Skip to main content

Experiential learning

Co-ops, internships, capstones, practicums and research projects

Group of people around computers

Experiential learning at Ontario Tech University is the strategic, active engagement of students in opportunities to learn by doing and reflecting on those activities, empowering them to apply their theoretical knowledge and creativity to real-world challenges, including those in workplace and volunteer settings.

We have deliberately embedded experiential learning into the academic curriculum of all seven of our academic faculties and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Our goal is to enrich student learning and promote intellectual development, interdisciplinary thinking, social engagement, cultural awareness, teamwork, and other communication and professional skills.

Our university currently has almost 3,000 experiential learning opportunities, including co-ops, internships, practicum, placements, capstone projects, field experiences, research assistants, entrepreneurship experiences and international placements, in partnership with more than 350 employers/organizations.


Benefit to business and industry

With a goal to create potential employer/employee relationships and support the economy by training highly skilled workers for the future, we are proud to provide business and industry with:

  • Access to workplace-ready talent that can hit the ground running.
  • Student expertise, including the skill-set required to reduce high workloads, assist with special projects and cover unexpected employee leaves and vacations.
  • Industry knowledge and innovative ideas.
  • The opportunity to evaluate potential future employees first hand.


Student benefits

We are committed to helping students develop the technical, business and employability skills (e.g. accountability, adaptability, attitude, confidence, motivation, presentation, stress management, teamwork and time management) required to successfully transition to employment.


experiential learning at our University includes

Co-ops are formal, paid work-study programs with multiple work terms throughout an undergraduate degree program, or short-term paid positions.

Internships are paid consecutive work terms ranging from four to 16 months.

Both provide businesses with motivated students who possess the theoretical foundation and technical skills required to be immediately productive on the job, and a willingness to offer a fresh perspective on challenging issues. Gain access to training and research opportunities and highly qualified students with the skills needed to reduce high workloads, assist with special projects and cover unexpected employee leaves and vacations. This is an opportunity for businesses to evaluate potential future employees first hand. 

The purpose of a fieldwork practicum and/or placement is to prepare university students for an eventual role in their field of study. Students develop and refine their professional qualifications by taking part in a placement with organizations looking for current skill sets and new perspectives. Practicums also enable students to gain valuable workplace skills and knowledge while making positive inroads with organizations located in the community and well beyond.

Capstone projects provide an opportunity for businesses to access high-quality consulting services, for little to no cost. With an aim to help organizations find creative solutions to their challenges and achieve their strategic goals, final-year students apply the academic knowledge gained from their degree programs while gaining industry experience.

Access undergraduate and graduate student talent through collaborative research projects with faculty. Research provides business with a unique opportunity to interact with students while under university supervision.