We have studied the magnetic and structural properties of thin electrodeposited Co and Cu layers grown directly onto (100) n-GaAs and have investigated the influence of a buffer layer. A dominant fourfold anisotropy with a uniaxial contribution is observed in 10 nm Co electrodeposited films on GaAs. An easy axis is observed in the  GaAs direction with two hard axes of differing coercivities parallel to the  and  directions. For thicker films the easy axes in the  direction becomes less pronounced and the fourfold anisotropy becomes less dominant. Co films of similar thicknesses deposited onto an electrodeposited Cu buffer layer were nearly isotropic. From X-ray diffraction 21 nm Co layers on GaAs were found to be hcp with the c-axis tending to be in the plane of the film. The anisotropy is ascribed to the Co/GaAs interface and is held responsible for the unique spin-valve properties seen recently in electrodeposited Co/Cu films.