Hiring Co-op Students

Employers interested in participating in the Co-op program should fill out this Employer Interest Form. This form allows CSE Career Services to closely track employers who specifically wish to hire CSE Co-op students. Employers who fill out the form will receive additional marketing for their positions.

Employers that have open positions must post them to Handshake, the University’s job board by following these posting instructions. Ensure that your positions adhere to the requirements found on the Program Structure and Requirements page.

Employers are also encouraged to attend the CSE Career Fair to meet with students who are searching for a co-op. More information can be found at the CSE Career Fair website.

Employers may interview and make job offers throughout the semester leading up to the student’s start date. Employers are asked to adhere to the job offer guidelines as outlined in  CSE Career Services’ Recruiting Policies webpage.

In order to enroll in the co-op courses, students must submit an application to the Co-op Program office via Handshake. The site supervisor is a part of the application approval flow. If you have recently accepted a co-op student, be sure to look for an email from Handshake and approve the experience within five business days. Students must submit their job offer to the Co-op Program no later than two weeks before the beginning of the semester to allow for sufficient time for all parties to approve the experience.

Salary Considerations

The Co-op Program requires that Co-op students be paid a competitive wage, though we do not specify the exact amount. Salary should reflect the student’s skills, experience, and the job responsibilities. The average Co-op salary in 2022 was $23.80/hour, with a range of $16.00 to $44.00/hour, with a variety of other benefits and perks. Some employers increase the salary each semester and others do not.

Hiring International Students

Employers do not need to sponsor international students that are hired through the Co-op Program. All Co-op students will take care of the proper authorization through the University of Minnesota's International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office, so they may legally work at their Co-op employer without any negative ramifications for either the student or the employer. The authorization stipulations are as follows:

  • International students with F-1 visas are eligible to participate in the Co-op Program and work legally in the United States with Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to obtain the CPT authorization through the University's ISSS office to work with the Co-op employer
  • The CPT authorization takes seven business days to administer, and students cannot begin employment until the CPT authorization is processed.
  • Since international students must complete the CPT authorization before beginning work, employers need to allow time for the student to complete the process when determining the start date.
  • International students have to be active in an academic program and must complete an academic year of full-time coursework to be eligible for a CPT.
  • Participation in the Co-op Program should not delay a student's completion of studies.