School of Engineering Departments

What exactly is a co-op?

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.

Camesha Johnson, Chemical Engineering
Cooperative Energy in Moselle, MS

What is an Internship?

Seth Gray and Jordan Houry, Chemical Engineering
DuPont Nutrition and Health in Memphis, TN

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.

Is there a difference between co-op and internship?

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.

When can I participate in a co-op or Internship?

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.

Why should I participate in a co-op or Internship?

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.

Can I keep my scholarships?

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.

Will I get paid during the terms I'm at work?

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 I accept a position in another city or state where will I live?

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.

Jack Brady, Mechanical Engineering
Aamir Kudai, Computer Science
BorgWarner in Water Valley, MS

Will I graduate in four years If I participate in Co-op?

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.