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Planning the Co-op Course Schedule

Students who pursue a co-op degree program need to pay close attention to their course selections. This is so that they can qualify to enrol in each work term course; so that they complete courses in the recommended order; and so that they do not face a delay in graduating. Remember, not all university courses are available every semester, especially in the Spring when course selections are the most limited.

Selecting ordinary courses
Co-op students should prioritize completing required courses early in their degree. By saving their elective courses they will have much more flexibility towards the end of the degree and are more likely to complete it without delay. Each semester co-op students will be given advance registration status for Political Science so that they can have the first opportunity to register for their preferred course selections.

Course planning tips
Generally speaking, co-op students should consider the following course planning tips:

  • Complete courses required for your degree early on in your program and whenever possible. This will free up electives towards the end of your program when you need them.
  • Avoid taking distance education courses in semesters that you are on campus. This will keep those courses open as options in other semesters when you need them more.
  • Consult the courses section of the Political Science website and communicate with the department's undergraduate advisor to get an idea of planned course offerings in future semesters.
  • Follow the suggested course patterns presented in the tables below, but customize the suggested pattern to fit your individual circumstances.

Completing the PSCE Program in Four Years
It is possible to complete the co-op degree in the same time period as a regular degree. See our suggestions for how to fast track to avoid delaying graduation.

Suggested Course Pattern for the PSCE Program (Honours)

Term Political Science (POSC) courses
Fall #1: regular courses POSC 1000
Winter #1: regular courses POSC 2010 and 2800
Spring #1: break n/a
Fall #2: regular courses POSC 2100, 2600
Apply for admission to PSCE by November 15
Winter #2: regular courses One of POSC 2200, 2300 and one of POSC36xx or 38xx
Spring #2: work term 1 POSC 260W
Fall #3: regular courses POSC 3010; one of POSC 32xx or 33xx; and one other POSC course at the 3000-level
Winter #3: regular courses Two 3000-level POSC courses and one 4000-level POSC course
Spring #3: break n/a
Fall #4: work term 2 POSC 360W
Winter #4: regular courses POSC 4010 and two other POSC courses at the 3000 or 4000-level
Spring #4: work term 3 POSC 460W (counts as 3 credit hours)
Fall #5: regular courses POSC 4011 and two 4000-level POSC courses

Note: Tables are suggestions for course planning purposes only.

Suggested Course Pattern for the PSCE Program (Major)

Term Political Science (POSC) courses

Fall #1: regular courses

POSC 1000
Winter #1: regular courses POSC 2010 and 2800
Spring #1: break n/a
Fall #2: regular courses POSC 2100, 2600
Apply for admission to PSCE by Nov. 15
Winter #2: regular courses One of POSC 2200, 2300 and one of POSC36xx or 38xx
Spring #2: work term 1 POSC 260W
Fall #3: regular courses POSC 3010 and one of POSC 32xx or 33xx
Winter #3: regular courses One 3000-level POSC course
Spring #3: break n/a
Fall #4: work term 2 POSC 360W
Winter #4: regular courses One 4000-level POSC course
Spring #4: work term 3 POSC 460W
Fall #5: regular courses Two 4000-level POSC courses

Interested in completing your degree sooner?
There are a number of ways that high-achieving and responsible students may opt to finish the PSCE faster than the recommended pattern:

  • You may opt to complete a higher number of courses per calendar year, such as by taking one or more courses in non-academic terms. For instance, you may take courses during your Spring semesters, or request permission for a course overload to allow you to complete six courses in an academic semester instead of the normal maximum of five.
  • You may seek permission from the Department of Political Science to complete one other course during a work placement (such as a course offered by distance or in the evening). Such a course must not interfere with the successful completion of the work term.
  • As completing 460W carries three credit hours that you can use towards your Political Science degree requirements, you will have one less course to complete than if you followed the regular degree program. However, you will be ineligible for the POSC 4600 Public Policy Work Internship course.
  • A student who has already completed a full-time public policy work placement or equivalent outside of the PSCE may seek an exemption for one of POSC 260W or 360W. This will require providing documentation of completion of a comparable level of work and submitting a reflective essay for evaluation by the Co-operative Education coordinator. As well a written evaluation of the student's on-the-job performance will be required from the employer. Such an exemption must be approved by both the Co-operative Education coordinator and the designated Political Science faculty member.
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