About Co-op & Internship Programs

Co-op and internship programs are a form of education that links classroom learning with paid or unpaid employment experiences. Work placements are related specifically to the academic studies of each student. The work terms provide an opportunity to learn by doing. You’ll apply theory to practice, develop a meaningful view of the working world, and cultivate an awareness of yourself as a professional. 

Employer evaluations and constructive feedback are provided to students on each of their work terms. This input gives students the opportunity to understand their strengths and improve in areas that require attention. Although work term placements are not guaranteed, last year, Sheridan was successful in helping upwards of 95% of students find work term placements. 

Co-op programs at Sheridan require 360 hours for the completion of a work term.

Internship programs require a minimum of 14 full-time consecutive weeks (30 hrs/week on average) for the completion of an internship for the applied degree programs. All degree programs have a mandatory work term component to fulfill graduation requirements. 

Benefits of Co-op & Internship Programs

Co-op and internship placements give students a jump-start on their careers by giving them valuable, on-the-job work experience while they are completing their academic studies.

Other benefits include the following:
  • Students largely fund the cost of their education and depend less on loans, grants, bursaries, and other forms of financial assistance when placed in paid employment.
  • Students are employed for up to 12 months while completing their diploma / degree and earn in the range of $10-24 an hour for many programs.
  • Students find full time employment upon graduation faster than non co-op students.
  • A 2005 report by the University of Waterloo, a leader in promoting Co-operative Education, confirmed that students who complete co-op programs enjoy several advantages in graduate employment. Among these advantages are higher initial employment rates and higher starting salaries.
  • Gain a realistic understanding of the job market and develop relevant employment skills before graduation.
  • Try a variety of employment settings and career options, often resulting in better and more informed decisions upon graduation.
  • Gain experience in the practical aspects of their field and make valuable contacts for future employment.
  • Gain exposure to role models in the workplace.
  • Enhance understanding of course material.
  • Graduate with significant resume, job search skills, and a network of contacts.

Becoming a Co-op Student

Once you have applied and been accepted to an undergraduate program at Sheridan, you will be invited to apply to co-op if it is offered in your program. Students apply for co-op in Year 1. The application process is explained to students through Co-op Information Sessions, which are offered throughout the year and are advertised well in advance.  

Human Resource Management, a Certificate Program, has one mandatory work term but all other Certificate Programs are optional. A separate application process may be required for your chosen program.

Limited numbers are accepted to ensure adequate training, job selection and support. Although work terms are not guaranteed, Sheridan has traditionally placed more than 95% of its students. 

Students who are accepted into co-op pay a supplementary fee of $535 for each work term to help offset the cost of administering the program.

Once in the program, students must maintain their academic performance and adhere to required standards of conduct. For more information, review the Academic Standards for Co-op and Internship.

Becoming an Internship Student

Once you have been accepted into a degree program at Sheridan, you are automatically involved in one internship placement. This internship is generally conducted between years 3 and 4 of the program.

Successful completion of an internship work placement is a requirement in order to graduate with a degree.

Students who are accepted into the degree programs pay a supplementary fee of $535 for this internship placement.

To be eligible to participate in the four-month work term, students must meet certain academic requirements. For more information, review the Academic Standards for Co-op and Internship.

Preparing for the Work Term

The Cooperative Education & Internship Credit Course (COWT10022, 10023, 53815), (LIFE 12120, BUSM 18263) is a prerequisite, preparatory course to the first work term (COWT19999, COWT18888), and helps students prepare and plan successfully for the job search and subsequent job term(s).

Students will develop a range of work search and career planning skills, including self-assessment, resume and cover letter preparation, effective interviewing and job search techniques. Knowledge of the world of work, particularly as it relates to the co-op experience, will be emphasized. Through in-class exercises and independent study, students will have opportunities to prepare their work search portfolio, access career resources online and ready themselves for successful work terms. Furthermore, by the end of the course, students will have detailed knowledge of the Cooperative Education & Internship Office’s policies and procedures.
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