Computer Science Co-op Program

The Faculty of Computer Science's Co-op Program, established in 1981, consists of 4 or 8 month work placements alternating with study semesters.  Students enrolled in the following degree programs are eligible to participate in the Co-op Program:

  1. Bachelor of Computer Sciences (BCS)
  2. Concurrent Programs: BCS/BSC, BCS/BA and BCS/GGE
  3. Bachelor of Information Systems (BISys)
  4. Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering (BSSWE)
  5. Masters of Computer Science (MCS) and Masters of Computer Science by Coursework (MCSC)

What are the advantages of Co-op for students

  • Beneficial combination of theory and practice.
  • A quality degree program that actually pays for itself!Co-op program: Earn while you learn
  • Attractive salaries on work terms and high salaries after graduation.
  • Work experiences which enhance personal development.
  • Exposure to a variety of technologies.
  • Opportunities to improve communication skills (writing, speaking, ... , interviewing).
  • Improved work habits which are reflected in higher grades.
  • Opportunity to travel.
  • Excellent employment prospects upon graduation for both females and males.

When do I work

Undergraduate Co-op Program

The undergraduate Co-op Programs consists of 8 study terms and 4 to 6 work terms and spans a period of just under five years, one year longer than the traditional program but includes 16-24 months of related work experience.  If you are in the multiple degree programs, it will extend your degree from five to six years.  Students who get a job in their first year follow stream A.  Stream B is customized for students not starting their co-op program in May following their first year.  The schedule is as show below:

 

STREAM YEAR 1 YEAR 2 YEAR 3 YEAR 4 YEAR 5
Sept  Jan  May Sept  Jan  May Sept  Jan  May Sept  Jan  May Sept  Jan
A S1     S2  W1 S3     W2   S4 W3    S5   W4 S6     W5   W6 S7      S8
B S1     S2     customized----  -------------- ---------------- -------

 

S = Study Term  W = Work Term

Where are the jobs and what are they like

Most of the Co-op jobs are in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. The jobs tend to be in major centers such as Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John, Halifax, Toronto, and Ottawa. Jobs have included such areas as computer operations, programming in a variety of languages, systems analysis and design, marketing support, consulting, etc. Placements have ranged from individual tasks to large team projects.

What about finances

Co-op students do not pay tuition fees while on a work term.  A work term fee is levied for each 4 month work term.  Co-op students are eligible for scholarships, bursaries, and student loans based on the same criteria as other students.  Salaries paid to Co-op students on work terms are very attractive. In 2009, the average earnings of Co-op students totaled over six work terms was over $50,000 and salaries continue to rise! Most Co-op students have found that their salaries were high enough that they rarely needed loans, i.e. they graduated debt free or with very low debts. It's a great way to get an excellent education that pays for itself.

What are the student's responsibilities

Students must abide by all UNB Computer Science Co-op Program policies and procedures. Students must maintain conscientious work habits and behaviour. Depending on the number of credit hours completed, co-op students must maintain a minimum set grade point average during study terms.  During a work term, students must submit a written report related to some aspect of the work term.

How do I join Co-op

Students may apply to the Computer Science Co-op program during the first semester of their first year.  Those students who meet the academic requirements following their first semester and have attended the mandatory workshops can compete for jobs during their second semester of first year.  The application process for each work term begins 2 months prior to the start date of the work term, i.e. for the work term beginning in May students will apply for jobs in February.

Students submit job applications within the co-op information system and subsequently attend interviews with employers.  After interviews, students' and employers' preferences or rankings are used by the Co-op staff to match students with jobs. Once placed on a job a student is considered to be in the program. It is also possible to join the program in September or January following first year.

Download Faculty of Computer Science Co-op Handbook (pdf)


**Please Note:  Software Certificate students are currently authorized to take part in one, 4-month work experience.  Students must have between 8 and 28 credit hours completed (at the beginning of the work term) in order to be eligible for the program.  Certificate students are not eligible for summer work terms.