What is co-op?

Co-op is an experiential learning program that gives you the opportunity to use your classroom knowledge in real world, productive work environments; all while you get paid and earn academic credit. Asper master's students will leave Asper with 4 months of paid work experience, BComm students with 12 months, and both will have exclusive access to Manitoba’s top employers. With 97% of co-op students immediately finding full-time jobs after graduation*, they have a distinct advantage over their peers. Some other benefits include:

  • Transform academic learning into real world knowledge in a productive work setting.
  • One paid four month work term (master's students) or three paid four month work terms (BComm students) for academic credit. Undergrads will alternate work terms with academic terms. 
  • Opportunity to explore career paths, professions, industries, companies, majors and build a professional network to kick-start or reinvigorate your career. 
  • Extensive professional development training and support through individual coaching and group workshop sessions - hone your skills in resume writing, job search, interviewing and workplace preparedness. 

Why choose co-op? The answer is simple: your future

  • 80% of graduating co-op students work for one of their co-op employers.* You will increase professional confidence that will benefit your career. 
  • Earn competitive wages while completing 4 months (master's students) or 12 months (BComm students) of professional work experience and build a powerful network of professionals.
  • Exclusive access to job opportunities with Manitoba's top employers.
  • You will be engaged in meaningful, productive, paid work over the course of your work term(s) while earning academic credit.
  • Whether you already have specific professional goals, or are exploring different career paths, the Co-op program will help you to achieve your goals.
  • Freedom to develop professional skills and explore career options in a safe, supportive and dynamic environment.
     

* current statistics reflect the BComm Co-op program: the Master's Co-op programs launch in fall 2021 with first placements in summer 2022.

Participating employers

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 

Air Canada

Amiron Ventures

Aon 

Arctic Co-operatives Limited

Arnold Brothers Transport

Asper School of Business

Assinboine Credit Union

Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc.

Baker Tilly HMA LLP

BDO Canada 

Birchwood Automotive Group

Bison Transport

BMO

Boeing Canada Operations Ltd.

Booke & Partners Chartered Professional Accountants

BSI Insurance

Cambrian Credit Union

Canada Life

Canada Revenue Agency

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC)

Cargill

Civil Service Commission

Cogmation Robotics Inc.

Craig and Ross

Deloitte LLP

Department of Families, Child and Youth Services Division

Department of National Defense

Edison Properties

Eskimo Point Lumber Supply

EY

Federated Co-operatives Limited

FeedFlo

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fort Group Chartered Professional Accountants Inc.

Frontiers North Adventures 

G3 Canada Limited

Gardewine

Genuine Comfort

Gislason Targownik Peters CPA Inc. 

Globe Property Management

Government of Canada, Crown Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Government of Manitoba - Agriculture

Government of Manitoba - Department of Finance

Government of Manitoba - Digital And Technology Solutions Division

Government of Manitoba - Procurement and Supply Chain Division

Government of Manitoba - Workforce Training and Employment

Grant Thornton

Gryd

HLL Consulting Corp.

Hoffman's Fine Foods

HyLife Ltd. 

IG Wealth Management

IGM Financial

Indigenous Services Canada

KPMG

Ladco Company Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited

Longboat Asset Management

MacDon Industries

Magnus LLP

Manitoba Hydro

Manitoba Hydro International

Manitoba Metis Federation

Manitoba Public Insurance

Mantioba Metis Federation

Manulife Financial

McKim Sherpa

MD Steele Construction LTD.

MNP LLP

National Bank Financial

National Research Council Canada

Oliver Wyman

ONBusiness Chartered Professional Accountants Inc.

Online Business Systems

Parks Canada

Payworks

PBI Actuarial Consultants Ltd.

PCL Constructors Canada Inc.

People Corporation

PepsiCo Beverages

Pepsico Foods Canada

Pollard Banknote

PTI Transformers LP

PwC

Qualico

Rawluk & Robert Chartered Professional Accountants

RBC Royal Bank

Richardson International

Scarrow & Donald LLP

Scotiabank Sales and Trading Desk (Capital Markets)

Scott Wolfe Chartered Professional Accountants

Shared Health Manitoba

Shelter Canadian Properties Ltd.

