Learn more about the COE MS Co-op Program

Northeastern’s co-op program offers students a unique opportunity to integrate their academic knowledge with industry. Students may gain up to eight months of full-time work experience, allowing them to learn more about their fields through hands-on skills application, build their resumes, earn an income, and gain a competitive edge for post-graduate employment opportunities.

In preparation for a co-op search, students will complete a preparatory course (“Career Management for Engineers” (ENCP 6000) or “Introduction to Cooperative Education” (ENCP 6100)), which provides valuable skills needed to be successful in securing a co-op position and performing during the co-op work experience. During their search period, eligible students work one-on-one with a knowledgeable advisor to prepare their search materials, identify appropriate positions, and hone their networking and interviewing skills to pursue a co-op role.

As part of the co-op program, students may participate in one co-op work experience within a single company during their program of study. Students are permitted to participate in one co-op experience that can range from 4-8 months in duration. The co-op experience may be full-time or half-time.

COE Master’s Degree Students

Participation in a co-op at the master’s degree level is an opportunity for students who have achieved excellent academic progress and success and who demonstrate professionalism to further their learning with workplace experience.

MS students in COE may participate in only one co-op experience during their master’s program. A student who participates in a co-op at the master’s level cannot search for a second co-op, even if they are completing a second master’s degree.

Co-op is not guaranteed for any student and is an optional opportunity available to students who approach their program of study intentionally and mindfully. Students must be approved to search before engaging in a search, following the processes as described below. Students may not apply for jobs outside of the Northeastern co-op job database prior to meeting the search eligibility guidelines and receiving approval via their program’s authorization process.

For COE master’s degree students, “co-op” is meant to include internships, practicums, cooperative education, residencies, and similar programs. All of the requirements on this page apply to all of these forms of work experience. The Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership program is a separate program. Students who apply for and are accepted to that program should contact Amy Manley to obtain help in identifying a Challenge Project Sponsor and are not eligible for the co-op program.

A co-op search is the period of time when the student is applying to co-op jobs, participating in interviews, and considering offers. The requirements in this section must be met before a student can engage in any of these search activities and they must continue to be met during the entire search process.

For a student to be approved for a co-op search, students must meet the minimum eligibility requirements in the table below.

Students changing degree programs must meet all co-op eligibility requirements for the new program to participate in co-op. Students are encouraged to discuss the impact of changing programs with the appropriate co-op team before or during the application process (i.e., CPS students who transfer to COE need to wait until they have an established a COE GPA before being considered for co-op eligibility). In addition, students who commit to an experiential learning program outside of co-op, including the Gordon Leadership Program, may not also participate in co-op.

ENCP 6000/6100


Completed, in-progress, or waived (see about ENCP class(es) for more information)
High Level of Academic Success


GPA of 3.2 or above
No incomplete grades (grade of I)
No grade of W or F in the most recent Spring/Fall semester completed or in progress
No more than one repeated course
No academic probation or disciplinary issues
Minimum Credits


Completed a minimum of 8 credits and enrolled in a minimum of 8 credits (completing 16 credits by the start of co-op)*
Maximum CreditsMust have at least one 4 credit required course remaining following the co-op work period

Must have a maximum of 30 credit hours (total and enrolled)

May not search for more than two semesters

Language**, Departmental International students only


95 TOEFL or 7 IELTS or

125 Duolingo English Test (Spring 24 search terms and beyond)

Or a language exception, as described by Graduate Admissions based on previous degree location
MGEN students have no additional language requirements above admission standards (79 TOEFL or 6.5 IELTS or 105 Duolingo English Test)
International studentsValid I-20/DS-2019
Understand the requirements of your student visa and how they apply to you and the COE Co-op Program
Attend an OGS seminar related to working in the United States (see OGS website)
Intent to Co-op

(See section below for more details)


Must be completed by the due date: first Friday of each term (Fall, Spring, Full Summer). Students will receive an email invitation in their second semester and beyond.

*Academic Link and MSIS-Bridge students must complete all pre-requisite courses and the first full year of their program before being considered for co-op (to search for a co-op students must be in progress to earn 24 and 20 credits respectively prior to the start of co-op)

** Co-op does not accept the “MyBest” score from TOEFL; scores must be from a single test session.

**The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department offers “Technical Writing and Professional Development” (MEIE 6800) to master’s degree students within one of their programs as an opportunity to demonstrate English proficiency. Students within this department may inquire about this course at MIEgradcoop@northeastern.edu.

**The MGEN Co-op Unit offers “Communication for Engineers” (CSYE 6700) to master’s degree students within one of their programs as an opportunity to demonstrate and enhance English proficiency. Students within this department may inquire about this course at MGENCoop@northeastern.edu.

Exceptions and Appeals

Any exceptions to the above requirements need to be approved by the appropriate program’s co-op team. See Contacts below for relevant co-op department contacts.

