Coops and Internships

COVID-19 Update:

Students, if you plan to register for the co-op/internship course we will need confirmation that the company you will be working for is in compliance with safety measures and social distancing protocol. You may still register for the co-op/internship course, but employers will need to agree to the COVID-19 safety measures stated under ‘Employer Role Agreement’ on the Job Placement Form. 

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 Registration and 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: November 2
  • Last Day to Apply for Course: January 15
  • Last Day to Enroll in Course: January 22
  • AR Based Technology Scholarship Application Deadline: January 25
  • Student Work Report Emailed: April 2
  • Student Work Report Due: April 16
  • Employer Evaluation Due: April 30
  • Email FGR: May 4
  • First Day to Apply for Course: April 5
  • Last Day to Apply for Course: May 28
  • Last Day to Enroll in Course: June 4
  • AR Based Technology Scholarship Application Deadline: June 11
  • Student Work Report Emailed: July 9
  • Student Work Report Due: July 16
  • Employer Evaluation Due: July 30
  • Email FGR: August 2
  • First Day to Apply for Course: July 12
  • Last Day to Apply for Course: August 27
  • Last Day to Enroll in Course: September 3
  • AR Based Technology Scholarship Application Deadline: September 10
  • Student Work Report Emailed: November 12
  • Student Work Report Due: November 26
  • Employer Evaluation Due: December 10
  • Email FGR: December 13

Enrollment Process

The cooperative education and internship course has eligibility guidelines that you must meet to enroll in the course. As these can be confusing, they have been separated out into each possibility below. Click on 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

 

 


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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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.
  • 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 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.
  • Submit your learning objectives. Write and submit 3 learning objectives with action steps to the student coop portal.
  • Confirm your Job Placement Form has been received by logging into the student coop portal.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

 

 

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

 

 

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.
  • 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

 

 

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 Course

Apply for a Coop

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 Tech 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 counts as 1 technical elective credit
Civil Engineering Yes Yes Each term of GNEG 3811 counts as 1 technical elective credit
Computer Science/Computer Engineering Yes Yes Requires 3 terms of GNEG 3811 to count as a 3-hour 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 credit
Mechanical Engineering Yes Yes Requires 3 terms of GNEG 3811 to count as a 3-hour credit

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. After you have submitted this report, your employer will receive the Employer Evaluation, their reflection on your experience. We pull these two reports together and email them to your Coop Faculty Advisor to assign your grade. If either your Student Work Report or Employer Evaluation is missing, you will receive an Incomplete until the report is submitted. All departments except X and X use a CR/F scale for grading instead of an 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 reach out to Robert Saunders.

Arkansas-Based Technology Scholarship

This $1,500 scholarship is for juniors and seniors in the College of Engineering who have a 2.7GPA or higher and who are participating in a coop or internship in the state of Arkansas. This scholarship is awarded three times a year in February, June, and September. The application for the scholarship is available when you submit your Cooperative Education Course application.

Porter Stone Award

The $1,000 Porter Stone Award is awarded each May to a student who has participated in the Cooperative Education Course three or more times. Eligible students are notified via email about the application being open in February. This award is presented during the College of Engineering banquet at the end of the Spring semester.

Upon completion of your internship or coop, you will need to update your resume with your newly finished experience. Should you need any assistance with that, Engineering Career Services can help. You will also want to make sure that your grade has posted properly on 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.