Student FAQ

This FAQ has been developed to address common student questions and concerns regarding the Engineering Co-op Program. This page will be updated as additional information becomes available.

The Engineering Co-op Office is here to help. If your question or concern is not addressed here please reach out to a Co-op Program Advisor.

IMPORTANT: Due to a high volume of email messages, we request that students please contact one Program Advisor at a time with questions. Our team will work quickly to respond to your message as soon as possible.

General FAQ

I'm feeling stressed, anxious, and isolated. I'd really like to talk to someone about this. Can you help?

If you are in need of immediate support, please access these resources.

Feeling overwhelmed? There are many supports on campus. Check out the UAlberta Wellness Supports, or the Engineering Wellness Program. Counselling & Clinical Services (CCS) is here for you as well. CCS offers:

Any student interested in obtaining services at CCS can follow the Initial Consultation process.

Is the Co-op office open? How can I contact the Co-op Office?

The easiest way to communicate with our office is via appointment booking on campusBRIDGE, the Virtual Office, and email if you need to speak with someone specifically. To book an appointment, sign into campusBRIDGE, navigate to Engineering Co-op on the left hand side and select Appointments.

IMPORTANT: Due to a high volume of student requests, we ask that students please contact one co-op staff member at a time with questions. Our team will work quickly to respond to your message as soon as possible. If you are unsure who to direct your question to, please send a message to engineering.co-op@ualberta.ca and your email will be directed appropriately.

How do I find information related to Engineering Employment Events?
Visit our Events Calendar for details on upcoming employment-related events.
I am an International Student and I haven't received my work permit yet. What should I do?

International students in the Co-op Program are advised to apply for their Co-op Work Permit as soon as possible as processing times are very long. If you are renewing your Work Permit please request a letter from the Co-op office for your application. Do not let your work permit expire before you apply to renew it. Be sure to have your documents in place before the Recruitment for your Work Term.

Please consult with an advisor at University of Alberta International for information about work permits and how to apply.

Can I resequence my program?

Students are expected to remain in their current sequence plan as scheduled and continue their job search as outlined below:

  • Winter Work Term job search will continue until early February
  • Summer Work Term job search will continue until early June
  • Fall Work Term job search will continue until early October

Specific deadline dates will be emailed to you in this regard for each recruitment, so keep looking for work until you hear from the co-op office.

Information and policy details about Resequencing and Transferring out of the Co-op Program can be found in the Co-op Student Handbook.

Can I transfer to the traditional program?

The internal transfer deadline is March 1 for admission to the following Fall term. For more information, visit: Changing Programs - Engineering Students Seeking Admission to a Different Program.

If you are in the midst of a recruitment, you are expected to continue through the recruitment as you normally would until you receive an email from the co-op office advising when the coop recruitment will end - roughly the following dates:

  • Early February for Winter Term
  • Early June for Summer Term
  • Early October for Fall Term
What happens if I don't get a job?

If you are in the midst of a recruitment, you are expected to continue through the recruitment as you normally would until you receive an email from the co-op office advising when the coop recruitment will end - roughly the following dates:

  • Early February for Winter Term
  • Early June for Summer Term
  • Early October for Fall Term

Students are encouraged and expected to continue their job search until the timelines listed above. You can track your own job search with the tracking sheet available in the Co-op Student Toolkit.

After that time, should you not be placed, decisions will be made about waived work terms , resequencing or, in the case of a second waived work term, a move to the traditional program. We understand that this makes it very challenging to make decisions such as where to live, what to do if you don't get a job, and/or registering for classes. Please contact the co-op office if you have any questions or concerns.

NOTE: Students cannot have WKEXP 905 waived and would be required to resequence.

I have had a work term waived. On my resume do I show my completed work terms out of 4 or 5?

For students who had a work term waived, when updating your resume for Completed Co-op Work Terms you may simply state the number completed.

For example: Completed Co-op Work Terms: X

It's getting close to the start of a work term period and I still don't have a job. Can I sign up for classes?

Students may register for classes as soon as registration is open on Bear Tracks. Please visit Student Services: Registration Information and Office of the Registrar: Registration Dates and Deadlines to see latest registration information.

