What is Master of Information (MI) Co-op?
The Master of Information (MI) Co-op is an option within the MI program for select students to complete 2 consecutive co-op work terms (8 months) and gain professional experience in their relevant field of study. The MI Co-op is a partnership between students, employers, and the academic institution, i.e. University of Toronto, Faculty of Information.
Last Updated: April 20, 2022, 12:17 PM ET
COVID-19 related updates regarding upcoming Term(s) and more can be found on the COVID-19 Information for Students page.
For questions pertaining to our MI Co-op program, please contact the Co-op / Careers team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Searching & Securing Your Own Co-op Positions
Program Overview & Timeline
What is a Co-op?
As defined by Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada), “Co-operative education is a program that formally integrates a student’s academic studies with work experience with participating employers”. The Co-op criteria includes:
- Each work situation is developed and/or approved by the Co-op educational institution as a suitable learning situation;
- The Co-op student is engaged in productive work rather than merely observing;
- The Co-op student receives remuneration for the work performed;
- The Co-op student’s progress on the job is monitored by the Co-operative educational institution;
- The Co-op student’s performance on the job is supervised and evaluated by the student’s co-operative employer;
- Time spent in periods of work experience must be at least 30% of the time spent in academic study.
Who are MI Co-op Students?
Our MI Co-op students are selected based on their academic excellence, interpersonal skills, and their readiness to actively engage in professional roles. Our students come with high academic achievements from a variety of undergraduate programs and may already have some professional experience in the workforce. They are enrolled full time and have completed the majority of their core and required courses for one or two MI concentrations. For a sample of our Co-op students’ placements, please click the button below:
How does MI Co-op work?
The MI-Coop Program is open to all Masters of Information students in their first year, upon completion of requirements and admission in the program.
- Students have to meet eligibility requirements in their Year 1 Fall and Winter terms to gain access to our Co-op jobs portal and be able to apply for and secure Co-op (paid) positions for academic credit.
- Students are eligible to take on Co-op work terms in their second year (May and onwards).
- Depending on their Co-op work opportunities and academic planning, students are eligible to complete 1 term of Co-op (4 months) or 2 terms of Co-op (8 months).
- Students can choose to work with 1 company for 8 months, or locate 2 separate opportunities with a duration of 4 months each. Students who complete two Co-op terms will receive a “Co-op” designation on their transcript.
- Please note that a Co-op placement cannot be done in a student’s final term of study – students must complete their degree in a term with regular courses, not in a placement.
The Co-op program mimics the real world job search experience where students will actively apply for Co-op positions. The program does not guarantee a placement. The Faculty takes great effort in networking and managing relationships with organizations that our students will be interested in working in – these jobs are posted on our Faculty Co-op jobs board and only accessible to our Co-op students. The Faculty also sources and collects open Co-op positions from various companies (that do not post with any particular university) and place them centrally for students to access and review. It is also entirely possible to find your own placement and have it converted to a Co-op.
MI Co-op Completion Timeline
|Year 1 Fall||Year 1 Winter||Year 1 Summer||Year 2 Fall||Year 2 Winter||Year 2 Summer|
|Meet eligibility requirements
Declare interest by completing the 2023 Co-op Program — Declaration of Interest Form. Detailed instructions are provided by the Careers team at the start of Year 1 Fall term.
|Continue to complete the remaining eligibility requirements.
Eligibility to the Co-op program will be reviewed by the Careers team.
If eligible for Co-op, will gain access to Co-op jobs board: Apply for Co-op positions; attend interviews.
Develop goals and plan for the Co-op work term.
Complete Co-op course deliverables.
|Co-op term||Return to complete degree requirements||Complete degree requirements|
|Full-time status||Full-time status||Full-time status||Full-time status||Full-time status||Full-time status|
|Full-time tuition fees||Full-time tuition fees||No tuition fees + Co-op placement fee||Full-time tuition fees + Co-op placement fee||Full-time tuition fees||No tuition fees|
For students that are interested in just 1 term of Co-op only:
- Year 2 Summer term may not be needed to complete degree requirements.
