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Benefits of Co-op

Photo of a co-op student


  • ‌Real world/hand's on experience
  • More intensive training that a typical internship
  • Add professional level experience to your resume
  • Often results in a job offer upon graduation
  • Build communication and problem solving skills
  • Paid - wages often higher than internships

What is Co-op?

What is a co-op and how is it different from an internship?

Cooperative Education (co-op) and internships both provide work-based, career related experience.  The major difference is that co-ops require a more extensive time commitment.

  • Co-ops are always paid.  Internships can be paid or unpaid.
  • Internships are generally set up for 10 hours per week for one semester.  Paid internships can extend beyond one semester, but are usually still limited hours.  Students can take other classes and may work other jobs and still have time for an internship.
  • Co-op placements are often full time and can last up to a year.  Students take minimal or no coursework and don't have other employment so that they can focus more on their co-op work. 
  • Sometimes a co-op can include multiple placements over the course of your degree. Internships are generally one-time experiences.
  • Because of the longer time commitment, co-op employers can provide more training and more sophisticated projects and activities.
  • Because of the longer time commitment, co-ops can delay graduation. 
  • Both co-ops and internships can be done for academic credit, but co-ops can provide more credit.

You could call it an "internship on steroids".

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Applying for co-op positions is no different from applying for internships.  They are posted on The Internship Program (TIP) Online.  Call 303 615-1333 to sign up for an orientation to get started.