The UBC Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA) Co-op Program allows MPPGA graduate students to acquire practical, paid work experience specific to policy-related professions as a complement to their classroom learning.

Co-op graduates will be well prepared, academically and professionally, for their future careers as policy practitioners in diverse sectors around the world.

If you are interested in applying for MPPGA Co-op, please review the details below.

All first-year MPPGA students starting their program in September are eligible to apply for the MPPGA Co-op Program.

If you are accepted into the Arts Co-op Program, you will be asked to sign and submit a Terms & Conditions document that details your responsibilities as a co-op student and the Program’s guidelines.

View the 2023 Terms & Conditions.

How MPPGA Co-op Works

MPPGA Co-op students are required to complete at least one full-time, paid co-op position specific to policy-related professions as a complement to their classroom learning. These work terms can be:

  • 4 or 8 months, beginning in the summer term between your first and second year of study, or
  • 4 months, taking place during the fall term at the start of your second year.

The Arts Co-op Program will coordinate a full-day pre-employment conference for all new MPPGA students, which will take place in January. The conference is mandatory for all new MPPGA co-op students. It will be facilitated by employers, alumni and current students, and co-op staff. Co-op students will receive additional one-on-one training and coaching on their job applications and interview skills from November through February.

Job application deadlines and interviews for positions starting in the summer will occur in the proceeding term (January-April), and from May-August for fall positions.

Students will go through a “real world” competitive process to secure co-op positions with support from co-op staff. This means that you are not guaranteed a position. As a co-op student, you will have access to a database of postings, choose which positions to apply for, and submit applications through the Co-op office. Employers will review your applications and select the candidates they would like to interview, and make any job offers through the Co-op office.

As MPPGA students’ desire to work on complex, multi-disciplinary issues and gain global policy experience increases, Arts Co-op Program staff strive to market the program to employers across Canada and around the world to reach a wide range and number of positions. As a result, those interested in taking part in the MPPGA Co-op Program are highly encouraged to ensure they will be able to accommodate a move from the start of their program of study. For example, finding accommodation in Vancouver that allows for subletting while you are away. This will allow you to apply to more positions.

Please keep in mind that certain jobs are restricted to Canadian citizens for security clearance requirements, such as with the Canadian federal government.

A significant percentage of summer positions are also restricted to Canadians or permanent residents between the ages of 16-30 due to youth employment funding programs.

You will be a regular employee in the workplace and are expected to complete assigned work and participate in workplace activities with your colleagues. As a result, you will get in-depth exposure to a particular workplace and to a range of tasks related to your field of interest.

During work terms, you will complete a series of career-building assignments marked by co-op staff. You will also participate in mid-point and end-of-term evaluations with a Co-op Manager. Successful completion of each work term is noted on your transcript.

UBC MPPGA Co-op students will have access to co-op staff for individual career advising appointments, enabling you to develop career skills that will be of use during your co-op job search, work term, and after graduation.

Co-op Administrative and Workshop Fee: There is a one-time co-op administration and workshop fee of $277.25*, which will be covered by the MPPGA program for students in the 2023 intake. This provides unlimited access to customized career coaching and online career development resources. Your program will also cover the fee for the full-day workshop to prepare you for applying to co-op positions in the policy-related professions.

* As of the 2024/2025 academic year, as listed in the UBC Calendar.

Tuition: While on a co-op work term, MPPGA co-op students pay their regular tuition installment and continue to be considered full-time students eligible for student benefits such as the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan, the U-Pass, UBC resources and services such as library material, and student housing.

Each co-op work term appears on your transcript as a non-academic co-op credit placement course (e.g. Arts Studies or ASTU 501).

While co-op can be a good method to assist students in financing their degree, money should not be the primary consideration for participating in the program.

The average Master’s student wage range is between $18-25 per hour. Wages vary depending on the sector, e.g. some nonprofits pay less than government positions. Wages are based on current labour market realities and are up to the employer to determine. MPPGA co-op students can expect to earn $2,500-3,500/month during their co-op work term.

Employers & Roles

Employers hire co-op students based on their experience, skills, and career interests to help them tackle complex challenges related to social change, energy, the environment, democracy, security, and global governance. Employers are looking for students whose skill set combines scientific data analysis with policy tools, economic understanding, communication skills, and creativity.

Below are just some of the types of roles and employers previous co-op students have worked in.

  • Policy Strategy
  • Communications
  • Evaluation & Needs Assessment
  • Technical Writing
  • Policy Design & Analysis
  • Project Management
  • Research Services
  • Social Service Delivery

  • Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • First Nations Health Authority
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Hemmera
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • International Development Research Centre
  • Ministry of Citizens' Services
  • Vancouver Coastal Health

Apply to Co-op

Applications are closed for the 2023/2024 intake. We will announce details for the 2024/25 intake by early September 2024. Please note that there is only 1 intake per academic year.

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