- Students that complete degree requirements at the end of Year 2 Winter term will be able to convocate in the June convocation ceremony.
- Students that complete degree requirements at the end of Year 2 Summer term will be able to convocate in the November convocation ceremony.
|Co-op Term||Job Posting||Interview Process||Job Offer|
|SUMMER (Co-op position starts in May)||January – April||February – May||February – May|
|FALL (Co-op position starts in September)||May – August||June – August||June – August|
- Register as a full-time student in the Master of Information program.
- Enroll and complete INF3900H in a previous academic term, or participate in the Individualized Co-op Preparation Plan (ICPP).
- On track to completing the Year 1 required courses of the selected concentration by the end of Year 1 Winter term.
- Please note that the Workshop Courses (INF1005 and INF1006) are NOT mandatory for Co-op admissions. You are required to take them as a part of your overall MI degree, but they are not required for admission into Co-op.
- Completed Year 1 Fall Term with at least a GPA of 3.75. If you think you won’t be able to meet the minimum 3.75 GPA, please email us at email@example.com to let us know if you are interested in pursuing Co-op. Exceptions may be considered on a case-to-case basis.
- On track to completing 3.5 – 4.0-credits by the end of Year 1 Winter Term.
- Students on track to completing 3.5 credits by the end of Year 1 Winter Term will be considered for Summer Co-op only (1 term of Co-op). Upon the completion of Summer Co-op (and an additional elective during the Summer Term), students may write to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for an additional Co-op term in a following academic term.
- Students on track to completing 4.0-credits by the end of Year 1 Winter Term will be considered for 2 terms of Co-op (Summer and Fall Term).
Students in the following categories cannot participate in MI Co-op:
- Enrolled in the thesis option
- Enrolled or on track to completing 2 terms of practicums
- Participating in the TALint program
- Enrolled in the Combined Degree Program
- Participating in work-study in the actual Co-op term
- Students in their first year of their Masters degree. Co-op work terms begin in May after first year
Work Integrated Learning Combinations
MI students are only eligible to take up to 2 terms of work-integrated learning opportunities for academic credit in the following combinations:
Each work-integrated learning opportunity needs to be taken in separate terms. For instance, you cannot be enrolled in Co-op and practicum in the same term. You can be enrolled in Co-op for one term, and practicum in a subsequent term, but not enrolled concurrently. Students that complete only 1 term of Co-op are eligible to complete 1 practicum in another term.
How can I apply to the MI Co-op Program?
DECLARATION OF INTEREST
Submitting the 2023 Co-op Program Interest Form is the first item of action for enrolling in the MI Co-op program. This form will open in September of 2022. The form enables the Faculty to automatically consider students for Co-op eligibility, track progress, and keep students updated on the next steps through the academic year.
Students are encouraged to submit the form even if they are unsure about Co-op, as the form does not obligate them to complete a Co-op term.
During the Fall term, the Careers Team will send out the form and the link for submission through email to all students. The deadlines for submission are set in September. Students are expected to check for deadlines which will be announced each year.
ENROLL IN INF3900HF OR FOLLOW THE ICPP PATHWAY
Students must complete either INF3900H for credit, or the Individualized Co-op Preparation Plan (ICPP).
The ICPP pathway is a self-directed co-op preparation pathway that students can choose to follow in order to prepare for Co-op. ICPP works well for students who have some work experience, and who have had the opportunity to work on their professional skills (resume, cover letter, interviews, networking, career exploration, etc.).
If you choose to follow the ICPP pathway, you will be required to connect with a Career Services Advisor in the Fall term, during which you will create a plan of action for building and refining your professional skills. You will complete all deliverables on your own over the Fall term. ICPP deliverables include the submission of reflection questions at the beginning and end of the ICPP pathway. All students taking the ICPP pathway will have access to a course shell, where the Careers Team will provide resources and information to assist your skills development.
