What is Psychology’s Co-operative Education option?

The co-op option is available for B.A. (Honours) students in Psychology and affords opportunities for students to

  • Combine their academic studies with experience in applied environments.
  • Implement their psychological knowledge and skills across a variety of settings including government departments, community agencies, and the private sector.
  • Become more engaged with the planning of life after graduation.
  • Achieve an enhanced knowledge of potential career paths.
  • Cultivate professional skills associated with success.
  • Contribute to an organization.
  • Establish valuable contacts in the community.
  • Actively reflect on their experiences at work and express these ideas via work term reports.
  • Facilitate the transition from university into the workplace.

Co-op students must complete a minimum of three work terms, each of which lasts four months. Normally, the first work term takes place during the summer of your 3rd-year or the fall of the 4th-year. You will earn pay for your work, but it will take an extra year to complete your degree.

If you complete the Co-op requirements and your degree, you will earn the Co-op designation on your final transcript and degree.

How do I apply?

  1. Apply directly from high school via the Ontario University Application Center Website. You must apply to Carleton’s B.A. with a Major in Psychology (Honours) program and select the Co-op option.
  2. Apply by the end of your 2nd year of study at Carleton University (application form).

For admission to and continuation in the Co-op option, you must:

  • Register in B.A. (Honours) Psychology
  • Obtain and maintain an overall CGPA of 9.5 and a major CGPA of 9.5
  • Achieve 2ndyear standing
  • Successfully complete PSYC 2001 and PSYC 2002 by the start of the first work term
  • Maintain full-time status in each study term
  • Successfully complete COOP 1000 [0.0]
  • Be eligible to work in Canada (for off-campus jobs)

Co-op and Career Services regularly monitors your progress in the program. More information on these requirements may be found via Co-op – Undergrad Calendar.

What is COOP 1000?­­­

Before you can start a work term, you must complete the non-credit online course, COOP 1000.

Usually, this course is completed during either the fall of 3rd-year (if the first work term is summer of 3rd-year) or the winter of 3rd-year (if the first work term is fall of 4th-year). COOP 1000 is a six-module, 8-week, online course designed to assist you in developing a variety of employability skills.

You will have access to this course a minimum of two terms prior to their first work term and will be notified by Co-op when it is time to register. For more information about this course, access COOP 1000.

How do I locate a Co-op position with an employer?

It is your responsibility to secure employment for Co-op and there are no assurances that a position will be found. However, if you have a clear plan, persistence, enthusiasm, and a sense of initiative, your chances of success are enhanced.

The Carleton University Co-op Program office will assist you with job searches, which are normally conducted during the term immediately prior to the work term. You will have access to a database that includes employers indicating a willingness to take on Carleton Co-op students. A sampling of participating employers includes:

  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Carleton’s Career Services
  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  • Correctional Service Canada
  • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
  • RCMP, and many more

You are welcome to propose employment opportunities that do not appear in the database.

 What should employers know?

Psychology Co-op students are highly-motivated to gain experience and make a meaningful contribution to your agency. All have achieved the advanced level of their program and are among our strongest students. In fact, the CGPA requirements for Psychology Co-op are the highest at Carleton. Our students also present

  •  A depth and breadth of knowledge in psychology.
  • An ability to understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  • Informational and technological literacy.
  • Effective communication skills.
  • An understanding of scientific integrity.
  • A genuine desire to understand and improve the circumstances of others.
  • Sociocultural awareness.

Consider learning more about hiring students and the Carleton Co-op Advantage.

What’s it like to be a part of Co-op?

       Psychology Co-op student Chelsea Medland at Carleton’s Career Services

In her role as a Career Coach with Carleton’s Career Services, Psychology student Chelsea Medland provides one-on-one support to students and alumni. Part of what attracted her to Co-op was the opportunity to explore a career path in the counselling field:

“Adding the Co-op option to my Psychology degree has been an invaluable decision that both enhanced my university experience and solidified my future career plans. It has given me practical insight into career opportunities within the psychology field and many professional connections.”

Chelsea also highlights the importance of developing skills:

“I’ve had the chance to refine my interpersonal skills and I’ve learned to integrate a psychological lens into my interactions with students as they make important decisions about their job search, career paths and education plans. Co-op has equipped me with important skills and experiences that have prepared me for grad school and beyond.”

Her take-home message is simple: “Completing a co-op placement is a great way to gain hands-on experience in an area you’re interested in!”

What if I have questions?

If you are interested in learning more, access Co-op or any of these resources:

Department of Psychology

Co-op Faculty Advisor Matthew Sorley

Co-op Student Advisor for Psychology Kevin McEwan