Co-op for Employers

Northeastern University’s cooperative education program is ranked No. 1 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. It is a leading model of experiential learning benefiting employers and students. Co-op gives BS, MS, and PhD students an opportunity to work within their profession for four, six, or eight-month periods as part of their academic program, giving them real-world experience. Co-op also provides employers access to talented and innovative students to meet their workforce needs and business objectives.


Benefits of Hiring a Co-op Student
  • A simple, cost-effective way to meet hiring needs: no fringe benefits, no recruitment costs. Co-op students can be paid as temporary hourly employees.
  • Flexible co-op terms allow students to work on long-term projects and make significant contributions to the workplace.
  • The ability to schedule co-op students back to back for full-time coverage and hire additional students in peak times.
  • Potential pipeline for future full time hires with up to 18 months of experience and industry leaders.
  • Our students bring a wealth of diverse perspectives and multicultural experiences from their global backgrounds to the classroom and to the workplace, and provide thoughts from different angles to provide more innovative solutions.
Partnership with Cooperative Education Coordinators

When you become an employer partner of Northeastern University, you work with a dedicated Co-op Coordinator to assist you throughout the co-op process. This expert faculty member works within the structured program to support you and students throughout the co-op process.

The Co-op Coordinator can help you to:

  • Align employer needs with candidate pools and university timelines
  • Identify qualified candidates
  • Facilitate a successful co-op experience for students and employers
  • Address any issues or concerns while a student is on co-op

Quick Facts - 2019

98.3%

of 2019 COE employment-seeking UG graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within nine months after graduation

96.9%

of 2019 COE employment-seeking GR graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within nine months after graduation

50.4%

of 2019 COE UG graduates received job offers from previous co-op employers

51.4%

of 2019 COE GR graduates received job offers from previous co-op employers


College of Engineering Programs

Northeastern’s co-op program is for both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in BS, MS, and PhD degrees in over 60 engineering programs.

View All Degree Programs   Contact Departmental Co-op Team   Contact MGEN Co-op Team

Eva excelled at being attentive to detail and diving into complex projects. She was able to jump into projects and quickly contribute towards design, prototyping and iteration. She was proactive and decisive about remaining involved in the co-op and contributing remotely. Carlos Martinez, Research Engineer,
Liberating Technologies
Northeastern coops are an important part of who we are at Simpson Gumpertz and Heger (SGH). They are valuable teammates who produce high quality work. The coop program is a vital part of our recruiting and growth. Many students have continued onto long careers at SGH (self-included), including into the upper levels of management. Michael Tecci, Senior Project Manager
Simpson Gumpertz and Heger
Northeastern is a BIG supporter of our co-op & internship Program. I have had the pleasure of working with several students that have come through our Program and I found them to be very dedicated employees and adventurous, motivated and well-rounded future leaders! We will continue to work with Northeastern to funnel a healthy pipeline of students for full-time employment considerations. Amy Gregory, Co-op Program Recruiter
Retail Business Services, a Company of Ahold Delhaize USA
Nolan developed a keen eye for improvement opportunities. In his work on his six sigma specialist project, Nolan incorporated lean principles to ensure that the project would yield the most efficient solution. He also recognized that this solution needs to be sustainable after his co-op. Nolan was always responsive to input from his team as well as being flexible to changing requirements as the project unfolded. Jeff Stolz, Operational Excellence Manager
Raytheon
Dawson is an incredibly eager and productive individual. He quickly learns and implements new skill sets. His ability to multitask and adapt to shifting priorities makes him well suited for working in a startup setting. He is very passionate about his work and holds himself to the highest standard. Asya Grinberg, Head of Biologics
Dragonfly Therapeutics

Co-op Hiring Timeline

For you, the employer, the program offers a gateway to enthusiastic employees with developing skills and talents, as well as potential relationships with future colleagues. The University provides two primary co-op cycles per year, spring (January – June) and fall (July – December). 4-month (UG and Grad) and 8-month (Grad only) options are available as well.

Co-op students are prepared to work both on-site throughout the United States and globally, as well as remotely, according to the employer’s needs.

