The computer science program at Waterloo offers students the opportunity to customize their studies by enrolling in a regular or co-op option

But how do these options compare and how do you decide which option works best for you?

Co-op or regular | Work/study sequences | Co-op jobs | Entrepreneurship

Regular program

Complete your studies in four years while taking your summers off to travel, work, or develop your own ideas. Many of our students have gone on to create their own businesses and start ups.

Why regular?

  • Study from September to April each year
  • Focus on your studies
  • Plan your own summers
  • Graduate earlier to pursue graduate studies or develop your own business ideas
  • Use your time to work on your own personal projects
  • Participate in more clubs, sports, and campus activities

Regular programs

Computer Science


Co-op program

Waterloo offers students the choice to combine in-class learning with real world experience. With help from the world's largest co-op program, students enrolled in this option gain up to two years of work experience before they graduate.

Why co-op

  • Graduate with up to two years of work experience after 6 work terms
  • Earn money to help finance your education
  • Make valuable career contacts
  • Choose from the world's largest selection of co-op jobs
  • Explore career areas before graduation

Co-op programs (optional)

  • Computer Science

Co-op only

  • Business Administration and Computer Science
  • Computing and Financial Management
  • Software Engineering

 Additional notes:

  • Four to six work terms will be completed within the program
  • Every student will need to complete four work reports
  • Students can set up their own co-op position with an employer as long as it is confirmed by the co-op office
  • Co-op fees for all programs are $786 as of Spring 2024
  • The co-op hiring and application process will begin during first year
  • Resume writing and mock interview workshops are available through Co-operative and Experiential Education, also known as CEE

Work and study sequences

Your sequence will determine when you are studying (on campus) or working/taking time off (off campus).



* = Work
# = Sequence
Reg = Regular

Terms (four months)

F = Fall term (September - December)

W = Winter term (January - April)

S = Spring term (May - August)


  • Business Administration and Computer Science -
    Sequence BBA/BCS only
  • Computing and Financial Management; Software Engineering - Sequence 1 only
  • Computer Science -
    Sequence 1, 2, 3, 4 or regular
# Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
  F W S F W S F W S F W S F W S
1 1A 1B * 2A * 2B * 3A * 3B * 4A * 4B  
2 1A 1B * 2A 2B * 3A * 3B * 4A * * 4B  
3 1A 1B Off 2A * 2B * 3A * 3B * 4A * * 4B
4 1A 1B 2A * 2B * 3A * 3B * 4A * * 4B  
Reg 1A 1B Off 2A 2B Off 3A 3B Off 4A 4B Off      


1A 1B * 2A * 2B 3A * 3B 4A


Co-op jobs

Students find exciting jobs world-wide with the help of our co-op program.

Co-op position Organization/company
Cloud Computing Software Developer Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Programmer/Analyst Trapeze Group
Technical Systems Analyst RBC Financial Group
IT Assistant Canadian Solar Inc
Agile Engineering Xtreme Labs Inc
Software Developer Desire2Learn Inc
Software Engineer Facebook
Web Developer Wicked Interactive Ltd

Statistics Canada


The Velocity program at Waterloo offers you the chance to take control of your own career by helping to get your business ideas off the ground.

Find out more about our entrepreneurial community and how you can get involved.

The co-op advantage

  • $50,000 - $120,000 potential earnings over 6 work terms
  • 96.5% co-op employment rate as of Spring 2024
  • 80% of Computer Science students are in co-op