Engineering and Computer Science Co-op

Nick and Tyler
Nick Birch and Tyler Rhodes (electrical engineering) designed and built TreeRover, a tree-planting robot, during an entrepreneurial co-op work term.

The Engineering and Computer Science Co-op office administers several different programs—learn more about them here.

WHAT IS CO-OP? Learn about co-op including how it works and what's expected of you, plus check out fees and salaries.

READY TO APPLY FOR A CO-OP JOB? Here's what to expect.

Your co-op office

Engineering and Computer Science Co-op and Career 

Who is your coordinator?

Our coordinators are assigned to specific disciplines - find yours below to connect with your co-op coordinator.

Undeclared Engineering: (ECS 222)

Your discipline

Your coordinator

Biomedical engineering (ECS 231)
Civil engineering (ECS 228)
Computer engineering  (ECS 224)
Computer science (ECS 230)
Electrical engineering (your student # ends in 0-3) (ECS 231)
Electrical engineering (your student # ends in 4-9) (ECS 224)
Graduate students (except MTIS) (ECS 226)
Master of Engineering in Telecommunications and Information Security (MTIS) (ECS 218)
Mechanical engineering (your student # ends in 0-4) (ECS 220)
Mechanical engineering (your student # ends in 5-9) (ECS 222)
Software engineering: (your student # ends in 0-4): (ECS 226)
Software engineering: (your student # ends in 5 -9): (ECS 218)
Undeclared Engineering: (ECS 222)

Program facts

Mandatory co-op programs 

Co-op is mandatory for the following programs:

  • Biomedical Engineering (undergraduate)
  • Civil Engineering (undergraduate)
  • Computer Engineering (undergraduate)
  • Electrical Engineering (undergraduate)
  • Mechanical Engineering (undergraduate)
  • Software Engineering (undergraduate)

Program facts:

  • Mandatory co-op—part of your degree program
  • Automatically enrolled; no application required
  • Four work terms required
  • Must complete ENGR 130 (Introduction to Professional Practice)

Optional programs

Co-op is optional for the following programs:

  • Computer Science – Co-op or Work Experience Program
  • Engineering graduate programs

Program facts:

  • Not automatically enrolled; application required
  • Must complete Introduction to Professional Practice before your first work term

Program formats available

The following co-op program formats are available:

  • Parallel co-op (part-time)
  • Entrepreneurial co-op
  • Work term transfer
  • Work term challenge
  • Other formats possible - Volunteer work term: In special circumstances, you can take on a "volunteer" work term if the work provides productive and paid, full-time work experience that is related to your program of study. This allows you to volunteer with approved not-for-profit organizations. It must include four months of work and you must receive payment in-kind, for example, an employer contribution to travel, food or housing expenses. Your employer must provide supervision and you must secure proper insurance.

Sample co-op jobs

Sample co-op jobs

We've listed a few sample jobs here - for specific examples, contact your co-op coordinator:

Potential career paths

  • Healthcare engineer
  • Structural designer
  • Environmental analyst
  • Software engineer
  • Cyber security officer
  • Big data analyst
  • Project manager
  • Application developer

TIP: See our What can you do with your degree? sheets for more!

Computer Science - co-op and work experience programs

About the Co-op Program

Application requirements

If you're an undergraduate student, you can apply to the Computer Science Co-op Program after you have completed CSC 110, MATH 100 (or MATH 109), and the following:

  • at least 4.5 units on your last academic term
  • a minimum grade of C+ in any Computer Science courses and a minimum grade of C in any Mathematics or Statistics courses taken on your last academic term
  • no F, E or N in courses taken on your last academic term

How to apply

About the Work Experience Program

What is it?

The Work Experience Program provides all the same benefits and support as the co-op program, but you'll complete two work terms instead of three or four.

Requirements

  • You can apply after you have enrolled in, or completed, at least 3.0 units of 300- or 400-level courses in the Department of Computer Science

How to apply

  • Apply by January 15 and September 15 each year
  • Download and complete the undergraduate co-op application form and drop it off at the Computer Science Co-op office in ECS 204make sure to indicate on the form that you are interested in the Work Experience program
  • If admitted to the program, you will need to sign a copy of the Terms and Conditions form at the start of your program (NOTE: this PDF is provided as a reference only - completed forms must be submitted through the Co-op and Career portal).

