What is Cooperative Education (co-op)?

Cooperative Education (co-op) is a program designed to integrate academic study with related job experience. Undergraduate students co-op multiple alternating work terms of full-time work and full-time study.

How far along in school should I be before starting a co-op assignment?

Students must have completed CODA into the major before starting their first work term. Most students begin applying for co-op in the spring of the freshman year in order to begin co-op in the sophomore or junior year.

May I co-op only during summers?

No, undergraduate co-op students work multiple terms, preferably a minimum of 3 alternating semesters or work.

May I co-op one semester only?

No, undergraduate co-op students work multiple terms, preferably a minimum of 3 alternating semesters of work.

Are all of the co-op jobs in the Raleigh area?

Co-op students work primarily in North Carolina; however jobs are also available throughout the United States. Willingness to relocate is one of the key factors to an increased number of job opportunities.

May I live at home while on co-op?

Yes, if you accept a job near your hometown.

What do I do about housing when I go to work?

Housing can be arranged with the help of employer representatives or through other co-op students. Students working in and around Raleigh can remain in on-campus housing.

Will I remain with the same employer for successive work terms?

Yes. The Co-op Program approves a special request to change employers only in extenuating circumstances. Remaining with the same employer allows students to work through ascending levels of responsibility.

Do I pay tuition while out on co-op?

No, co-op students pay a $490.00 fee instead of tuition for each and every work term including a summer work term.

Does participation in the co-op program affect my financial aid?

Yes, to some extent, depending on the type of financial assistance. Students must contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for additional information.

Do I receive academic credit for co-op?

No, but students’ registration for COP appears on the transcript each work term, and students receive a transcript notation for completing all requirements of the co-op program upon graduation.

What happens if I change my major after beginning the co-op program?

A change of employer may be required, however you may also be able to work in another department more closely related to your new major within the same company.

Will I have a guaranteed job offer from my Co-op employer at graduation?

Not a guaranteed offer, but companies prefer hiring students who have related work experience, especially within their organization.