What is a co-op?

A co-op provides the opportunity to work full-time and get paid while alternating semesters of coursework. Derived from the term "cooperative education," co-ops are a structured way to combine your academic knowledge with practical work experience.

At the earliest, co-ops begin after you complete your sophomore year. Generally, a minimum number of work sessions are required to satisfy co-op requirements, and a letter grade or other designation may be assigned upon completion of each work session. The specifics of your academic credit must be worked out between your employer and your department of study.

Because co-ops require you to work full-time, participating in a co-op will likely delay your graduation. Be sure to create an education plan and weigh all your options with your academic advisor before deciding to pursue a co-op.

What are the benefits of co-ops?

Co-ops provide an opportunity for employers to work with students for a longer period of time, allowing students to become more involved with in-depth projects and assignments.

When you complete a co-op, you will have almost a full year of meaningful science or engineering work experience, which will give you a leg up on the competition for post-graduation jobs.

How do I find a co-op?

Co-ops are managed by academic departments in the College of Science and Engineering. The structure and the requirements to participate can vary among each program.

Connect with the following departments about their co-op programs:

More About On-the-job Experience