Students who wish to appeal the decision of their program’s co-op faculty may do so by submitting an appeal to the COE Co-op Standing Committee, whose decision is final. For instructions on submitting an appeal please email your co-op team at the address listed below.

ENCP 6100 and ENCP 6000 provide students with the information, tools, and skills needed to navigate a professional job search and to successfully transition into the workplace. Specifically, this course covers how to develop field/industry-specific job search documents and guides students in defining and communicating their personal brand. Additional topics covered include ethics, professional behaviors, workplace culture, and proper interviewing techniques. This course does not count toward degree requirements.

  1. Successfully complete or be enrolled in the appropriate section (by department – see Graduate School of Engineering website for more details) of Career Management for Engineers (ENCP 6000) or Introduction to Co-op (ENCP 6100). Students in the Robotics program should register based on their selected concentration.
  2. If a student withdraws from ENCP 6100/6000, they will no longer be eligible to search for a co-op. Additionally, students can miss no more than two ENCP 6100/6000 classes.
  3. Waivers to ENCP:
    ENCP 6100: Students who have taken an equivalent course or who have significant prior U.S.-based work experience can apply to have this requirement waived. Visit the ENCP 6100 Waiver Request.
    ENCP 6000: Students who have taken an equivalent course can apply to have this requirement waived. Visit ENCP 6000 Waiver Request.
  1. Bridge and Academic Link program students should refer to their program director for specific timelines.
    First semesterVisit the Career Studio to gain feedback on your resume
    Begin networking by attending employer events, career fairs, club meetings, etc. DO NOT APPLY FOR ANY CO-OP/INTERN ROLES AS YOU ARE NOT YET ELIGIBLE.
    Consider taking ENCP 6000/6100. If unable to enroll in first semester, take in second semester.
    Second/ Third semesterComplete Intent to Co-op/Search to declare your intentions: watch for an email with the invitation. This is due the first Friday of each semester. Intent to Co-op/Search submissions are evaluated after the submission deadline.

    If approved, you will:

    ·         Be assigned a co-op coordinator

    ·         Carefully review and sign Co-op Agreement

    ·         Meet with co-op coordinator for resume review and begin co-op search

    ·         Be given access to NUworks

    If you are not successful in your first co-op search term, you need to repeat the Intent to Co-op process to search again.

    ·         Each student has a maximum of two approved co-op search periods

    If you do not meet eligibility:

    ·         Improve relevant aspects to reach eligibility (GPA, language scores). Contact your department if you have specific questions.

    Even if you meet the minimum requirements (i.e., increase language score or GPA), you are not approved to search until the next Intent to Co-op cycle. DO NOT APPLY FOR CO-OP/INTERN ROLES.

    Accepted a Co-opParticipate in your one co-op opportunity and complete requirements of Co-op Work Experience course. No other courses are permitted while on full-time co-op.
    Final semester(s)Finish degree requirements


    1. Authorization is granted to search during specific semester (Spring, Summer, Fall), and the authorization applies to co-op jobs that would be worked during a specific semester (e.g., a student searching in Fall may be approved to search for a Spring co-op job).
      1. Students may be approved to search for a co-op for at most one Summer/Fall cycle and one Spring cycle. Students who do not secure a co-op job during their first co-op search may request to extend their search by one semester.
      2. All eligibility requirements still apply, and such an extension can be requested at most once.
        1. To continue searching into another semester, students must complete the Intent to co-op process a second time.

For any questions related to any section of this website, please contact your department as indicated below. Students pursuing degrees at Northeastern’s Canadian campuses should direct questions that are specific to the campus to regional contacts.

  1. Students may participate in one co-op experience during their master’s program. The co-op experience must be with a single company.
    1. The length may be one of the following:
      1. 4-months (Spring, Fall, or Full Summer)
      2. 6-months (Spring plus Summer 1 or Summer 2 plus Fall)
      3. 8-months (Spring plus Full Summer or Full Summer plus Fall)
    2. In addition, students enrolled at a Canadian campus may be placed in co-op assignments for periods of four to eight months, including continuous periods spanning the Fall and Spring semesters. In the case of such eight-month Fall/Spring term co-op assignments, students are required to enroll full-time in classes during the summer term immediately following the assignment. If a student only needs to take one additional course to complete their program’s requirements, they are only required to enroll in that one class in the summer term immediately following the assignment.
  1. Students must return to at least one on-ground required 4-credit course following the co-op.
  2. COE students who are interested in co-op are representatives of the college and university. In that respect, all students are expected to communicate in a professional tone and manner with co-op department faculty and staff. When students are given access to search for co-op, they must agree to abide by the COE Co-op Performance Agreement. This agreement is housed within NUworks and should be read and understood in its entirety. Below are a few highlights from this agreement.
    1. Do not apply to, interview for, or accept any internship/co-op jobs within or outside of NUworks before approved – if this occurs you will not be able to work for that employer and may lose your opportunity to participate in the co-op program entirely.
    2. No reneging – once a student commits to an employer the student must honor that commitment and cannot change their mind to work for a different employer.
    3. Must pass all required pre-employment screening – if a student fails a pre-employment screening and has their offer rescinded, they will not be eligible to search for another co-op position.
    4. Must discuss any offers with your co-op coordinator before accepting.
    5. Must honor commitment to employer regarding length of co-op as decided upon at time of offer.
    6. Student visa holders are responsible for understanding and complying with all US government regulations relating to their visa status and CPT or other work authorization. Refer to OGS with any questions.

