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Co-op for Graduate Engineering Students

The engineering co-op program allows students to gain engineering work experience prior to graduation. Master’s and Ph.D. students may complete 4 to 12 months of co-op experience in various types of organizations, including corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies, startups and research institutions. The graduate co-op program’s growth has been remarkable, with an increasing number of students choosing to gain co-op work experience. In the 2022-2023 academic year, graduate students registered 368 4-month work terms, emphasizing the program’s popularity.

How to Enrol in the Co-op Program

At the beginning of each academic term, make it a priority to attend one of the interactive Graduate Co-op Information Sessions, scheduled on the OSCARplus event calendar or in select cases, during your department orientation session. These sessions are designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the graduate co-op option. Once you’ve gained this insight, follow these steps to enroll in ENGINEER 701:

W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology students

  • Students registered in the SEPT (W Booth) graduate master’s programs in Manufacturing, Systems and Technology or Engineering Design are eligible for co-op and can directly enroll in Mosaic for the ENGINEER 701 – C01 Work Term Preparation (Lecture) course.
  • All students in these programs must complete the W Booth (SEPT) Registration Form and submit the permission form directly at this link using this name convention ( & student number).
  • It is advised that SEPT students register for Engineer 701 in your first academic term at McMaster, setting a strong foundation for your co-op journey.
  • International students will be given a letter to apply for your required co-op work permit after the course has begun. Learn more about working in Canada.

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences students pursuing MEng, MASc, MSc or PhD

  • All students in these programs must complete the Graduate Supervisor Permission Form and speak to your academic supervisor or department administrator before enrolling in the ENGINEER 701 – C01 Work Term Preparation (Lecture) course. Once completed, students are required to submit the permission form directly at this link using this name convention ( & student number).
  • Enroll in Mosaic to ENGINEER 701 – C01 Work Term Preparation (Lecture).
  • Only students who submit a completed Graduate Supervisor Permission Form prior to the final date to add courses will be eligible to participate.
  • International students will be given a letter to apply for your required co-op work permit after the course has begun. Learn more about working in Canada.
  • Note: It is recommended that students enrolled in MEng degrees complete ENGINEER 701 within the first 1-2 terms of study.
  • Note: It is recommended that Ph.D. students enroll for ENGINEER 701 after 2 years of study.

Other Important details:

  • Students who completed an engineering undergraduate degree at McMaster and passed the 1EE0 or 2PW3 co-op preparation courses are eligible to view the job board and do not need to attend ENGINEER 701. ECCS will still require the Graduate Supervisor Permission Form to be submitted to and you must speak to one of the Graduate Career Educators.
  • Students can apply to job opportunities posted on the OSCARplus job board or externally source a co-op/internship; however, you must have the role approved by ECCS.
  • Access to the OSCARplus job board is only granted for the terms approved by your supervisor after completion of ENGINEER 701.
  • Ph.D. students should register for ENGINEER 701 after completing the comprehensive exam.
  • If you are a student who receives a scholarship or TA, it is important to speak with your department administrator before registering for ENGINEER 701 to learn how this may impact your funding once you secure a job opportunity.

What is ENGINEER 701 (Co-op Preparation Course)?

The graduate co-op preparation course (ENGINEER 701) is a 6-week series of lectures (9 hours in total) offered virtually in the Fall and Winter terms. The course is housed in Avenue to Learn and all lectures will be recorded, enabling you to revisit the content at your convenience. ENGINEER 701 is designed to equip students with the essential skills necessary for a successful co-op job search. Topics covered include crafting effective cover letters and resumes, optimizing LinkedIn profiles for engagement, implementing efficient job search strategies, refining interview skills, negotiating job offers and workplace professionalism.

Upon completion of the course, international graduate students who have opted into the co-op program will be given a letter to apply for their co-op work permit.  We recommend that all students consider enrolling in ENGINEER 701 8-12 months prior to their intended co-op work period. This strategic timeline accounts for the timeframe employers post jobs (often up to 6 months in advance of the work term) coupled with the understanding that co-op work permits may take up to 165 days for processing.

What are the Co-op Fees?

Enrollment in ENGINEER 701 is free of charge. A career training fee of $1275.00 will be applied to the student’s account for the initial 4-month co-op term registered in OSCARplus. This fee will be incurred once a student accepts an approved co-op job offer and completes registration with ECCS, after which it will be added to the student’s Mosaic account.

Payment of fees is due at the beginning of the work term, and late payment will be subject to interest/late charges. Students will also be responsible for the payment of normal supplementary fees or tuition charged for additional courses taken during co-op terms.

Graduate students are advised to engage in discussions with their respective departments to assess the potential impact of a co-op work term on their graduate funding prior to committing to a co-op job.

When Can a Student Work?

Master’s students who have successfully finished ENGINEER 701 are entitled to engage in work opportunities after completing 2 terms of study, with a maximum duration of 12 months. For Ph.D. students, it is advisable to consider enrolling in ENGINEER 701 after completing 2 years of study or after the comprehensive exam. This strategy allows students to target co-op positions as they approach graduation. To determine the optimal timing, we recommend consulting with either a Career Educator or your respective department.

For more information, please contact the Graduate Co-op Team at