Working as a Co-op

How much will I make?

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. Just like salaries, co-op wages vary by field, industry, and level of experience. View average hourly co-op wages.

Where will I work?

UC students co-op at more than 1,200 organizations in 40 states and a handful of foreign countries. Engineering co-op jobs 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, the co-op employer is often able to help, and faculty advisors can sometimes connect students with alumni or other students in the local area. DAAP students can also take advantage of this web site created by DAAP Tribunal.

What's the co-op fee?

While on co-op, students pay a co-op fee instead of tuition tied to credit hours. The co-op fee is substantially less than the cost of full tuition.

Paying the fee allows you to maintain your full-time student status, which is important for keeping your financial aid and student health insurance.

Do I have to comply with my employer's policies?

To the extent permitted by law, students enrolled in experiential learning or co-op programs will be expected to comply with all rules, policies, guidelines, and requirements of any third-party placement, including but not limited to vaccination and background check requirements. Any student’s failure to comply with such third-party rules, policies, guidelines, or requirements may result in the student not being able to complete and graduate from their program.

When will my co-op work start and end?

In an academic program where co-op is mandatory, co-op is a full-time, year-round commitment. Students typically have the summer off following the first academic year, then they alternate co-op and academic semesters year-round with no break through graduation.

In terms of start and end dates, the co-op calendar follows the UC academic calendar. However, a co-op job typically starts a week before classes start and ends a week after exams are over. Exact start and end dates for co-op work vary by employer and should be part of the discussion after you are offered a co-op job.

While on co-op, students typically observe the holiday schedule of the employer, not the university.