Coops and Internships

The College of Engineering recognizes the value of participating in a coop or internship during their degree; as a way to support that, the Cooperative Education Course was developed. This course serves undergraduate and graduate students participating in both coops and internships while they are enrolled in the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas.

If you are an employer interested in learning more about the Cooperative Education and Internship Program in the College of Engineering, please check out our employer page.

**PLEASE NOTE** Students, if you plan to take a semester off from classes to work a full-time coop/internship, you will need to fill out the registration application found below under the Requirements & Deadlines tab. Registering for GNEG 3811 or GNEG 5811 will keep you enrolled as a full-time student while you take a semester off from classes to participate in an approved Cooperative Education Course experience. The fee for this course is $25. If you are not enrolled in GNEG 3811 or GNEG 5811 and take a semester off from classes to work a full-time approved coop/internship in either the Fall or Spring term, you will have to reapply for admission to the University at a cost of $75. Additionally, if you are not enrolled in one of these two classes during your full-time work experience, you will not be considered a full-time student during this period of employment. Student loans, scholarships, and other financial aid might be affected.

Enrolling in the Cooperative Education Course is something that happens AFTER you have accepted your coop or internship. While finding a coop is your responsibility, Engineering Career Services and the Career Development Center are here to assist you in the search process. The button below is a link to the Career Development Center’s internship and coop search resources.

Find Coops and Internships

Many researchers have examined the benefits of participating in coops and internships for students. Below are just some of the benefits they have identified.

  • Defer student loans until you return as a student
  • Receive academic credit in addition to professional experience
  • Stay on your parent’s medical insurance (if applicable)
  • Become eligible for monetary scholarships and award opportunities
  • Ensure a quality experience by creating learning objectives
  • Maintain state residency
  • Get your experience listed on your academic transcript

Registering for the cooperative education and internship course is a complex process and often takes 1-2 weeks depending on your situation and how quickly you (and others) submit the required forms. After you have submitted the initial online application, there are additional steps that must be completed. You are not finished enrolling in this course until you see GNEG 3801/3811/5801/5811 on your UAConnect account. Please note that you cannot enroll in these classes on your own; you must be enrolled by the Dean’s Office after following the steps below.

Deadlines

  • First Day to Apply for Course: July 11
  • Last Day to Apply for Course: August 26
  • Last Day to Enroll for Course: September 2
  • AR Based Technology Scholarship Application: September 9
  • Student Work Report/Employer Evaluation Emailed: November 28
  • Student Work Report/Employer Evaluation Due: December 9
  • Email FGR: December 12
  • First Day to Apply for Course: November 7
  • Last Day to Apply for Course: January 20
  • Last Day to Enroll for Course: January 27
  • AR Based Technology Scholarship Application: February 3
  • Student Work Report/Employer Evaluation Email: April 21
  • Student Work Report/Employer Evaluation Due: May 5
  • Email FGR: May 8
  • First Day to Apply for Course: April 3
  • Last Day to Apply for Course: May 26
  • Last Day to Enroll for Course: June 2
  • AR Based Technology Scholarship Application: June 9
  • Student Work Report/Employer Evaluation Emailed: July 21
  • Student Work Report/Employer Evaluation Due: August 4
  • Email FGR: August 7
  • First Day to Apply for Course: July 10
  • Last Day to Apply for Course: August 25
  • Last Day to Enroll for Course: September 1
  • AR Based Technology Scholarship Application: September 8
  • Student Work Report/Employer Evaluation Emailed: November 27
  • Student Work Report/Employer Evaluation Due: December 8
  • Email FGR: December 11

Requirements & Enrollment Process

The cooperative education and internship course has eligibility requirements that you must meet to enroll in the course. To ensure these requirements are met, you must apply and go through an approvals process prior to our office enrolling you in the appropriate section. As these can be confusing, they have been separated out into each possibility below. Click the accordion that matches your description. If you do not see an accordion that matches your description, contact Margot Purdy at mp064@uark.edu.

Estimated time frame for application processing

1 week

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have completed 30 hours towards engineering degree.
  • Must have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA.
  • Must be working part-time (fewer than 25 hours) at coop.
  • Transfer students (transferring 24 or more hours) must have completed 12 credit hours in the College of Engineering.
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours; spring and fall terms only).