Please note that we will be hosting the following orientation session for Incoming MI students:
Co-op Prerequisite: INF3900 vs ICPP – What is it and Which is Right for You? (Orientation)
- 2023 dates TBD.
|Complete INF3900H||Individualized Co-op Preparation Plan|
|Course for professional development offered during the Fall term.
Students receive academic credit for their work.
If you take INF3900, it does not mean that you have to do a Co-op. But INF3900 is a requirement to do Co-op if you don’t participate in ICPP.
|The ICPP pathway is a self-directed non-credit co-op preparation pathway that students can choose to follow in order to prepare for Co-op. Instructions on how to participate in ICPP will be made clear to all students early in the Fall semester.
There are several options that students have to expand their professional development in this pathway. Students can take workshops offered by the Career Services Team, iSkills, or Central Career Services (CLNX). Students can also supplement their learning through resources, readings, and research.
If you participate in ICPP, it does not mean that you have to do a Co-op. But ICPP is a requirement to do Co-op if you don’t take INF3900.
Students do not receive academic credit for ICPP.
NOT MEETING CO-OP ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
Everyone experiences extenuating circumstances that might have negatively impacted their ability to meet all the above Co-op eligibility requirements. Students may appeal to the Co-op team by writing to email@example.com with a statement on how the circumstances might have prevented you meeting the eligibility requirements.
Other than Co-op, our Master of Information students are also eligible to complete work-integrated learning opportunities such as practicums.
- Students that complete only 1 term of Co-op are eligible to complete 1 practicum in another term.
- Students that do not complete any Co-op terms are eligible to complete 2 practicums over the course of their degree duration.
|CO-OP PROGRAM COST / FEES||WAGES|
|Standard fee across University of Toronto Co-op programs: $600.00 CAD for each of the two work terms (totalling $1,200).
For students completing Fall term or Winter term Co-op – please note that full-time tuition will be charged for those terms.
|$23–33 CAD per hour or higher is suggested to employers.
Students on Co-op terms continue being a full-time registered student at the University. Therefore, domestic students are eligible to continue applying for OSAP or other Canadian provincial government student aid. For students that do not wish to apply for Canadian financial aid while on Co-op, please inform the respective funding agencies that you continue being registered as a full-time student so that you can remain on interest-free status.
Students can request for a confirmation of enrollment letter by completing the request form and emailing it to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) at firstname.lastname@example.org. The letter could take 3-5 business days to be produced by SGS.
SEARCHING & SECURING YOUR OWN CO-OP POSITIONS
Students are able to search and secure their own Co-op positions. Approximately 1/3rd of the Co-op cohort secured placements through personal contacts, past employers, and individual networking.
All such placements must be approved by the Faculty. Therefore, students must notify us at email@example.com in advance of accepting the position to ensure its validity as a Co-op placement. Once requested for review, the Faculty will assess whether the position will fulfill the learning objectives and other criteria of Co-op, such as duties/responsibilities, hours worked, appropriate supervision provided, and pay. The Faculty will also contact the employer to ask for if they are willing to take an active part in the Co-op partnership.
- Simply submit the job description and offer contract to your Experiential Learning Record in Symplicity. We can then assess whether this offer aligns with co-op requirements.
- Students that found and secured their own Co-op positions still have to meet Co-op eligibility requirements.
All students completing an co-op work term must enroll in the Co-op Course (course code INF3902H or INF3903H). This course allows you to receive academic credit for your placement. There are required academic deliverables for students to complete and submit during the placement. The full details of these requirements will be outlined in the course syllabus once students start their Co-op work term on Quercus.
The Faculty of Information Student Service team automatically registers students who have secured a Co-op work term to the Co-op courses, INF3902H and INF3903H. Students do not enroll into either course themselves.
