Cooperative Education (Co-op)

Research shows that students who secure work experience such as internships and Co-ops, perceived their education to be more relevant and have greater educational persistence.  Such experiences offer students the opportunity to practice what they have learned, and learn experientially what it means to thrive within the cadence of engineering practice.

Co-op programs specifically provide students alternating semesters of on-campus studies with work among industry professionals. Students who are eligible for Co-op commit to working with the same employer for the entirety of their academic studies.  This commitment offer students increasing exposure and opportunity, while growing their understanding of industry and engineering.  

The Office of Professional Practice (OPP) offers both 3-session and 5-session programs. Students selected to participate in Co-op work will gain 12-20 months of experience by graduation.   Further, Co-ops are fully paid.  All students fulfilling all requirements of the Co-Op Program receive an academic certificate recognizing their unique experience and commitment to experiential learning in practice.

Call-Out Information for Co-op Interested Students

The OPP website provides all the information you may need if you are interested in an undergraduate Co-op experience.  This includes key dates, and additional program requirements students must abide by. Students should keep in mind that selection for Co-op experiences is a competitive process, relying upon many aspects of your academic and professional development.  An interview for a Co-op is not a guarantee that you will receive an offer.

What to do if you receive a Co-Op Offer?

  1. If you receive an offer for a Co-op experience from the office of OPP, schedule an appointment to meet with your academic advisor to submit a paper copy of your offer letter.
  2. During the appointment, revise your approved plan of study to insert and reflect changes necessary to accommodate your 3-term or 5-term co-op experience (per the offer letter)
  3. If you are an international student, special steps will be required to ensure you are properly approved for work in the United States.  Please schedule an appointment immediately with your academic advisor for further instruction.

Other requirements 

All students who participate in the Professional Practice Program must follow policies set by the Office of Professional Practice.  This includes registering for the appropriate Co-op course number (REQUIRED) based on your offer letter and the number of co-op sessions you will be working. Upon your return from a Co-op session, students must complete and submit FOUR “assignments/items” to the Brightspace course site before the official end of the academic term noted on the course site. This must be completed as directed in order to receive a completion grade.  Failure to submit all items will result in an “I” or incomplete grade (see  university policy for removal of incompletes from your transcript).  .  NOTE – one item listed below must be completed by your employer, so provide that request to the employer during your actual Co-op experience so they. have ample time to complete the task:

  1. A Student Work Report as outlined by the OPP
  2. A separate reflection (word document) on the following: Effective Spring 2019
    • What was the one thing you learned about your professional self, or the profession of engineering that was the most striking to you during this session? 
    • How has that altered your way of thinking/operating as an engineer, or as a student in engineering? 
    • How can these new insights be shared with your colleagues in the MDE program to better prepare them for the world of engineering practice?
  3. Evaluation of Student by Company - Effective Spring 2019
  4. Evaluation of Company by Student - Effective Spring 2019

Last Updated: February 2, 2021; Updated Links to OPP Site, Other Requirements updated