Process of Enrollment

  • Apply to enroll in the Cooperative Education Course. Enroll in the course is contingent on your application being accepted.
  • Await Eligibility Form submission; this can take 1-2 business days.
  • Contact coop faculty advisor. When prompted, contact your coop faculty advisor (this information will be emailed to you) to confirm that they do not need any additional information before they can approve your coop.
  • Check UAConnect to confirm that you have been enrolled in GNEG 3801. If you do not see this enrollment within 7-10 business days, contact Margot Purdy.

Estimated time frame for application processing

1 week

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have completed 30 hours towards engineering degree.
  • Must have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA.
  • Must be working part-time (fewer than 25 hours) at coop.
  • Transfer students (transferring 24 or more hours) must have completed 12 credit hours in the College of Engineering.
  • Must have completed at least 30 weeks of study in the USA.
  • Must be enrolled full-time (12 hours; spring and fall terms only, per immigration regulations).
    • These requirements are accurate as of February 2021 and are subject to change based on immigration requirement changes within the law.

Process of Enrollment

  • Declare your intent to apply for CPT with the International Students and Scholars Office by completing the CPT form in ISSLink.
  • Apply to enroll in the Cooperative Education Course. Enrollment in the course is contingent on your application being accepted.
  • Await Eligibility Form submission; this can take 1-2 business days.
  • Contact coop faculty advisor. When prompted, contact your coop faculty advisor (this information will be emailed to you) to confirm that they do not need any additional information before they can approve your coop.
  • Check UAConnect to confirm that you have been enrolled in GNEG 3801. If you do not see this enrollment within 7-10 business days, contact Margot Purdy.
  • Meet with ISS to obtain your updated I-20 work authorization.

Estimated time frame for application processing

1 week

Eligibility Requirements

    • Must have completed 30 hours towards engineering degree.
    • Must have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA.
    • Must have at least 12 hours of required course work remaining upon return to campus.
    • Must be working full-time (40+ hours) at the coop.
    • Must not be enrolled in more than 3 credit hours.
    • Transfer students (transferring 24 or more hours) must have completed 12 credit hours in the College of Engineering.

NOTE: You may not take this course back-to-back fall/spring or spring/fall. However, you can take it summer/fall or spring/summer.

Process of Enrollment

  • Apply to enroll in the Cooperative Education Course. Enrollment in the course is contingent on your application being accepted.
  • Await Eligibility Form submission; this can take 1-2 business days.
  • Contact coop faculty advisor. When prompted, contact your coop faculty advisor (this information will be emailed to you) to confirm that they do not need any additional information before they can approve your coop.
  • Check UAConnect to confirm that you have been enrolled in GNEG 3801. If you do not see this enrollment within 7-10 business days, contact Margot Purdy.

Estimated time frame for application processing

1.5 weeks

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have completed 30 hours towards engineering degree.
  • Must have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA.
  • Must have at least 12 hours of required course work remaining upon return to campus.
  • Must be working full-time (40+ hours) at the coop.
  • Must not be enrolled in more than 3 credit hours.
  • Transfer students (transferring 24 or more hours) must have completed 12 credit hours in the College of Engineering.
  • Must have completed at least 30 weeks of study in the USA.
  • May only enroll during summer term per immigration and College of Engineering regulations.
    • These requirements are accurate as of February 2021 and are subject to change based on immigration requirement changes within the law.

Process of Enrollment

  • Declare your intent to apply for CPT with the International Students and Scholars Office by completing the CPT form in ISSLink.
  • Apply to enroll in the Cooperative Education Course. Enrollment in the course is contingent on your application being accepted.
  • Await Eligibility Form submission; this can take 1-2 business days.
  • Contact coop faculty advisor. When prompted, contact your coop faculty advisor (this information will be emailed to you) to confirm that they do not need any additional information before they can approve your coop.
  • Check UAConnect to confirm that you have been enrolled in GNEG 3801. If you do not see this enrollment within 7-10 business days, contact Margot Purdy.
  • Meet with ISS to obtain your updated I-20 work authorization.

Estimated time frame for application processing

1.5 weeks

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have completed at least 6 hours of graduate level engineering courses meeting degree requirements at the University of Arkansas.
  • Must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Must be working part-time (fewer than 25 hours) at coop.
  • Must have approval of graduate committee chair prior to interviewing for coop.
  • No GA, TA, or RA position during the work experience without approval from the major advisor.
  • Must have at least 3 required hours (Masters) or 6 required hours (PhD) of course work/dissertation/thesis remaining upon return to campus.
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time (5 hours; spring and fall terms only).
  • A combination of GNEG 5801 (part-time coop) or GNEG 5811 (full-time coop) may be repeated for up to 3 hours of non-degree credit.
  • MSOM students must have completed OMGT 5003 Introduction to Operations Management (with a grade of B or better) and one OMGT graduate elective directly applicable to the proposed.

