1. Placements
  2. Internships  
  3. Co-op

Workplace-based experiential learning (also referred to as work-integrated learning or WIL) offers opportunities for students to develop and articulate a range of employability skills before they leave university.

There are several types of work-integrated learning: paid and unpaid, full- and part-time, curricular and co-curricular. There are three types of workplace-based experiential learning activities at Carleton: placements, internships, and co-op. Continue reading to learn more about each type.


Placements provide students the opportunity to apply theories and concepts to a practice-related environment. Usually, placements are linked to professional programs, such as teacher education, social work, nursing, anthropology, or law.

Placements are usually unpaid, but students receive academic credit toward their degree. Community partners may be involved in the evaluation of students’ performance in their placements.

Learn more about arranging unpaid placements


Internships are paid work assignments that are a required part of academic programs that allow students to apply and expand their knowledge and skills in a work-related, professional environment.

Internships can be part-time or full-time. Students’ work is evaluated based on predetermined learning goals set by all stakeholders involved: employer, instructor/supervisor, and student. Students may submit a final work report and a transcript notification of pass/fail.

Learn more about Carleton’s funded internship for undergraduate student research, I-CUREUS


Co-operative education, or “co-op”,  programs are organized in paid work opportunities of 4, 8, 12, and sometimes 16 month durations. Students who complete all requirements of the Co-Operative Education program can earn the Co-op designation on their degree.

Co-op students can alternate between full time academic terms and full time work terms. Their performance in co-op is supervised and evaluated by the employer and monitored by the university.

Learn more about co-op at Carleton