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

Co-op Eligibility

In order to participate in Cooperative Education, you must meet eligibility requirements as well as any additional requirements mandated by your academic department. Your previous academic work and other campus activities must demonstrate that you have the ability and desire to benefit from Cooperative Education.

Co-op is an academically-based work experience that expects you to be an active participant in your own learning. While you will benefit from guidance and counseling, you must take the initiative right from the outset. Ultimately, it will be your actions that determine how successful this learning experience is for you.

The Co-op/Internship Opportunity:

  • Must be a NEW learning experience
    • If you are currently employed with an organization, you must provide the University with evidence that substantial new learning will take place during the co-op semester.  The best way to demonstrate a new learning experience is through one of the following:
      • A promotion
      • A different position within the organization
      • Evidence of a new project that comprises at least 50% of your time
  • Your internship must take place during the same semester that you are applying to receive credit.  The University will not retroactively award academic credit for an internship that has already been completed.
  • A student cannot be self-employed or work for a family member.
  • Can not take place in a private residence or home office.  Your co-op/internship can, however, be a remote experience as long as your employer agrees to the remote internship policy.
  • A student must accept both a Consent Agreement and Statement of Ethical Conduct in Handshake prior to enrollment.

Course Credit

Only your Career Services Director can determine if an internship is worthy of academic credit. This is not determined by a student nor an employer.  You may earn up to 16 credits from a combination of Co-op courses while you are an undergraduate. To find out how many credits you can earn per co-op experience, as well as how those credits can be applied towards your degree, contact your Career Services office.

In order to be eligible for enrollment in a cooperative education (co-op) course, a student must have:

  • A 2.0 minimum grade point average (GPA)
  • Earned a total of 30 credits

Transfer Students with an associate’s or second bachelor’s degree:

  • Do not have to obtain any additional course credit at Montclair State University to be eligible for co-op.

Transfer Students without a degree:

  • Must complete at least nine credits at Montclair State
  • Must have at least 30 accumulated credits (including Montclair State University and transfer)
  • Must have a 2.0 minimum GPA

Graduate Eligibility

Graduate students may enroll in Cooperative Education if participation complements the courses listed in your graduate work program and your academic department has established a co-op course. Co-op credits cannot be substituted for courses listed in the graduate program.

Graduate students who wish to enroll in Co-op must see their graduate advisor. Full and part-time Co-op positions will be selected on the basis of their ability to allow students to reflect the skills, concepts and attitudes imparted by the graduate education experience, with the graduate advisor having the right of final approval.

The Co-op experience may be with your present employer if you undertake new responsibilities that provide opportunities for new learning. Your graduate program advisor will have final approval of any reassignment.

International Students

Additional considerations apply if you are an international student, depending on your visa status. Tell your Career Services office of your status during your first meeting in order to make sure a Co-op internship satisfies current regulations at the time you apply.

In general, F-1 Students can participate in work experiences that are related to the major area of study or provide experience in a chosen profession. Employment generally is part time while classes are in session and may be full time in certain instances.

This type of employment is divided into: Optional Practical Training and Curricular Practical Training. Co-op qualifies as Curricular Practical Training because it is: a work experience directly related to your program of study; an integral part of your major, listed in the University Catalog; and worthy of academic credit. Evaluations and mentorship are provided and you, the University and the employer execute an agreement (in this case the Learning Agreement) to make sure you receive a meaningful educational experience.

Applications for Curricular Practical Training are available from the Office of International Services, in the Office of International Engagement, located in the Student Center Annex. In addition, completed CPT applications need to be turned in 2 weeks before the employment start date.  You can find the CPT application on the Office of International Engagement website.

J-1 students may also participate in academic training for which they are compensated for up to 18 months as long as the training is related to their field of study or if the training is a mandatory part of their academic program. The training may be during or after completion of studies. Applications and further information are available from the Office of International Engagement.