Co-op student using a medical device

Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program

At the University of Cincinnati, we believe co-op develops the best engineers! We invented co-op more than 100 years ago, and we’ve never stopped reinventing it which is why we're consistently ranked top 5 for co-op (US News) in the nation and offer one of the best return on investments in higher education.

I appreciate how co-op is integrated into our curriculum because it gives us real-world experience with industry and the interview process prior to graduation.

Sarah DePage Biomedical Engineering, '20

What is Co-op?

Cooperative education—or co-op for short—allows you to alternate semesters in the classroom with semesters working full-time at a job in your major and pay for college. We're ranked in the top 5 for co-op (US News) and students earn a total of $57,000 on average. The best part? You have five different co-op positions to learn more about what interests you in your field

Why participate in cooperative education?

With a collective $65 million in annual co-op earnings, many UC students graduate with less debt. Successful co-ops often lead to a job offer before you graduate. 

You get a temporary glimpse of a job in your field to determine what you like and dislike. If a co-op experience isn't what you're looking for in a career, you have two to four more co-ops to learn what interests you in your field.

Where can I co-op?

Anywhere you want! Choose to stay close-to-home in Cincinnati or travel the globe for your co-op position. You have more than 1,300 companies to choose from and UC generates more than 6,000 co-op placements each year in 44 states and 22 countries around the globe.

Choose from businesses and research organizations of all sizes including Fortune 500 companies like:

  • Apple
  • Ethicon Endo-Surgery
  • GE Aviation
  • L'Oréal
  • Microsoft
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Siemens
  • Tesla
  • Toyota

Check out our student co-op stories or find out more about where we co-op

How does co-op work?

Your schedule is setup to alternate semesters in the classroom with semesters spent working full-time in their chosen field. Typically, you'll complete between three and five co-op semesters prior to graduation which is equivelent to 1.5 years of job experience to put on your resumé.

Why is co-op essential to an engineer's education?

It's important to learn how to work with people and understand the business side of being an engineer. In this video, Dr. Weidner shares why co-op is more important than ever to an engineering education.

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Learn more about co-op from our students!

If you're ready to explore what co-op is like, follow our Instagram to see current students takeover to share their co-op experience and what it's like to be a CEAS student!