Shortline Moving Solutions

Standard Aero

Sun Life Financial

Telpay Incorporated

The Associates of the Asper School of Business

The Dufresne Group

The Momentum Centre

The North West Company

Transport Canada

TransX

Treasury Board Secretariat

True North Sports and Entertainment

TutorBright

UpHouse

Visions Electronics

Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company

Wellington-Altus Private Wealth

Western Canada Lottery Corp

Western Glove Works

Willis Towers Watson

Winnipeg Folk Festival

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba

 

Co-op schedule

Bachelor of Commerce

 

September - December
(Fall Term)

January - April
(Winter Term)

May – August
(Summer Term)

Year 2

Apply for co-op
Academic Term

Academic Term

Co-op Work Term 1

Year 3

Academic Term

Co-op Work Term 2

Academic Term

Year 4

Co-op Work Term 3

Academic Term

Academic Term

Master of Supply Chain Management and Logistics

 

Fall term

Winter term

Summer term

Year 1

Academic term      

Academic term            

Academic term

Year 2

Academic term
Co-op intake
Complete IDM 5120

Academic term
Apply for co-op jobs    

Academic term
Co-op work term/
Practicum project  

Master of Finance

 

Fall term

Winter term

Summer term

Year 1

Academic term
Co-op intake
Complete IDM 5120

Academic term

Academic term
Apply for co-op jobs

Year 2

Co-op work term
       

    

 

Master of Business Administration

 

Fall term

Winter term

Summer term

Year 1

Academic term     

Academic term
Complete IDM 5120

Academic term     

Year 2

Academic term
Co-op intake

Academic term
Co-op intake
Complete IDM 5120    
Apply for co-op jobs

Academic term
Apply for co-op jobs
Co-op work term

Year 3

Academic term
Co-op work term

Academic term  

Eligibility requirements

Undergraduate

To be eligible for entrance into the program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Pre-requisite course IDM 1010: Communications for Career Management
    • Only for students admitted to Asper in September 2023 and thereafter.
    • Review the New Curriculum FAQs  for more information.
  • *Degree GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Completed between 45-81 credit hours at the time you start your first work term (students admitted into the program in the fall start their first work term the following May)
  • Motivation, communication skills, commitment, and the potential to represent the Asper School of Business in a mature and professional manner.

*The GPA eligibility has been expanded to 2.5 (compared to 3.0 in prior years).

Entrance to the Co-op program is competitive: the above requirements are the minimum for entrance.

Master's

  MSCM MFIN  MBA 

Required GPA/student status

Minimum 3.25 GPA

Minimum 3.0 GPA Minimum 3.0 GPA

Required credit hours to
participate in co-op

Minimum completion of
45 credit hours
Minimum completion of
30 credit hours
Minimum completion of
30 credit hours

Seminar pre requisites

IDM 5120, 3 seminars

IDM 5120, 3 seminars IDM 5120, 3 seminars

Term details

Minimum 12-16 weeks/420 hours, full-time work.
Co-op term will be graded.
Minimum 12-16 weeks/420 hours, full-time work,
taken at the end of the academic program.
Co-op term will be graded.
Minimum 12-16 weeks/420 hours, full-time work.
Co-op term will be graded.

Time added to program

N/A - compulsory component of academic program;
student must complete co-op or applied project.
4 months (auxiliary credit) 4 months (business elective credit)

When to apply to co-op

Applications accepted in fall of second year.

Applications accepted in fall of first year. Applications accepted in fall and winter of second year.

Available co-op terms

Summer Fall Fall, summer, winter

Additional requirements

  Program ends with co-op term Student must have 3 CH remaining
after co-op term

Co-op fee

$5000 $5000 $5000 + 3 CH tuition

Indigenous ancestry category (BComm Co-op only)

Each year, space in the co-op program is reserved for Canadian Indigenous Ancestry Category students.  This category is intended for all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit applicants.  All applicants admitted under this category are required to register with the Indigenous Business Education Partners (IBEP) for a period of at least two academic terms following admission. Students wishing to be considered in the Canadian Indigenous Ancestry Category must indicate so in the appropriate section on the Asper Co-op Program Application Form. 

If you are unsure whether to apply under this category, please consult with the Indigenous Business Education Partners (IBEP), 378 Drake Centre, phone (204) 474-7401. Proof of Indigenous Ancestry will be required to register for IBEP.  Special considerations may also be made to accommodate IBEP students that are above the 81 credit hour eligibility limit. Please contact a co-op staff member for more information.

How to apply for co-op

  • B.Comm Co-op Program

    Applications for the 2023-24 are now closed. Please check back in the summer for information regarding 2024-25 intake. 

    Application Deadlines:

    • Early CPA Intake: August 27, 2023 (closed)
    • General Intake (all majors): September 25, 2023 (closed)
    • Second Intake (applications open November 1, 2023): January 7, 2024 (closed)
      • Note: This option was available for 2023-24 school year only. This intake was exclusively for Advanced Entry from 2023 students who were unable to enroll in IDM 1010 in Fall 2023. Review the New Curriculum FAQs for more information.

