be recorded on your transcipt. However, there are many other benefits to doing co-op.

With a co-op degree, you will gain valuable work experience and technical skills that can boost your resume, which will aid your future career development. Your experiences will also create a job network that will be useful once you are looking for full-time permanent positions in the future.

Co-op is a component of a student's academic studies. In order to participate in the co-op program, you must be a full-time undergraduate student, and in good academic standing in the Faculty of Engineering. Changes to student status may result in termination from the co-op program, at the discretion of ECCS. (“In good standing” does not include reinstatement, academic and/or program probation). 

Since our office is 100% student funded, we rely on the collection of student fees to provide our wide range of services to all of our engineering students. McMaster University Engineering Co-op has one of the lowest co-op fee structures in Canada compared to.other Canadian universities.

In the McMaster Faculty of Engineering, the bulk of the fees that students pay for co-op are charged when the student has received a co-op position. We find this to be the most economically viable time to charge students, rather than a large sum of fees at the start of the school year on top of regular tuition. For a full breakdown of fees, please click here.

You are allowed to take one academic course per 4-month co-op work term. Engineering Co-op & Career Services strongly recommends that you receive approval from your supervisor prior to course registration. While you are on a co-op work term, students are encouraged to focus on the work experience. It is not recommended to take an academic course which disrupts the regular hours of your work term. 

For students in Engineering, Computer Science, and Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences, you can still graduate without completing 12-months of verified co-op experience; however, you will not graduate with the co-op designation on your degree program.

For students in the Bachelor of Technology program, 12-months of verified co-op work experience is required before you can graduate.

Depending on your program, you have the option of working a verified co-op experience from as short as 4-months to as long as 16-months in duration. For more information about when you can work, please click here.

Yes, if your work qualifies for PEO Pre-Graduate Experience, you can count it towards the requirements for obtaining your P. Eng license. Please visit the PEO website to view the requirements to count your co-op work  experience towards your certification.

Yes! If you receive OSAP loans and are participating on co-op, you must ensure that your co-op is fully registered with ECCS in order to maintain interest free status on your loans. If you do not notify ECCS, you will be contacted by National Student Loan Service Centre to begin repayment on your loans. 

Once you fully registered you co-op with ECCS, you must contact the Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships directly to complete the appropriate paperwork. 

Have more questions?

Hours of operation: Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm 

Office Location: JHE H301 (Third floor of the New Gerald Hatch Center)

T: 905-525-9140 x22571 

E: engcar@mcmaster.ca 

Fees

Engineering Co-op & Career Services is 100% student funded, we aim to be transparent when it comes to co-op fees. We rely on the collection of the annual registration fee as well as the co-op work term fee to provide our services, and keep supporting our engineering students.

We are known for our Flexibility, and our fees are no exception! In comparison to other schools, McMaster Engineering Co-op program charges the bulk of the fees that students pay at the time the student receives a co-op (not as a lump sum when you begin your academic studies). This allows us to deliver a more affordable program for our students, while still being able to provide our services year round.

All students are encouraged to take advantage of the resources made available, and can do so at any time (regardless of if you’re in school or out on co-op). Come visit us in The Gerald Hatch Centre for Engineering Experiential Learning Room H301.

What do my fees pay for?

Work Term Support

Career Advising and Professional Development

Employer Development

ENG 1EE0, ENGTECH 2PW3, & ENG 701

Administrative

Information Sessions and Events

For a detailed breakdown of your fees, please see below:

The Bachelor of Engineering, Computer Sciences and Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences programs are a non-mandatory co-op program. Students can complete anywhere from 4-months to 24-months of verified co-op experience. The fee breakdown for these programs include:

$300.00 fee - per 4 month co-op term (eg. 12 month co-op = $900.00), charged at the time of securing a co-op

$100.00 fee - per academic year, charged every September 

Total fees charged:

$1,700.00 - Average total for a student who completes16-months of co-op experience over 5-years of academic studies

The Bachelor of Technology program is a mandatory program that allows students to gain engineering and technology work experience prior to graduation. Students are required to complete a minimum of 12-months of work experience prior to graduation. The fee breakdown for these programs include:

$600.00 fee - per 4 month co-op term (eg. 12 month co-op = $1800.00), charged at the time of securing a co-op. 

Any additional co-op terms above 12-months of experience are charged a $0 fee.

Total fees charged:

$1,800.00 - Total for a student who completes at least 12-months of co-op experience over 5-years of academic studies. 

The  Bachelor of Technology, Degree Completion Program is a mandatory program that allows students to gain engineering and technology work experience prior to graduation. Students are required to complete a minimum of 8-months of work experience prior to graduation. The fee breakdown for these programs include:

$600.00 fee - per 4 month co-op term (eg. 8-month co-op = $1200.00), charged at the time of securing a co-op. 

Any additional co-op terms above 8-months of experience are charged a $0 fee. 

Total fees charged:

$1,200.00 - Total for a student who completes at least 8-months of co-op experience over 2-years of academic studies. 

The Graduate co-op program is a optional program that allows students to gain engineering work experience prior to graduation. Masters students are required to complete 8-months of co-op work experience, and Ph.D. students are required to complete 12-months of co-op work experience prior to graduation. The fee breakdown for these programs include:

$1,200.00 fee - charged at the time a student secures a co-op opportunity 

Total fees charged:

$1,200.00 - For a Masters student. Required to complete 8-months of co-op experience over 2-years of academic studies. 

$1,200.00 - For a Ph.D. student. Required to complete 12-months of co-op experience over 4-years of academic studies.