Cooperative Education and Internships

Cooperative Education (Co-op) provides practical experience for students that will enhance and complement classroom learning. Through this experience, you can gain skills-building content for your resume, clarify your career intentions, network with professionals in your industry, and more. Students enrolled in a co-op course can also receive academic credit for the Co-op experience. To learn more about Co-op, please review the information provided in the Cooperative Education and Internships tab or connect with us at a CSAM Co-op Information Session.

About Co-op's

How does Co-op differ from an internship?

Co-Op

  • An academic credit-bearing course
  • Will work with a faculty member
    • Receive a letter grade
    • Expected to complete assignments
    • No weekly class meetings
  • Must be parallel to a semester

Internship

  • Optional completion for academic credit (e.g., COED401-free elective credit)
  • No deadlines
  • Term of internship usually decided between the employer and student
  • No minimum number of hours per week
Co-op Hours & Credits
  • Biology and Molecular Biology Majors:
    • 4 credits (16-20 hours per week) for a total of 240-300 hours.
    • Academic course designed for co-op: BIOL409 
  • Computer Science and Information Technology Majors:
    • 3 credits (20 hours per week) for a total of 300 hours.
    • Academic course designed for co-op: CSIT491
    • Information Technology co-op is required; Computer Science co-op is optional.
  • Biochemistry, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Earth and Environmental Studies Majors:
    • 3 credits (20 hours per week) for a total of 300 hours.
    • The above CSAM majors do not have academic courses within the major curriculum; therefore, students will not receive credit for participation in co-op towards their major. Rather, co-op credit will be applied as free elective credit on the transcript (e.g., COED401).
FAQ's
What is Cooperative Education (Co-op)?
Co-op provides students with practical experience related to their major that will enhance and complement their classroom learning. Through this experience, you can gain a resume-building opportunity; clarify your career intentions, network with professionals in your industry, and more. Co-op students receive academic credit for their work experience.
When is Co-op offered?
Co-op is offered during the fall (15 weeks), spring (15 weeks), and summer semesters (14 weeks); there is no winter co-op session.
Are there any deadlines to apply for Co-op?
Yes, there are deadlines to submit your co-op application.
  • The spring 2018 co-op deadline is Monday, January 8, 2018
  • The summer 2018 co-op deadline is Friday, May 18, 2018
How do I qualify for Co-op?
Generally, students must have a 2.0 minimum GPA and have earned 30 credits before applying.
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.
How many credits can I earn for completing a Co-op course?
Biology and Molecular Biology Majors:
4 credits (16-20 hours per week) for a total of 240-300 hours.
Academic course designed for co-op: BIOL409
Computer Science and Information Technology Majors:
3 credits (20 hours per week) for a total of 300 hours.
Academic course designed for co-op: CSIT491
Information Technology co-op is required; Computer Science co-op is optional.
Please Note: All computer science and information technology students who are seeking more than 3 credits for CSIT491 must first receive departmental approval.
Biochemistry, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Earth and Environmental Studies Majors:
3 credits (20 hours per week) for a total of 300 hours.
The above CSAM majors do not have academic courses within the major curriculum; therefore, students will not receive credit for participation in co-op towards their major.
Rather, co-op credit will be applied as free elective credit on the transcript (e.g., COED401).
How do I learn more about the Co-op process?
Register via Hire A Red Hawk to attend a CSAM Co-op Information Session
Review the CSAM Co-op Guide to Submitting a Co-op Placement on Hire A Red Hawk
How do I apply for Co-op?
The Co-op Application Form is found on Hire a Red Hawk (Click on NEST > Career Services > Hire a Red Hawk > My Account > Co-op & Internships)
My major requires that I complete a departmental approval form, where can I find this form?
The Departmental Approval Form is also found on Hire a Red Hawk (Document Library > Biology/Molecular Biology Approval Form, Information Technology Approval Form, Computer Science Approval Form, and CSAM General Majors Approval Form)
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.
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 CSAM Career Services representative must approve these positions through Hire A Red Hawk. See the CSAM Co-op Guide for submitting a Co-op application.
Can I use my current job/employer for co-op?
Yes, if you can demonstrate new learning through a promotion, different position within the company, or evidence of a project or tasks that will compromise at least 50% of the time spent at the work site.
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.
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.
Do I pay for my co-op credits?
Yes, you pay tuition and fees just as you do for any other course.
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.
How do I find a Co-op?
  • Review job postings on Hire A Red Hawk
  • Attend career fairs
  • Company websites
  • Current employer
  • Networking
  • Social Media (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Attend employer-led workshops (e.g., Comodo, Emergency Medical Associates, ADP)
  • Specialty internships such as:
  • The Washington Center
  • Disney College Program
Things to keep in mind
  • Time management (i.e., when's the optimal time for you to participate in a co-op?)
    • Give yourself time to secure an internship (i.e., application process, interview, complete paperwork)
  • Co-op is a great experience building opportunity (i.e., resume building) 
  • Be proactive in your internship search
  • Attend CSAM Workshops for Job Search Strategies, Interview Strategies, Science Resume Writing and more. Register for all career events on Hire A Red Hawk.
Co-op Application Process

Your Responsibilities

  1. Please log into NEST > Career Services > Hire a Red Hawk > My Account > Co-op and Internships
  2. Complete the consent form and ethical agreement for co-op
  3. Submit a new co-op application; this requires you to complete all information for your co-op including work duties, supervisor name etc.
  4. Submit the completed application with the departmental approval form. You can find the departmental approval form on Hire a Red Hawk > Resources > Document Library

CSAM Career Services Responsibilities

  1. CSAM Career Services will review your co-op application
  2. CSAM Career Services will submit your co-op application to the employer for verification; this means your co-op will need to be verified by your employer before final approval

Co-op Employer Responsibility

  1. Once your co-op employer verifies that they are hiring you for the co-op internship term, they will send the verification to CSAM Career Services

CSAM Career Services Responsibilities

  1. Once the departmental approval form and employer verification are complete, CSAM Career Services will render the final approval for your co-op
  2. You will receive an email via CSAM Career Services with a permit to register on NEST for your co-op course (e.g., CSIT491, BIOL409, COED401)

Your Responsibility

  1. Once you register for the co-op course, please reach out to your assigned professor for the course regarding all assignments.

To expedite your co-op approval process, please complete the above steps (1- 4) as soon as possible.

Where can I find out more information about Co-op?
  • Register via Hire A Red Hawk to attend a CSAM Co-op Information Session
  • Review the CSAM Co-op Guide to Submitting a Co-op Placement on Hire A Red Hawk
  • Send an email to csamcareers@montclair.edu