What is Cooperative Education?


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Cooperative Education is a formal academic program where students participate in semesters of paid, progressive, career-related work experiences alternating with their normal semesters of classroom study at Penn State. The alternation of work experience and classroom study allows students to pull from one to build on the other.

Students may earn 1 - 3 credits for each work experience and accumulate a year's worth of career-related experience prior to graduation.

Students typically search for a co-op assignment during their sophomore or early junior year (with the help of their co-op office) and complete their work assignments during their junior and senior years. Work assignments are not during the summer only; they usually encompass at least one fall or spring semester.

Students stay with the same employer over the course of their multiple work experiences. This allows for an in-depth experience and solid knowledge of an employer.

Cooperative education employers are in locations all over the United States and abroad.

Cooperative education students typically get more full-time job offers and higher starting salaries than non-co-op students. If you are interested in cooperative education, contact the Cooperative Education Office in your college.

Eberly College of Science
109 Whitmore Lab -- (814) 865-5000

College of Engineering
205 Hammond Building -- (814) 863-1032


Career Fair Questions: careerfairs@psu.edu | 814-865-5131