Engineering Co-op FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read through the FAQ below for any questions you may have before contacting the Co-op Office. The Co-op Office is here to help make your transition into the workforce as smooth as possible. Do not hesitate to contact us if your question has not been answered below. You can email or schedule appointments with your Co-op coordinator through PDPortal.

Co-op Schedule & Term Sequence
What are the Co-op sequence options for my program?

You can find Co-op sequence options at the Undergraduate Co-op Student page. Scroll to the bottom of the page. Use program filter to see all the options available for you.

Do I have to follow the outlined Co-op sequence for my program?

Each engineering discipline has a pre-approved sequence. Normally, you will follow one of these preapproved Co-op sequences; however, you can choose to create your own sequence.

As some academic courses are only offered once per year (either Term 1 or Term 2), you may end up missing prerequisites for the core courses of your program, which may extend your program, and postpone the graduation date. Before making any formal changes to your Co-op/Academic sequence, you need to confirm with your department’s academic advisor whether your plan will fit with the academic courses and future schedule. Note: by submitting the completed Co-op sequence change form, you are confirming that you have discussed your sequence plan with your academic advisor and they have approved it.

How do I change my work term sequence?

You need to fill out the Sequence Change Form to change your work term sequence and email it to your Co-op Coordinator. Please note the deadlines for changing your co-op sequence:
    ● December 31st for Summer term (May to August)
    ● April 30th for Fall (T1) term (September – December)
    ● August 31st for Winter (T2) term (January – April)
If you have any questions or extenuating circumstances, contact your Co-op Coordinator.

How many work terms do I need to complete?

In order to graduate with the Co-op designation on your degree parchment, undergraduate students must successfully complete four co-op work terms from at least two different academic terms (e.g., three summer work terms and one fall work term or two summer work terms, one fall work term, and one winter work term, etc.)

What is the maximum number of work terms I can complete?

The maximum of number of Co-op terms is seven (7) for Canadian or Permanent Resident undergraduate students and five (5) for international undergraduate students.

My co-op schedule shows five work terms, why?

If you do not secure a position for one term, you then have four work terms scheduled which could then meet eligibility to graduate with Co-op designation on your degree parchment. If you do not secure a work term, you will simply proceed to the next scheduled term on the schedule to complete the remaining four work terms.


Job Search & Applications
I cannot see job postings on the PD Portal, what do I do?

First, are you scheduled to be heading out on a work term in the next term? If so…. Have you reviewed and accepted the Terms and Conditions in the PD Portal AND selected your Intention? Go to the PD portal and click Co-op overview, find the appropriate work term and select your intention.

Finally, if you still cannot see any job postings, please contact the Co-op office.

I need assistance in preparing my resume, cover letter and/or for an upcoming interview. Who can assist me?

Refer to the Co-op Toolkits. There are separate toolkits for resumes, cover letters and interviews in the PD Portal. To access these: Log in to PD Portal > Click Co-op > Click Resources

If you have further questions, make an appointment with your Coordinator. You can make an appointment through the PD Portal, under the Co-op tab, then to Appointments. Also, Co-op Peer Advisors are here to help! A Peer Advisor has been in your shoes, will provide feedback, and can share tips on how to become a successful Co-op student.

I have an “F” on my transcript, will employers still consider me?

While some employers pay attention to student’s grades, and in some cases require a minimum academic average to qualify for a job (e.g. NSERC), having an “F” on your transcript does not directly affect your hireability. Many employers focus on your skills demonstrated through your projects, extracurricular activities, and relevant work experiences in addition to your academic courses.

I have an “UNPLACED” work term in my schedule, will the employers still consider me?

Employers do not have access to your work term sequence/schedule as posted in the PD Portal; therefore, they do not know your work term sequence history.

Can an unpaid internship count as a Co-op work term?

As a nationally accredited co-op program, each work term must be remunerated. Unpaid internships are ineligible for co-op work term credit. Contact your Co-op Coordinator if you have any questions regarding remuneration.

I found a job on my own (not posted in the PD Portal) that I am very interested in; however, the job description is not relevant to my major/degree, can I still use it as a Co-op term?

If the position meets the minimum Co-op requirements (i.e. minimum 35 hours per week (or equivalent), paid, supervised) it may be eligible for credit for a co-op work term. You will need to provide details to your Co-op Coordinator and outline why you are interested in the position and how it fits your professional development. Your request will be reviewed and you will be advised if it will be eligible for a co-op work term.

I have a Co-op job offer, how long do I have to reply?

You have two (2) business days to accept or decline an offer. After two business days, the Co-op office must notify the employer of your decision. After this time the employer may then extend the offer to another student

If I get a job offer do I have to accept it, or can I decline it?

You may decline a job offer. You must respond to a job offer within two (2) business days of receiving the offer (either verbal or written) indicating if you are accepting or declining. Once you have accepted a job offer you are expected to honour it.
You may decline an offer but, as outlined in Terms and Conditions, you should only be applying to positions that you intend to accept if you were offered. If you have any concerns with an interview or an offer, speak to your Co-op Coordinator immediately.

Is a verbal offer binding?

