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Co-Op Education in Canada: What is Co-Op Education in Canada?

Kashyap Matani

Co-operative gives international students the opportunity to gain relevant work experience while studying. This increases your experience count and guarantees a great job profile once you graduate. While regular programs can build and enhance your knowledge on the subject, Co-Op programs offer a blend of theory and real-time experience. From studying in recognized universities to working in reputed companies, Co-Op courses in Canada proves to be the better choice. Thus to guide you better on this topic, this blog will be your guide.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is a Co-Op in Canada?
  2. Top Benefits of Co-Op Education in Canada?
  3. Top Universities in Canada for Co-Op
  4. Co-Op v/s Regular Programs in Canada


What is a Co-Op in Canada?

Co-Op in Canada stands for Co-operative education Canada. The purpose of this education is to help students have a blend of educational and work experience simultaneously. The terms will be sequenced as study and work. Co-op in Canada is growing popular as the country has a range of versatile and recognized universities that offer great educational and career opportunities. The aim of every international student is to pursue a great educational qualification and work in the top brands in the country.

Thus as an international student, you need to be eligible for a Co-Op program. Ensure you check the below list:

  • Have a valid study permit
  • You need work experience as it is mandatory for your field of study
  • Letter from the university stating a work experience is mandatory to receive the degree
  • The Co-Op program you chose comprises less than 50% of your study program

With Co-op programs, students will be well versed in the field they wish to specialize in. Apart from the above, this form of education also gives a clearer career picture for international students to decide.

Suggested: Everything you need to know about Education system in Canada


Top Benefits of Co-Op Education in Canada?

You have now understood what is Co-Op in Canada. Let’s now go through  what is Co-op education in Canada benefits.

1. Build Work Experience

Students undertaking the Co-op education have the opportunity to build their work experience. For instance, students studying for a two-year program can build up to 2 years of work experience. This gives them better leverage on those students without any work experience.

2. Earn Money

Cost of living in Canada can be expensive depending on the area and lifestyle choices you make. Working while pursuing your education can help you earn sufficient income to cover all your education and personal-related expenses. This also gives you the opportunity to become independent in this new country.

3. Develop Right Skills

As you work in your field of interest, you tend to develop the skills that fit the job criteria. Thus this gives you a better image of what skills are required and prepares you well to succeed better.

4. Make Better Career Choices

Having work experience can determine your career path. For instance, if you’re working in a marketing firm, there are diverse roles that you encounter. You can explore them all and then decide which role suits you better. This observation can shape your educational knowledge towards learning just that.

Suggested: What are career opportunities after completing studies in Canada?


Top 5 Universities in Canada for Co-Op

You now have the complete information about what is Co-Op program in Canada. We will now discuss the top universities that offer Co-Op programs in Canada.

  • University of Waterloo
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Ottawa


1. University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo is a member of Co-operative education and work-integrated learning Canada. The university offers two terms which is a blend of study and works wherein students can get a two-year work experience while also being paid.

QS World University Rankings


Popular Programs

Arts, Engineering, Environment, Health, Math, Science


Undergraduate, Graduate


2. University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia offers the largest Co-Op program in Western Canada. This university has been in this process for over 40 years aiming to educate students from across the globe.

QS World University Rankings


Popular Programs

Arts and Humanities, Business Management, Engineering, Forestry, Science, Land and Food Systems, Kinesiology and Human kinetics


Bachelors, Masters, PHD ( varies on subject choice)


3. University of Victoria

What is the Co-Op program in Canada from University of Victoria? This university offers a range of courses dedicated to Co-Op students alone. They offer courses on popular programs that will cater the needs of students today.

QS World University Rankings


Popular Programs

Graduate Education, Law, Public Administration, Health Information Science, Social Science, Humanities and Fine Arts, Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education


Undergraduate, Graduate


4. University of Alberta

University of Alberta is one of the most popular Co-Op education institutes in Canada. The engineering Co-Op program is one of the largest and highest popular courses taken. They also offer Co-Op courses in Business as well.

QS World University Rankings


Popular Programs

Engineering, Business


Undergraduate, Graduate


5. University of Ottawa

University of Ottawa is another great educational institute in Canada that offers a diverse range of Co-Op programs. To apply for any courses, students need to have a mandatory Bachelors’s degree.

QS World University Rankings


Popular Programs

Arts, Law, Engineering, Management



You now have a better understanding of what is Co-Op program in Canada. Let’s move to know what differs this type of education from regular programs.


Co-Op v/s Regular Programs in Canada

Now that you have a better understanding of what is Co-op education in Canada, let’s distinguish this type of education from regular programs offered in Canada.

Co-Op Education in Canada

Regular Programs Education in Canada

It is a blend of education and work experience during the study program period

It only offers educational knowledge and expert assistance during the study program period

The terms are sequenced between study and work

There is only one sequence here which is study

Students will take an extra year to graduate

Students will graduate once the study period is completed

Adds on to the work experience making students well-skilled after graduation

Students will have zero work experience unless they have undertaken any volunteer experience during semester breaks

Chances of getting placed are high here as companies are well aware of the skills of the student

Placement opportunities will be limited and might be slow when finding fro the right job that caters to the field chosen.

Suggested: Best undergraduate courses to study in Canada!

You now have the answer to what is Co-Op in Canada. This form of education has become a preferred choice amongst international students as along with theory knowledge, students will also receive real-world experience that can enhance their career decisions better. You now have all the details you need to make the right call. In case you wish to seek expert assistance on this, consult a Yocket counsellor today.


Frequently Asked Questions about Co-Op education in Canada

What is Co-op in Canada?

Are Co-op paid in Canada?

Which universities in Canada offer Co-op?

Is Co-op good for international students in Canada?

What are the benefits of Co-op education in Canada?

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