Coursework deliverables may include, but are not limited to:
- Development and approval of a learning agenda
- Mid-term assignment
- Final report
Note: There is the possibility of failing the co-op course should students not meet the requirements of their placement.
Taking Regular Coursework while Enrolled in Co-op
Students are eligible to take up to one 0.5-credit regular coursework while enrolled in a full-time Co-op position (i.e. while enrolled in either INF3902H or INF3903H).
If you want to take a second regular course alongside a Co-op placement, please note the following:
- Complete the Course Form: Taking a 2nd Regular Course During 2022 Fall Co-op (Microsoft Forms)
for the review and approval process.
- Complete the Course Form: Taking a 2nd Regular Course During 2022 Fall Co-op (Microsoft Forms)
Q. As an international student, is Co-op an essential step in finding employment in Canada?
Receiving a University of Toronto degree in the Master of Information program is a globally-recognized credential. However, Co-op certainly provides a very targeted and specific corridor to entering the Canadian work environment and gaining domestic experience. Please also consider that Co-op is one type of work-integrated learning opportunity; students not enrolled in Co-op will have other avenues for gaining experience (e.g. practicum).
International students interested in Co-op need to have a valid Co-op work permit to work in their Co-op position(s).
- Summer (prior to arrival in September): apply for study permit with the offer of admissions.
- Year 1 Fall Term: receive the MI Co-op confirmation letter from the Faculty – start the online application process for the Co-op work permit.
- Study / work permit inquiries can only be answered by licensed Immigration Advisors. The Faculty is limited in their ability to answer these queries. Please connect with one of the University’s licensed immigration advisors by contacting the Centre of International Experience (CIE) at firstname.lastname@example.org or view their information page on getting a Canadian work permit.
CO-OP WORK PERMIT APPLICATION FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Please be advised that the application process can be quite lengthy, sometimes taking upwards of 4 to 5 months for processing. We strongly recommend beginning the process as soon as possible to avoid any potential delays. Review the links below for additional information about how to begin your application. You should not start the work placement until you have the Co-op work permit.
Please also note that the Co-op work permit can only be used to complete the work associated with your degree requirement. The duration of that requirement is specified by your academic department. It is illegal for you to use the Co-op work permit longer than that, or to use it for jobs that will not satisfy your degree requirement.
Should you have any questions, there is additional support available via the university’s Centre for International Experience. Please connect with an Immigration Advisor at email@example.com as only licensed immigration advisors are able to answer study/work permit application questions.
Note: If you need a Co-op eligibility letter for your permit application, urgently contact Co-op team at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the letter.
VIDEO GUIDES — Co-op work permit information and application process
Please view the videos below to guide you with your permit application.
- Getting a work permit
- Co-op Work Permit Part 1 — The eligibility criteria and the required document
- Co-op Work Permit Part 2 — Answering the questionnaire for Co-op work permit
- Completing the Co-op permit application form
- Creating an account (Step by Step) with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
- Work as a Co-op student or intern
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. How long are the c0-op roles?
The minimum requirement is 12 weeks, 30 hrs/week per co-op term. Co-op roles must be paid roles.
Q. I found my own co-op. What do I do?
If you secure a co-op position that was not posted on the Symplicity job board, it must be reviewed and approved by the Co-op Team to ensure it meets the program requirements before you can start the co-op. Submit the requirements listed below.
Co-op Review & Approval Requirements
- Student Name
- Academic concentration
- Organization name
- Job title and job description: insert the text of the posting or attach the file. Don’t provide the job link as job links expire and we need an actual record of the job description. If it was a Symplicity posting, please indicate so.
- Job offer: provide the offer file/email (please do not redact any details in the offer, especially not the pay)
- Start and end date
- Paid position: Yes or no?
Q. How many placements are available?
Historically, approximately 300 job postings have been made available each year. The postings may vary by concentration and are subject to change on a yearly basis.
There are two categories of job postings:
- Faculty of Information (iSchool) postings, where the iSchool has an established relationship with the organization.