A verbal offer is a formal offer of employment, once an employer receives confirmation that you have accepted their offer, they will then issue a written offer. You are expected to honour any offer you accept.

I received a job offer one month into my Co-op work term period, is it still going to count as a full Co-op term?

As an accredited co-op program, each work term needs to be a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks of full-time, remunerated employment or equivalent. Please contact your Co-op Coordinator for confirmation.

I did not secure a job for a scheduled work term, how can I be successful for my next work term?

Please schedule an appointment with your Co-op Coordinator or a Peer Advisor to discuss. We are here to assist you for your future success.


During the Work Term
Do I enroll myself in the work term course once I have secured a job?

No, you do not enroll in the Co-op work term course. The Co-op office will enroll students in the appropriate course once you have a confirmed co-op position. Before registering for courses, you will have to pay a $100 registration deposit, which will be applied toward your co-op course fee and tuition. The deposit will appear on the Pay Fees screen through the Student Service Centre (SSC) once your registration date has been released. The Co-op course fee is applied to your UBC account upon registration. The Co-op work term fees are paid to UBC in the same method as your other tuition fees. For current fee information, please visit the UBC Calendar.

My Co-op work term is outside of Metro Vancouver. How do I apply for a UPass/Compass card exemption?

The online exemption request form is available at the Student Service Centre (SSC). The exemption application deadline is the same as the withdrawal date without W standing for your courses. Get more information about U-Pass/Compass Card at UBC Planning.

When are my work term assignments, forms, and reports due?

You can find all important work term due dates at the following links:
   For Summer terms (May-August)
   For Fall terms (September-December)
   For Winter terms (January-April)

What is a Co-op site visit?

As an accredited program, we check in with each student during the work term and receive an evaluation at the end of each work term.

A Co-op Coordinator will conduct a ‘site visit’ – a mid-term check-in – through an in-person meeting, a phone meeting, or an email at approximately halfway through your Co-op work term. The Coordinator will meet with your supervisor and then with you to discuss and review your job responsibilities, learning and progress to date, future goals, and any concerns that you might have.

Can I take classes during my Co-op work terms?

While on a work term, your primary course is your work experience. If you wish to enroll in one course outside of your work hours/employer’s business hours, you may. If you wish to take more than one course or a course that could cross into your work hours (even if you are working on-campus), you must obtain permission from both your employer and a Co-op Coordinator.

I have student loans, am I still eligible for the full amount of loans and grants while on a Co-op work term?

While on a Co-op work term you are considered a full-time student for eligibility for student loans and interest-free status. If you have any questions about student loans, grants or awards, follow up with your Enrolment Services Advisor (ESA) in Vancouver or Student Services at UBC Okanagan. You can also visit BC Student Aid for student loan details.


General
Who is my Co-op Coordinator?

Each engineering discipline has an assigned Coordinator team and each student has a primary Coordinator. Your assigned Coordinator is listed in the PD Portal under the Co-op tab, in your Co-op Record. Co-op Coordinator contact details can be found here.

What is CIE? Can it count as a Co-op work term?

CIE is the Faculty of Applied Science Coordinated International Experience program. It is an experiential opportunity for engineering students which we support by providing the opportunity to integrate it in your plans to graduate with Co-op designation on your degree. If you are completing a CIE term during a scheduled work term, you may be eligible to count this term toward one of the minimum four work terms required for Co-op standing. Contact your Co-op Coordinator.

Full CIE program details are available here.

I cannot see a grade for APSC X10 class on my transcript or there is a “P” on my transcript, what does it mean?

Co-op APSC X10 courses are pass or fail. “P” indicates that you have successfully completed the work term. If you do not yet see a grade on your transcript, please allow some time as the Co-op office might be still reviewing your learning objectives, work term report, and performance assessment submitted by your employer. Allow a minimum of six weeks into the term following the work term for the details and grade to be processed.

Note: we advise you to remind your employer to complete the performance assessment before the final week of your Co-op term.

How do I withdraw from the Co-op program?

If you wish to withdraw from the program, you should meet with your Co-op Coordinator. You must fill out Program Withdrawal Form to withdraw and send it to your Co-op Coordinator for review and processing.

If you do not send in the withdrawal form by the term deadline you will be assigned a “Withdrawal” standing for your APSC Co-op course and you will be charged 100% of the Co-op tuition fees. The deadlines for withdrawing from the Co-op program are:
    ○ For Winter work term (January to April) – by August 31st
    ○ For Summer work term (May to August) – by December 31st
    ○ For Fall work term (September to December) – by April 30th
Meet with your Co-op Coordinator if you have any questions or extenuating circumstances

Can I use Co-op work terms as experience for toward my P.Eng certification (e.g. for EIT hours)?

Yes, you may be able to use up to 12 months of Co-op work terms toward the four-year work experience requirement leading to the P.Eng. It is a good idea to keep a log of the type work you have been doing during your term. This can help you remember what you did and how your Co-op activities fulfill Engineers and Geoscientists BC required competencies leading to the P.Eng.

Take a look at Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Competency Experience Reporting System for a better idea of the requirements here. If you will be pursuing a P.Eng in another province, go to that province’s professional association for engineers website for reporting requirements.