    Additionally, students must adhere to the university code of conduct in all interactions with faculty, staff, students, and employer partners. Students who do not adhere to the code or who behave in an unprofessional manner will not be permitted to participate in the co-op program.

  3. A student who is in the process of seeking a cooperative education experience and is disqualified because of violation of co-op performance standards is ineligible to seek a future cooperative education experience. In other words, the student forfeits the opportunity to participate in co-op.
  4. Students who are dismissed from or resign from a co-op job for circumstances under their control will receive a U (unsatisfactory) grade for co-op work experience and be ineligible for other future co-op experiences. In addition, students who are dismissed from or resign from another experiential learning opportunity, such as a PhD Internship or Gordon Project, are not eligible to participate in co-op.
  5. Students on thesis-option must have a conversation with their advisor related to co-op timing and research before completing the Intent to Co-op process and accepting a co-op role.
  6. Full time co-ops are required to be a minimum of 32 hours per week. Half-time co-op positions are 16-31 hours/week and require a student to take one 4-credit course concurrently to maintain their full-time student status, unless the co-op is during a summer vacation term. A full-time co-op cannot be changed to or extended into a part-time co-op. International students should consult with OGS to determine whether pre-OPT can be used for a part-time role.
  7. International students must:
    1. Have a valid I-20/DS-2019.
    2. Obtain CPT/AT authorization and approval for any paid or unpaid work experience prior to starting work.
    3. Comply with all requirements of their student visa.
  8. During co-op, a student’s primary focus should be on the co-op work experience.
    1. Other Work During Co-op.
      Students may not hold a graduate stipend assistantship at the university during the semesters planned for co-op.
      Students should not hold any other job without prior approval from their co-op coordinator. If a student holds a second job, the co-op job must always be the priority. The job cannot be more than 8 hours per week and must take place outside the hours of the co-op role.
    2. Courses During Co-op.
      Half Time Co-op: Students on half-time co-op are required to take one 4-credit course while on co-op to maintain full-time student status during the spring or fall semesters. Additional courses while on half-time co-op will not be approved.
      Full Time Co-op: Students may not take a course during full-time co-op without special approval from their co-op department. Approval will only be granted for specific academic reasons of a required pre-requisite, or a course that only meets once, or less, per year. This option is only available to students who have completed 25SH or less (33SH or less for Bridge and Academic Link students) before starting co-op. If approved, course and student must meet all the following:

      1. The course must be online or meet after 5pm of the student’s co-op job’s time zone. The work schedule cannot be changed to accommodate a course. The final exam and any other course requirements occur on the weekend or after 5pm of the student’s co-op job’s time zone.
      2. The course cannot be during an accelerated term (i.e., summer 1, summer 2, or winter intercession).
      3. The course must not have a lab, recitation, or other co-requisite.
      4. The course must not be an Experiential Project course.
      5. The student must have demonstrated high academic excellence by holding a GPA of 3.67 or higher.
      6. The student cannot hold an on-campus job.
  9. Remote Co-ops for International Students
    Please consult the Office of Global Service website for more information about engaging in a 100% remote, full time co-op and maintaining on ground presence. If enrolled in a 100% remote full time co-op, the university offers international students enrollment in person in EXED 6945 or alternative on campus engagement.

Speak with your co-op coordinator if you have additional questions after reviewing this information.

Below are sample programs of studies for MS students who are interested in participating in the co-op program. Please discuss with your academic advisor and the co-op department to understand any details as they pertain to your specific circumstances. See the “Co-op timeline, including Intent to Co-op Process” section above for more information related to when to take the ENCP course and other co-op requirements.

If a student does not secure a co-op in their first search term, they can complete the Intent to Co-op process again to be considered for search eligibility the following term. Students may be approved for up to 2 search terms. If a second search term is required, the student’s program of study may be extended 4-8 months more than what is indicated below.

Sample Fall Entry Students:

Co-op OptionFallSpringSummerFallSpringSummer
4-month co-opClassesClassesCo-opClassesClasses


6 or 8-month co-opClassesClassesCo-opCo-opClassesClasses



Sample Spring Entry Students:

Co-op OptionSpringSummerFallSpringSummerFallSpring
4-month co-opClassesVacation, classes optionalClassesCo-opClassesClasses


6 or 8-month co-opClassesVacation, classes optional