Information for Engineering Students Considering a Co-op
What is the Engineering Co-op program?
The McKelvey School of Engineering offers students a unique opportunity to gain in-depth engineering experience through the Engineering Co-op Program. Co-ops learn about a field of engineering by working alongside practicing engineers on extensive projects that are typically undertaken by entry-level engineers. The cooperative education experience is typically completed over the course of a semester and a summer term. This in-depth experience gives students a chance to preview a career path and employment options, gain career clarification, improve communication and team project skills, and enhance marketability with future employers. Because co-ops work full-time for seven to eight months, they typically will delay graduation by one semester. Even though it postpones graduation, the benefits prevail by giving a competitive edge when applying to postgraduate jobs.
Student Status during a Co-op
During a co-op semester (fall or spring) you will be enrolled in the “Engineering Cooperative Education” course. The course appears on your transcript and is a zero credit audit course. This means you will not accrue credit nor pay tuition but will maintain full-time student status. Financial aid eligibility and scholarship are deferred. Co-ops are paid an average of $23/hr.; that’s approximately $27,600 over an entire co-op term.
Before applying to co-op positions, first verify that you meet the requirements to participate:
Are you qualified to co-op?
- Enrolled in the McKelvey School of Engineering
- Enrolled at WashU for at least two semesters
- In good academic standing with a recommended GPA of 2.7 or higher
- Confirm with your academic advisor your ability to take a break from your curriculum
Does your co-op qualify?
- Full-time 32-40 hours per week
- Paid at a rate commensurate with experience, typically $19-25/hr.
- Last a minimum of a full semester (16 weeks) or full summer (10 week minimum)
- Co-op is related to your engineering major
How to Get a Co-Op
Co-ops are obtained in the same ways internships and post grad jobs are obtained: Handshake postings, Career Fairs, STEM SLAM, websites, etc. Contact Sue Kruessel to find out WHERE to find co-op opportunities and contact a career adviser to find out HOW to land a co-op.