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Co-op / Professional Work Term - Experiential Learning Hub

Learning Type:

Co-op / Professional Work Term


All students complete a full-time work experience, on or off-campus, for a minimum of one term as a component of an academic program (e.g., co-op work term).



  • Students need to be enrolled in a co-op program to participate in a cooperative education experience. Eligibility criteria differs for each program and you may be required to submit an application. Reminder that some co-op programs require admission directly from secondary school.


  • The duration for these opportunities varies. Work terms typically begin in January, May or September, and involve 4-, 8-, 12-, or 16-month terms of full-time work, although there can be variation with these timelines.

Recognition and / or compensation:  

  • Students in co-op placements are employees of their placement organization and are paid by the placement organization.


  • Inclusion in EL is achieved when an experience supports learning for all students. In keeping with the Ontario Human Rights Code, the University of Toronto has a commitment to an equitable learning environment for people with disabilities. It is important to engage in an interactive process to determine the optimal and most appropriate accommodations for individual students engaged in experiential learning.
  • If a student requires an accommodation related to a professional work term, you may wish to connect with one of the accessibility services offices at the University of Toronto. Staff at these offices will advise you on the disclosure of accommodation requirements as well as support you through the process of determining and negotiating effective accommodations for the student’s individual circumstances.
  • Student support offices strive to create a safe and comfortable community where students have opportunities to discuss navigating barriers, find peer support and learn about various academic and social opportunities.


  • Students engaging in a co-op work term enter into an employment agreement with the employer organization. 
  • Review the Guidelines & Procedures page to understand which partnership agreements, insurance and liability coverage and health and safety policies are applicable to co-op work terms. The Experiential Learning Risk Management Matrix provides a one-page overview.
  • Students on a professional work term do not have workplace insurance coverage through the University or Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Generally, students have coverage through your employer organization and you should confirm with your employer.
  • Students on a professional work term are not covered by the University’s general liability coverage. Generally, students have coverage through your employer organization and you should confirm with your employer.
  • Please review the eModules to learn more about intellectual property and non-disclosure agreements arising from co-op work term placements.


Arts & Science Internship Program

Faculty of Information’s MI Co-operative Education Option

Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy: Master of Global Affairs Program

Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy: Master of Public Policy Program

Professional Experience Year (PEY) Co-op

Rotman School of Management’s Flexible Internship Program (FIP)

University of Toronto Mississauga’s Master of Biotechnology

University of Toronto Mississauga’s Master of Management & Professional Accounting

University of Toronto Mississauga’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management

University of Toronto Scarborough’s Arts & Science Co-op

University of Toronto Scarborough’s International Development Co-op

University of Toronto Scarborough’s Management Co-op

University of Toronto Scarborough’s Master of Environmental Science


  • Students receive supervised guidance over an extended period of time, leading to deeper learning and skill development.
  • Co-op placements can be tailored to fit specific disciplinary expectations and benchmarks enhancing students’ understanding of the value and applicability of their degrees.
  • Co-ops support the development of students’ professional skills as well as their understanding of professional settings.

Ideal time to participate:  

How to access / locate opportunities:

  • Students should check with the co-op office affiliated with their program of study. 

Resources for Faculty, Staff and Librarians

Next Steps for Partners/External Organizations

  • Co-op programs at the University of Toronto are connected to specific programs of study (see the list of co-op programs above).
  • Over the duration of the work term, co-op students are typically full-time employees and paid by your organization for their work.
  • If an organization hires a co-op student through an accredited co-op program, the organization will be eligible for the Ontario Co-operative Education Tax Credit.
  • Co-op students receive academic credit for their work; ideally, these opportunities will allow students to engage with and learn from their experience.
  • A formal agreement between the organization and the respective co-op office may need to be in place in advance of welcoming students into the workplace. This agreement will clearly outline items such as responsibilities, provisions, and policies to be followed by both the University and the organization.