4 month cycles (January-April, May-August, or September-December), 6 month cycles (January-June or July-December), 8 month terms for Grad only (January-August or May-December)

More Employer Information

COE co-op students are in high demand with many job options. In today’s highly competitive job market, you want to attract the students who best fit the job and your organization—and it all starts with the job description. Here are a few tips:

  • Define your business needs and identify how the co-op student will contribute to your organization.
  • Consider projects, timelines, planning, processes, required skill sets, communications, and management. Develop key responsibilities and rank them in order of priority.
  • Be as comprehensive as possible when describing the job, and ensure that its responsibilities are both important and achievable.

Northeastern offers a streamlined tool to match Northeastern partners and learners with co-op, internship openings, and full-time and part-time employment opportunities. More than a million employers have leveraged Symplicity to post jobs, find top talent, and manage on-campus recruiting, and we are proud to be a part of the Symplicity family.

Submitting a new co-op or internship position (or reposting a current one) is easy, and it’s all done through NUworks—Northeastern’s one-stop-shop for job postings. Just follow the instructions on NUworks to complete the online form, and remember to select “Engineering Department” or “Engineering-MGEN” from the college dropdown menu. If you know your primary co-op contact, select the appropriate department, and then choose your contact. If you do not already have a co-op contact, you will be contacted by a COE co-op coordinator.  Either way, your position will get posted.

Employers

Co-ops, full-time, part-time jobs, and internships can all be posted in NUworks.

If you have any questions about posting your position, please contact your Co-op Coordinator.

These examples are taken from actual co-op job descriptions, but are changed to preserve the identity of the company, and do not represent currently available positions. We recommend all postings begin with a brief paragraph about the company and how the position fits within the organization. You may want to add any unique components of the job or about the company culture to set your organization apart.

Below are links to sample job descriptions for a variety of majors within COE Departmental Co-op.  These examples are taken from actual co-op job descriptions, but are changed to preserve the identity of the company, and do not represent current available positions.

For sample job descriptions for the Multidisciplinary Engineering majors below, please contact an MGEN Co-op Coordinator directly. Our students have a depth and breadth of knowledge, skills, experiences, and interests in their fields, so we would love to connect with you to discuss examples that best fit your hiring and industry needs.

  • Computer Systems Engineering (Graduate Only)
  • Cyber-Physical Systems (Graduate Only)
  • Data Analytics Engineering (Graduate Only)
  • Information Systems (Graduate Only)
  • Software Engineering Systems (Graduate Only)
  • Telecommunication Networks (Graduate Only)

Please view the Cooperative Education and Career Development Employer Handbook, which describes the role employers play in the co-op process. Students are your employees, exclusively, during the co-op period. They are full-time, temporary workers, and we request that they be treated in the same manner as other full-time staff.

When Hiring a Co-op Student, Consider the Following Responsibilities:

  • Per federal law, the student should be hired as an employee, not as a contractor.
  • Throughout the co-op, ensure ample work is given related to the job accepted.
  • Help the student develop learning outcomes at the beginning of the co-op.
  • Provide mentorship and training to the student throughout the co-op.
  • Notify your Co-op Coordinator of any concerns as they arise.
  • Complete a student evaluation at the end of the co-op.

For additional information on best practices for training, enhancing the co-op experience, learning outcomes, student evaluations, and addressing student issues please refer to Best Practices for a Successful Co-op or contact your Co-op Coordinator.

When you become an employer partner of Northeastern University, you work with a dedicated Co-op Coordinator to assist you throughout the co-op process. This expert faculty member works within the structured program to support you and students throughout the co-op process.

Your Co-op Coordinator(s) can help you to:

  • Align employer needs with candidate pools and university timelines
  • Identify qualified candidates
  • Facilitate a successful co-op experience for students and employers
  • Address any issues or concerns while a student is on co-op


In addition to placing students in co-ops across the U.S., students are able to participate in co-ops across the globe. The College of Engineering has a dedicated Global Co-op team to work with our global employer partners in order to help navigate the process of sourcing and hiring a student from Northeastern. This also includes partnering with U.S. multinational employers with global positions at their locations abroad.

