How Co-op Works


Co-operative Education is a learning partnership between you, the university and the employer. You can alternate periods of experience in appropriate fields of business, industry, government, non-profits, and academic studies. Students complete 12-16 months of work experience.

The Co-op program offers an alternating and internship models for work term sequencing. Alternating co-op work terms consist of a 4 month + 8 months, 8 months + 4 months wherein between work terms, students are enrolled in academic studies. A work term is considered 13-16 weeks of paid employment (minimum 35 hrs/wk) related to your degree within a 4 month semester.

The Co-op Internship is a 12-16 months consecutive work experience typically with a single employer that begins after the third year of study.  

While completing the work experiences, students complete required learning assignments and are monitored and evaluated by the Co-op Office and their employer. Monitoring and evaluation will assist the student with learning and understanding of self and the world of work. 

Securing a co-op work term is competitive and takes effort. Co-op students are not "placed" into jobs. Students apply, interview and compete for jobs like a real-world process. As such, the Co-op Office does not guarantee work terms. The Co-op Office advertises a number of co-op jobs from across Canada.

As with many Co-op Education programs in Canada,  co-op students complete various professional development training, work terms, and a final assignment. At StFX, students complete three professional development seminars, 12-16 months of work experience, and COOP 405 (3 credits)

Students enrolled in Biology, Business, Climate & Environment, Computer Science, Health, Human Nutrition, and Math are eligible to apply.  

Work Term Schedule

Students complete 12-16 months of co-op experience. The Co-op office works within a three-semester model. Work terms can run January to April (Winter), May to August (Summer), and September to December (Fall). Students can complete two work terms in the same semester; however, a work term must be in another semester. For example, a student can complete two summer work terms and one work term in the fall or winter semester. The Co-op office will work with the student and academic advising to determine work term sequencing options that fit into the student's academic goals.  Co-op students also have the option to continue their work term with their co-op employer.  After all the work terms are completed, students return to STFX to continue full time with their academic studies. 

Co-op Fees

The total Co-op Education program fee is $3300. Co-op Education programs across Canada will set up their fees differently. At StFX our primary reason for setting up fees as a "pay as you go" system was to spread co-op fees over a period of time as student complete the various program components. Students should not assign a dollar value as it relates to seminars and work terms.  Each professional development seminar fee is $600 ($1800) and each work term fee is $500 ($1500). There are no fees for COOP 405 or the fourth work term. Co-op fees help to offset the costs of running the program. 

Salaries and Wages

The wages listed in the table represent a historical compilation of salary and wage information reported by students and employers. Salaries and wages are subject to change based on the labour market and industry. The rates are presented in Canadian dollars per week before deductions.  Wages can be dependent on the number of work terms completed, coursework completed, location, and employer.  In Nova Scotia, eligible organizations can apply for CEI funding which has a minimum wage of $15/hr for 35 hrs/wk. Over the last couple of years, per hour wage from across Canada ranged from $12.00 to $30.00/hr. 


Salary Range (Weekly)

Min 35 hrs/wk
Biology $420-$700
Business $455-$1015
Computer Science $525-$1050
Health $420-$805
Human Nutrition $420-$840
Math $455-$875