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Co-operative Education Programs

Undergraduate Co-op Options

The Arts Co-operative Education Program provides interested and qualified students in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of International Economics, Bachelor of Media Studies, and Bachelor of Music programs with paid work opportunities that will help students excel academically and professionally, and prepare them for future careers. The Arts Co-operative Education Program is an optional, year-round program, supplementary to academic programs in the Faculty. Three co-op work terms must be completed, including at least one in Term 1 or Term 2 of a Winter Session. Students normally end their degrees on an academic term.

Students wishing to enrol in the Program must apply in Winter Session, Term 1, of their second or third year, and are recommended to have completed the Writing Component of the Writing and Research Requirement and have attained third-year standing (i.e. completed at least 54 credits) prior to their first work term. Academic performance and suitability for the work environment (as judged by the Arts Co-operative Education Program) will be the selection criteria used for Program admission. Total enrolment into the Program is subject to the availability of appropriate work opportunities. Acceptance into the program does not guarantee appropriate co-op work terms in every work term: students must apply and compete for positions, and employers decide whom to hire.

Students admitted into the program are registered by the Arts Co-operative Education Program in the appropriate co-op courses for each search and work term. Payment of the Arts Co-operative Education Program fees is mandatory. This includes fees for each search and work term, and a one-time administration and pre-employment conference/advising fee. See Program and Course Fees.

Students are enroled in search and work term co-op courses that appear on students’ academic transcripts as non-academic credit. In order to graduate with an Arts Co-operative Education Program designation on the transcript and parchment, a student must complete 3 work terms and corresponding search terms (all co-op credits are additive to the normal 120 academic credits required by the Faculty of Arts for graduation). Completion of the Arts Co-operative Education Program typically requires an additional half- to full-year to complete a bachelor's degree. Arts Co-operative Education Coordinators visit students at their places of work to assess student learning, progress on Arts Co-op professional development assignments (as outlined for each work term course), and liaise with co-op employers/supervisors. Students transferring to UBC from accredited co-operative education programs at other institutions may request admission to the Arts Co-op Program, and may transfer co-op credit for one previously completed work term.

For more information please contact the Arts Co-operative Education Program.

Graduate Co-op Options

Doctor of Philosophy Co-operative Education Option

Co-operative education integrates academic study with related and supervised work experience in co-operating employer organizations. Students admitted to a Doctor of Philosophy degree program in the Faculty of Arts in a department with a Ph.D. Co-operative Education option may apply for admission to the Arts Co-operative Education Program.

Students in a co-op program normally complete three paid work terms, each four months in duration, doing non-professorial or alternative-to-academic work. Job options may include post-secondary administration, professional consulting, government, private sector, and non-profit professional work. Graduate Co-op professional staff and faculty advisors visit students at their place of work and evaluate the work term projects assigned to all students in the program.

Students normally apply to the Arts Co-Op Office in the second year of their Ph.D. and normally begin work terms after achieving candidacy. Students pay their regular tuition fees, student fees, and co-op work term fees while on a co-op work term.

Individual departments will develop their own policies about pausing funding while students are on co-op terms and are responsible for communication these policies to students prior to them applying for the co-op program. Individual departments may require students to achieve candidacy prior to their first co-op term. Selection of students is based on a combination of strong academic performance (including acceptable progress though the degree) and general suitability to the work environment as determined by both a résumé and interview. Students are admitted to the program with the written approval of the Graduate Chair of their department, their research supervisor, and the Arts Co-op Director. Total enrolment is subject to these approvals as well as subject to the availability of appropriate work placements and faculty advisors. The work placements for students accepted into the program are arranged by mutual agreement between students and employing organizations. Co-op courses are taken in addition to the courses needed to meet normal academic requirements. These courses do not count for credit toward the degree, but their completion will be noted on students’ transcripts. Participation in this co-operative education program will likely lengthen the students’ degree programs by a year.

Participating students register for ASTU 610 for their first co-op term and ASTU 611 and 612 for subsequent co-op terms in addition to the courses needed to meet normal academic requirements. ASTU 613 is for an optional fourth co-op term. Satisfactory completion of three co-op terms mean students have completed the Co-operative Education Program, which is noted on students’ transcripts.

Master of Arts Co-operative Education Option

Students admitted to the Master of Arts program in a department with a co-operative education option may apply for admission to the Arts Co-operative Education Program. The Program helps prepare interested and qualified students for professional careers in government, the non-profit sector, and industry with at least four months of work placement supervised by practicing professionals. Faculty advisors also visit students at their place of work where feasible and provide advice on work term projects required of all students in the program.

Students who have been admitted into the Master of Arts in a department with the co-op option must apply to the Arts Co-op Office early in their first term at UBC. Selection of students will be based on academic performance and general suitability to the work environment as determined by an application package and interview. The total enrolment will be subject to the availability of appropriate work placements and faculty advisors. The work placements are arranged by mutual agreement between students and employing organizations. Co-op courses are taken in addition to the courses needed to meet normal academic requirements. These courses do not count for credit toward the degree, but their completion will be noted on a student's academic record.

For more information please contact the Arts Co-operative Education Office.

Page last updated: June 6, 2019

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