Please note that registration for some classes may be restricted to student cohorts that are scheduled to attend certain classes at a specific point in their course sequence: these students will be given registration priority. Students who are unable to register for certain classes due to registration restrictions will need to register in alternate courses.

Students who are scheduled to be on a work term may choose to register in classes or electives that are available to them, but are reminded that they are expected to continue their job search until the deadlines communicated by the co-op office. Students must track their job application history for any opportunities applied to outside of campusBRIDGE: see the Co-op Student Toolkit for a useful job application tracker.

Students who secure a work term placement while enrolled in classes should contact the co-op office immediately: our office will assist you in withdrawing from your current classes with no penalties.

NOTE: Students cannot have WKEXP 905 waived and would be required to resequence.

I am moving to Alberta and will be participating in the co-op program. What do I need to know about my out-of-province / international driver's licence?
Please see the Government of Alberta website for more information about driving in Alberta with a licence from a different province/territory or country.
What resources are available to help with my finances?

The University of Alberta offers advice and emergency funding for students. Please visit the Office of the Registrar - Financial Support for more information.

Are there any travel and isolation requirements for international students travelling to Canada?

Please visit University of Alberta International - Travel to Canada for the most up-to-date information.

What are the current campus COVID-19 rules?
Please visit COVID-19 Information for the U of A Community for the most up-to-date information.

Recruitment FAQ

Are there any differences in the recruitment process?

Engineering Co-op has moved to the University of Alberta's enterprise recruitment platform, campusBRIDGE. If you are new to campusBRIDGE, please review our Student User Tipsheet.

Fall 2022 Recruitment will operate on a continuous basis. Jobs will be posted as they come in, interviews booked as the employers are ready, and offers could be made immediately after interviews.

Please contact the co-op office if you have any questions or concerns.

Can I work internationally?

For information on student requirements for international placements visit Go Abroad - Safety and Security Abroad.

For general information about international programs visit Go Abroad - Education Abroad Programs.

Can someone look at my resume / cover letter?

Use the resources you find in the Co-op Student Toolkit to develop and update your documents. These resources will help you develop the skills to write the best resume or cover letter you possibly can. Once you have done this, if you still require assistance you may book an appointment in campusBRIDGE or drop in to the Virtual Office. If you need to speak with someone specifically email addresses can be found on our contact page.

IMPORTANT: Due to a high volume of student requests, we ask that students please contact one co-op staff member at a time with questions. Our team will work quickly to respond to your message as soon as possible. If you are unsure who to direct your question to, please send a message to engineering.co-op@ualberta.ca and your email will be directed appropriately.

 

How do I calculate the GPA for my resume?

There are two ways to calculate your cumulative GPA for your co-op resume:

1. The simpler method, which will lead to a very close answer to the method outlined in #2 below:

GPA = sum of each full course load term GPA divided by the number of terms (excluding WI2020).

2. The more accurate GPA calculation is shown below. If you have uneven course loads in different terms, you must use the following method:

Rules for Computing GPA

The GPA for any period is based on the final grades, including failing grades, in all courses taken during a specified period. GPA is calculated according to the following formula:

GPA = sum of [grade point value x units of course weight] divided by sum of units of course weight

Notes:

  • The Winter 2020 term (CR/NC) will not be included in these calculations.
  • A re-examination mark or a deferred examination mark replaces the original final examination mark.
  • The revised final grade is included in the computation of the GPA.
  • When a student has a deferred, incomplete, or missing grade, the GPA is not computed until a final grade is reported.
  • Grades of IN are counted as numeric grades of 0.00 in the computation of any GPA.
  • Grades of W (withdrew) are excluded from the computation of the GPA.
  • Grades of CR and NC are not included in the computation of any GPA.
  • Any GPA is rounded to the nearest decimal place using standard rounding rules - that is it is rounded up with a value of 5 or greater in the first nonsignificant place and rounded down with a value of 4 or less in the first nonsignificant place.
I have a question about a particular job or company, who do I ask?

Please direct these questions to the co-op contact responsible for that company or job. The Co-op Contact is listed on the bottom of each job posting in campusBRIDGE.

If you are uncertain who is responsible for a company or job posting, please contact the Engineering Co-op Office at engineering.co-op@ualberta.ca

I am a transfer student and don’t have a University of Alberta transcript. Do I need one from my previous school?

