Prospective Co-op Student FAQ

PROSPECTIVE CO-OP STUDENTS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Please read through the FAQ below for any questions you may have about entering the UBC Engineering Co-op Program. You can email eng.coop@ubc.ca if your question is not answered here or go to our information sessions.

Admissions
What are the conditions for acceptance into the Co-op program?
Co-op is a competitive program and admission is based on a student’s completed application, admission interview (if required) and the total number of seats available for that student’s discipline. Students need to:
Meet all the application requirements listed on our website
– Demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills
– Demonstrate co-op career motivation, maturity and readiness for growth
What if my CGPA is below 65%?
Maintaining a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 65% is a required component of co-op eligibility for undergraduate students. Your application will not be considered if your CGPA is below 65%. If you are a newly transferred student into UBC Applied Science, depending on where you transferred from, your admissions average or CGPA from UBC courses will be considered.
Can Master of Engineering students apply to the Co-op Program?
Yes. Master students have one opportunity to apply to the Co-op Program. They must have first-year standing in the Faculty of Applied Science Master of Engineering program and are eligible to apply to the Co-op Program if they commence their degree program in September 2020. If a student is not admitted, they cannot reapply the following year.
Are international students eligible to apply to the Co-op Program?
Yes. If admitted into the Co-op Program, international students will need a co-op work permit as well as study permit. To apply for the co-op work permit, international students require a letter from the Co-op Program that proves that co-op work experience is essential to completing your degree program, and the application for the co-op work permit must be completed from within Canada. International students will only be scheduled to work and given access to the Co-op Job Board once they have provided to the Co-op Program proof that they have applied for a co-op work permit.
What happens once I have completed the application steps on Canvas?
Once you have submitted your application on Canvas, you will see a message confirming that you have finished all required modules. Only fully completed applications will be reviewed. Late applications will not be accepted. Once we have received your application, you may be invited for an admission interview.
How will I know if I am selected for an admission interview?
If you are selected to complete an admission interview, you will be notified via email and will be expected to schedule your interview by selecting an interview slot in the “Appointments” page on PD Portal.
How can I prepare for the admission interview?
During the interview, you will be evaluated on aspects such as:
– Professionalism and career readiness
– Communication skills
– Volunteer work, work experience, school/personal projects
Here are some tips to help you prepare:
– Dress professionally – business casual attire
– Arrive on time
– Use specific examples to better illustrate your answers
– Be concise. Keep your answers to under 2 minutes.
– Be ready to clearly communicate your skills, accomplishments, goals, reasons for pursuing an engineering degree and waiting to participate in the co-op program.
When do I find out if I am admitted to the Program?
Undergraduate and Master students will be notified by email at an anticipated date of Friday, October 9th, 2020.
I am not in the co-op program but have secured a co-op student position. Can I now be admitted into the co-op program?
No. Only students who have applied for and received formal admission into the co-op program are permitted entry into the program. Application for admission into the co-op program takes place in September of each year. Admission into the co-op program is competitive and not all students who apply are admitted. Visit the co-op program website here for details regarding eligibility and admission requirements.

 

Workshops, work terms and fees
What are the co-op intake pre-employment workshops?
The intake pre-employment workshops prepare students to write effective cover letters and resumes, improve interview skills, understand purpose of networking, review co-op resources and processes, and much more.  The exact dates will be specified in the Intake Canvas course, and you will be notified of the dates in your acceptance email once you have gone through the intake interview process.
Do I have to attend all mandatory workshops?
Yes. The Pre-employment workshops are important and critical to your success. Students admitted to the Co-op Program must take part in all of the workshops, and complete all requirements. Students who do not successfully complete the workshops are ineligible to proceed in the Program.
How much is the Co-op administration and workshop fee?

The Co-op administration and workshop fee is $256.75.  Students must pay this one-time, non-refundable, fee upon successfully gaining admission to the Co-op Program. The fee is paid online, directly to the Engineering Co-op program (not through the SSC). Full details on how to pay this fee will be outlined in the acceptance email.

