Cooperative Education Program

Cooperative Education integrates terms of full time study with full time employment. The University of Alberta Business Cooperative Education program requires students to complete three Co-op work terms (a total of 12 months of work experience) before graduation. 

Bachelor of Commerce Co-op Students are available for 4, 8, or 12 month work terms  starting either January, May, or September. Employers often hire Co-op students to assist with specific projects, fill a term position, and/or identify talent who can convert into a full-time position after graduation.

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Co-op Student?

There are many benefits to hiring a Co-op student, including:

  • Access to a pre-screened talent pool of Business students who will bring a positive attitude towards working and learning into your organization.
  • Cost-effective and efficient means of evaluating prospective future employees.
  • Optimize workforce management by utilizing co-op students to fill temporary job openings, to efficiently manage project work or to assist with peak workload periods.
  • Co-op students are available starting in January, May or September for either 4 or 8 month work terms .
  • Co-op students bring a high level of energy and enthusiasm to your organization, and they provide fresh perspectives and new ideas.
  • Co-op students often have advanced computer skills that they can transfer to permanent staff.
  • Simple, no cost hiring process.
  • Co-op students are very mobile, and are willing to pursue opportunities anywhere in the world.
  • Enjoy a mutually beneficial partnership with the University of Alberta.

What Can Co-op Students Do?

BCom students have a broad range of business skills, making them qualified for roles in areas such as:

  • Accounting: Corporate Accounting, Financial Reporting, Audit/Assurance Tax
  • Finance: Capital Markets, Treasury, Financial Analysis, Credit/Risk, Commercial Banking, Budgeting/Forecasting
  • Marketing Coordination and Research, Communications, Sales Support
  • Recruitment, HR Generalist
  • Data Analysis, Project Management, Operations/Supply Chain
  • Consulting, Research, Economic Research and Analysis

What are the Requirements for a Co-op Placement?

The Alberta School of Business Cooperative Education Program is an accredited program through Cooperative Education and Work-Integrated Learning of Canada. The requirements for a Co-op placement are:

  • Job duties are business-related
  • Positions are paid
  • Work terms must be full-time work for a minimum of 13 weeks (4 months).
  • Co-op positions may be 4 (1 work term) or 8 (2 work terms) months in duration.
  • Students have a dedicated mentor/supervisor who guides and provides feedback to the student.
  • The mentor/supervisor will also meet briefly with a Co-op Coordinator for site visits and provide formal evaluation and feedback at the end of the term.

What are the Expectations of a Co-op Supervisor?

Students on a Co-op Placement should be assigned a dedicated supervisor who mentors the student. The supervisor needs to assist the student with setting learning objectives at the start of the placement, have a brief meeting with the student’s Co-op Coordinator midway through the placement, and complete a written evaluation form at the end of the placement.

Please refer to our Business Cooperative Education Program Employer Handbook for further information on co-op placement timelines, expectations and responsibilities of both the co-op student and the employer.


How to Hire a Co-op Student

Recruitment for Co-op Students is ongoing throughout the year, with students available to start work in January, May, or September.

Employers can post jobs online through CareerConnect . Our process is flexible, allowing employers to contact students directly to arrange interviews and extend offers.

Co-op Posting Schedule

Co-op work placements follow the academic year. This means that placements can only start in May, September, and January and work either 4 or 8 months at a time. You can post jobs at any time but typically, we recommend posting and recruiting 3-4 months before the hiring date:

  • Example 1 - For a May Start Date - post in January/February and have the selection done by February
  • Example 2 - For Sept Start Date - post in May/June and have the selection done by June
  • Example 3 - For January Start Date - post in September/October and have the selection done by October

Next Steps

If you still have questions, please feel free to contact us at


More information about the Business Co-op Program can be found here.