Yes. You will upload your most recent transcript from your previous school along with your most recent UAlberta transcript from Bear Tracks, when one is available.

How to obtain Unofficial Transcripts from Bear Tracks.

What transcript do I use?

Your unofficial transcript from Bear Tracks is suitable for job applications in campusBRIDGE. At the start of each semester, upload your most recent University of Alberta transcript, even if some grades are missing. When those grades are available you will need to upload an updated copy of your transcript.

How to obtain Unofficial Transcripts from Bear Tracks

What does "Work Term Level" mean on a job posting?

The Work Term Level number (WT1, WT2, WT3, WT4, WT5) on each job posting indicates the work term(s) that the job posting is appropriate for. DO NOT apply to jobs that don't match your current work term level.

If you are in a more junior level but have advanced qualifications (another degree or trade or job experience), you may apply upwards as long as your skills correlate with the job requirements.

If you apply for a job that is below your current work term level and are placed in the role, there is a chance it will NOT count for your co-op work term. In that event, you would be expected to work at the accepted position and would have to resequence to attain the work term.

If you think there may be an error in the work term level of a posting contact the Co-op Contact listed at the bottom of the job posting.

I want to apply for longer work terms than what I am scheduled for (eg - 8 months instead of 4, 12 instead of 8). Can I do this?

Students are expected to work within the framework of their program and are not advised to do this.

Resequencing is not always approved and, if it is, you are not always able to enrol in required courses because priority lies with students who remain in their original sequence. As well, in order to obtain credit for your work terms you must complete certain academic terms first. Applying for and being placed in positions that do not match your sequence often means extending your program.

Please refer to the Resequencing Rules and Considerations in the Student Handbook for more information.

How many jobs should l apply on?

This will vary from student to student, and will depend on factors such as: the kinds of jobs you are applying to, duration of your work term, and the experience you already possess.

Going out for a 4 month or first work term? Employers generally prefer longer work terms and more experienced students so you should apply to more jobs.

Keep an open mind but only apply to jobs that you would be willing to take if offered. Consider work term length, job location, and job level when applying.

My work term should have started but I don't have a job yet. Should I still be looking for work? Are jobs still being posted? What happens if I don't get a job?

Each semester, we will continue to develop and add co-op opportunities until students are all placed, or until the beginning of the second month of that semester if students remain unplaced.

  • Winter Work Term job postings will be added until early February
  • Summer Work Term job postings will be added until early June
  • Fall Work Term job postings will be added until early October

We encourage you to continue your job search both on campusBRIDGE and through independent means. You can track your own job search with the tracking sheet available in the Co-op Student Toolkit.

The expectation is that you will continue your job search until the timelines listed above. After that time, should you not be placed, decisions will be made about waived positions, resequencing or, in the case of a second waived position, a move to the traditional program. We understand that this makes it very challenging in making decisions such as where to live, what to do if you don't get a job, and/or registering for classes.

Please contact the co-op office if you have any questions or concerns.

NOTE: Students cannot have WKEXP905 waived and would be required to resequence.

The job says I have to apply to both campusBRIDGE and go to the company website and apply there too. Why?

Some companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) as part of their recruitment process. To be considered for opportunities with these companies, you must submit your application using the company's ATS.

Engineering Co-op Students must also apply on campusBRIDGE both for tracking purposes and to allow the employer to offer or rank you. Please note that the Engineering Co-op Office may also send an applicant packet to the company through campusBRIDGE, in addition to the applications submitted directly to the company via their ATS.

Should I write a cover letter?

A cover letter is not required unless the employer has requested it as part of their application package. If this is requested, you will not be able to apply unless you upload a cover letter as well. You will need to ensure you name your customized application packages (saved for each application) so you can clearly identify which company they were meant for if you are including a cover letter.

When applying to opportunities advertised outside of the engineering co-op module in campusBRIDGE you should always include a cover letter as part of your application.

Cover letters require time and effort to write well; please take this into consideration if you choose to write a cover letter for jobs where it is not requested. Please refer to the Cover Letter Template in the Engineering Career Connections Resource Vault for tips on writing an effective cover letter.

I am writing a cover letter but I don't know the company address or who to send it to.

