Arts Co-op Program

Graduate with more than a degree.

The Arts Co-op Program is a high-impact educational program that allows students to alternate academic terms with paid, relevant work experience. The Program allows students to explore different career options, while gaining 12-16 months of paid, professional work experience and a network of contacts.

By applying their academic knowledge in a real-life work environment, students become better prepared for careers after graduation.

Success after graduation:

  • 90% of co-op grads from Canadian schools receive job offers within 1 month after graduation
  • Co-op grads earn 12% higher starting salaries than non-co-op grads

Lower student debt or no debt at all:

  • Average co-op earnings over 3 work terms = $27,000
  • Total co-op fees over 3 work terms = $2,477
  • Return on investment = $24,523

Job search skills

  • Techniques for writing effective resumes and cover letters
  • One-on-one interview preparation

Enriched classroom learning

  • Discover how your degree applies in the workplace

Arts Co-op students can expect a broad range of work experience over their work terms, including:

  • Communications & Social Media
  • Copywriting and Editing
  • Educational Programming
  • Arts Administration
  • Curatorial Assistance
  • Event Coordination
  • Gallery & Museum Tours
  • Fundraising
  • Graphic Design
  • Marketing
  • Office Administration
  • Policy Analysis
  • Project Management
  • Proposal Writing
  • Public Relations
  • Research and Analysis
  • Technical Writing
  • Web Design

Students work in a wide range of positions in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. See a list of potential jobs and employers here.

Students alternate academic study terms with co-op work terms. In order for students to receive a Co-op designation on their UBC transcript, they need to complete 3 work terms. Work terms are 4 months and full-time in length. Depending on their program schedule, students may complete 2 consecutive 4 month work placements, 3 separate ones, or a combination.

As a result, students typically complete their degree in 5 years. While it may take students longer to complete their degree, co-op students graduate with 12-16 months of paid work experience.

Below is a sample schedule. Work and study (coursework) terms will vary for co-op students.

1st Coursework Coursework Break
2nd (or 3rd) Coursework & Apply to Co-op
Attend Workshop #1
Coursework & Apply for Jobs
Attend Workshop #2 & #3
Co-op Work Term 1
3rd Co-op Work Term 2 Coursework Co-op Work Term 3
4th Coursework Co-op Work Term 4 (optional) Coursework
5th Coursework Coursework

Annika Penner (French & English Literature)
Work terms: Head Guide at the Juno Beach Center in France, The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, NUVO magazine

Laura Beckwith (French & Political Science)
Work Terms: Arts Umbrella, UBC Arts Co-op Program, Western Economic Diversification

Sheena Bell (Political Science & French)
Work terms: Dillon Consulting, Canadian Museum of History, Arts Co-op Program, Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations

Alex Chen (International Relations & French)
Work terms: Northeast Asia Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

Emily Wlodyka (French)
Work Terms: Banff and Lake Louise Tourism Bureau, BC Hydro, Employment and Social Development Canada

Mandy Wu (French & International Relations)
Work terms: Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia


To read profiles for these FHIS co-op grads and more, click here.

Applying to Arts Co-op

Students can apply to the Arts Co-op Program once each year in September. Intake is open to students in 2nd or 3rd year.
To apply for Arts Co-op, students must:

  • Be a registered full-time student in a BA, BMus, BFA, BIE, or BMS degree program
  • Have completed at least 27 credits at the time of application
  • As of May 2018, have at least 30 credits remaining to complete your degree
  • Have a cumulative average of at least 72%.International students are eligible to apply.

Visit the Arts Co-op website for information about the application process, eligibility details, and information session dates.