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Co-op Program

The Engineering Co-op Program is the second-largest engineering co-op program in Ontario, it provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to gain valuable engineering work and experiential learning opportunities before they graduate. In 2019/2020, over 2,200 students participated in over 3,500 4-month co-op work terms across the globe.                            McMaster University is one of the only engineering programs in Canada to offer co-op at the Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. levels. 

Why Co-op?

The co-op program combines academic study with alternating work terms of durations from 4 to 16 months in length. Co-op gives students an experiential learning opportunity to apply academic knowledge outside the classroom, enhance their academic experience through paid employment and have a competitive edge for the workforce. 

Gain Experience

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

Co-op gives you the opportunity to connect with current McMaster students and alumni working in your field of interest. 

Earn Money

In 2017/2018, our students made an average of:

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

$10,400 for 4-month co-op terms 

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.

 

Flexible Work Terms

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

4, 8, 12 or 16 month terms

Video: 

Our Services for Students

Engineering Co-op & Career Services is 100% student funded. 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 and employer partners. Our service model begins immediately from first semester of a student’s first year of student, and continues up until the point of graduation.

Our office is not a fee-for-service structure (meaning you pay at the time you access services). Rather, we provide services year round, which allows students to access services at the time they need them, with no financial concerns. 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.

We charge the fees at the time you secure a job, as we find that this way is usually more affordable for students (versus one large lump sum payment at the start of the year). This also ensures that you are only paying at the time you have a job. In the case you do not secure a position, you are not burdened with paying fees at that time. Our services continue to remain available to you. We strive to maintain the lowest co-op fee in Canada, and provide a model which is more financially viable for students. 

What do my fees pay for?

Work Term Support

Career Advising and Professional Development

Employer Development

Co-op Preparation Courses - ENGINEER 1EE0, ENGTECH & ENGINEER 701

Administrative

Information Sessions and Events

For a detailed breakdown of your fees, see either Undergraduate Students or Graduate Students.

Co-op for Undergraduate Engineering Students

The Faculty of Engineering offers an optional co-op program for Bachelor of Engineering, Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences, and Computer Science Students. Co-op is a mandatory component of all Bachelor of Technology programs, including the BTech Degree Completion Program.

Enroll in the Co-op Program

BEng, IBEHS, and CompSci: Co-op is an optional program for Bachelor of Engineering, Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences, and Computer Science students. 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 or select it when applying to university through OUAC. If you do not have co-op showing on your Mosaic student record, you need to ask your Academic Advisor to transfer you into the co-op program. You must complete a minimum of 12 months (or 3 terms) of co-op in this program.

BTech and BTech DCP students do not need to enroll in co-op as this is a mandatory part of your degree program.

All new co-op students must login to OSCARplus and create an online profile. Click on My Account in the Dashboard and fill out the required information.

NOTE: Students must be in good academic standing to participate in co-op.

Co-op Preparation Course

All co-op students are required to complete a co-op preparation course before they can have access to co-op job boards or be approved for a co-op job. These courses explain the co-op process and expectations, as well as provide advice and resources to help you succeed in your job search and your co-op positions.

BEng, IBEHS, CompSci AND BTech students are required to complete ENGINEER 1EE0. (BTech DCP students: see below.) This course is offered every year in the fall and winter terms. Once completed, you are eligible to search for and accept jobs during the co-op terms in your academic program plan. The course is offered completely online on Avenue to Learn.
Starting in Fall 2020, if you are a first-year student who applied and was admitted to a BEng or IBEHS co-op program or a BTech (4.5-year) program through OUAC, you will automatically be enrolled in ENGINEER 1EE0 in the fall term of your first year.
If you opt-in to the co-op program after being admitted to a general engineering degree program, you should plan to take 1EE0 as soon as possible so that you are eligible to search for and accept co-op jobs when you want. You will enroll yourself in this course on Mosaic, by the drop/add date for the term in which you take the course. 

BTech DCP students are required to complete ENGTECH 1ET0. This course is offered in all three terms every year. You will meet with a Career Resource Coordinator to complete the course content. Please make an ENGTECH 1ET0 appointment on OSCARplus early in your degree program. You may enroll yourself in this course on Mosaic, by the drop/add date for the term. NOTE: Enrolling in 1ET0 does not automatically create an appointment to complete the course, nor will anyone contact you about this - it is your responsibility to make this appointment yourself.

