Cooperative Education Program


Students at the biannual career fair

Cooperative Education Program

Gain work experience before graduating by working with corporations, government agencies, and the University of Michigan through the Cooperative Education Program. A typical assignment requires a commitment of two semesters (eight months) that can be satisfied in a variety of ways.

Alternating work semesters with school semesters, you can work towards career goals in a meaningful job while going to school, testing degree interests in real-world situations.

Co-op students frequently qualify for higher starting salaries after graduation because of their experience. Many organizations participate in the co-op program to develop future employees, offering permanent positions to numerous former co-op students after graduation.

An internship is May through August, you are not registered, and it will not appear on your transcript. We recommend that you try and obtain a summer internship or co-op before you graduate.

Need help? Email or call (734) 647-7160

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Typical Co-op Assignments

A typical co-op assignment is eight months of hands-on engineering experience that will allow you to use the skills you have learned in the classroom and apply to actual engineering projects; you are part of an engineering team! It will only delay your graduation one or two semesters, and you will find the experience to be a wonderful asset when you start looking for permanent job placement. Company recruiters look for co-op experience and some companies offer all permanent full-time jobs to their previous co-op students.

Think about doing a co-op, you will find it very rewarding to you as a person, as it will enlighten and help you grow in your preferred field of choice.

Co-ops are an eight-month period work, May through December or January through August or fall term and spring/summer. Students can work four months, return to classes for a semester, and then complete the remaining four months. Students may also opt to work during the Spring-Summer semester and either the Fall or Winter semesters to fulfill the eight months. Two summers do not constitute a co-op experience.


Students should be in good academic standing at the University with a preferred GPA of 2.75 and completed the basic mathematics and science courses. Students should also have completed between 35-55 credit hours towards their degree program to be considered for an assignment. There may be a few exceptions, as we have had company requests for freshmen to co-op. Transfer students may apply during their first semester at the University. International students are also eligible for co-op and must be enrolled for two terms prior to accepting a co-op job assignment.

During the Assignment

Students in the Co-op program are registered students at the University and will be enrolled in Engineering 400: Cooperative Education Engineering. The student’s co-op work semester(s) are entered on the transcript and becomes part of the student’s academic record.

Co-op students do not receive credit – co-op is zero credit hours thus you are not charged for credit hours. However, you are considered a full-time student, loans are deferred, email accounts remain open, and because of your status, you should be able to retain your health coverage.

While working a co-op assignment, students are subject to the rules and regulations of the employer. Work assignments must be at least 30 hours per week for a minimum of six weeks. The employer will evaluate the student’s performance at the end of the co-op work term and forward the evaluation to the Engineering Career Resource Center. Co-op students are also required to complete and return an evaluation report of their learning experience to the ECRC.

How to Apply

To submit Co-op paperwork:

  1. Log into your Engineering Careers, by Symplicity, Account (formerly ENGenius.Jobs)
  2. Within your Engineering Careers, by Symplicity, account from the left menu, select ‘My Account & Skills Profile’, then ‘Co-op Program’.
  3. Click ‘Add New Experience’ under the Co-op Program to submit the paperwork to the ECRC. Please note you must attach a copy of your signed offer letter, as well as a copy of your Co-op Degree Plan signed by your academic advisor, when submitting an assignment. The Co-op Program paperwork is available here. Students should contact the Engineering Career Resource Center at or (734) 647-7160, or visit the office in 230 Chrysler Center for more information. 

Registering Your Co-Op

You must attach a copy of your signed offer letter, as well as a copy of your Co-op Degree Plan signed by your academic advisor when submitting an assignment.

Co-op students are registered by the ECRC for the terms they are working, including spring/summer. A co-op assignment will appear on your transcript and there is a registration fee each work term. You must be registered by the ECRC to be on an official co-op assignment.