Process of Enrollment

  • Apply to enroll in the Cooperative Education Course. Enroll in the course is contingent on your application being accepted.
  • Await Eligibility Form submission; this can take 1-2 business days.
  • Contact coop faculty advisors. When prompted, contact your coop faculty advisor (this information will be emailed to you) and your thesis or dissertation advisor to confirm that they do not need any additional information before they can approve your coop.
  • Check UAConnect to confirm that you have been enrolled in GNEG 5811. If you do not see this enrollment within 7-10 business days, contact Margot Purdy.

Extensions

Sometimes the opportunity will come to extend your coop or internship. If this happens and you wish to remain in the Cooperative Education Course for the extension, we recommend you contact Margot Purdy. Depending on your exact circumstances, there may be a couple of different options available to you for continuing your experience.

Estimated time frame for application processing

2 weeks

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have completed at least 6 hours of graduate level engineering courses meeting degree requirements at the University of Arkansas.
  • Must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Must be working part-time (fewer than 25 hours) at coop.
  • Must have approval of graduate committee chair prior to interviewing for coop.
  • No GA, TA, or RA position during the work experience without approval from the major advisor.
  • Must have at least 3 required hours (Masters) or 6 required hours (PhD) of course work/dissertation/thesis remaining upon return to campus.
  • Must have completed 30 weeks of study in the USA.
  • Must be enrolled full-time (9 hours; spring and fall terms only, per immigration regulations).
  • A combination of GNEG 5801 (part-time coop) or GNEG 5811 (full-time coop) may be repeated for up to 3 hours of non-degree credit.
  • MSOM students must have completed OMGT 5003 Introduction to Operations Management (with a grade of B or better) and one OMGT graduate elective directly applicable to the proposed internship experience.
    • These requirements are accurate as of February 2021 and are subject to change based on immigration requirement changes within the law.

Process of Enrollment

  • Declare your intent to apply for CPT with the International Students and Scholars Office by completing the CPT form in ISSLink.
  • Apply to enroll in the Cooperative Education Course. Enrollment in the course is contingent on your application being accepted.
  • Await Eligibility Form submission; this can take 1-2 business days.
  • Contact coop faculty advisor. When prompted, contact your coop faculty advisor (this information will be emailed to you) to confirm that they do not need any additional information before they can approve your coop.
  • Check UAConnect to confirm that you have been enrolled in GNEG 3801. If you do not see this enrollment within 7-10 business days, contact Margot Purdy.
  • Meet with ISS to obtain your updated I-20 work authorization.

Estimated time frame for application processing

1.5 weeks

Eligibility Requirements

    • Must have completed at least 6 hours of graduate level engineering courses meeting degree requirements at the University of Arkansas.
    • Mustave a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
    • Must be working full-time (40+ hours) at coop.
    • Must have approval of graduate committee chair prior to interviewing for coop.
    • Must not hold a TA, GA, or RA position during the work experience.
    • Must have at least 3 required hours (Masters) or 6 required hours (PhD) of course work/dissertation/thesis remaining upon return to campus.
    • Must not be enrolled in more than 3 credit hours.
    • A combination of GNEG 5801 (part-time coop) or GNEG 5811 (full-time coop) may be repeated for up to 3 hours of non-degree credit.
    • MSOM students must have completed OMGT 5003 Introduction to Operations Management (with a grade of B or better) and one OMGT graduate elective directly applicable to the proposed internship experience.

NOTE: You may not take this course back-to-back fall/spring or spring/fall. However, you can take it summer/fall or spring/summer.

Process of Enrollment

  • Apply to enroll in the Cooperative Education Course. Enrollment in the course is contingent on your application being accepted.
  • Await Eligibility Form submission; this can take 1-2 business days.
  • Contact coop faculty advisor. When prompted, contact your coop faculty advisor (this information will be emailed to you) to confirm that they do not need any additional information before they can approve your coop.
  • Check UAConnect to confirm that you have been enrolled in GNEG 3801. If you do not see this enrollment within 7-10 business days, contact Margot Purdy.