Video: 

Co-op Fees & Financial Information

Co-op fees charged to students support the services provided by ECCS. (For information on OSAP, please scroll to the end.)

BEng, IBEHS and CompSci students:

  • An annual fee of $100 will be charged to your Mosaic account each year that you are in the co-op program. It is usually assessed in September. If you join the co-op program at another time in the year, the first installment of this fee will be charged in that term; all other installments will be charged in September. The due dates for these charges will be the due dates for such fees in the particular term.
  • A fee of $300 is charged for each 4-month co-op term that you register. This fee will be charged to your Mosaic student account when you are enrolled in the co-op course ENGINEER 2EC0 (BEng and CompSci student) or IBEHS 2EC0 (IBEHS students). The fee will be due on the due date for the particular term. NOTE: The ECCS office will enroll you in your co-op course when we process your co-op registration; you do not need to enroll yourself.

BTech students:

  • A fee of $600 is charged for each 4-month co-op term that you register, to a maximum of $1800. This fee will be charged to your Mosaic student account when you are enrolled in the co-op course ENGTECH 2EE0, ENGTECH 3EE0 or ENGTECH 4EE0. The fee will be due on the due date for the particular term. NOTE: The ECCS office will enroll you in your co-op course when we process your co-op registration; you do not need to enroll yourself. Also, when you have reached your maximum in co-op fees, our office will request a reversal of subsequent fees by the Registrar's Office; this can take up to two weeks after your are enrolled in the co-op course.
  • Because co-op is a mandatory component of their program, BTech students do not pay an annual co-op fee.

BTech DCP students:

  • A fee of $600 is charged for each 4-month co-op term that you register, to a maximum of $1200. This fee will be charged to your Mosaic student account when you are enrolled in the co-op course ENGTECH 2ET0 or ENGTECH 3ET0. The fee will be due on the due date for the particular term. Students who have previous work experience may be eligible to count up to 8 months of this experience towards the co-op requirement. Please see below, When Can I Work?, for more information. NOTE: The ECCS office will enroll you in your co-op course when we process your co-op registration; you do not need to enroll yourself. Also, when you have reached your maximum in co-op fees, our office will request a reversal of subsequent fees by the Registrar's Office; this can take up to two weeks after your are enrolled in the co-op course.
  • Because co-op is a mandatory component of their program, BTech DCP students do not pay an annual co-op fee.

OSAP: Students on co-op jobs are eligible for interest-free status on their OSAP loans. However, you are responsible for submitting the required Continuation of Interest-Free Status form yourself. Please see the Registrar's Office website for more information on OSAP. You should also contact the Registrar's Office through the above link if you have any questions about OSAP or financial aid.

For more details of what your fees cover, see Why Co-op?

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:

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

 

The Bachelor of Engineering (5-year) programs and Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences programs are non-mandatory co-op programs. Students can complete anywhere from 4 months to 28 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

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

The Bachelor of Technology, Degree Completion Program s a mandatory co-op program. 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 their program before their final academic term.

The program requires students to complete the following two co-op courses:

  • ENGTECH 2ET0 FOUR MONTH CO-OP EXPERIENCE I
  • ENGTECH 3ET0 FOUR MONTH CO-OP EXPERIENCE II

How to receive credit for these courses?

Option 1 - Admission Co-op Credit Successful completion of co-op work term experience using transfer credit from relevant co-op completed in a college program. This will be assessed upon admission to your McMaster degree program and listed in your admissions letter.

Option 2 - Prior Learning Assessment: Current or previous program-specific employment experience completion of a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) to recognize significant work experience in a related field. Credit can be given towards your co-op requirements for this experience. All documents are online and will be submitted via your student OSCARplus account.

  • To activate: Go to https://www.oscarplusmcmaster.ca/home.htm and log in under the Student/ Alumni Login using your McMaster Student ID and Password
  • Under the Dashboard tab, select the tab Select a Form
  • Under Category, select Engineering Co-op
  • Under Sub-Category, select the DCP PLA Form. Once the form appears fill out the required information and upload any required documents. Once you have completed the form, press Save. When submitted your application will be reviewed and we will contact you with any further steps.

Related Costs: $100 University administration fee per 4-month approval. *8 months, total cost $200

Option 3 - Co-op Option Completion of the co-op work terms while registered in the Degree Completion Program at McMaster University. Engineering Co-op and Career Services will provide access to co-op job postings available in length from 4 to 16 months. You must complete a minimum of 8 months of co-op work experience to graduate. You are eligible to apply and work in co-op jobs longer than 8 months. Students electing to go on co-op must start co-op before you have 9 units or fewer remaining in your DCP program requirements. While on co-op, you may take up to 2 DCP courses, with approval from the Manager of Engineering Co-op.

