At the University of Cincinnati, we know co-op. We ought to – we invented it in 1906, and we’ve been doing it well ever since.

Cooperative education (often shortened to “co-op”) is an educational model in which a student alternates traditional academic semesters with semesters spent working full-time in the field. As a co-op student, you will complete three to five co-op terms prior to graduation. During each co-op term, you will complete an online course to help you focus on your academic and professional development. Your co-op employers also evaluate your performance.

Some schools use “co-op” and “internship” interchangeably, but at the University of Cincinnati, “co-op” specifically refers to work that is:

  • Paid
  • Full-time (at least 35 hours a week) for the duration of a co-op term
  • Major-related
  • Supervised and evaluated

Co-op is real-world work experience in a professional setting. Co-op students perform many of the same tasks as an entry-level professional at a level appropriate to their advancement in school. Co-op promotes your professional development and gives you a chance to apply what you learn in class. You graduate with substantial, major-related experience on your resume.

Although co-op employers are not required or expected to offer full-time jobs after graduation, sometimes the student’s performance and the employer’s hiring needs align, and every year a number of students receive full-time job offers from co-op employers as they approach graduation.

Our Division facilitates more than 6,000 co-op placements annually at more than 1,300 companies and organizations in 44 states and 22 countries.

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