Estimated time frame for application processing

2 weeks

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have completed at least 6 hours of graduate level engineering courses meeting degree requirements at the University of Arkansas.
  • Must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Must be working full-time (40+ hours) at coop.
  • Must have approval of graduate committee chair prior to interviewing for coop.
  • Must not hold a TA, GA, or RA position during the work experience.
  • Must have at least 3 required hours (Masters) or 6 required hours (PhD) of course work/dissertation/thesis remaining upon return to campus.
  • Must have completed 30 weeks of study in the USA.
  • May only enroll during summer term per immigration and College of Engineering regulations.
  • Must not be enrolled in more than 3 credit hours.
  • A combination of GNEG 5801 (part-time coop) or GNEG 5811 (full-time coop) may be repeated for up to 3 hours of non-degree credit.
  • MSOM students must have completed OMGT 5003 Introduction to Operations Management (with a grade of B or better) and one OMGT graduate elective directly applicable to the proposed internship experience.
  • May only enroll during summer term per immigration and College of Engineering regulations.
    • These requirements are accurate as of February 2021 and are subject to change based on immigration requirement changes within the law.

Process of Enrollment

  • Declare your intent to apply for CPT with the International Students and Scholars Office by completing the CPT form in ISSLink.
  • Apply to enroll in the Cooperative Education Course. Enrollment in the course is contingent on your application being accepted.
  • Await Eligibility Form submission; this can take 1-2 business days.
  • Contact coop faculty advisor. When prompted, contact your coop faculty advisor (this information will be emailed to you) to confirm that they do not need any additional information before they can approve your coop.
  • Check UAConnect to confirm that you have been enrolled in GNEG 3801. If you do not see this enrollment within 7-10 business days, contact Margot Purdy.
  • Meet with ISS to obtain your updated I-20 work authorization.

Extensions

Sometimes the opportunity will come to extend your coop or internship. If this happens and you wish to remain in the Cooperative Education Course for the extension, we recommend you contact Margot Purdy. Depending on your exact circumstances, there may be a couple of different options available to you for continuing your experience.

Apply for the cooperative education and internship course. For any questions, please contact Margot Purdy at mp064@uark.edu or 479-575-7309.

During your co-op, you will be concentrating on transitioning into the workforce and learning how to apply your current and new engineering skills to projects. While you do this, we expect you to follow Student Role Agreement that you agreed to in your initial course application. The Student Role Agreement is listed below for your convenience.

  • Complete the co-op as outlined by your employer and yourself.
  • Conform to the company’s policies and rules completely.
  • Meet course enrollment requirements of the College of Engineering and/or Immigration Regulations.
  • Remain working with your employer in the event of a suspension or withdrawal from the College of Engineering (unless employer withdraws position).
  • Complete all of your homework assignments associated with your coop experience by their deadlines unless an extension has been granted.
  • Perform all work in an ethical manner, including being productive during the work day, asking questions as needed, and alerting supervisors to safety concerns.
  • Complete additional tasks as assigned by your faculty co-op advisor or the Co-op Coordinator.
  • Speak with financial aid regarding your individual financial aid package and how your co-op would affect your financial aid disbursement.
  • Accept or decline a company’s offer within the time frame requested.
  • Notify your faculty co-op advisor or the Co-op Coordinator if problems arise with your co-op experience.

All engineering departments offer academic credit for qualifying internships and coops at the undergraduate level, although the type of credit offered can differ. Some departments allow their students to receive the Technical Elective (three-hour, upper-level engineering elective) for their co-op experience. Other departments do not. All departments award the Additive Elective (one-hour, general engineering elective). Below is a chart that will inform you whether your department offers internship credit.

Department Additive Elective Credit Technical Elective Credit Conversion Info
Biological Engineering Yes No N/A
Biomedical Engineering Yes No N/A
Chemical Engineering Yes Yes Each term of GNEG 3811 or GNEG 3801 counts as 1 technical elective credit up to a total of 3 hours technical elective credit.
Civil Engineering Yes Yes Requires 3 terms of GNEG 3811 to count as 3-hour STEM elective credit.
Computer Science/Computer Engineering Yes Yes Requires 3 terms of GNEG 3811 to count as 3-hour technical elective credit
Data Science Yes No N/A
Electrical Engineering Yes Yes Each term of GNEG 3811 counts as 1 technical elective credit
Industrial Engineering Yes Yes Requires 3 terms of GNEG 3811 to count as a 3-hour technical elective credit
Mechanical Engineering Yes Yes Requires 3 terms of GNEG 3811 or GNEG 3801 to count as 3-hour technical elective credit (only allowed once)

Towards the end of your coop or internship, you will receive an email from Margot Purdy asking you to complete your Student Work Report, a reflection on your experience. Additionally, your employer will receive the Employer Evaluation, their reflection on your experience. We pull these two reports together and email them to your Faculty Coop Advisor to assign your grade. If either your Student Work Report or Employer Evaluation are missing, you will receive an incomplete until the report is submitted. All departments, except for Electrical Engineering, use a CR/NC for grading instead of A-F scale for this course. Electrical Engineering students who are seeking technical elective credit will also be required to submit a report to their Coop Faculty Advisor. If you have any questions about this report, you should contact Robert Saunders.

