Co-op is short for cooperative education. During a cooperative education experience, students have the opportunity to gain professional work experience with employers across the United States and around the world. Students who participate in co-op often spend either a full academic year or a full calendar year working in a position related to their field of study.
An internship gives students the opportunity to gain professional work experience with employers across the United States and around the world. Internships usually last one summer and can be paid or unpaid, engineering-related or not.
Internships usually take place in the summer and last anywhere from 10-12 weeks. Students participating in co-op will take a semester (or more) off from classes and typically work full time for at least 16 weeks.
Engineering students typically begin a co-op following their sophomore or junior year when they have completed enough major-specific courses to contribute in a professional setting. Students can participate in an internship as early as the summer after their freshman year depending on company requirements.
Participation in co-op and internships is an opportunity to gain real world professional experience and start building a network before graduation. You'll work side by side with full-time engineers and other professionals on projects that might range from design, to sales, to problem solving. This will help a student become more competitive when entering the full-time job market.
Yes. While you are on co-op, your regular 8-semester scholarships and awards will be put on hold. When you return to campus for a full academic semester, they will be re-instated.
Yes! All co-op students are paid. Most co-op students make $20+/hour plus housing assistance. Most internships offer at least $15/hour although some are unpaid.
If outside of Oxford, the student usually lives in a rental apartment. Some companies offer housing assistance in the form of a company-leased apartment. Others provide a housing stipend and assist students in finding housing for the duration of the work term.
Participation in a co-op usually delays anticipated graduation by one full year. However, having one full year of work experience on your resume will make you a competitive candidate in the job market.