If a contact name or company address is not included in the job posting, a bit of research online may turn up the information you need. Check the company website or LinkedIn page for an address you can use on your cover letter.

Often employer contacts are HR managers who then disseminate the applicant packet to various managers. If you are unable to identify a contact for a posting in campusBRIDGE, you can use one of several options for the salutation:

Dear Hiring Manager:
Dear Hiring Committee:
Dear Campus Recruiter:
Can I rescind an application?

You may be able to cancel an application up until the deadline date posted in campusBRIDGE.

To rescind an application, go to: Engineering Co-op/Applications and locate the job you want to cancel. Select the "Cancel Application" button and it will be cancelled.

Some applications will go to employers immediately upon submission depending on the application method chosen by the organization. Carefully review positions prior to applying. If you have any questions, the Co-op Contact is listed on the bottom of the job posting.

How will interviews be conducted?

Interviews will continue to take place virtually and they will be held either via phone or on a digital platform such as SKYPE, ZOOM, WEBEX, Hirevue, Google hangouts, Microsoft Teams, etc.

Please ensure that you have a computer with a web camera and microphone, and that everything is in working order. For interviews scheduled through campusBRIDGE, an on-campus room has automatically been booked for you in the Co-op Office in case you need a quiet space on campus. 

Should an employer contact you directly to arrange an interview, please notify the co-op staff member assigned to that company so that we are aware.

Booking an Interview Space on Campus

If you require a quiet space on campus for your interview, please submit your booking request as soon as possible via the Co-op Interview Room Request Form.

Please Note: Interview space and equipment availability is limited and will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis. While we strive to meet the interview needs of all engineering co-op students, we are unable to guarantee access. Students are advised to submit a booking request early to avoid disappointment.

IMPORTANT: Walk-ins discouraged. Be sure to book ahead of your interview date.

If I am no longer interested in a particular job, can I choose not to attend an interview?

Students are expected to attend all interviews to which they are invited. If you have a compelling reason not to attend an interview, please contact the Employer Relationship Manager (ERM) listed as the Co-op Contact on the bottom of the job posting. This may be considered a decline. Should you decline more than one interview or job offer, you will be required to resequence if you do not find a suitable placement for the term. This may mean extending your degree beyond your anticipated completion date.

I have an exam during the interview time slot available, what should I do?

If an interview time slot conflicts with an exam, you must notify the co-op office immediately with the conflicting exam date and time. We will help you to reschedule your interview.

What should I do to prepare for an interview?

The most important thing you can do to prepare for an interview is to thoroughly research the company and the position you are interviewing for. To be successful in the interview, you need to understand what skills and competencies the company is looking for and be able to articulate how your experience makes you a good fit for the role.

Be sure to have your reference list updated and ready to provide during the interview, or immediately afterwards, should this be requested by the employer.

Access resources to help with interview preparation from the following sources:

eClass (first work term students)

Co-op Student Toolkit

Engineering Career Connections Resource Vault

If you have further questions or wish to discuss interview prep please visit the Virtual Office or book an appointment. Appointments can be booked through campusBRIDGE: go to Appointments and select "Interview Prep Appointment" to schedule a meeting with an available co-op team member.

I've attended several interviews but have not received a job offer yet. Is there someone I can speak with about interviews?

If you would like to discuss your interview experiences and/or request a mock interview, please visit the Virtual Office or book an appointment. Appointments can be booked through campusBRIDGE: go to Appointments and select "Interview Prep Appointment" to schedule a meeting with an available co-op team member.

Work Placement FAQ

I have a co-op job - what do I need to do now?

Congratulations! Please follow the guidelines of the Work Term Checklist which you can find in the Co-op Student Toolkit.

Please continue checking your ualberta.ca email since we will be communicating with you throughout your work term using this email address.

What if I get a job outside of the Co-op Office?

Congratulations! If you are offered a job outside of the recruitment organised by the co-op office, please notify us immediately. We'll need the following information to approve the position and to update your work term record in campusBRIDGE:

  • Company Name/company contact
  • Job Description / information on the nature of the job/salary/start date/duration/hours per week
  • A copy of your offer letter

You can also enter your own work term record in campusBRIDGE if you would like. It will be reviewed and approved or we will contact you if further information is needed.

My work term has ended early / will be starting late. Will I have enough hours to attain credit for my work term?