Arkansas-Based Technology Scholarship

This $1500 scholarship is awarded each term to students that intern at a tech company based in Arkansas. Eligible students must submit an application by the deadline date along with an essay and an updated resume. Additionally, students must have a minimum 2.7 GPA, must be a Junior or Senior, and must be working approximately 20 hours per week. All applicants are reviewed by the ABT Scholarship Committee. Submitting the application is NOT a guarantee you will be awarded the scholarship. This scholarship may be received a maximum of two times.

Porter Stone Award

The $2,000 Porter Stone Scholarship Award is awarded each May to a student(s) who has participated in the Cooperative Education Course three or more terms. Eligible students are notified via email when the application opens in February. This award is presented during the College of Engineering Awards Reception at the end of spring semester.

FutureFuel Chemical Company Scholarship

The Terry Martin Endowed Outstanding Intern Award sponsored by FutureFuel Chemical Company is a $1,000 scholarship provided annually to an outstanding intern or interns. Preference is given to mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and computer science majors. Students who have worked a part-time or full-time internship with any company during fall, spring, or summer semester are encouraged to apply. Students may be finishing an internship when they submit their application. You do not have to be enrolled in the Cooperative Education Course to be eligible for this scholarship. However, students may only receive the award once. An article in the Newswire runs each July with the application link and deadline.

When you return from your internship or co-op experience, make sure you update your resume, LinkedIn profile, and Handshake profile. It’s important to do this while the experience is fresh in your mind. If you need assistance, please schedule an appointment with a career services specialist.

You will also want to make sure that your grade has posted properly in UAConnect.

Where do I go to learn more about co-ops?

Margot Purdy manages the Cooperative Education Course at the University of Arkansas. Send her an email at mp064@uark.edu, call her at (479) 575-7309, or schedule an appointment if you have any questions or concerns.

Can I participate in the Cooperative Education Course more than once?

Absolutely! However, you may not take the full-time course (GNEG 3811 or GNEG 5811) back-to-back fall/spring or spring/fall. Though you can take it summer/fall or spring/summer.

Will I still be considered a full-time student while I participate in the Cooperative Education Course?

If you are eligible for and choose to enroll in the course, you will be considered a full-time student in the eyes of the university. However, this does NOT apply to scholarships, financial aid, or international students.

What tuition and fees can I expect to pay if I enroll in the Cooperative Education Course?

There is a $25 course fee in lieu of tuition. This money is used to fund student professional development opportunities in the College of Engineering.

How will I obtain a coop or internship placement?

Obtaining a coop or internship is the responsibility of the student. To assist in this process, we have put together a list of resources to look for internships. You can access this list here. For additional help, please feel free to schedule an appointment with your career counselor.

Is participating in the Cooperative Education Course required?

No, but it is strongly encouraged. Students who participate in a co-op are significantly more likely to have full-time work at graduation or to be accepted into graduate school. They also tend to have higher starting salaries.

Does the internship/co-op have to be a paid position to receive academic credit?

Yes. The internship/co-op must be a paid position to receive academic credit.

Can international students participate in the Cooperative Education Course?

Absolutely! As part of your student visa, you can take advantage of Curricular Practical Training (CPT). This means that you are eligible to take part in coop and internship opportunities as long as they are for academic credit and are approved by your institution.

How will coop or internship participation affect my financial aid?

Your financial aid will need to be deferred if you are participating in the full-time Cooperative Education Course (GNEG 3811 or 5811). To do this, follow these recommended steps:
1. Create a comprehensive list of your scholarships and loans, including contact information for each agency.
2. Call each agency and inform them of your coop or internship and your need to defer your financial aid for the semester. Inquire about any consequences of this deferment.
3. Meet with the Office of Financial Aid to confirm that you have contacted all necessary agencies and that nothing else needs to be done for your financial aid.

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