Cooperative Education is a full-time or part-time, experiential program in which students participate in professional, paid work related to their major and away from the university. Co-ops involve integrating academic and professional experiences; employers who host co-op students benefit from the student’s up-to-date industry knowledge while guiding the student through their professional experience. Co-ops provide the opportunity to increase visibility on campus, reduce recruiting and training costs, and influence curriculum development.

Class credit vs. no credit

The College of Engineering distinguishes between co-ops and internships based on whether or not a student is enrolled in the cooperative education course. This is to ensure that all students enrolled in our course are participating in an educational experience in addition to a work experience.

Students, faculty members, and others may call the experience an internship in casual conversation regardless of whether a student is enrolled in the course. Students do not have to enroll in the course to participate in a co-op or internship, but are highly encouraged to do so. If a student does not enroll in the cooperative education course, it will be classified as an internship instead of as a co-op.

Using this website

If you click on the Employers button, you will see a drop down menu with several options for information. A majority of this information will be accurate regardless of whether the student is participating in a full-time or a part-time experience. On pages in which the information differs for the two types of experiences, there will be a designation between the two.