Frequently Asked Questions

What is a co-op?

  • A co-op is a fixed-length, employment experience with a company in your intended professional field. A co-op is a 15-week semester for Engineering & Applied Science students.
  • A typical student is required to complete five co-op semesters by the College of Engineering & Applied Science.
  • You are paid for your work.
  • A co-op is typically more rigorous than an internship.

How do I find a co-op?

  • You will consult with a co-op adviser from the Department of Experience-Based Learning and Career Education.
  • You will take a “Co-op for CEAS” course your first year, which provides professional development, gives you access to the online database of employers, and prepares you through mock job interviews and resume building workshops.
  • On-campus career fairs. There is one per year specifically for Engineering & Applied Science students.
  • You can do research to find your own approved co-op experience.
  • The University database can match you with potential co-op employers.

Do I pay tuition to co-op?

  • No. You pay $465 co-op fee for that semester.

Where do Engineering & Applied Science students typically co-op?

  • Some examples: Duke Energy, Proctor & Gamble, Northrup Grumman, Turner Construction, and NASA. Check out this list of potential employers.
  • More than 600 companies have hired co-op students from Engineering & Applied Science.
  • Students typically choose between research-based and industry-based experiences.

How do I get out of my housing contract?

  • If you do not co-op in the Cincinnati area, you do not have to pay for a residence hall room that semester. You are guaranteed the same residence hall when you return.
  • Many students who co-op in the Cincinnati area live in residence halls, or off-campus housing, or they commute from home.

How do I pay for housing in another city?

  • Most companies provide living arrangements or a housing stipend if your co-op is outside of the Cincinnati area. It is typically handled by the company in the offer negotiations. You should speak with your co-op adviser to better understand which companies are able to offer those resources.

How do I keep up with my classes?

  • Typically, students do not take classes during their co-op semesters. We encourage you to be fully focused on and dedicated to your co-op.

How much will I be paid?

  • It varies. However, most students make around $10,000 per semester, or $15-$25 per hour.
  • Some students are able to pay for a large chunk of their tuition and fees with their co-op earnings.

When will I do a co-op?

  • Starting your sophomore year, you will alternate between academic and co-op semesters for a total of five co-op experiences. After your first-year, summers are treated as full-length semesters.
  • You must stay at your first co-op for two semesters, then you can switch.

What if I have trouble?

  • The College of Engineering & Applied Science and the University of Cincinnati and the Experience-Based Learning Department have resources to assist you in finding and completing your co-op experiences.