Graduate students - co-op and work experience programs

As a graduate student, you can take part in the optional co-op or work experience program.

Program facts

  • Master's students will complete two work terms (8 months of work) to receive a Co-op designation, or one work term to receive a "work experience" endorsement on your degree.
  • Doctoral students will complete three work terms (12 months of work) to receive a Co-op designation, or one work term to receive a "work experience" endorsement on your degree.
  • Work terms do not have to be continuous—can work for different employers on different work terms

Application requirements

  • You must have your grad supervisor's permission to participate in co-op (and each specific work term)
  • You must complete your first co-op work term before the academic term in which you complete your academic requirements (defend your thesis or equivalent)
  • You must complete regular work term requirements (including Introduction to Professional Practice, competency assessments and work term report)

How to apply

  • Apply for co-op two terms before you want to go on your first work term (eg., apply in October to go on a work term in May).
  • Due dates each term: November 1, July 1, March 1 (or next business day)
  • Complete and drop off the following forms to your co-op office. (You can also pick up a hard copy forms package from outside the office.)
    1. Admission Form
    2. Work Term Registration Form – Will also fill out again before each work term

Co-op work term process

Find a co-op work term

In addition to the general process for securing a co-op job, you need to complete the Terms & Conditions form in the Co-op and Career portal AND one of the following forms before you can be made eligible to apply to co-op job postings:

You can also find a job on your own (outside of LIM) and apply to have it count as co-op. For more information on how to register, refer to the approval process.

During your work term

As part of the work term requirements for all co-op students, you'll need to write a work term report for every work term you complete, even if you stay with the same employer for more than four months. This is mandatory for all students, including those in optional or graduate co-op programs.

When you start a work term, you will be added to a CourseSpaces course for the work term that contains details of all the co-op assignments including the requirements for the work term report.

Changing your schedule

BEng and SEng students who need to change their schedule should check these requirements.

While you’re on a work term, you’re considered a full-time student and not usually allowed to take academic courses. If you want to take a course at the same time, you’ll need approval from your employer and the program manager. Contact your co-op coordinator to arrange permission.

Co-op Student of the Year Award

Are you an excellent ambassador for Engineering and Computer Science Co-op and Career and the Faculty of Engineering? If you’ve contributed to your co-op employer, UVic, ENGR Co-op and Career and the community, you could be selected as co-op student of the year.

Co-op students of the year receive a framed certificate, a cheque for $500 and a profile on the Co-op and Career website. The runner-up receives a cheque for $250. The winning student may also be invited to represent UVic provincially for the Association for Co-operative Education in BC/Yukon award and nationally for the Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) award.

You must be nominated by your co-op coordinator for this award (no need to apply). If you're interested in actively seeking out a nomination, contact your coordinator if you:

  • have completed at least one co-op work term during the year (Jan–Dec)
  • have a cumulative GPA of at least 5.0
  • received a rating of "very good" to "excellent" from your work term employer on the final competency assessment

You name will be added to the list of applicants and you will be contacted with instructions on how to complete the nomination package.

Co-op Work Term Report Award

Each term, the VIES (Vancouver Island Engineer Society) Awards Committee recognizes 2 undergraduate students for their outstanding co-op work term reports (for reports completed the previous term). Award recipients receive $300, an award certificate and a congratulatory letter from VIES.

What is the nomination process?

1) Work term report markers (including faculty, co-op coordinators and teaching assistants) nominate outstanding reports based on:

  • the feasibility of the project described
  • the clarity of the problem and the solutions described
  • the potential execution of the project (including actionable plans and recommendations)

2) Representatives from VIES review the nominated reports and select the 2 winners based on the following criteria defined by IEEE Victoria and Iron Ring Camp 23:

  • IEEE criteria (Communications): Communication skills are critical for success in engineering. The student must have clearly identified the problem to be solved, the plan of work, conclusions and recommendations.
  • Iron Ring Camp 23 criteria (Client Impact): The student must have applied a methodical approach to solving a client's technical problem, taking into account the costs/benefits of the solution and the impact on the client's business.

