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.
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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:
- Log into your Engineering Careers, by Symplicity, Account (formerly ENGenius.Jobs)
- Within your Engineering Careers, by Symplicity, account from the left menu, select ‘My Account & Skills Profile’, then ‘Co-op Program’.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.