Co-op Frequently Asked Questions
A co-op is a fixed-length, employment experience with a company in the professional field; otherwise known as experiential learning. Co-ops are full time, paid and more rigorous than a traditional internship. Rather than simply shadow an employer, students directly apply what they’ve learned in class to positively influence the success of the company, agency or research firm where they work.
- 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.
No, but there is a small fee to remain a full-time student. Typically, students do not take classes during their co-op semesters. We encourage students to be fully focused on their co-op.
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.
- 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.
The Student Co-op Stories page highlights a number of diverse co-op experiences. Many of our students discuss how they apply their learnings from the classroom on co-op and eventually begin applying their learnings on co-op in class!
Starting sophomore year, students alternate between academic and co-op semesters for a total of five co-op experiences. After the first-year, summers are treated as full-length semesters.
More than 600 companies have hired co-op students from CEAS including: Duke Energy, Proctor & Gamble, Northrup Grumman, Turner Construction, and NASA. Students typically choose between research-based and industry-based experiences.
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.
If you do not co-op in the Cincinnati area, you do not have to pay for a residence hall room that semester. Many students who co-op in the Cincinnati area live in residence halls, or off-campus housing, or they commute from home.
- Yes, with permission. Students are allowed to take up to six credits during a co-op semester if the class does not interfere with the co-op assignment. Approval must be secured from the Department advisor, the Career Education advisor, and the Chairman of the Committee on Academic Standards before registration is permitted.
- If a student needs to make up a class or wishes to take a class during the normal hours of a co-op assignment, then a petition must be submitted along with a letter from the employer stating that the employer is aware that the student needs to take the course, the company has a flextime policy for all employees (not just the student involved), and that the student can make up the hours in order to work a minimum of 40 hours per week. Submit a request to the Committee on Academic Standards using the form Petition to use A Substitute Course.
The College of Engineering & Applied Science and the University of Cincinnati and the Division of Experience-Based Learning and Career Education have resources to assist you in finding and completing your co-op experiences
Have more questions?
We're here to help! Visit the Career Education website to learn more about co-op.