Post-secondary Co-op/Internship Program

The Post-secondary Co-op/Internship program is specifically designed to provide post-secondary students with work opportunities related to their field of study and offer them the opportunity to use their academic knowledge in the workplace.

Academic institutions play an important role in the placement of students under this program. The partnership among the employer, the academic institution and the student is a mandatory and key element of the Post-secondary Co-op/Internship Program.


This program is available only to post-secondary students. Post-secondary programs may include university, college and vocational training programs.

There are two requirements for eligibility for co-op/internship program opportunities:

  1. Student eligibility - Full-time post-secondary school students enrolled in recognized co-op/internship programs who meet the following criteria are eligible:
    • Students must always be registered as a full-time student at an accredited academic institution. This includes students with a visible or invisible disability deemed to have full-time status by their academic institution and those participating in adult education and retraining programs at the secondary level;
    • Be returning to full-time studies in the next academic term; and,
      Students must meet the minimum age requirement to be employed in the province or territory of work.
    Managers will determine the minimum level of academic achievement that applicants need to do each job.
  2. Co-op/Internship Program eligibility – The Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) maintains a database of validated co-op/internship programs. Only students enrolled in approved programs are eligible for student employment under this program. Programs must be an academic requirement, as determined by the academic institution, and be paid in order to be included on in the database.

International students, with valid visas permitting work in Canada, may be considered for student employment programs when no eligible, qualified Canadian students are available for the position. Canadian students include students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada in accordance with section 4 of the Student Employment Programs Participants Regulations.

Duration of assignments and work schedule

The academic program determines the duration and the hours of work for each co-op/internship program.

Recruitment and referral

The PSC maintains the database of validated co-op/internship programs that enables hiring managers in departments to work directly with the academic institutions to match students with opportunities within departments.


Students must work with the co-op/internship placement office at their academic institution to identify co-op/internship placements.


Rates of Pay for students hired under the co-op/internship programs are approved by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students can be found in the Directive on Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students.

All co-op/internship placements in the Public Service of Canada are paid. In limited cases, students in receipt of grants or fellowships from third parties may hold student positions without payment from the hiring department.

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