- Public postings gathered from a variety of sources and whose organizations may not relate to the iSchool.
Students are encouraged and expected to apply to a significant number of offerings across both iSchool and Public postings to successfully secure a Co-op placement. Students also often obtain Co-op placements through their own independent searches and networking efforts.
Q. Where will I complete my Co-op term?
The Faculty of Information has established partnerships with organizations in the GTA and beyond. Students can pursue Co-op experiences anywhere in the world!
Q. I’ve secured an international opportunity, will I be able to continue?
As of September 28, 2020, the University of Toronto has extended the annulment of all University activities to international locations for all students until April 30, 2021. University activities abroad on or after May 1, 2021 are scheduled to continue at this time. But please keep in mind that conditions created by the pandemic may change at any time. If students can postpone their travel or undertake their activity remotely, please arrange to do so. If they are unable to change plans, their international plans must unfortunately be cancelled.
We are making this decision early so that students can make alternate plans for their January semester. The Faculty acknowledges the importance of students’ academic pursuits, and the University is committed to maintaining academic continuity. Our academic unit will work with students to help them build an alternate plan for January.
Please view the University of Toronto’s COVID-19 Updates and Information page for students
Students can, of course, continue with their international placements if they will be working remotely. As well, international students who are returning to their home countries are exempt from this restriction. In any situation, we strongly advise that students carefully consider their health and safety, follow the quarantine regulations in their home countries.
For any concerns and questions regarding impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact our Careers Office.
Q. How should I balance required courses with Co-op?
Required courses for MI concentrations are offered at least once per year. It is the responsibility of the students to ensure that they have completed their graduation requirements. So we recommend that students take required courses before beginning the Co-op term(s) because not all required courses are guaranteed to be available in the winter term when students come back from Co-op. One way to manage course-load is to take courses while completing a Co-op work term. You can book an appointment with your academic advisor to ensure that you are on the right track to completing degree requirements.
Q. Is it possible to change the term sequencing?
Students wishing to complete a term sequence different from the above are encouraged to contact the Careers Office to explore other options. Winter term opportunities may be offered based on availability and demand.
Q. What happens if I find a placement in fall term before I am accepted into the Co-op program?
Sometimes students manage to secure a Co-op placement during the fall term, prior to being accepted into the Co-op option. Students are expected to discuss this with the Careers Office to discuss eligibility. It is important to note that there is no correlation between securing an early offer and Co-op acceptance. However, it is possible to parlay an early offer into a Co-op opportunity where the opportunity meets the Faculty’s criteria.
Q. Can I choose not to take on a second 4-month placement after my first 4-month placement?
Yes (as long as you have yet to sign a contract/offer with your second 4-month placement). Students can opt out of placement(s) for various reasons such as being unable to secure a first/second placement, decision that coursework/in-Faculty term is more relevant or that one term placement adequately fulfills interest/skill development.
Students will receive course credit for any work term successfully completed. The Careers team is available to work with students to create and/or revise their career strategy at any time.
If you have already signed a contract for a second 4-month placement, and feel unable to complete contractual obligations, please connect with the Careers team immediately.
Q. If I secure an 8-month placement, am I able to end my contract at the conclusion of a 4-month term, to pursue another placement?
No. As an ambassador for the Faculty in the workplace, we hold firm that students honour all signed contracts. The contract is made between not only the student and the employer but also the university. We want our partner-employers to be confident that when they have a commitment from our students and the Faculty, that the contract will be honoured.
However, if students were to meet with extenuating circumstances beyond their control, and feel unable to complete their contractual obligations, please connect with our Careers team immediately to review options.
Q. When should I expect to secure my placement?
We encourage students to begin looking for opportunities as early as possible. Many organizations begin to promote their summer Co-op positions in late-November and throughout the winter months. However, most students normally secure their placements in the spring; up to 50% of all summer placement offers are made in April. The estimated timeline for the hiring process is shown in the table above under DEGREE COMPLETION TIMELINE section.
