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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 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 on 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 ultimately secure 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. The experience is full-time (35+ hours per week) and can range from 4-8 months in 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 and a readiness to further their learning with workplace experience.

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.

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.

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. See Accepting
and Working at a co-op Job for additional information and rules that apply to accepting offers and during the co-op job.

  1. Complete the Intent to co-op process by departmental deadline, receive authorization to begin a search, and meet with the assigned co-op coordinator.
  2. 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.
    2. Students who do not secure a co-op placement during their first co-op search may request to extend their search by one semester.
      1. All eligibility requirements still apply, and such an extension can be requested at most once.
      2. To continue searching into another semester, students must complete the Intent to co-op process a second time.
      3. Students are responsible for communicating with their program to learn more about this process, including the deadline for completing the Intent to Co-op process.
  3. The student’s academic record must demonstrate a high level of success, including:
    1. No missing grades.
    2. No incomplete grades (grade of I).
    3. No grade of W in the most recent Spring/Fall semester completed or in progress.
    4. No more than one repeated/substituted course.
    5. No academic probation or disciplinary issues.
    6. A cumulative GPA of 3.200 or higher.
      1. Courses transferred from other institutions, or from Northeastern’s CPS, do not factor into a student’s overall GPA, and as such are not used to determine co-op eligibility.
  4. The student must be enrolled full-time at a campus which offers co-op.
    1. The student must have completed a full-time Fall or Spring semester at the Boston, Seattle, Toronto or Silicon Valley/San José campus.
    2. During Fall or Spring, the student must be enrolled full time and have been enrolled full time in the immediate previous Fall or Spring semester to be authorized to search.
    3. During Summer, the student must have been enrolled full-time in the previous Fall and Spring semesters to be authorized to search.
  5. Students searching during a Fall or Spring semester must meet the semester-hour requirements indicated in the table below.
    1. Students must have earned the minimum number of semester hours in the “Minimum Earned Hours” column below and must have either earned or be on track to earn at least the number of semester hours in the “Minimum Earned or In-Progress” column for their program.
    2. Students must have no more than the number of semester hours in the “Maximum Attempted Hours” column earned or attempted at the time they begin their search, and they must not be on track to earn more than the number of semester hours in the “Maximum Attempted and In-Progress Hours” column before the start of their co-op (i.e., the end of their search).
      Program Minimum
      Earned
      Hours
      Minimum
      Earned or
      In-Progress
      Hours
      Maximum
      Attempted
      Hours
      Maximum
      Attempted
      and In-Progress
      Hours
      Master’s (32SH) 8SH 16SH 24SH 28SH
      Master’s (32SH)
      Global Pathways
      12SH 20SH 24SH 28SH
      Master’s (40SH)
      Academic Link
      16SH 24SH 32SH 36SH

      SH in the table above do not include “Career Management for Engineers” (ENCP 6000), “Introduction to Co-op” (ENCP 6100), or “Principles of Bioengineering” (BIOE 6000). Master’s students who are also enrolled in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business graduate certificate in “Supply Change Manage” may have one additional attempted hour attempted and in-progress (29SH/37SH) with one 4SH College of Engineering course required in their degree.

  6. Students searching during a Summer semester must meet the semester-hour requirements indicated in the table below.
    1. Students must have earned the minimum number of semester hours in the “Minimum Earned Hours” column below and must have either earned or be on track to earn at least the number of semester hours in the “Minimum Earned or In-Progress” column for their program.
    2. Students must have no more than the number of semester hours in the “Maximum Attempted Hours” column earned or attempted at the time they begin their search, and they must not be on track to earn more than the number of semester hours in the “Maximum Attempted and In-Progress Hours” column before the start of their co op (i.e., the end of their search).
      Program Minimum Earned Hours Maximum Attempted Hours Maximum Attempted and In-Progress Hours
      Master’s (32SH) 16SH 24SH 28SH
      Master’s (32SH)
      Global Pathways
      20SH 24SH 28SH
      Master’s (40SH)
      Academic Link
      24SH 32SH 36SH

      SH in the table above do not include “Career Management for Engineers” (ENCP 6000), “Introduction to Co-op” (ENCP 6100), or “Principles of Bioengineering” (BIOE 6000). Master’s students who are also enrolled in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business graduate certificate in “Supply Change Manage” may have one additional attempted hour attempted and in-progress (29SH/37SH) with one 4SH College of Engineering course required in their degree.

  7. Successfully complete or be enrolled in the appropriate section 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.
    Bioengineering ENCP 6100 sections 10–19
    Chemical Engineering ENCP 6100 sections 20–29
    Civil & Environmental Engineering ENCP 6100 sections 30–39
    Electrical & Computer Engineering ENCP 6100 sections 40–49
    Mechanical & Industrial Engineering ENCP 6100 sections 50–89
    Multidisciplinary Graduate Engineering (MGEN) ENCP 6000 all sections

    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 for more information and to submit a request.