Students on a work term must complete a minimum of 420 hours (at least 35 hours per week over 12 weeks).

Do you have any tips for working from home?

There are some resources available at CEWIL which may be helpful:

CEWIL Canada - Tips for Working at Home

If you are looking for information which may be helpful to a potential employer, please visit the CEWIL COVID-19 Resources page.

What do I have to do during my work term to pass?

You are graded for each 4-month work term. These grades are pass/fail and are based on three components:

  1. An Interim Onsite Evaluation, conducted in person or virtual/phone. Students on 8-month work terms will have one onsite visit during the first four months of their work term. Students on 12-month work terms will have two onsite visits: one in the first four months and a second during the last four months.
  2. A Work Term Report must be submitted.
  3. An End of Term Evaluation to be completed by your employer and yourself.
How do I set up the onsite visit?

Midway through the second month of your work term (about 6-7 weeks into the term) you will be contacted by a co-op staff member to arrange potential dates for a meeting. See the Work Term Checklist in the Co-op Student Toolkit for more information. NOTE: You must be signed in to your University of Alberta email address in order to access the Co-op Student Toolkit.

Go to the Work Term Record Details for your current work term and click on EMPLOYED: WORK TERM RECORD DETAIL, then click on edit and fill out all your work contact information for yourself and your supervisor/mentor - be sure to include their work email.

To prepare for your onsite visit, compile a list of tasks, projects, and work responsibilities that you have completed/are currently contributing to during your work term. Copy this list into the Job Description Box.

Go to the Site Visit Details section on the bottom of the form and fill out the Students Comments and Goals for the remainder of your work term boxes. Be sure to save your work at the end!

What if I am having problems with my work term prior to the onsite meeting?

Early, clear communication is often the key to resolving any issues that may arise. If you are experiencing difficulties on your work term, contact the co-op office immediately. A member of our team will connect with you as soon as possible to discuss the issues you are experiencing and work with you and your supervisor to come to a resolution.

If you are in crisis and are in need of immediate support, the following services are available 24/7:

Crisis Services Canada

24 Hour Distress Line: 780-482-4357

ACCESS 24/7 at 780-424-2424

University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre

Additional 24/7 on-campus and community support services can be found at University of Alberta Support Services

When is the End of Term Evaluation due?

The End of Term Evaluation is due at the end of each 4-month work term - the end of April, August, and December for the Winter, Summer, and Fall work terms, respectively.

Please note that if you are on an 8- or 12-month work term, your employer will need to submit an evaluation at the end of each 4-month portion.

Can I take classes while on a work term?

Provided it does not interfere with work hours, students are permitted to take a maximum of one course during each 4-month work term.

In the event that there is any crossover between the course and work term working hours, a student must obtain permission to take the course from both the employer/supervisor and the co-op office.

Will my co-op hours apply towards my P.Eng?

When applying for a professional member licence after graduation and time as an EIT, the Board of Examiners (BOE) may give you work experience credit for experience obtained before completing your engineering degree. APEGA makes this determination - credit for work completed could vary from none to the maximum of 12 months.

It is important to document your experience to make this process easier later on. More information about Pre-Graduate Work Experience can be found on the APEGA website: APEGA - Work Experience Requirements for Engineering Applicants.

I have an out of province job - what do I do about healthcare?
All provinces except Quebec have reciprocal agreements and you can use your Alberta Health Care Card for up to 12 months. There may be some changes to how payments and claims are processed. Visit the Government of Alberta website for further information
I am a MEC (BIO) student and this work term will be my 906. What do I do?

Please contact Dr. Lindsey Westover, Director of Undergraduate Option in Biomedical Engineering, at lwestove@ualberta.ca to have your placement approved and to be manually registered into WKEXP 906 by Student Services.

Once approved, this work term needs to be entered under your 906 in campusBRIDGE. Please send your approval form to the Engineering Co-op Office at engineering.co-op@ualberta.ca so we can assist you.

Note: Students who choose to complete WKEXP 906 in place of WKEXP 902 or WKEXP 903 will end their co-op program on WKEXP 905. Students who complete WKEXP 906 as scheduled in the MEC (BIO) plan will end their co-op program on WKEXP 904.

Last Update: May 4, 2022