Working as a Co-op
Co-op is a full-time, year-round academic commitment. Students typically have the summer following the first year of studies off. Then they alternate between co-op and academic semesters with no break through graduation.
The co-op program operates on a calendar similar to the academic calendar, but the co-op calendar spans academic breaks to give employers uninterrupted periods of work. During academic semesters, students observe university breaks. During co-op semesters, students typically observe the holiday schedule of their employer.
On average, students can earn $1,700 to $2,500 per month while on a co-op assignment. Each co-op employer sets the wage and pays the student. Like salaries, co-op earnings vary by field and industry. View typical hourly co-op wages.
While on co-op, students pay a co-op fee. The co-op fee allows you to maintain your full-time student status, financial aid and student health insurance.
The co-op fee is substantially less than the cost of full tuition.
UC students co-op at more than 1,200 organizations in 40 states and a handful of foreign countries. For engineering, most assignments tend to be in the Cincinnati Tristate area, while design students tend to go further afield. We encourage students to pursue the best learning opportunity regardless of geographic location.
While the University doesn’t assist with relocation or housing for students who land co-op jobs outside the local area, the employer is often able to provide resources, and faculty advisors may be able to help students network with alumni or other students in the area.
Students who register for a co-op term and pay the co-op fee are considered full-time students by the university. This is important for retaining health insurance and financial aid.