How Co-op Works

Co-operative education is a curricular program that allows you to develop career skills for work outside the traditional academic career path for PhD grads. Co-op provides you with a pre-employment conference and online guides tailored to your unique needs to hone your job search skills for alternative career options, support from professional co-op staff during your job search and work terms, and access to a wide range of co-op jobs in a range of industries across Canada.

The English PhD Co-op Program is run jointly by the English Department and the Arts Co-op Office. You’ll be meeting with Dr. Liz Hodgson from the English Department Graduate Committee, and Letitia Henville, Co-op Coordinator for Graduate Programs for the Arts Co-op Program. Dr. Tiffany Potter from the English Department, will also be providing support. Dr. Potter has expertise in program/curriculum design and job training for students.

The History PhD Co-op Program is run jointly by the History Department and the Arts Co-op Office. You’ll be meeting with Dr. John Roosa, Graduate Chair in the History Department, and Letitia Henville, Co-op Coordinator for Graduate Programs for the Arts Co-op Program.

The English Department and History Department have committed to support English and History PhD students entering the Co-op Program in Fall 2019 by paying their $774.75 co-op course fee (2019/2020) for each of the students’ first 3 work terms in order to help them gain experience outside of academia and develop their skills through co-op. Students can also use any normal tuition awards for which they are eligible during their co-op work terms . Note that SSHRC funding can be paused and deferred for up to two work-terms.

Students will need to pay the one-time co-op administration and workshop fee of $251.75 when they are accepted into the program (the standard amount set by UBC Senate for all UBC Co-op programs). This fee provides unlimited access to customized career coaching with co-op staff, customized online career development resources, and an all-day workshop to prepare you for applying to co-op positions. Note that this fee does not guarantee placement in a co-op job.

While on co-op, students pay their regular additional student fees and are 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.

English PhD co-op students have been paid $20-25 per hour, and both English and History PhD students can expect a similar wage. Wages vary depending on the sector, e.g. some non-profits pay less than government positions, and are based on current labour market realities and are up to the employer to determine.

On your work terms, you can expect to earn $3,000-3,750/month directly by your employer. SSHRC funding will be paused during your first 2 work terms so that it lasts longer through your final years. TA entitlements will be held for you while you are away on co-op terms.

Once accepted into the Co-op Program, international students apply for a special co-op work visa from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This will entitle you to work in Canada for your 3 co-op terms. There is no cost to apply for this visa. The Co-op Office will arrange an information session with advisors from UBC’s International House to provide you with further information in early January 2017.

Co-op students will add 3, 4-month work-terms to their degree, typically an additional year unless you can write while on your work terms. Graduate Studies has agreed that length-of-degree requirements will not be affected by co-op work terms. While on co-op terms, you will be registered in co-op courses (which do not count towards the academic requirements for your degree, but provide additive co-op credits) which include self-assessment reports, and upon completion of the program you will have an official co-op accreditation. Research on co-op programs has shown that students typically return to their studies after co-op terms highly motivated and increasingly successful in their studies (marks, completion rates, etc.)