For questions 

Co-op Requirements

Academic Advising Requirements

Recruitment Assistant

engcar@mcmaster.ca

905-525-9140 x22571

Jennifer Hamilton

jhamilto@mcmaster.ca

905-525-9140 x24646

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

Co-op for Graduate Engineering Students

The Co-op Program for Graduate students is an optional program that allows students to gain engineering work experience prior to graduation. Master's and PhD students are given the option to complete 4 to 12 months of co-op experience.

 

Enroll in Co-op

To enroll, 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, Christine RichStudents will not be eligible to participate without their supervisor’s approval.

Fill out the Graduate Registration Agreement and submit it to Christine Rich, along with your Approval Form.

NOTE: Only full-time Master's and PhD students in good academic standing are eligible to participate.

Co-op Preparation Course

All co-op students are required to complete a co-op preparation course before they can have access to co-op job boards or be approved for a co-op job. These courses explain the co-op process and expectations, as well as provide advice and resources to help you succeed in your job search and your co-op positions.

Graduate students must complete ENGINEERING 701 before they can access the job board or accept co-op jobs. After your submit your Approval Form and Co-op Registration Agreement, we will enroll you in this course on Mosaic. This course is currently offered online through Avenue to Learn.

Co-op Fees

A fee of $1200 is charged for your first 4-month co-op term.This fee will be charged to your Mosaic student account when you are enrolled in the co-op course ENGINEER 702. NOTE: The ECCS office will you enroll in this co-op course when we process your co-op registration.

Graduate students should discuss with their departments the impact that a co-op work term might have on their graduate funding before accepting a co-op job.

When Can I Work?

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 Christine Rich

International Students

International students must have a valid co-op work permit to work full-time in Canada.

Co-op Work Permit

Co-op jobs are full-time jobs, so you will need to apply for an off-campus (or co-op) work permit to allow you to work up to 40 hours a week. The Citizenship & Immigration Office can take several months to issue a work permit, so it is best to submit your application to them as soon as possible, at least 4 to 6 months before you intend to start a co-op job.

If you have a valid work permit that will expire while you are on co-op, you need to submit an application to get a new co-op work permit.

International students who do not have a valid co-op work permit will not be allowed to begin a co-op job.

An official letter verifying your status as a co-op student is required for your application. Our office will provide this letter to you. 

During the co-op preparation course, all international students will be sent this letter so they can submit their applications for co-op work permits as soon as possible.

If you are not currently taking the preparation course and require this letter, or you need to renew your work permit, please send a request for the co-op work permit letter to us at engcar@mcmaster.ca.

When you receive your new work permit, please send a scan or screenshot of it right away to us at engcar@mcmaster.ca so that we can update your OSCARplus record.

Access to Co-op Job Postings

To be given access to co-op job postings on OSCARplus, international students must submit one of the following documents:

  • a valid co-op work permit
    Please send a scan or screenshot of your work permit to us at engcar@mcmaster.ca and we will update your OSCARplus record.
  • verification that you have applied for the co-op work permit
    Citizenship & Immigration will send you an acknowledgement when they receive your application. Please send us a scan of the acknowledgement letter or forward the acknowledgement email to engcar@mcmaster.ca.
    NOTE: Verification of your application will allow you access to co-op job postings, but you will still require a valid co-op work permit to begin a co-op job. You will need to send us a scan of your work permit when you receive it before we can approve a co-op work term for you.

 

A work permit and a study permit are two different documents. Our office is only able to provide you with documentation for a work permit.

Resources for International Students

McMaster International Students Services provides Immigration and Mobility Advising for international students.They can help you with study permits, visas and work permits. 

The Immigration and Mobility Advising website is a great source of information for international students and includes detailed instructions for co-op students on how to apply for a work permit.

You may also request help from the Immigration Consultant, Anthony Cheah at immigration@mcmaster.ca.

Take time to review the other services offered by International Student Services - they do success coaching, arrange peer support, run events and administer UHIP, the health insurance plan for international students.

Citizenship & Immigration Canada provides detailed information for international students on their website; in particular see their instructions for co-op students.

Get Hired

Want to learn how to land that dream job? Check out this handy timeline and learn how Engineering Co-op & Career Services can help you every step of the way. Click on each of the icons below to learn more!