Tips for Global Employers:

  • Students speak fluent English but are not required to speak the language of the country (unless stated in the job description)
  • Scholarship funds are available to students to help with travel costs
  • International travel support team members are available to work with students
  • Students are compensated similarly to local interns
  • Assistance with housing is appreciated by not required

For additional information about global co-ops, please contact the Global Engineering team.

  • Do I need to make a long-term commitment with the University to become a co-op employer?
    Co-op does not require a long-term commitment. You decide every six months whether your organization will continue to hire co-op students.
  • Are students unenrolled from Northeastern while on co-op and must an employer provide benefits?
    Students continue to be recognized as full-time students while on co-op and only require company benefits if state legislation requires it. Students should be considered temporary, full-time workers, but not independent contractors.
  • Is there a fee for employers participating in the co-op program?
    No!
  • Is there an obligation to hire a student after a job description is posted?
    While we hope that you will hire, posting a co-op position does not obligate you to hire a student. We understand that staffing needs and financial resources may change.
  • How do I make an offer to a student?
    You should reach out to the student directly with the terms of the offer. Please note that we request that students be given 3 business days to make a decision. It is helpful to include wage, start date, end date, position title, and any benefits in the offer.
  • Is it difficult to hire an international student and do I need to sponsor their student visa?
    There are no additional fees or employer paperwork required to hire an international student and you do not need to sponsor their visa. The Office of Global Services (OGS) at Northeastern University coordinates all student documentation to ensure compliance with federal employment regulations.
  • What if I can’t hire an international student?
    If you are only legally allowed to hire U.S. Citizens/permanent residents due to federal regulations (ITAR etc.), please contact your Co-op Coordinator so the proper documentation can be added to the job description in NUworks. If you are not legally bound to hiring only U.S. Citizens/permanent residents, your Co-op Coordinator cannot screen for visa status.
  • How much do students get paid?
    Companies determine the salaries for co-op positions. If you are trying to benchmark or remain competitive, please contact your Co-op Coordinator as they will be able to give you the appropriate information for your job.
  • Who do I contact if an issue arises while a student is on co-op?
    Your Co-op Coordinator will assist you with any concerns related to the co-op process or a co-op student. We encourage you to reach out if problems arise.
  • Can students take classes while on co-op?
    Students are committed to working full-time while on co-op. However, we allow undergraduate students to take a class while on co-op if it fits with their work schedule. We ask students to speak to their co-op job manager before enrolling in a course. In some situations, students can take evening classes, but if a class falls during the workday it is at the manager’s discretion to approve whether the student can take the class and adjust his or her work hours to make up the time. Masters-level students are expected to seek approval from their advisor if they want to take a class while on co-op .

Co-op Experiences

Caitlynn Tov

Co-op Leads to Two Publications, Three Patents

Caitlynn Tov, E’21, bioengineering, conducted research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on the TEAL Bio face mask while on co-op, leading to her authoring/contributing to two papers and three patents.  The mask is made of a clear silicone rubber material with removable filters and is equally as effective as the N95 mask.

Jared Covell

Resilience Leads to Co-op at Tesla

When the co-op of Jared Covell, E’22, mechanical engineering, was canceled by the pandemic, he ended up working as a design engineer at a dream company for mechanical engineering, Tesla, with the support, mentoring and network of connections of his co-op coordinator. As a project lead on Tesla’s Drive Systems Structures team, Covell modeled components for a dynamometer assembly used to test a new electric motor. He led design reviews among the company’s structures, lubrication, and motor teams — then applied their feedback to optimize his models in the next iteration.

student portrait

Cyber-Physical Systems Experience for the Connected World

Aurobindo Samantaray, ME’21, cyber-physical systems, joined the Northeastern community in January 2020. He came to Northeastern for its co-op program, bringing with him professional experience in embedded systems by working with large companies in the automotive industry—build automation. Samantaray worked on various software and products that have lifesaving capabilities such as airbags and occupant classification […]

student portrait

The Total MSIS Package: Courses, Mentoring, Co-op

Sai Kale joined the Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program in Spring 2020, immediately jumping into topics such as application engineering, web development, and user experience engineering. When asked why she chose Northeastern University, Kale states, “The opportunity to learn new technologies through well-designed courses, alongside practical exposure through a strong co-op structure, […]