What is Cooperative Education?
Cooperative Education (Co-op) is a University-wide, credit bearing, work-based learning program that provides students with preparation, counseling, academic projects and the opportunity to reflect on what is learned.
How do I qualify for co-op?
Generally, students must have a 2.0 minimum GPA and have earned 30 credits before applying. Computer Science and Information Technology require prerequisite courses and major GPA above a 2.75 to be eligible.
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.
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. Following-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 and/or your major department, must approve these positions.
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.
Are there any guidelines for my co-op to ensure I am treated fairly?
Review the Fair Labor Standards Act to help determine whether your unpaid internship meets program guidelines.
United States Department of Labor Internships Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
How will my co-op experience be scheduled?
Co-op participation is for an entire semester. Typically, a semester is 15 weeks during the fall and spring; co-op is 14 weeks during the summer term. While participation in more than one semester is not required, it is encouraged.
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:
  • Part-time: 3-4 credits (Biology and Molecular Biology Majors)
  • Part-time: 3 credits (Information Technology and Computer Science)
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.
Can I choose the Co-op Faculty Advisor?
Specific faculty participates in the co-op program. This varies by semester/term. While students may specify specific faculty supervisors for the co-op program, this request is honored on a first-come/first-serve basis by submittal date of completed co-op paperwork.
Do I pay for my co-op credits?
Yes, you pay tuition and fees just as you do for any other course.
Are there any additional fees?
Yes, there is a commercial liability insurance fee and a processing fee for each co-op course.
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. Co-op is designed to emphasize academic and professional experiences rather than to provide financial support.
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.
Are there any deadlines for co-op application?
Yes, deadlines vary each semester. Ask about current deadlines when you meet with your advisor.