    For any questions about the Asper Co-op Program, contact the Co-op Office directly at (204) 474-8521 or aspercoop@umanitoba.ca. 

  • Master's Co-op Program

    MSCM applications will be accepted in the fall of your second year (1 intake).
    MFIN applications will be accepted in the fall of your first year (1 intake).
    MBA applications will be accepted in fall and winter (2 intakes).

    For more information review the Masters Co-op FAQs

    Please contact the Co-op Office at aspercoop@umanitoba.ca directly if you have any questions about the Asper Co-op Program or application process.
     

International students

If you’re an international student, joining the Co-op program is a great way to obtain paid, professional work experience while you complete your degree in Canada. Upon acceptance into the Co-op program, it is required that international students obtain a co-op work permit before starting a work term in order to be eligible to legally complete a co-op work term in Canada.

Helpful links
Work permit information
UM English Language Centre
UM International Centre
Career Development Centre information for International Students

Resources

These resources allow students to get the most out of their co-op experience.

FAQ

CPA Intake and Recruitment

What is Early CPA Intake and CPA Recruitment?

BComm students only: The Asper School of Business has ONE undergraduate co-op program.  However, there are many different ways a co-op student can secure a co-op job. One way is through the annual CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) Recruitment that occurs annually, each fall. The Asper Co-op Program offers an “Early CPA Intake” with an earlier application deadline in order to have the time to admit students into the co-op program AS WELL AS prepare them for participating in the CPA Recruitment process which begins in September.

Students that apply early for CPA DO NOT NEED to apply separately for “General Intake”. We have one co-op program and if you are not selected for early CPA entry, you will automatically still be considered for “General Intake”.

CPA Recruitment is a structured and formalized recruitment process specifically for students majoring/interested in accounting. Accounting firms that have a pre-approved program to support employees working towards a CPA designation are referred to as “CPA Firms”. Participating firms include “the Big Four”, other public accounting firms, and training offices. They recruit and hire university students for positions in the future including winter/summer/fall co-op work terms and full-time graduate-level positions. This is an intensive process which includes writing applications, the CPA Wine & Cheese, off-campus networking events, interviews, and may also include company tours.

Going through CPA Recruitment for a student’s first co-op work term is not the only path to an accounting career and a CPA designation. Organizations that do not participate in this process and post at later dates may also offer similar supports to employees. CPA firms that participate in the annual recruitment process may have additional openings that become available throughout the year. The Asper Co-op Program also conducts a structured “general co-op recruitment period” three times a year, in advance of the start of each distinct work term.  Any organization may post during general co-op recruitment, which typically includes various opportunities in all majors, including accounting.  Students who do not opt to participate in CPA Recruitment for their first co-op work term still have the option to participate in CPA Recruitment for future co-op work terms if their schedule permits.


Wondering if you should apply to a public or private accounting firm? Public accounting firms often prepare, review, and audit clients' financial statements. They may also conduct tax work including the preparation of income tax returns, and estate and tax planning. Private/industry firms typically employ accountants in the finance and accounting departments of the business to fulfill a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax and consulting duties. They record and analyze the financial information of the business, and provide it for internal use by managers.

Typically, students that apply for “Early CPA Intake” are pretty serious about pursuing accounting as a major and career, but it is not necessary.  If a student is undecided as to whether or not they want to try CPA Recruitment, they are welcome to still apply and participate. However, a heavy workload is to be expected as they will be required to attend co-op workshops and recruiting events, prepare multiple job applications, and attend interviews all in a short timeframe of approximately eight weeks.  All other co-op students admitted under “general intake” have a co-op preparation schedule that is spread out over the course of six months and still have the opportunity to apply for accounting positions.

Co-op Program Details

What kind of support will I receive from the Co-op Office?

Your Co-op Coordinator is always available for you to contact throughout your work term and the school year, should any questions or concerns arise. We encourage you to make use of this resource by keeping in touch regularly.

What type of commitment is required for co-op?

With acceptance into the Co-op Program, you should expect to commit to the following:  

  • Mandatory attendance and participation in learning modules (BComm) or successful completion of IDM 5120 (master's students) throughout your academic semesters
  • Preparing effective resume and cover letters to apply for jobs each work term
  • Preparing for and participating in all interviews for which you are selected
  • Completing all co-op requirements on your work term(s), writing learning objectives and work term reports as your academic requirement and receiving a successful employer evaluation
  • Frequently checking your email and promptly responding to communication from the co-op office 

Can I be in the Co-op program if I am involved in extra-curricular activities such as CSA Executive Council or Bison Sports?