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

Resources

Engineering Co-op & Career services offers a wide range of resources and services to all McMaster Engineering students to support your career development and job hunt.

Book an appointment

Our team of 7 career development staff are ready to meet you and support you in your co-op and career needs. Book an appointment using OSCARplus, or visit our office.

Workshops

What is networking? When is it okay to negotiate salary? Our office provides a wide variety of professional development workshops to answer these questions and more!

Log onto OSCARplus and under the events page, look for a career development workshop!

Build Your Professional Skills

Complete these online tutorials to learn skills necessary to launch your career! Learn steps on how to communicate effectively, plan your career in industry or academia, and crack the market.

MyGradSkills.ca

MyGradSkills.ca is a series of free professional skills development modules available to Ontario graduate students!

For more resources on networking, writing cover letters and resumes, interview skills and more, check out the Fireball Academy website below!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Our Services

Engineering Co-op & Career Services is 100% student funded. 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 and employer partners. Our service model begins immediately from first semester of a student’s first year of student, and continues up until the point of graduation.

Our office is not a fee-for-service structure (meaning you pay at the time you access services). Rather, we provide services year round, which allows students to access services at the time they need them, with no financial concerns. 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.

We charge the fees at the time you secure a job, as we find that this way is usually more affordable for students (versus one large lump sum payment at the start of the year). This also ensures that you are only paying at the time you have a job. In the case you do not secure a position, you are not burdened with paying fees at that time. Our services continue to remain available to you. We strive to maintain the lowest co-op fee in Canada, and provide a model which is more financially viable for students. 

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:

The amount of co-op fees charged are dependent on the number of years of study, as well as the amount of co-op experience a student pursues. Some common examples include:

Four year programs:

 $1,300.00 - Total for a student who completes 12-months of co-op experience over 4-years of academic studies.

 $1,600.00 - Total for a student who completes 16-months of co-op experience over 4-years of academic studies.

 $2,200.00 - Total for a student who completes 24-months of co-op experience over 4-years of academic studies.

 

Five year programs:

 $1,400.00 - Total for a student who completes 12-months of co-op experience over 5-years of academic studies.

 $1,700.00 - Total for a student who completes 16-months of co-op experience over 5-years of academic studies.

 $2,300.00 - Total for a student who completes 24-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.

Register Your Co-op

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 following 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

Student Work Term Reflection

You are required to complete one student work term reflection for each applicable 4-month term of your co-op (e.g., if you do a 12-month co-op that will span three terms and you will need to complete three reflections). The report will help assist you in reflecting on your co-op experience.

The completion of the reflection is required for a final grade of COM in the co-op course to be added to your Mosaic transcript. ECCS will send a reminder email about completing the reflection to your student account one month before the end of your work term.

Testimonials

FAQs

About McMaster Engineering Co-ops

The Engineering Co-op Program provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable engineering work experiences before they graduate. Co-op gives students an opportunity to apply academic knowledge outside the classroom, enhance their academic experience through paid employment, and gain a competitive edge for the workforce.

The co-op program combines academic study with flexible paid work terms of durations from 4 to 16-months in length. Our co-op structure means you can complete work terms when and where it makes sense for you.

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 transcript. 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. 

The co-op program for Bachelor of Engineering, Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences, and Computer Science students has two options. The first option, you choose to complete co-op work terms In order to graduate with the co-op designation on your degree program, you are required to complete a minimum of 12-months of co-op experience before graduation. The second option, if you do not complete 12-months of co-op, it will not affect your ability to graduate.

The Bachelor of Technology program has only one option and 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 and PhD students are given the option to complete 4 to 12 months of co-op experience.

Students are never “placed” into positions automatically. It is the student's responsibility to apply and interview for co-op positions, but there are many supports available for you through the Engineering Co-op and Career Services office - including LinkedIn and resume workshops, networking events, 1:1 meetings, employer events, and much, much more!

In addition, there is a Faculty of Engineering exclusive job board where over 4,000+ jobs are posted each year, but we also direct students to relevant external job boards (recognizing some employers prefer to post on their own sites) and will work with you if you find a job externally as well!

Depending on when and how long your placements are for, the time is takes to complete your program may vary. When students are in co-op placements, they are not registered for school. They are however permitted to take one course per semester if they choose to do so.

