Practical Experience/PEY Co-op

Practical Experience Requirement 

An important component of your U of T Engineering degree involves gaining significant work experience. This Practical Experience Requirement (PER) means you must obtain a minimum of 600 hours of practical experience before graduation, which may be fulfilled at any point during your degree.  

The 600 hours are typically spent working in industry or conducting research, though government and public service may also be acceptable. You’ll have professional responsibility (e.g., management of programs, systems, equipment, personnel or finances) and learn to practice sound judgment and effective communication while solving problems within a team. As well, you’ll engage with the engineering community and make connections that can potentially support your professional career after graduation. 

You may choose to join the Faculty’s Professional Experience Year Co-op Program (PEY Co-op), which is designed to fulfill the 600 hours of PER. 

To submit a work experience that satisfies the PER, you must: 

  1. Complete the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) Form (PDF)
  2. Attach a business card from your supervisor 
  3. Email the completed form for approval to the Undergraduate Office at askece@utoronto.ca

Due date: Your PER Form should be submitted as soon as you complete your practical experience, and no later than the last week of January of your graduating year.

Professional Experience Year Co-op 

The Professional Experience Year Co-op (PEY Co-op) program is largest program of its kind in Canada. This is an optional program that enables you to obtain the 600 hours of work experience required to complement your classroom and lab work. The positions are legitimate engineering jobs that give you an opportunity to put into practice everything you have learned — and earn a competitive salary. 

The PEY Co-op program in U of T Engineering has a long history and has earned the endorsement of industry participants. In the past, ECE students have secured positions with heavyweights like Apple, Tesla, Google and IBM.  

You must apply and win these positions as with any job; the PEY Co-op program has many resources to help you navigate this process, including workshops on resume writing, interviews and much more. You can indicate interest in PEY Co-op when you apply for entrance to ECE but should apply for the PEY Co-op program in your first year, second year at the latest.

In your first year, you take PEY Co-op preparatory modules. The first possible placement would be in the summer after your second year, though in general PEY Co-op takes place after third year for 12 to 16 monthsfrom May 1 to August 31 of the following year. This duration gives you sufficient time to initiate and carry out projects of major length and intensity, and also a chance to perform duties that take you beyond your academic level. 

Learn more about the PEY Co-op program, and sign up for the September seminars and workshops to familiarize yourself with the options available to you. 

Note:  Students who begin a PEY Co-op position starting in January should be aware that this will delay graduation. 

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