  8. Students must agree to the “COE co-op Performance Agreement.”
    1. co-op performance standards encourage professional and ethical behaviors throughout the co-op process and clarify procedures required for the continued success of our students and the co-op program. The College of Engineering co-op Performance Standards are communicated to all students in the “Career Management for Engineers” (ENCP 6000) / “Introduction to Cooperative Education” (ENCP 6100) course as part of their preparation for the co-op experience. The standards establish co-op professional expectations of the student throughout the co-op search process and during the co-op term and address co-op related issues that may involve performance.
    2. A student who 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.
  9. Students in a thesis-option program must have written permission from their thesis advisor to participate in a co-op search.
  10. International students must also:
    1. Have a valid I-20/DS-2019.
    2. Demonstrate sufficient English proficiency in one of the following ways:
      1. Complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree at an accredited institution which conducts classes in English, located within the United States of America, Canada (excluding Quebec), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ireland, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Australia, or New Zealand.
      2. Achieve a TOEFL or IELTS score based on the student’s program. co-op does not accept the “MyBest” score from TOEFL; scores must be from a single test session.
        Program TOEFL IELTS
        • Bioengineering
        • Chemical Engineering
        • Civil Engineering
        • Data Analytics Engineering*
        • Energy Systems*
        • Energy Systems – Academic Link*
        • Engineering & Public Policy
        • Engineering Management*
        • Environmental Engineering
        • Human Factors*
        • Industrial Engineering*
        • Mechanical Engineering*
        • Operations Research*
        • Robotics with concentration in Electrical Engineering
        • Robotics with concentration in Mechanical Engineering*
        • Sustainable Building Systems
        95 7.0
        • Electrical & Computer Engineering
        • Electrical & Computer Engineering Leadership
        90 7.0
        • Computer Systems Engineering
        • Cyber-Physical Systems
        • Data Architecture & Management
        • Information Systems
        • Telecommunication Networks
        79 6.5

        * 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.

  11. Additionally, the following guidelines apply to co-op search eligibility:
    1. Students 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.
    2. Students must be approved to search before engaging in a search.
    3. Students may not apply for jobs outside of the Northeastern co-op job database prior to meeting these search eligibility guidelines and receiving approval via their program’s authorization process.
    4. These guidelines apply for jobs both domestic (within the US) and global.
    5. Students enrolled in the “Plus One” accelerated master’s degree program are permitted to participate in up to two co-ops during their undergraduate program. The term(s) following bachelor’s completion are to be used only to fulfill graduate course requirements and not eligible for co-op as master’s degree candidates.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Any exceptions to the above requirements need to be approved by the appropriate program’s co-op team. Individual co-op teams may implement additional requirements or guidelines that supplement these college-wide requirements and guidelines.
      1. Bioengineering
      2. Chemical Engineering
      3. Civil & Environmental Engineering
      4. Electrical & Computer Engineering
      5. Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
      6. Multidisciplinary Graduate Engineering (MGEN)
    9. 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 above.
  1. In order to accept and start working at a co-op job, a student must have received authorization to search for the specific term.
    For all requirements to gain approval to search, see: Beginning a co-op Search.
  2. The student’s academic record must demonstrate a high level of success, including:
    1. No missing grades.
    2. No incomplete grades (grade of I).
    3. No grade of W in the most recent Spring/Fall semester completed or in progress.
    4. No more than one repeated/substituted course.
    5. No academic probation or disciplinary issues.
    6. A cumulative GPA of 3.200 or higher.
      1. Courses transferred from other institutions, or from Northeastern’s CPS, do not factor into a student’s overall GPA, and as such are not used to determine co-op eligibility.
  3. Before starting a co-op job, the student must have completed two full-time academic Spring or Fall semesters, and meet the semester hours outlined below:
    Program Minimum Maximum
    Master’s (32SH) 16SH earned 28SH
    Master’s (32SH)
    Global Pathways
    20SH earned 28SH
    Master’s (40SH)
    Academic Link
    24SH earned 36SH

    SH in the box above do not include “Career Management for Engineers” (ENCP 6000), “Introduction to Co-op” (ENCP 6100), or “Principles of Bioengineering” (BIOE 6000). Master’s students who are also enrolled in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business graduate certificate in “Supply Change Manage” may have one additional completed semester hour (29SH/37SH) with one 4SH College of Engineering course required in their degree.

