Apply to the Business Co-op Program

Co-op is an optional program within the Bachelor of Commerce degree, where students supplement their regular academic coursework with 12 months of full time work experience before graduating.   

Students must be admitted to the University of Alberta Bachelor of Commerce Program in order to apply to the Co-op Program.  

Co-op admissions take place once a year.  Applications are being accepted for Fall 2022 until July 29, 2022 through CareerConnect.  Students who wish to complete their first Co-op placement in Winter 2023, Spring/Summer 2023 or Fall 2023 must apply for the Fall 2022 intake of the Co-op program.  Once admitted into Co-op, students will remain registered in the Co-op program until they have completed all three Co-op placements.

Students can be assessed for admission to Co-op using either the Guaranteed Admission Criteria or Standard Admission for those students who do not meet the Guaranteed Admission Criteria.

You can learn more about the Co-op Program in the detailed Policies & Procedures Manual and the FAQs below:

What is Co-op?
  • Cooperative Education combines learning in the classroom with learning on the job. 
  • Students complete a total of 12 months of work experience before graduation through a combination of 4, 8, or 12 month work terms that start in either January, May or September.  
  • During work terms students work full time and do not take courses.
  • How does this affect my degree?  
    • Students must complete a total of 12 months of work experience in addition to all the Bachelor of Commerce Degree course work.
    • While on a Co-op work term students are registered in a WKEXP course.  Students taking a WKEXP course are charged tuition and other fees, but do not earn credits towards the degree.  
    • Taking Co-op will typically delay a student’s graduation date by 8 months.
What is the criteria for admission into the Co-op Program?
  • What is Guaranteed Admission?
    • Students who meet all the admission criteria for their intended major will be granted admission to the Co-op program, until all quota spaces are filled.  
  • What if I don’t qualify for Guaranteed Admission?
    • Students who do not meet all the admission criteria for their intended major will be considered for Standard Admission on a competitive basis.  Because the number and qualifications of applicants varies from year to year, we are unable to determine which applicants will be given standard admission until after the application deadline.
    • In general, 
      • A student who does not meet any of the admission criteria is less likely to be admitted to the Co-op program.
      • A student who meets all but one of the criteria, or comes very close to meeting the admission criteria for their major is more likely to be admitted to the Co-op program.
      • A student with no work experience is unlikely to be admitted.
      • A student with more than 75 credits will be considered for admission once admission is complete for students with 75 credits or less.  A student with more than 78 credits is unlikely to be admitted.
  • Are any specific courses required before I apply to Co-op?
    • No specific courses are required in order to apply to Co-op.  If an Accounting or Finance Major has not yet taken ACC 311 they can still be granted guaranteed admission; however, their admission will be conditional until ACC 311 is completed with a minimum grade of B.
What is the process to apply for the Co-op Program?
  • Students must apply through CareerConnect during the application period.
  • A $50 application fee must be paid with a valid credit card through the CareerConnect online store before a student can submit an application.
  • Applicants should have the following information gathered before beginning the application process:
    • Unofficial transcripts for all post secondary studies.  If you have attended more than one post secondary institution please combine all transcripts into one pdf or Word document.
    • For all work experience undertaken in the past 2 years: the name of the organization worked for, job title and estimated average number of hours per week and total number of hours worked during the eligibility period (this includes expected future work hours for a job you are currently working at).
  • What if I don’t have enough work hours now but will before August 31?
    • Your work hours total can include hours that you expect to work at your current job.
    • If your work hours will come from a job that you have not yet secured or started, then please wait to apply until you start the job that will provide you with sufficient work hours.
What happens after applying to Co-op?
  • Students will be provided with an updated application status within 30 days of submitting an application.  Incomplete applications cannot be processed.
  • Note: Applications reviewed before Winter term grades are available will be given a conditional admission status and will be reassessed for final admission after Winter term grades are available.
  • Students who do not qualify for guaranteed admission will remain in pending status until after the application deadline.  Students in pending status may submit additional work experience for consideration until the application deadline.  
  • After being granted Final Admission to the Co-op program, students must confirm their acceptance by completing acceptance documentation and pay a $150 program fee (details will be provided in the Admission email).  Students who do not confirm their acceptance will not be admitted to the program.
What happens once you are in the Co-op Program?
  • Students who are admitted to the Co-op program will attend mandatory Co-op training (details and dates will be provided in the Co-op Admission Email).
  • Students will typically begin their first job search after the training session and complete their first work term the following January or May.
What are the advantages of participating in the Co-op Program?

The advantages of participating in the Co-op program include:

  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. Students can 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 decision on your major or career path.
  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
What are the Co-op Program's requirements and expectations?

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.  WKEXP courses do not reduce the number of credits a student needs to take to complete the Bachelor of Commerce degree.

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, prepares cooperative education students through training to conduct an active personal job search and provides 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 are the fees associated with the Co-op Program?
  • All applicants to the Co-op program must pay a $50 application fee.
  • All students admitted to the Co-op program must also pay a $150 program fee.
  • Tuition:
Additional information for International Students
  • International students who join the Co-op program must obtain a Co-op Work Permit after being admitted to the Co-op program.  Additional information will be provided to students once they have confirmed their acceptance to the Co-op program.
  • International students must pay the Co-op application and program fee; however, WKEXP tuition fees are included in their Program Tuition. It is important for international students who are considering the Co-op program to be aware that when an international student is on a Co-op work term and registered in a WKEXP course, an installment of program tuition will be assessed unless the program tuition has been fully paid. This means that an international student who joins the Co-op program will need to pay their program tuition at a more accelerated rate than a student who is not in the Co-op program.
  • Questions about Co-op and International Student Program Tuition should be directed to the Student Service Center.
Information for students in a joint degree program with Business
  • Joint degree programs include:
    • BSc in Agricultural/Food Business Management
    • BSc in Fashion Business Management
    • BSc in Forest Business Management
  • Students in the above joint degree programs are eligible to apply to the Business Co-op Program.  All admission and program requirements of the Business Co-op Program remain the same.
  • Due to the nature of the majority of the job postings received by the Co-op Program, students in one of the joint degree programs who join the Co-op program are encouraged to have a broad perspective.  We are unable to guarantee the distribution of job postings, however Co-op Coordinators are available to support students in a self directed job search.
If you have additional questions please email us at bizcareers@ualberta.ca
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