Participating in a Co-op will typically push back your graduation date by a fall and spring semester, but perhaps less depending on your credits coming in to college. In essence, you trade a later graduation for a fifth year of school that is loaded with professional, well paid, on-the-job experience and likely a full-time offer upon graduation.
Co-op is a formalized program that facilitates one full year of professional experience in your field. An internship is typically only a summer or single semester. Through Co-op, students increase the breadth and depth of their professional experience and often work on long-term projects within a company or organization.
Co-op alternation schedules include three work semesters: one spring, one summer, and one fall. Each start and end date at work should correspond with the start and end of the academic term. While at work, students are full-time employees of the company or organization and should schedule accordingly.
Students may apply to the Co-op program starting their second semester of freshman year with at least a 2.5 UA GPA. This allows you to participate in Spring Co-op Interview Day of your freshman year and perhaps begin Co-op in your sophomore or junior year.
Whether you accept an offer that comes through the UA Co-op office or an external offer, you must visit the Co-op office in 2004 HM Comer to complete necessary paperwork. All paperwork must be completed prior to reporting to work. This ensures your academic and scholarship/financial aid status at UA are protected.
While at work, your transcript will reflect your participation with a 12-hour, non-credit bearing Co-op course. You do not pay tuition, nor do you receive academic credit. This course protects your full-time student status and at the end of the work term you receive a Pass/Fail grade.
You do not pay tuition while at work. The Co-op course has a $264 course fee which is paid through your myBama account. Please contact the Co-op office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have trouble with this fee.
The Engineering Career Development Center and Co-op team provide support all throughout the process. If you need help developing your resume, prepping for interviews, or anything related to your professional development, please stop by our office in 2004 HM Comer. Please also see the calendar of events on coop.sa.ua.edu to identify programs relevant to your interests and goals.
It is very important that students and employers keep to the commitment made upon accepting a Co-op offer. If extenuating circumstances arise or we need to discuss your experience, please contact us. There is a formal petition process to review any changes in Co-op participation.
Yes, remaining with your employer allows you the opportunity to experience progressive levels of responsibility and exposure to diverse operations within a company. Any changes in employer must be approved through the Co-op petition process.