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Co-op Program

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Cornell University's Engineering Co-op program provides opportunities for students to advance and apply their knowledge and skills in the context of industry, government, and society, enabling them to make well-informed choices about their academic and career paths.

For more information, read our Student Experiences page.


  • Students work 28 weeks or more and graduate with cohort
  • 28 weeks minimum (a semester & a summer); usually Fall & following Summer, however, Spring/Summer or Summer/Fall are potential options for some students
  • Most Co-op participants will attend Co-op Summer Session (Financial Aid transferred from Fall semester to Summer if applicable)
  • Students work for pay, no academic credit is provided, but a transcript notation is made if all requirements are met
  • Students may complete 28 requirement with same employer, or with two different employers (see below)

Flexibility of Work Terms:

  • Employers post positions with the expectations that students will work their entire 28 weeks with the same employer (Fall 2018 returning Summer 2019)
  • Employers post positions for just a semester (Fall 2018) with the following summer (Summer 2019) being an invitation to return by the employer that a student has the opportunity to accept or decline
  • Employers post positions that are a continuous 28 weeks of work (Summer/Fall 2018) or (Spring/Summer 2019)

Profile of Co-op Participants:

  • Students will have completed equivalent of 5 semesters of coursework and be affiliated by the time they begin their first work term
  • Students are all in upper half of class

Recruiting Timeline, Offers & Interviews:

  • February and March is prime recruiting time
  • Students interview as Sophomores, primarily in February, on-campus or via telephone or video
  • Offers extended through Co-op Office in March/April for positions to begin following September (or January)
  • Offers will be made to students in the priority order provided by the company until a position is filled or the company requests to review additional candidates

Housing & Transportation:

  • Students are responsible to secure their own housing, any assistance from employers is appreciated but not mandatory
  • Employers are encouraged to provide one round trip transportation allowance from Cornell (or student's home) to worksite - in addition to regular salary

Co-op Program Expectations:

  • Students meet with supervisors early in work term to discuss mutual expectations
  • Students are monitored by Cornell during first work term either by visit to work site or telephone interview
  • Employer is expected to provide meaningful work experience with challenge points as well as mentoring/supervision
  • Employer provides performance dialog at end of work term (and also at midpoint-optional)
  • Students write reflection paper at end of work term for Cornell Community access; employer encouraged to first review for proprietary purposes
  • A member of our staff may visit on site during the first work term