UBC Arts Co-op Program

Structure & Guidelines


Length & Number of Work Terms

In order to receive a Co-op designation on your UBC transcript, you need to complete 3 work terms. Work terms are 4 months in length. Depending on your program schedule, you may complete 2 consecutive 4-month work placements, 3 separate ones, or a combination.

As a result, students typically complete their degree in 4.5-5 years. While it may take you longer to complete your degree, you will graduate with 12 months of paid work experience and be ahead of the game!

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Typical Work/Study Schedule

Each student is in charge of determining their work/academic plan with these general guidelines in mind:

  • Complete 3 required work terms; there are options for additional work terms with special permission.
  • Complete at least one work term during the fall or winter terms; you cannot work during summer only.
  • Complete no more than 2 consecutive work terms.
  • End your degree on an academic term.
  • Complete a co-op work term within the first year of being in the Co-op Program – summer or fall of 2017.
  • Whenever possible, complete one co-op work term before going on exchange. It’s much easier to do interviews in person, and be able to meet with the co-op staff for support when you’re in Vancouver.

Use the following as a guide to determine a schedule based on your courses and other UBC plans:

YEAR FALL (SEP-DEC) WINTER (JAN-APR) SUMMER (MAY-AUG)
1st Study Study Break
2nd (or 3rd) Study & Apply to Co-op
Attend Workshop #1
Study
Attend Workshop #2
Co-op Term 1
3rd Co-op Term 2 Study Co-op Term 3
4th Study Co-op Term 4 (optional) Study
5th Study Study

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Mandatory Pre-Employment Conferences

If you are admitted into the program, you will participate in specialized training for co-op students. Learn all the important aspects of applying for jobs, and how to increase your success of finding work while you’re in the program, and also for when you graduate.

These pre-employment conferences are mandatory, so you’ll need to adjust your schedules accordingly in order to attend. In 2016/17, students will take part in two full-day conferences and one evening conference, which will take place on:

  • Saturday, November 19, 2016
  • Saturday, January 14, 2017
  • March 20 or 23, 2017 (evening conference)

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Co-op Fees

There is a one-time program and workshop fee of $237.50 due when you join the program.

For every work term you complete, you will be registered in a co-op (ASTU) course and pay the course tuition fee, which is currently $730.50. Registration in the ASTU course maintains your full-time student status with the university and is mandatory. You will receive 3-credits per co-op (ASTU) course; however, ASTU courses DO NOT count towards your academic degree requirements.

Therefore, co-op students complete 129-132 credits in order to receive a degree with a co-op designation which consists of 120 academic credits plus 9-12 non-academic co-op credits.

International students will need to arrange and pay for the work visa that entitles you to work in Canada or the country in which you obtain a job.

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Co-op Wage Structure

On average, Arts Co-op students earn $27,000 – $30,000 over 3 work terms.

Co-op students earn between $12-16 per hour; however, wages can vary greatly depending on the sector you’re working in, how much previous experience you have, and the level of responsibility in the position. Here is the approximate breakdown based on an hourly wage (current minimum wage is $10.85 per hour):

  • Non-profit organizations: $10.85-14
  • Private business: $10.85-16 (wages can be higher in the high-tech sector, but are not the average)
  • Government: $12-20 (senior co-op students will earn more than junior co-op students)

While co-op can be a good method to assist you in financing your degree, money should not be the primary consideration for participating in the program. Wages are based on current labour market realities, are up to the employer to determine, and are common with most Arts Co-op Programs across the province.

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Student Loans & Scholarships

Students who qualify for student loans maintain full-time student status while on a co-op work term. You are expected to declare your co-op earnings, just like other earnings (such as from a part-time job). The Awards & Money Management Office suggests that co-op students apply for student loans on a term-by-term basis rather than on a whole year basis.

Co-op students may be eligible to receive scholarships, provided they satisfy particular guidelines. It is your responsibility to maintain the requirements of your scholarship while on co-op.

For details about student loans or your scholarship status while in the Co-op Program, visit UBC Awards and Money Management.

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a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Faculty of Arts
Buchanan A240
1866 Main Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z1, Canada
Tel: 604.822.3828
Arts Co-op Program
Buchanan C121
1866 Main Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z1, Canada
Tel: 604.822.1529
Email:

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