The Engineering Co-op Program at the University of Minnesota has been providing students with career opportunities for more than 65 years, and we're proud of that legacy.
If you aren't quite certain what it means to be an engineer, our program will provide you with a firsthand experience of working as an engineer under the guidance and supervision of experienced engineers.
If you are looking to enhance your employment prospects, gain work experience, earn money for college, or invest in your own professional development, the Co-op Program can help you with all of those very worthwhile goals.
The Co-op Program provides opportunities for the following engineering majors. The FAQ page has more details about each major and the Co-op Program.
- Biomedical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Industrial and Systems Engineering
- Materials Science
- Mechanical Engineering
Other engineering majors should check with their department or CSE for co-op opportunities.
The Student section of this website is an operator's manual that describes the rules and responsibilities that make our program work. Please look through it and familiarize yourself with the rules and procedures of the Co-op Program. If you have any questions, contact the Co-op office at co-op.umn.edu and we will be happy to answer your questions.
Co-op Program Process
If you are accepted into the Engineering Co-op Program, your application will be sent to the 30-40 employers in our program. These employers will interview you during our interview week. You can read more about the process here.
If you are hired for one of those co-op positions, you will then take a required online course during each of your work assignment to earn technical elective credits while you work. You can read more about the courses here.
Students who have already found their own co-op position should go to the Student-found or Direct Hire Co-ops webpage to learn if their position qualifies for the Engineering Co-op Program.
Co-op Program Benefits
Your participation in the Co-op Program will offer many opportunities beneficial to you both now and in the future, including:
- Gaining valuable major-related experience in your field of interest
- Increasing your understanding of classroom theory through practical experience
- Earning a competitive wage with an average starting wage of more than $17 per hour.
- Gaining valuable networking skills within the company and industry in general
- Developing interviewing skills
- Building a great resume for future jobs
- Improving your after-graduation job prospects
- Improving your interpersonal skills
- Exploring career goals and options
- Earning six or eight credits that count as technical elective credits
- Maintaining full-time status, while continuing scholarships, grants, and financial aid.
- Gaining first day registration
Over 1000 students graduate with a degree from the College of Science and Engineering each year. Co-op students graduate with more than a degree. They have eight months to one year of practical knowledge and work experience giving them a significant competitive advantage in today's job market.
Co-op Program Goals
Real-World Work Experience
The first goal of the Co-op Program is to provide students with an understanding of an engineer’s role in the technical world. The program provides an opportunity to apply some of their knowledge of fundamental theory to practical problem solving. In most cases it helps students select a direction in the broad field of engineering and thus influences their selection of elective courses. The experience motivates students to plan and successfully complete their academic program.
Improve Professional Writing Skills
The second and equally important goal is to improve students’ writing. Students register for online, writing-based courses during their working semesters. During the courses, students are given a variety of writing assignments to develop and improve their writing skills. Technical journal assignments introduce them to professional technical writing and give them an idea of the vast amount of published engineering research that is available. The most extensive assignment for each course is the report. A carefully written report draft is rigorously reviewed by a Co-op facilitator and then rewritten by the student. See the Required Coursework section and the Working Student section for more details.