Q. Why is there an ancillary charge levied for Co-op work terms?
The $600.00 CAD + HST fee levied during each of students’ two work terms (totaling $1,200+HST) is the standard Co-op fee across University of Toronto Co-op programs. The Co-op Ancillary Fee supports the operations of the Co-op program. This includes student advising, employer outreach and engagement, resource and program development, poster printing for annual showcase, as well as infrastructure and system supports to name a few examples.
The fee is not specifically allocated for job board access and is applied each term once students are registered in the Co-op course(s), not in advance. Any student who chooses not to enroll into the Co-op option will not incur the Ancillary Fee.
The Summer Co-op fee is paid directly to the Faculty of Information and instructions on how to do this will be given in the early Spring of each year. The Fall Co-op fee is added to the fall session tuition invoice and is paid along with regular tuition.
Q. Why do I pay Fall tuition during my Co-op placement?
All Co-op students need to be enrolled full-time to be eligible for the Co-op option. Co-op placements are courses completed in the workplace, supervised by both an employer and the Faculty instructor with specific learning objectives.
Students receive 0.5 Credit (CR / FCE) during each of two work terms and can complete an additional 0.5 Credit (CR / FCE) in another course, if desired.
Q. I am counting on Co-op to help me pay for my MI education. What if I don’t get in?
The Co-op option is not an employment option but a pedagogical strategy. Co-operative education emphasizes workplace learning and should not be relied upon to finance education.
Please keep in mind that Co-op placement prevents students from having a summer job – many of which may be better paid than a Co-op placement. Also, many students already work part time during the fall term. Co-op income may be only marginally greater than part time work income, given the added $600 Co-op fee added per work term.
The Careers Officer is available to provide students with assistance when pursuing on-campus or off-campus work opportunities to support their financial needs. If students are concerned about finances during their studies at the Faculty of Information, our Student Services staff members are also able to assist and refer them to appropriate resources throughout the institution and beyond. Students should contact email@example.com to learn more about how to best prepare financially.
Q. How much compensation will I receive while on my placement?
Co-op pay wage will be influenced by several factors, some of which may include organization, sector, public or private, and students’ level of experience. The suggested wage for MI Co-op students is $23–33 CAD per hour or higher.
Students are encouraged to focus on the learning experience rather than the rate of pay. Students who try to negotiate a rate of pay above and beyond what is listed above risk their offer being revoked by the employer.
Q. If I am in the TALint program, can I still participate in the Co-op option?
TALint positions and Co-op work terms can take place during the same period, and the TALint program yields similar experiential learning outcomes as MI Co-op. The Faculty encourages that students pursue either a TALint position or Co-op.
Q. Can I be enrolled in two concentrations and be in Co-op at the same time?
Co-op placement is intended to allow students to apply in a professional context the knowledge gained in one concentration. While there is no administrative rule against pursuing two concentrations in addition to Co-op, it is not recommended. Students wishing to pursue this route are encouraged to speak with their academic advisor to create a manageable academic plan.
Q. When and how will I find out whether I am accepted to Co-op or not?
Faculty decisions regarding student eligibility will be communicated in late January to early February through email.
Q. If I’m accepted into Co-op, what occurs during the Winter term?
An orientation session will be held for the new Co-op cohort in January. During this period, the Careers Officer will support students throughout the Co-op job search process.
Q. What other things should I consider with the Co-op option?
The Co-op program eliminates 1-3 elective courses from students’ program pathway. This may prove to be a ‘miss’ for some students. Students are also away from the Faculty (and campus) and miss important networking/industry event opportunities and workshops. When considering for the Co-op option, students should think about whether there are other areas that they prefer to focus on during their academic career and whether their goals can be achieved through other channels (e.g. practicum, part-time job, volunteering, work-study, job-shadowing, etc.)