What is a work term?
A work term is a paid, supervised, industry and/or research employment experience which mirrors the months of the equivalent academic term, e.g. a Fall work term is September – December. Work terms are evaluated on a pass/fail basis and documented on your official university transcript.
When is the first work term?
Most co-op students’ schedules have the first co-op work term in the summer (May) following admission into the Co-op Program. However, this may differ for each engineering discipline and students may modify their schedules with consultation with their Co-op Coordinator and their Academic Advisor. Please refer to the common schedules on our website for more information.
How many work terms are in a student’s co-op schedule?
Undergraduate students are scheduled for either 4 or 5 work terms and each work term is 4 months in duration (mirroring the academic term). Master of Engineering students are scheduled for either 1 or 2 work terms. Visit our website to view the different undergraduate work term schedules.
How do I register for a work term?”
The work term recruitment period (job search) begins four months prior to the scheduled work term, e.g. start of the summer job search begins in January. When a student has accepted an offer of co-op employment, the student will be registered by the Co-op Office in the appropriate co-op course(s) (e.g. APSC 110) for the term(s) covering the duration of the employment contract. Co-op employment contracts cover periods of 4, 8, 12 or 16 months, depending on the employer’s needs and the student’s availability.
When is the Co-op work term course fee due?
The Co-op course fee and related student fees (Vancouver/Okanagan) are assessed for each confirmed work term. Tuition and program fee payment instructions are outlined on the UBC Student Services website and payment is made through your SSC account, as with any other UBC course or program.

 

Employers and Jobs
Which employers hire Co-op students?
The UBC Engineering Co-op Program is connected with hundreds of employers offering exciting opportunities for students to make meaningful industry connections, gain firsthand experience, and develop new skills. Some of our top employers are:
Intel, SAP, Teck Resources, Ballard Power Systems, BC Hydro, Sierra Wireless, Microchip, Hydro One Networks, Stantec, Canfor, Thurber Engineering, City of Surrey, City of Vancouver, Stemcell Technologies, PCL Construction, Shell Canada, Cadex, Metro Vancouver, Peace River Hydro Partners, Metro Testing + Engineering, Tesla, TC Energy, Imperial Oil, Ledcor Group, Fortis BC, ConeTec Investigations, TTT Studios.
Are co-op students guaranteed jobs?
No. Securing a job is a competitive process and is not guaranteed. It’s important for students to put effort into their job search and applications. Co-op students have access to the program’s exclusive co-op job portal and support of the Co-op team. The more positions applied to, the higher the chance of securing a job. We will work with you and support you in your job search with our pre-employment workshops, in-person appointments and 1:1 coaching — from your first job search through to your final work term.
What happens if I don’t secure co-op job?
If you have registered for courses, you may return to classes and apply for co-op jobs for your next scheduled co-op work term.
Can I look for a co-op job outside of the Co-op portal?
Yes! In addition to applying for positions through the Program’s portal, you should expand your efforts by developing leads and exploring opportunities through your personal connections, networking events, or career fairs. Meet with your Co-op Coordinator to discuss and develop your job search strategy.
Do I have to work in British Columbia?
No. Co-op opportunities are available across numerous industries, organizations, and geographic locations. Many co-op opportunities are in British Columbia and Alberta but there are opportunities available across Canada, in the USA and globally. Students can seek out opportunities in any geographic region of interest but should not be too restrictive to increase success in securing a position.
Are international work terms possible?
Yes. International co-op work terms allow you to expand your horizons and industry networks globally. You have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture and new experiences. The most frequent destinations are Japan, Germany, the United States, and China. Our Co-op Coordinators are here to help you understand what’s involved to seek out, secure and address next steps when you accept an international work term. They can help you with visas, job descriptions and international orientations so that you are better prepared to work internationally.
What is the Co-op designation?
Undergraduate co-op students must complete a minimum of four work terms – including at least one term in two different seasons (summer, fall, and/or winter) to graduate with Co-op Standing and have Co-op designation noted on their degree parchment. Master of Engineering students are not eligible for Co-op designation on their degree parchment.

Didn’t find the answer to your question?

Join a virtual FAQ and Information Session to ask us your questions and learn more about the Co-op Program.  The virtual information sessions are open to all UBC Vancouver and Okanagan Applied Science undergraduate and Master of Engineering students.  Dates and times for info sessions are updated here.