Frequently Asked Questions




Cooperative Education Faculty Handbook

Cooperative Education Employer Handbook

Cooperative Education Student Handbook

Academic Questions

1. How do I qualify for co-op?

  • You must have a 2.0 minimum GPA and have earned 30 credits before applying. Some academic departments have additional requirements.
  • Students who transfer into Montclair State University with an associate or bachelor's degree, do not have to obtain any course credit at Montclair State University to be eligible for co-op.
  • Students who transfer into Montclair State University without a degree must complete at least 9 credits at Montclair State, have at least 30 accumulated credits (including Montclair State and transfer), and have a 2.0 minimum GPA.

2. How much credit can I earn for co-op?

  • A maximum of 16 credits can be earned through co-op.
  • During one semester, a student has the following options:
    • Full time-8 credits (Psychology majors 9 credits, Business majors 6 credits)
    • Part time-3-4 credits (Business majors 3 credits)
    • Credit options vary depending on major and concentration, so discuss options with your advisor.

3. How do I earn a grade for my co-op experience?

  • You earn your grade by fulfilling ALL of these requirements:
    • Successfully completing your co-op position;
    • Submitting academic projects that are assigned by your Co-op Faculty Advisor as part of the learning agreement;
    • Attending co-op seminars, when required.

4. Is withdrawal from a co-op course possible?

  • Yes, it is possible but you need to discuss this with the employer, your Co-op Faculty Advisor and your Director of Career Services. Guidelines for course withdrawal established by the Registrar must be followed.

Financial Questions

1. Do I pay for my co-op credits?

  • Yes, you pay tuition and fees just as you do for any other course.

2. Are there any additional fees?

  • Yes, there is a commercial liability insurance fee and a processing fee for each co-op course.

3. Will I earn enough money to pay my school expenses?

  • Salaries vary widely depending upon location and nature of the work performed. Some positions are paid, some are unpaid and others provide a stipend.
  • In any case, you should not count on a co-op position to support all your college expenses. Cooperative Education is designed to emphasize academic and professional experiences rather than to provide financial support. 

Procedural Questions

1. How do I start?

  • Start by viewing the Co-op Process Presentation.
  • Complete the web application explained in the presentation.
  • Read and accept the online Consent Agreement and Statement of Ethical Conduct.
  • Make an appointment with your Director of Career Services to review your resume, your interests, and discuss the job searching process.
  • Complete the Co-op Information Form and provide a copy to your Director.
  • Upload your resume after Director's approval.
  • Where necessary, obtain a departmental approval form.
  • Obtain Director's release to search positions in the database.

2. What are the procedures regarding co-op job referrals?

  • Before you are eligible to view online postings for co-op positions, you must have an approved resume on file with your Director.
  • Regularly read PlacePro online postings for positions and apply to the positions that you are interested in as a result of your search.

3. Are there any special rules regarding interviews?

  • Employers will contact those students they want to interview.
  • You are expected to promptly respond to a potential employer and to keep all interview appointments. If you fail to attend a scheduled interview, you will be dropped from Cooperative Education.
  • Advisors reserve the right to limit the number of interviews you may obtain.
  • If you are offered a position, you must make a decision and notify your advisor and the employer within 48 hours.

4. What is the policy regarding enrollment?

  • When you have interviewed for positions established by the Center for Career Services and accepted a position, you are required to enroll in a co-op course.
  • You must make an appointment with your Director to receive the course call number and registration materials. Failure to register in a course will result in ineligibility from all future services of Cooperative Education.
  • Positions found through the PlacePro database can only be used to complete a co-op course.
  • The employers we work with have agreed to hire co-op students, so if you do accept a position and fail to register for a co-op course, your Director will notify the employing organization and request your dismissal.

5. Am I guaranteed a co-op?

  • No, you are not guaranteed a co-op. It is a highly competitive process. You should be actively involved and stay on top of the process. Follow-up in a timely and professional manner is essential throughout the job search to ensure your success.

6. Can I find my own position and use it for co-op?

  • Yes. This is called a student-developed position. Your position may be approved if the work is related to your major or your career goals and if the work experience provides new learning.
  • The Student Developed Position Description Form must be completed and your Director and/or your major department must approve these positions.

7. Am I obligated to work for my co-op employer after graduation?

  • No, and while many co-ops do lead to a permanent job offer, it is best to do a thorough job hunt that includes many potential employers.

8. Are there any deadlines for co-op application?

  • Yes, deadlines vary each semester. Ask about current deadlines when you meet with your Director.