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 work experience, allowing them to build their resumes, earn an income, and gain a competitive edge for post-graduate employment opportunities.

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.

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.

PlusOne Master’s degree students may participate in one co-op work experience with a single company during their program of study if they have completed two or fewer co-ops during their undergraduate degree program. The experience may be full-time (35+ hours per week) and can range from 4-8 months in time.

Effective date for PlusOne co-op is Spring 2022 co-op and beyond

  • Up to one co-op* is permitted in the PlusOne year for students that completed two or less co-ops in their undergraduate program; One full time semester (8SH) as a matriculated graduate student is required following Bachelor’s degree completion to establish eligibility for PlusOne graduate co-op
  • Students must have at least one academic semester (minimum 4SH) remaining following the co-op
  • Students in the PlusOne program are waived from the required preparatory course (“Career Management for Engineers” (ENCP 6000) or “Introduction to Cooperative Education” (ENCP 6100)) if they have successfully completed the comparable course at Northeastern in their undergraduate degree program
  • Minimum 3.2 GPA requirement
  • International students must meet all requirements for CPT, including a new I-20 for the graduate degree following conferral of the Bachelor’s Degree.
  • PlusOne students are not required to provide language scores

* Co-op is not guaranteed for any student and is an optional opportunity available to PlusOne graduate 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 program deadline (deadline announced via email invite, typically first week of the semester), 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
  3. Students searching must have completed their Bachelor’s degree program, and minimum of 8SH towards their graduate degree program.
  4. Students must agree to the “COE Co-op Performance Agreement.”
    1. 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.
  5. Students in a thesis-option program must have written permission from their thesis advisor to participate in a co-op search.
  6. International students must also have a valid I-20/DS-2019.
  7. 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.
    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 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.
    6. 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)
    7. 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. Before starting a co-op job, the student must have completed one full time semester (8SH) as a matriculated graduate student following Bachelor’s degree completion.
  3. The student must return to campus for at least one semester (at least 4SH) after the co-op work experience.
  4. 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.
  5. Full time co-ops are required to be 35-40 hours per week; an exception to 32 hours per week may be permitted if the reduction is required by the co-op employer and approved by the assigned co-op coordinator. Half-time co-op positions (16-31 hours/week) may be approved in certain cases with the expectation that students take a minimum number of credits concurrently to maintain their full-time student status; such cases must be approved by the co-op coordinator, co-op employer and student services.  If you are an international student on a F-1, J-1 or other visa, you must also check with the Office of Global Services (OGS) for further approval.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 a full time co-op, or more than one course during a half-time 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. 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.


Example PlusOne with co-op course schedules:

Graduate credits earned during undergraduate degreeFallSpring/Summer ISummer II/FallSpring
8SH8SH8SH (Complete Intent to Co-op; search for co-op)Co-op8SH
16SH8SH (complete Intent to Co-op; search for co-op)Co-op8SH