Co-operative Education

Associate Director, Co-operative Education and External Relations: Laurie Lahn, ext. 4058

Co-operative education, a form of work-integrated learning, is a model of education that integrates and alternates a student's academic learning with workplace learning in fields relevant to the student's academic and personal goals.

Both work and academic terms are full-time and follow a formalized sequence. The time spent in the workplace comprises at least 30% of the time spent in academic study. Co-op work terms are approximately the length of each study term. Co-op programs begin and end on an academic term.

Co-op students follow the same academic program as regular students. Because of the alternating pattern of work and study terms, there may be some differences in the scheduling of individual courses.

Students prepare for the job search by participating in webinars, workshops and speaker series events. Each work term is developed in collaboration with the employer and approved by the Department of Co-operative Education as a suitable learning environment that will engage the student in productive work. Students apply to employers with whom they are interested in working, and most interviews take place on campus. Although the university cannot guarantee that students will obtain employment, staff members in the Co-op Office strive to make suitable employment available to co-op students.

Employers supervise their students and evaluate their workplace performance. Co-op staff members monitor each student's progress during the work term. The co-op curriculum supports student learning goals, personal evaluation and reflection; students are required to set goals each term, present and write work term report(s). Employers compensate students for the work they perform. 

To obtain the co-op designation, students must complete all the requirements of both their academic program and the co-op option. Students completing the option will have the notation "Co-operative Option" appended to their transcript and noted on their degree. 

The following graduate programs offer co-op:

  • Master of Applied Computing
  • Master of Arts in Business Economics 
  • Master of Arts in Communication Studies
  • Master of Business Administration 
  • Master of Finance 


Application Procedure

To be admitted to the co-op program, students must meet the general admission requirements of the university, and must possess an honours degree, or equivalent, in their area of study. Where required as part of the application process, a minimum score of 650 on the GMAT is required. Applications are reviewed by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, faculty in the graduate program, and the Co-op Office, and all prior university grades, letters of reference, resume and GMAT score (where applicable) are considered. Proficiency in written and spoken English is essential for admission to graduate studies at Laurier. Applicants whose first language is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at an institution where English is the language of instruction are required to provide evidence of English language proficiency. Upon a successful screening, the student will receive an admission interview by faculty and/or the Co-op Office. Co-op offers of admission are extended with the offer of admission to Laurier.

Students on study permits may apply to and be admitted into co-op programs at Laurier, in accordance with the application processes to the Co-operative Education Department and Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Note, however, that there may be a limit on the number of spaces available to international students. 

Co-op fees are payable according to the fee payment schedule on the co-op web site.