Learning through co-op

Learning by doing has always been a rewarding enhancement to your academic studies in classrooms and laboratories. Co-operative education and internship programs provide you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge, and also help you pay for your studies.

Co-op work term placements allow you to combine your academic studies with periods of paid employment in a field related to those studies. Although getting your degree can take a little longer, it’s worth the investment of your time. You will graduate with career-related experience as well as contacts in the job market.

Graduated co-op work terms

Carleton’s co-op program is organized so that your work term placements become longer as you gain more knowledge and skills. This allows you to see projects through to completion and to get involved in more ambitious, complex projects.

All of Carleton’s Engineering and Design programs have a co-op option, which provide work term placements of 4, 8, 12, or 16 months either with a particular organization, or with multiple employers. The choice is yours.

Placements normally begin at the end of your second year, when you have gained the ability, knowledge, and confidence to make a substantial contribution to the organization.

Options are shown in the table below:

Fall Winter Summer
Year 1 Study Term 1 Study Term 2 Work Term1(optional)
Year 2 Study Term 3 Study Term 4 Work Term 2
Year 3 Work Term 3 Study Term 5 Study Term 6
Year 4 Work Term 4 Work Term 5 Work Term 6
Year 5 Study Term 7 Study Term 8

Other rewarding options

Carleton also offers other ways for you to earn while you learn.

Senior students can often work in their department as research assistants or markers and many campus services (e.g., food services, athletics, and the library) hire students.

Or you might be chosen to work in a Carleton research lab for the summer, supported by one of our faculty members’ federal research grants from NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council).

Recent employers

The Ottawa region is home to one of Canada’s largest concentrations of government research agencies and high tech companies. Carleton’s co-operative education and engineering internship programs are well integrated within this network, providing you with local opportunities to obtain experience and rewarding salaries in such well-known organizations as:

  • Alcatel
  • Cisco
  • Cognos
  • Industry Canada’s Communications Research Centre
  • Research in Motion
  • March Networks
  • National Research Council of Canada

You can also work anywhere in Canada or internationally with exciting companies such as the Canadian Space Agency, Honda of Canada, Orenda Aerospace, and Air Canada. International work term placements will require a valid work permit.

Additional Information

Additional information on co-op programs at Carleton is available on the at:, or the Co-op Office, at: 613-520-4331 (voice), (613) 520-2345 (fax), or