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.

Your discipline

Your coordinator

Biomedical engineering (ECS 230)
Civil engineering (student #s ending in 0-3) (ECS 232)
Civil engineering (student #s ending in 4-9) (ECS 228)
Computer engineering  (ECS 224)
Computer science (student #s ending in 0-4) (ECS 216)
Computer science (student #s ending in 5-9) (ECS 212)
Electrical engineering (your student # ends in 0-3) (ECS 232)
Electrical engineering (your student # ends in 4-9) (ECS 224)
Graduate students (except MTIS and MADS) (ECS 226)
Master of Engineering in Applied Data Science (MADS) (ECS 225)
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 230)
Software engineering: (your student # ends in 5-9): (ECS 218)
Undeclared Engineering: (ECS 226)

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:

  • Regular full-time work term
  • Entrepreneurial co-op
  • Work term transfers - for students who have completed a co-op work term through another post-secondary institution before attending the engineering program at UVic. Students are able to transfer a maximum of two of their four mandatory work terms. The work term transfer application form must be submitted to the Engineering Co-op Office (ECS 204) in the first month of a student’s first term in the Engineering program at UVic (i.e. in September for students beginning in the fall term, or in January for students beginning in the spring term.) If you are planning to transfer two work terms, please submit two forms.
  • Work term challenges - for students who have completed relevant engineering work experience outside of a post-secondary institution before attending the engineering program at UVic. Students are able to challenge a maximum of two of their four mandatory work terms. The work term challenge application form must be submitted to the Engineering Co-op Office (ECS 204) in the first month of a student’s first term in the Engineering program at UVic (i.e. in September for students beginning in the fall term, or in January for students beginning in the spring term.) If you are planning to challenge two work terms, please submit two forms. Please note that assignments (including a work term challenge report) are required in order to complete a work term challenge. More information about these assignments will be sent to students after applications have been received.
  • Parallel co-op (part-time)

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 the Co-op and Career portal) 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 engineering 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.
  • Vancouver Island Engineering Society (VIES): This award recognizes a student who has demonstrated high level engineering skills and enterprise, as well as professional expertise. This may include making substantial contributions to a research project, or completing an entrepreneurial co-op work term that demonstrated building skills and technical innovation.

Who sponsors the awards?

VIES awards are sponsored by:

Who has received the awards?

SUMMER 2019: IEEE Victoria recipient: Caitlyn Quach

Caitlyn Quach (civil engineering) undertook a traffic study to improve traffic along Six Mile Road at the behest of the Town of View Royal. Two intersections were the focus of the study and three control devices were compared; two-way stop, traffic signal and roundabout. Three main criteria considered were travel times, safety and future increases in traffic.

Blunt & Associates conducted this study beginning with an overview of how a range of traffic control systems worked. The corridor was modelled in Synchro software and Sidra intersection software.  Time, safety and intersection approach operations were compared.  It was concluded that roundabouts were the safest solutions and best suited to handle the expected increase in traffic based on planned development projects. Further research was recommended to explore the implementations costs before making final decisions.

SUMMER 2019: Iron Ring Camp 23 recipient: Mikhail Ivanov

Mikhail Ivanov (mechanical engineering) worked on a design solution for corrosion of the rear position light on the DHC-6 Twin Otter in use by Loganair in Scotland. An analysis was required to determine the cause of the water ingress and potential solutions for repair and prevention. Multiple strategies were investigated including improved environmental sealing, redesign of fairing and wiring duct and location on the aircraft. The process for problem investigation was well described including the necessary documentation for any changes to the aircraft. This customer’s aircraft landed and departed from a beach exposing it to harsh environmental conditions.

Specific options were presented and discussed; sealing improvement, fairing/wire duct redesign and relocation of the rear light. A discussion matrix was developed based on the impact to; A/C configuration, associated documents, weight and balance, cost, production incorporation, effectiveness, and relative weight. It was concluded that positioning the lights on the wing tips would provide a long-term solution but that testing should be done to verify this and a technical bulletin be released for operators wanting to retrofit their aircraft.

SUMMER 2019: Vancouver Island Engineering Society (VIES) recipient: Brynna Clarke-Leene

Brynna Clarke-Leene (mechanical engineering) worked on a project to evaluate vacuum test jigs used for ingress protection testing at 4iiii Innovations. The test jigs were compared based on test results, materials, size, cost, flexibility, seal opening and connection mechanism. These jigs support the quality control testing of power meters. A good background was provided on the products and their need to be reliably dust and waterproof as defined by IP67 standards. This code defines the testing specifications and the critical aspect of vacuum testing. 

4iiii Innovations has had an increase in production and the need for new test jigs. These were described in detail leading to the definition of constraints for the final jig design. Jigs were quantitatively tested on performance criteria comparing 3 designs in a weighted objective chart. The criteria were described and justification discussed leading to recommendations for an alternative test jig. Specific design details were provided for a new jig.

