Co-op is an academic program with requirements for eligibility. Students who successfully complete the requirements below will receive full Co-op certification and maintain the benefits of the program through graduation. Co-op students receive priority registration to ensure degree progress during academic semesters.
Co-op students alternate semesters of full-time work and full-time school. In alternating work and school, students report to work for one spring term, one summer term, and one fall term. Students alternate three semesters of work, with two of those being 18-week terms (i.e. students may only have one summer Co-op work term).
Be aware that employers may have their own requirements beyond those of the Co-op program. It is each student’s responsibility to know requirements of their Co-op employer.
Students must meet the requirements below in order to apply. Any undergraduate major at UA is eligible to apply to Co-op.
Students must complete their freshman year before they are eligible to begin a Co-op work term. Freshman may participate in Co-op Interview Day spring semester of their first year on campus.
Transfer students are eligible to apply during their first full-time semester at UA and must have completed one semester at UA prior to beginning work.
Graduate students are eligible to apply after one full-time academic term. Students receiving undergraduate degrees from UA who are admitted to a UA graduate program may begin work prior to their first semester of graduate study.
Co-op students must maintain an institutional GPA of 2.0. If the required 2.0 UA GPA is not met, the student will be placed on Co-op Probation. Students on Probation will not be allowed to return to work until reaching at least a 2.0 UA GPA.
The Probationary period may last for up to two consecutive semesters. Failure to do so will result in the student being dropped from the Co-op program and their position terminated. A copy of the correspondence informing the student that they are on Co-op probation will be sent to the student’s employer.
Co-op students register in an academic course each semester at work in order to protect full-time enrollment status and document Co-op work terms. The Co-op office gives the appropriate course number to students during the Co-op acceptance process.
All undergraduate Co-op courses are listed as 12 hours (non-credit bearing) and are $264 per semester. Registration and payment are processed through myBama. Students are assigned a Pass/Fail (P/F) grade for each Co-op course.
Being registered as a full-time student is essential to maintaining a student’s standing at UA. Full-time status affects many areas including registration, financial aid, scholarships, and football tickets. Additionally, students may elect to pay a health service fee should they choose to use services at the UA Student Health Center.
Before reporting to work, Co-op students will defer scholarships to the next appropriate semester. This request is communicated by virtue of a student’s enrollment in the Co-op course in a given term. It is up to the student to contact the Scholarship office at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to use a scholarship while at work (if taking additional academic courses).
Co-op students receiving Federal Financial Aid are responsible for maintaining contact and providing the required information to the Financial Aid office by the stated deadlines. Co-op students receiving financial aid may deduct expenses during the Co-op work semesters by completing the Financial Aid and Special Circumstances Application for Income Reduction Form online by going to http://financialaid.ua.edu/. This will minimize the impact of a Co-op salary on a student’s Financial Aid award the next academic year.
Federal regulations prohibit students taking fewer than 6 academic hours in a semester from receiving financial aid. Therefore, Co-op students are not eligible to receive financial aid while at work.
If extenuating academic circumstances arise and a student finds it necessary to alter their Co-op status and/or alternation schedule, they must complete a Petition for Change in Co-op Status (PDF). This form ensures that the student, the employer, and the Co-op office is aware of the change in status.
Failure to comply with this procedure will be noted in the student’s file and result in the student being dropped from the Co-op program in poor standing.
If a petition form is approved a revised alternation schedule must be completed by the student. Exceptions for a revised alternation are granted for special academic cases involving class sequencing, GPA problems, special academic opportunities/honors (such as study abroad programs) or a major medical concern. Band, SGA, fraternities/sororities, sports involvement and other student activities are student preferences, not requirements, and are not considered acceptable reasons for changing the alternation schedule unless a non-summer work term is replaced with another non-summer work term.
UA Co-op is the sole approving office for the petition form. Arrangements discussed between student and employer may or may not be approved.
Students may be dropped from the Co-op program in one of two ways:
Students who complete the minimum three work periods (including two non-summer terms) will be awarded “Co-op Certification” upon graduation from UA. Many employers recognize this certification as an extraordinary achievement and offer higher salaries to those students completing the Co-op program. Some states accept engineering Co-op work experience toward professional licensing requirements.
In the case of Transfer students, documented Co-op work experience from another accredited institution will be considered on an individual basis. In the event that an UA Co-op student should transfer to another institution, information about participation at UA may only be provided upon a student’s written request.