Who sponsors the awards?

VIES awards are sponsored by:

Who has received the awards?

SPRING 2018: IEEE Victoria recipient: Austin Smith

Austin Smith (software engineering) was selected by IEEE Victoria for his work term report about his work term with the Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges (CFMETR) in Nanoose Bay.

Austin prepared a well written report that demonstrated both professional analysis and communication skills. His conclusions and recommendations for strategies to upgrade the real-time GPS demodulation LabVIEW application will be of tangible benefit to the Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and test Ranges Acoustics Section.

SPRING 2018: Iron Ring Camp 23 recipient: Rhye Rolls-DeWolfe

Rhye Rolls-DeWolfe (mechanical engineering) was selected by Iron Ring Camp 23 for his work term report about his time working with Ocean Networks Canada in Victoria, BC.

Rhye's report followed a clear goal of increasing the efficiency of designing housing projects. Both business and engineering analyses were employed to demonstrate the value of using excel spreadsheets in the design process. These findings created a clear benefit to ONC that coud be implemented following the report's recommendations.

FALL 2017: IEEE Victoria recipient: Kian Gorgichuk

Kian Gorgichuk (software engineering) was selected by IEEE Victoria for his work term report about his work term with Latitude Geographics.

Kian's work term report was very well written, concise, clear and easy to follow.  The logical workplan led to well thought out recommendations including business considerations.  Not only was there excellence in communication but also significant impact for the client

FALL 2017: Iron Ring Camp 23 recipient: Brett Nagy

Brett Nagy (civil engineering) was selected by Iron Ring Camp 23 for his work term report about his time working with the City of Prince George.

Brett's report was well laid out and easy to follow. An evidenced based approach was used to make practical recommendations to the City of Prince George including both financial, environmental and social impacts.

SUMMER 2017: IEEE Victoria recipient: Ryan Chan

Ryan Chan (biomedical engineering) was selected by IEEE Victoria for his work term report about his Entrepreneurial Co-op.

Ryan undertook a demanding project in human factors assessment, a field that he had no previous direct training in. His report was written methodically so that the results could be reproduced and practical recommendations were provided a client and a manufacturer. Ryan's report was a strong example of the communications skills encouraged by the IEEE award.

SUMMER 2017: Iron Ring Camp 23 recipient: Matt Dyck

Matt Dyck (mechanical engineering) was selected by Iron Ring Camp 23 for his work term report about his time working with Vice Design Inc.

Matt undertook a design engineering project that required both materials and structural analysis. In addition, financial considerations were integrated into the final recommendation for the client which resulted in the fabrication of a useful product.

SPRING 2017: IEEE Victoria recipient: Carling Stokes

Carly Stokes (mechanical engineering) was selected by IEEE Victoria for her work term report written while working for Barkley Sound Holdings Ltd.

The report was called "Feasibility of Low Embodied Energy Softwood Lumber Drying Systems on the West Coast of British Columbia".

"Receiving the IEEE co-op work term award has benefited me in a multitude of ways. Not only has it helped instil and confirm a deeper sense of confidence in my communication skills, but also it has encouraged me to continue to develop and foster this skill. It is a great feeling to have someone recognize and acknowledge the dedication and time that you put into a project, but to be able to use that acknowledgment as motivation to improve my skills and also have it contribute monetarily to education fills me with appreciation and gratitude for both the Vancouver Island Engineering Society, IEEE, and all the sponsors who help to provide the funding for these programs and awards."

SPRING 2017: Iron Ring Camp 23 recipient: Sema-May Hamidi

Sema-May Hamidi (mechanical engineering) was selected by Iron Ring Camp 23 for her work term report written while working for CFB Esquimalt - Base Construction Engineering (BCE).

The report was called "Construction of New Building vs Renovating Existing Facilities for Canadian Navy Enhanced Navy Boarding Party & Boat Troop".

"It’s always nice to be rewarded for hard work. The co-op report award was a great opportunity to be recognized for work during my co-op term, and is a valuable addition to my resume in applying for future work."

Forms and resources