  4. The student must return to campus for at least one semester (at least 4SH) after the co-op work experience.
  5. The student must have successfully completed “Career Management for Engineers” (ENCP 6000) or “Introduction to Co-op” (ENCP 6100).For more details, see: Beginning a co-op Search.
  6. Students may participate in one co-op experience during their master’s program.
    1. The co-op experience must be with a single company.
    2. 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)
    3. Fall plus Spring is never allowed; Spring plus Fall is never allowed.
  7. co-ops must be full-time (35+ hours per week).
  8. International students must also:
    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.
  9. Additional Guidelines
    1. 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.
      2. Courses During co-op.
        Students may not take a course during co-op without special approval from their co-op coordinator. Approval will only be granted for special circumstances such as avoiding delaying graduation for a pre-requisite. This option is only available to students who have completed 25SH or less (33SH or less for Academic Link students) before starting co-op. If approved:

        1. The course must not meet during the student’s regularly scheduled co-op work day. The work schedule cannot be changed to accommodate a course.
        2. The course must not have a lab, recitation, or other co-requisite.
        3. The course must not be an Experiential Project course.
    2. Students must agree to the COE co-op Performance Agreement.
      1. co-op performance standards encourage professional and ethical behaviors throughout the co-op process and clarify procedures required for the continued success of our students and the co-op program. The College of Engineering co-op Performance Standards are communicated to all students in the “Career Management for Engineers” (ENCP 6000) / “Introduction to Co-op” (ENCP 6100) course as part of their preparation for the co-op experience. The standards establish co-op professional expectations of the student throughout the co-op search process and during the co-op term and address co-op related issues that may involve performance.
      2. 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.

For recommended plans of study, please select which semester will be your first full-time semester in your master’s program:

Regular Master’s Program Plan of Study

Students who start a 32SH master’s degree program in Fall and wish to participate in co-op are encouraged to model their plan of study as shown here to maximize their co-op opportunities.

Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall
8SH 8SH
+ ENCP
Up to 4SH 8SH 4-8SH
Classes Search Work Classes Finish in Summer or Fall

If the student successfully requests to extend their co-op search into the next cycle (see 1.b under Beginning a Co-op Search), this is the modified suggested plan of study:.

Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall
8SH 8SH
+ ENCP
8SH Up to 4SH 4-8SH
Classes Search Work Finish in Fall

Global Pathways Entry to Master’s Program Plan of Study

Students who finish their Global Pathways program in Spring (with one course of their master’s program completed) are encouraged to start their first full-time semester of master’s courses in the Fall to maximize their co-op opportunities.

Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer
4SH 8SH 8SH
+ ENCP
Up to 4SH 8SH Up to 4SH
Classes Vacation Classes Search Work Finish in Spring or Summer

If the student successfully requests to extend their co-op search into the next cycle (see 1.b under Beginning a Co-op Search), this is the modified suggested plan of study:.

Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall
4SH 8SH 8SH
+ ENCP
8SH 4SH
Classes Vacation Classes Search Work Classes

Academic Link Master’s Program Plan of Study

Students who start their first full-time semester of their Academic Link master’s courses in the Fall to maximize their co-op opportunities.

Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring
8SH 8SH 8SH
+ ENCP
Up to 4SH 8SH 4–8SH
Classes Classes Vacation Search Work Classes Classes

If the student successfully requests to extend their co-op search into the next cycle (see 1.b under Beginning a Co-op Search), this is the modified suggested plan of study:.

Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring
8SH 8SH 8SH
+ ENCP
8SH Up to 4SH 4–8SH
Classes Classes Vacation Search Work Classes

Regular Master’s Program Plan of Study

Students who start a 32SH master’s degree program in Fall and wish to participate in co-op are encouraged to model their plan of study as shown here to maximize their co-op opportunities.

Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring
8SH 8SH
+ ENCP
Up to 4SH 8SH 4–8SH
Classes Vacation Search Work Classes Classes

If the student successfully requests to extend their co-op search into the next cycle (see 1.b under Beginning a Co-op Search), this is the modified suggested plan of study:

Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring
8SH 8SH
+ ENCP
8SH Up to 4Sh 4–8SH
Classes Vacation Search Classes Work Classes

Global Pathways Entry to Master’s Program Plan of Study

Students who finish their Global Pathways program in Fall (with one course of their master’s program completed) are encouraged to start their first full-time semester of master’s courses in the Spring to maximize their co-op opportunities.

Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring
4SH 8SH 8SH
+ ENCP
Up to 4SH 8SH Up to 4SH
Classes Classes Vacation Search Work Finish in Fall or Spring

If the student successfully requests to extend their co-op search into the next cycle (see 1.b under Beginning a Co-op Search), this is the modified suggested plan of study:.

Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring
4SH 8SH 8SH
+ ENCP
8SH 4SH
Classes Classes Vacation Search Work Classes

Academic Link Master’s Program Plan of Study

Students who start their first full-time semester of their Academic Link master’s courses in the Fall to maximize their co-op opportunities.

Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring
8SH 8SH 8SH
+ ENCP
Up to 4SH 8SH Up to 4SH
Classes Classes Search Work Finish in Fall or Spring

If the student successfully requests to extend their co-op search into the next cycle (see 1.b under Beginning a Co-op Search), this is the modified suggested plan of study:.

Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring
8SH 8SH 8SH
+ ENCP
8SH 8SH
Classes Classes Search Work Classes