Outside the Classroom

Research and Internship Opportunities


Why an internship?

Aurora Australis view taken by the Expedition 29 crew
Photo credit

Internships provide valuable on-the-job experience for students to learn and develop in a professional engineering environment. Students graduate with on-the-job experience making them more valuable to future employers and increases opportunities for more responsible initial career assignments. It provides career perspective that can't be learned in a classroom.

The Internship Program provides students with industrial experience during their junior and senior years. Through the intern program, students gain an understanding of an engineer's role in industry. For future employers, it provides graduates who know what they want in their careers, who are familiar with the environment, and have an understanding of the corporate culture.  Internships prepare students by teaching them to work with others as a team, and how to apply classroom knowledge in the real world.

More information on Internships Job Contacts

College of Science and Engineering  Career Center

Co-Op Program

The Co-op Program provides engineering work experience beginning no earlier than the completion of the sophomore year. During this time students complete either two or three full-time work semesters interspersed with semesters of full-time academic coursework. 

A minimum number of two work semesters are required to satisfy the cooperative education requirements and one of those work semesters must be a spring or fall semester. A co-op will not consist of just summer semesters.

 A Co-op participant is paid and also receives academic credit for the work semester's online co-op course.

Research Opportunities

Why explore research opportunities?

Research provides undergraduate students the opportunity for mentorship with renowned faculty and graduate students, active learning, and a chance to create new knowledge while being challenged in new ways.

An advantage of attending a major research university is the number of opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research projects. These projects may be student-initiated or part of a faculty member's research program. There is often funding available, either directly to the student or through the faculty member. If you are going to graduate school a letter of recommendation from a faculty member for whom you have done a research project is probably the one of the best recommendations you can get.

Student Projects

AEM offers many opportunities outside the classroom. You can participate in group or one-on-one projects with a faculty member, get involved in undergraduate research, and gain hands-on experience in almost any field that interests you. The department supports a wide array of student teams.

How can aerospace engineering skills be used while still a student?

Find a project or competition to become involved with, like the AEM’s SAE student team - the Gophers - which took seventh place in the micro class division and third place in the written design report portion of the SAE Aero Design project below. They even received course credit for developing the plane in the department's Senior Design class.

Are there opportunities for community outreach?

YES! The High-Altitude Ballooning Team under the MnSGC worked with the students from nine local middle schools to deliver their payloads to the stratosphere, or "near-space." The payloads contained video and still cameras, flight computers, data loggers, accelerometers, and sensors to measure basic weather data, cosmic radiation levels, and solar panel output. This is just one of the many opportunities!


Other Student Groups

CSE Student Groups:  Explore Leadership opportunities

Global Learning

Explore unique opportunities learning abroad through exchange programs and global seminars run through the University of Minnesota and CSE.