Apply To Co-op

What is Co-op?

Cooperative Education is an optional program for students admitted to the University of Alberta, Bachelor of Commerce Program. Cooperative Education combines learning in the classroom with learning on the job. Students put their academic knowledge into action through periods of relevant full-time work experience lasting 4 or 8 months. Students must complete a total of 12 months of work experience in addition to all the Bachelor of Commerce Degree course work in order to receive their Co-op designation.

Co-op FAQ

The following are common questions asked about the Co-op Program. If, after reading the FAQs you still have questions or are wondering if Co-op is right for you, please call or email our office. We are glad to help you to determine if Co-op is the right choice for your student success.

Why should I choose Co-op?

The benefits of cooperative education are many:

  1. Co-op Graduates consistently show a salary benefit upon graduation of 5-10% over non- co-op graduates.
  2. Co-op Graduates have a 5-10% higher rate of employment upon graduation when compared to non-Co-op graduates.
  3. Allows students to apply concepts learned in the classroom to a real world experience, thus enhancing academic understanding.
  4. Opportunity to evaluate work sites and career alternatives prior to making a final career or academic major decision.
  5. Provides valuable job search skills and increases a student's networking opportunities.
  6. Approximately 50% of Co-op students receive permanent offers of employment from one of their Co-op employers.
  7. The vast majority of Co-op Students believe their work terms had a significant impact on their Career, Learning and Employment
How does the Co-op Program work?

Students complete a total of 12 months full-time work experience through a combination of 4 or 8 month work terms, which generally alternate with school terms. Students on work terms are paid salaries, which are set by their employers. Students are registered in an academic course (WKEXP) in each 4 month work term, which are graded on a pass-fail basis.

Successful completion of each WKEXP course will require a site visit by a Co-op Coordinator, the completion of a work term report, and an evaluation by the student's supervisor.

Students registered in the Cooperative Education Program are provided with considerable assistance in the location of suitable work placements. The Business Cooperative Education Office develops business-related jobs and prepares cooperative education students through the Introduction to Cooperative Education workshops and seminars to conduct an active personal job search. Additionally, all Co-op students have an assigned Co-op Coordinator who provides 1 on 1 support and guidance throughout their time in Co-op. However, the ultimate responsibility for obtaining suitable work term employment rests with the student. The Co-op office does not, and cannot guarantee a placement for all Co-op students.

All work terms must be approved by the Alberta School of Business and during each 4 month work term students are registered in a Work Experience (WKEXP) course.

What fees are associated with Co-op?
  1. Application Fee ($50)
  2. Seminar and Workshop Fee ($150)
  3. Work Experience Fee (see Policies & Procedures Manual for details). This is a tuition fee that applies each time a Co-op student is registered in a WKEXP course.
Where do U of A Business Co-op Students work?

In recent years, Business Co-op placements have been located in:

  1. Greater Edmonton area (82%)
  2. Alberta (excluding Greater Edmonton area) (15%)
  3. Canada (excluding Alberta) (2%)
  4. Outside of Canada (1%)
Do you admit International students?

International students are eligible to apply to Co-op. If admitted, International students are required to apply for a Co-op work permit in September through Immigration Canada before undertaking a work term.

International Student Co-op Tuition Information

Starting in Fall 2020, all international students admitted to the BCom program are charged program tuition to a guaranteed total amount.

International students are notified what their estimated total program tuition will be in their admission letter and subsequent confirmation through the Office of the Registrar, if there are changes due to transfer credit assessments. The total program tuition a student pays does NOT change when the student chooses to participate in the Co-op program.

International students who are admitted to the Co-operative Education program will pay a portion of their program tuition and will have full-time status while on their work term. Therefore, for students joining the Business Co-op Program in 2021 the portion of the BCom program tuition that is due while on a Co-op work term is equivalent to a full term of study; $17,500.

It is important for International students to be aware that this tuition payment is required while on a Co-op work term, and must take this into consideration when making a decision to apply for and accept a position in the Co-op program. There are significant budgetary and academic sequencing/timeline factors that each student will need to weigh before they make a decision to join the Co-op program.

Once the total guaranteed program tuition amount is paid, no further tuition is required, unless a student withdraws or fails a course, or extends their degree beyond the standard time for degree completion.  If you need a copy of your admission letter, you can request this through the UofA Student Service Centre.

Staff in the Business Co-op Program are available to discuss sequencing and the impact sequencing of your Co-op terms may have on your Co-op success in consultation with the Undergraduate Program Office as necessary. For specific questions related to guaranteed program tuition and program requirements,  please email  General tuition questions can be answered through the UofA Student Service Centre.
How much work is the Co-op job search?

Co-op students will spend 20-30 hours in the initial preparation of their job search skills (cover letter writing, resume preparation, interview skills), before even starting to apply to jobs. Once in a job search, students are expected to monitor job postings daily, apply to upwards of 50 jobs, and participate in multiple interviews over a 10-14 week period. Diligence, perseverance, and a broad approach are key characteristics of a successful co-op student. Students often say that the workload during a job search is equivalent to that of an extra course.

How can I get more information about the Co-op Program?

If you have questions, you may contact us either through email at or by phone at 780-492-2166.

Am I eligible to apply?

For more information about eligibility please review the Admission Criteria

Apply to Co-op: Fall 2022 Intake

Applications for the Fall 2022 intake of the Co-op program will open in mid-February 2022.  

Application Instructions

Admissions for the Fall 2021 intake are now complete. Applications for the Fall 2022 intake will open in mid-February 2022.

Applications for the Co-op program are submitted through CareerConnect: To log in, use your existing University of Alberta CCID and password. Students newly admitted to Business will be able to access the CareerConnect site one business day after changing their program code to Business in BearTracks. The Co-op application process has 2 steps:

  1. Submit the $50 application fee through the Online Store in CareerConnect.
  2. Complete the Co-op Application Form and upload all post-secondary transcripts. Additional information and more detailed instructions are included in the Application Instructions in CareerConnect.

Applications will be accepted from February 15, 2022, until July 29, 2022.

What Happens After Applying
  1. Students may view their application status through the Cooperative Education section of CareerConnect.
  2. Students will receive an email once their application status has been changed.
  3. Students who accept an offer of admission to the Co-op program are required to sign and submit the Release Form and Student Agreement and Confirmation of Acceptance. International Students also must complete and return the International Student Addendum. More specific information on the Co-op Acceptance process will be included in the Offer of Admission to Co-op email.

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