SPRING 2019: IEEE Victoria recipient: Bryn Cubberly

Bryn Cubberly (mechanical engineering) provided a good comparative analysis of Microsoft and Apple Tablets based on cost, hardware, software and security parameters. The background and goals were clearly described based on a need to reduce the cost and time required to perform manual audits for Engineering Change Notification. 

The hardware systems were described, and costs compared with the existing paper-based approach. The iPad was a clear recommendation as a superior solution for Viking. Good judgement was displayed in the recommendation to begin with pilot testing before a broad scale roll out. This was a clearly written report that demonstrated excellence in communications.

SPRING 2019: Iron Ring Camp 23 recipient: Jacob Anderson

Jacob Anderson (mechanical engineering) worked on the potential layout of a new fabrication building for Titan Boats in Sidney. The company was growing out of multiple buildings on an uneven lot to a custom-built facility to bring all the fabrication under one roof. The report explored the workflow issues with the current system and recommended a new layout to improve efficiency and safety. 

This report was based on subjective observations but provided a useful starting point for the owners. Although the costing and detailed design considerations were outside of the scope of this report the work flow changes for Titan would have the most immediate benefit. A capital investment of this scale for a small company would be critical for its future and the study provided a good foundation for more detailed design.

SPRING 2019: Vancouver Island Engineering Society (VIES) recipient: Sean McAuliffe

Sean McAuliffe (mechanical engineering) completed a very well written report following a well thought-out approach to identifying the root cause and analysis of a failure in electrical bonding across connector junctions.

Instrumentation was employed in determining the cause and potential solutions compared with a decision matrix. The client was provided with clear conclusions and recommendations for a way forward. The report was well presented with good problem-solving/logic and of importance to the employer.

FALL 2018: IEEE Victoria recipient: Juliana Bartemucci

Juliana Bartemucci (mechanical engineering) worked for Defence Construction Canada. She undertook a comparative design review of two approaches to upgrading a jetty cold-water system to accommodate a new fire protection system and access to potable water. A clear recommendation was provided at the end of the analysis.

Juliana's report provided a clear write-up to address the near term and future requirements of the client. The illustrations and layout were clear and well documented. Technically, the selection of appropriate piping was supported by referenced material and engineering analysis.

FALL 2018: Iron Ring Camp 23 recipient: Collin Macleod

Collin Macleod (mechanical engineering) spent a work term with Viking Air Ltd. He undertook a study to determine the best location for an air-data boom on a DHC-6 to support the analysis of increasing the maximum take-off weight by up to 10%. The analysis was undertaken by creating a design space to model the performance of the air-boom in 3 different locations. In addition, a “best-in-class” comparison was undertaken based on qualitative measures. 

Collin demonstrated a good analysis of the issues, needs, and trade-offs was made as well as recognizing “solution constraints”. The report was well presented, and the conclusions were substantiated and reasonable. The report was of clear value to the client.

FALL 2018: Vancouver Island Engineering Society (VIES) recipient: Michael Gingras

Michael Gingras (mechanical engineering) worked for Babcock Canada Inc. His project undertook an engineering analysis of software for use in heating and cooling by a weighted objective matrix. Specific recommendations were made to proceed with FLoMASTER. The exercise demonstrated expertise in flow analysis, software assessment and cost benefits.

Michael's report demonstrated excellence in engineering. The safety related issues were complex and required an understanding of both software and hardware factors. This was a good example of a VIES Award.

SUMMER 2018: IEEE Victoria recipient: Mak Rokic

Mak Rokic (civil engineering) worked for Defence Construction Canada and wrote a work term report on the topic of "Remediate Rock Fall Hazard." His work term report had a well laid out comparison of potential solutions. There appeared to be only one option that didn't violate unacceptable risks well summarized in report. This is good benefit for the client. The report showed a careful analysis with a solution that made sense for everyone.

SUMMER 2018: Iron Ring Camp 23 recipient: Courtney Toney

Courtney Toney (mechanical engineering) worked for NCS Multistage and wrote a work term report titled "Positional Locking in NCS Ball Drop Sleeve". This was very challenging and a complicated problem to solve given the downhole constraints. A completed weighted chart was derived to compare options  recommending a compact sawtooth and interference brake for the ball drop sleeve.

SUMMER 2018: Vancouver Island Engineering Society (VIES) recipient: Sema-May Hamidi

Sema-May Hamidi (mechanical engineering) worked for NorLand Ltd. and wrote a work term report on the topic of "Mechanism Analysis for Capacity Increase LOCK-N-SAFE Bin Arrest System". It was an excellent and professional technical report.

SPRING 201: 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