Frequently Asked Questions

Academic | Financial | Procedural | Workshop Schedule

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 MSU 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 University, have at least 30 accumulated credits (including MSU and transfer), and have a 2.0 minimum GPA.

2. How will my co-op experience be scheduled?

  • Co-op participation is for an entire semester. While participation in more than one semester is not required, it is encouraged. Options for participation are:
    • Single: One semester of full-time or part-time co-op
    • Alternating: One semester of co-op with a full-time school term between second co-op semester.
    • Parallel: One or two semesters of part-time co-op combined with classes.
    • Consecutive: Two semesters of co-op, back to back.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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 advisor. 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 become eligible for co-op positions?

  • Start by viewing the Who We Are Powerpoint presentation in the computer lab at the Center for Career Services and Cooperative Education, Morehead Hall, room 337. The presentation is available whenever the office is open.
  • 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 advisor to review your resume, your interests, and discuss the job matching process.
  • Upload your resume after advisor's approval.
  • Where necessary, obtain a departmental approval form.
  • Obtain advisor'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 advisor.
  • 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 and accepted a position, you are required to enroll in a co-op course.
  • You must make an appointment with your advisor 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 advisor 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.
  • Your advisor and/or your major department, must approve these positions. A "Student Developed Position Description" form may be obtained from your advisor.

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 advisor.