Co-op student using a medical device

Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program

At the University of Cincinnati, we believe that learning is doing and doing is learning. It’s part of our DNA. Which only makes sense, since we invented cooperative education back in 1906.

U.S. News & World Report ranks UC co-op among nation’s Top 5. Our co-op program promotes paid on-the-job experience that fosters professional maturity and increases career options following graduation. Gain real-world experience while collecting a real-world paycheck.

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 is an educational model in which students alternate traditional academic semesters with semesters spent working full-time in their chosen field.

By integrating the academic curriculum with paid, on-the-job experiences, students in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati get a comprehensive engineering education based on real-world application.

Why participate in cooperative education?

With a collective $65 million in annual co-op earnings, many UC students graduate with less debt. It’s one of the reasons we’re ranked No. 1 in the nation for return on educational investment.

Co-ops are designed to introduce undergraduate students to the professional engineering environment. Co-op students preview their potential career path and determine if they are heading in the right direction. The best part? If one co-op brings the realization that you’re off-track according to your goals and interests, you have two to four more co-ops to explore your options.

Where can I Co-op?

The University of Cincinnati generates more than 6,000 co-op placements each year in over 1,300 companies in 44 states and 22 countries around the globe. Successful co-ops often lead to employment post-graduation. Students spend their co-op rotations at businesses of all sizes including Fortune 500 companies around the world 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?

Students alternate traditional academic semesters with semesters spent working full-time in their chosen field. Typically, students complete between three and five co-op semesters prior to graduation. 

On the year-round co-op schedule, students complete at least a year of professional engineering experience, gaining first-hand knowledge of professional practices and advancement opportunities.

Learn more about Co-op 

Explore and pursue the limitless opportunities made available by the College of Engineering and Applied Science co-op program at the University of Cincinnati! 

If you’re ready to take the first step toward becoming a Bearcat, visit our admissions page—or apply now using The Common Application.