Yes, 50% of Student Leadership executives are co-op students. We also have had many Bison athletes in the Co-op Program! Please speak with a Co-op Coordinator to discuss how to successfully do both.

Can I be in the Co-op program if I am also participating in an international exchange program?

Yes! You can be in the Asper Co-op Program if you also want to participate in an Asper International Exchange. Forty-five per cent of Asper Exchange students ARE co-op students! Please contact the International Exchange Advisor at  asper.exchange@umanitoba.ca to find out further details.

Are international students eligible for the Co-op program?

Yes! We have many international students in the Co-op program. Once an international student is accepted into the program, in order to be eligible to work in Canada the student must apply for a Co-op Work Permit through Immigration & Citizenship Canada, which must be received before accepting a co-op work term. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they have the necessary paperwork to be eligible to work in Canada. 

Program Logistics and Fees

Why do I have to have a certain number of credit hours to be eligible for the co-op program?

You are required to complete a minimum number of credit hours (45) prior to your first work term. Co-op is an academic program and you are expected to apply your academic knowledge from your business courses to the professional workplace. This also provides you the opportunity to acquire the necessary skill sets to be competitive during the recruitment process and successful in the workplace.  You are not allowed to have completed more than 81 credit hours before the start of your first work term. This ensures you can successfully complete your degree requirements and all three work terms in the appropriate amount of time.

Will completing co-op delay my graduation?

BComm: Your first work term takes place during the summer term, and you will be required to complete an academic semester the following summer term. Therefore, this schedule results in co-op students studying one additional term than regular Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) students. CO-OP DOES NOT DELAY YOUR GRADUATION BY 12 MONTHS! 

MSCM: co-op or applied project is included in program length.

MBA & MFIN: co-op will extend your degree by 4 months.

How much does co-op cost?

Fees are applied upon successful securement of a job. 

BComm: There is a co-op fee and a credit hour fee. Please view BComm program fees (PDF) under resources for a full overview of the program cost.

Masters: Please see the eligibility requirements section for details specific to your program.

Why do I need to pay the Co-op program fee if I find my own job?

A co-op student pays the same program fee regardless of whether the job is posted by the Co-op Office or if the position is found independently.  All Co-op students engage in professional development training and workplace coaching prior to securing a placement and receive continuous support and guidance from the Co-op Office.  The Co-op Program is funded by the financial support of all students who are registered in the program. Similar to arrangements where there is a flat fee (e.g. health coverage) all students pay the same amount regardless of the amount of service consumed.

What is the average salary for co-op work terms?

All co-op placements are paid positions. Co-op is NOT an unpaid internship.  Salaries are determined by employers. Please view BComm salary information (PDF) for recent average co-op student salaries. 

We anticipate master's students will earn $20-25/hour.

Is Asper Co-op for academic credit?

BComm students earn one (1) credit hour for each successfully completed work term. Upon completion of the full program, undergrads will be allocated credit as a BUSINESS OPTION and your degree parchment will indicate “Co-operative Education Option.”  


MSCM students receive three (3) credit hours after successfully completing one work term. 

MBA students earn one business elective worth three (3) credit hours.

MFIN students earn auxiliary credit.

Am I still considered a full time U of M student while on a co-op work term?

While you are on a co-op work term, the University of Manitoba/Asper School of Business considers you a full-time student; however Canada Revenue Agency does NOT consider you a full-time student.

Job Placement and Success

Does everyone in the program find a job?

Being accepted into the co-op program does not guarantee that you will secure a job. Co-op placement rates vary depending on economic stability and labour market trends. Co-op team members work diligently with employers to develop work terms. For students to maximize their chances of finding employment they must:

  • Prepare effective marketing materials including resume and cover letters
  • Apply to all jobs for which they qualify
  • Take advantage of the resources available through the co-op office such as resume and cover letter review, interview practice, etc.
  • Be flexible and willing to try new things!
  • Undertake their own job search

If I do not find a job, will I fail co-op?

No, a co-op work term title does not go on your transcript until you have a job confirmed. If you are unsuccessful in your job search, your contribution to and continuance in the co-op program will be discussed with you on an individual basis with your co-op team member and/or the Program Director.

MSCM: If you are unsuccessful in obtaining a work placement, you will need to complete the applied research project instead.

Contact us

Undergraduate Co-op Program

Master's Co-op Program

Asper School of Business Co-operative Education Program
Room 254 Drake Centre
181 Freedman Cres.
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V4

204-474-8521
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.