Our co-op program is highly flexible and customizable with many different options based on when you want to work. 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 click here and scroll down to “When Can I Work?” for examples of the order of academics versus co-op placements (you are not limited to this order).  

The 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)".  

Absolutely! Co-op is available for all our programs, including our specialized 5-year Engineering options like & Management and & Society. 

Of course, you would just need to ensure you have planned your academic course requirements and co-op placements accordingly. You can take one course per term while on co-op, which can help contribute towards a minor. 

McMaster Engineering saw a decrease in co-op jobs for Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 that mirrored that of other Engineering programs across the country. However, we've seen an increase for Summer  2021 and Fall 2021, which we hope means that we're slowly returning to better economic times. Some roles were moved to remote work, others remained in person, dependent on the role requirements and sector. 

How to Prepare for Co-ops

All co-op students are required to complete an online co-op preparation course before they can have access to co-op job boards or be approved for a co-op job. These courses explain the co-op process and expectations, as well as provide advice and resources to help you succeed in your job search and your co-op positions. 

BEng, IBEHS, CompSci AND BTech students are required to complete ENGINEER 1EE0. BTech DCP students are required to complete ENGTECH 1ET0.  

It is the student's responsibility to apply and interview for co-op positions, but there are many supports available for you through the Engineering Co-op and Career Services office - including LinkedIn and resume workshops, networking events, 1:1 meetings, employer events, and much, much more!  

Want to learn how to land that dream job? Check out this handy timeline and learn how Engineering Co-op & Career Services can help you every step of the way. 

If you are looking for a 4-month co-op in the summer after your first year, you would apply in first year! If you are looking for a longer-term co-op in 3rd year and after, then you would apply later in your program.

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).

Both are important, but soft skills are critical, especially for early co-ops (i.e. summer after first year) when your technical/academic skills may still be growing. Never underestimate the value of extracurricular activities on your resume! They show drive, teamwork, leadership, time management skills, and so much more. Generally, students that are very involved also perform well inside the classroom because they have a built-in support network and are surrounded by similarly motivated individuals. 

Congratulations for securing your co-op work term! Before you can begin working, there are a few things you need to complete - more info here!

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! 

About Co-op Placements

Yes, all placements are paid positions! The average annual salary is $50k (or $23/hour).

All co-ops are relevant in that you will gain experience working on teams, managing projects, balancing your time, etc. Some co-ops can be more "engineering" heavy than others. 

We have the 2nd largest engineering co-op program in Ontario! In 2019/20, our students participated in over 3,500 4-month co-op work terms across the globe.  

ANYWHERE!* Both domestic and international students can complete co-op placements locally or internationally.  

*in a typical year, may vary due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Absolutely! International students must have a valid co-op work permit to work full-time in Canada. Learn more here.

Co-ops outside of North America are not often posted through OscarPlus (our internal job board), but our co-op office can advise on search strategies, interview prep/skills, etc. for co-op positions around the world. 

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. 

Yes! If your position meets the minimum number of hours/week (35 hours/week) and the minimum number of week (12 weeks), it will count as co-op credit. Find out more here! 

If you have an employer that is accommodating of your training schedule, or perhaps choosing co-op terms that work around your competition schedule makes more sensethere should not be any concerns. Your coaches and academic/co-op advisors can help guide you. 

The services and support available to you are exactly the same. Most of the jobs you would be applying to are the same too! Some employers will specifically post jobs for certain BTech or Engineering disciplines depending on the role. 

Many of the roles would be quite similar and the available work term lengths are the same for both programs (4, 8, 12, or 16 months). Computer Science students could have a bit of a head start on a technical side, because they do not have a common first year and start learning Computer Science content right away. On the other hand, engineering studentsespecially those completing a 5 year program - & Management or & Society, could have space/time to accrue more work terms over the course of their program with progressively higher levels of responsibility. 

While on Co-op

Aside from your co-op fees, you would only pay tuition for any courses you enroll in while doing a co-op placement (up to one per term while on co-op).  

McMaster University Engineering Co-op has one of the lowest co-op fee structures in Canada compared to other Canadian universities. More info here!

You will not be doing full-time school and co-op at the same time! You are allowed to take one academic course per 4-month co-op work term without permission, but anything more than that you would need approval. You are welcome to continue to participate in various clubs and teams at McMaster while you are in co-op. 

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.

It is typically the student’s responsibility to secure their housing situation should they need to relocate. However, some employers may have intern residences available or provide a living stipend as part of the student’s salary – it all depends on the company.

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