Professional Practice Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of Professional Practice shall be to facilitate the experiential education and Professional Practice of Purdue University students within the academic environment of the institution and its global partners; to participate in academic research within the field of Professional Practice; and to assist the academic units with enhanced employer engagement.

The Competitive Edge

Professional Practice is a formal plan of education in which students alternate sessions of full-time work with sessions of full-time study.  Purdue’s Professional Practice Programs are designed to combine practical on-the-job experiences with the classroom training of a four-year college curriculum. It helps students integrate theory and practice, confirm career choices, investigate potential job opportunities, and become better graduates. At the same time, it allows students to earn money and help finance their education.

Formally initiated in 1954, the program now serves 1,026 students and 505 employers from private industry and government agencies. The program is currently available to the students in the Schools of Agriculture, Engineering, Krannert School of Management, Liberal Arts, Pharmacy, Science, and Technology.

The Professional Practice (Co-Op) Programs is a voluntary plan for students who finish their first or second year at Purdue in the upper half of their class. Admission requirements vary from school to school and not all students who apply to the Professional Practice Program find Co-Op jobs. Once a Co-Op job is accepted, students alternate sessions of academic study with sessions of work with a qualified employer. Faculty Coordinators screen potential employers to assure quality job assignments and refer interested students for job interviews - typically in the spring of the year.

While students are away from campus on their work assignment, they are registered for a course at Purdue, for which they are charged a fee each term. This fee covers part of the added cost to the University of administering this special program. During the student's work session semester they do NOT pay the regular semester tuition, only the Professional Practice Fee, which is currently $400. This keeps the student in "student status" at Purdue and enables the student to stay on their parents insurance. 

At the end of each session, students submit a written report of the work they performed and the evaluations of their work session to their Professional Practice Coordinator.

Descriptions for Majors at Purdue:



Liberal Arts





Cooperative Education Gets a New Name!

For Purdue University as an institution to strive for preeminence, individual components of our organization must reach-out for preeminence and leadership within their own respective areas. The Purdue University Cooperative Education Program has taken-up the challenge, and we strive to be a national leader in supplying traditional work-integrated learning experiences for students within their chosen undergraduate curriculums. In working toward this goal, our faculty has recently chosen to supplement our well-established traditional Co-Op program with a variety of work schedules. Our aim is to meet varying individual student needs with varying practical learning opportunities. Some of these new programs are based on traditional Co-Op experiences, and some are internships. As an indication of our new, broader acceptance of all types of work-integrated learning, the university administration has changed our name to the “Office of Professional Practice.” We are very excited about the change in direction this means for our future, and we are looking forward to better serving the students and employer partners of Purdue University.

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