A student standing in front of a sign at his internship.

Co-ops & Internships

What is Cooperative Education?

Cooperative Education is a University-wide, credit-bearing, experience-based learning program that provides students with preparation, counseling, academic projects and the opportunity to reflect on what is learned. It’s a great resume builder and a way to test out a career.

Full- and part-time, paid and unpaid co-op positions are available to students. These positions meet co-op work-learning criteria and are arranged for a minimum of one semester.

Screening criteria are determined by the employer. Students can search and apply for internships through Handshake. All hiring decisions are made solely by the employer. Interested students must apply at least one semester prior to enrollment in an academic course.

Cooperative Education vs. Internship Experience

Internships exist in a variety of forms: some are paid, some are not; some give college credit and some do not. The difference between an internship and other forms of employment is that all internships–no matter what kind–provide career-beginners with a temporary, “test-it-out” career-related experience.

The Office for Experiential Education and Career Connections and the Career Directors in each College/School partner with employers to offer all kinds of internships to meet your needs; whether you just want some related experience to test a career interest or you want a structured, credit-bearing experience through Cooperative Education.

  • Cooperative Education (Co-op): A credit-bearing, faculty and counselor supervised work experience which allows students to see the connection between their studies and the world of work.
  • Internship: A paid, short-term work experience providing the employer with skilled workers and giving students a taste of a potential career direction.
  • Micro-Internships with Parker Dewey: Short-term, paid, professional assignments which allow students to explore career paths and build networks. Micro-Internships can take place year-round and typically range from 10 to 40 hours of work.
  • Volunteer Experience: Generated by employers for neither pay nor credit; volunteer opportunities offer a chance to explore careers.

Please Note: Only your Career Services Office can determine if an internship is worthy of academic credit. This is not determined by a student nor an employer.