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Cooperative (Co-op) Education Program

The Co-op program is the traditional career development option for undergraduates and serves 11 undergraduate majors in the UK College of Engineering.

“What experience do you have as an engineer?”

When it comes to landing the engineering job you want, one factor rises above the rest: experience.

If you’ve just graduated with your engineering degree but only have your academic transcript to show for it, you are at a disadvantage. Other graduates with marketable industry experience will stand out to employers wanting to quickly onboard new engineers. If your competitors went to any of the leading engineering schools near UK, they were required to spend up to a year gaining real industry experience through mandatory Co-op programs.

UK’s Co-op program may be optional in that you don’t have to participate in it in order to graduate, but it is vital to anyone not planning for a career in research or pursuing graduate studies.

You can enroll in the UK’s Co-op program as soon as you arrive at UK! Even if you’re not sure you’ll ever participate in a co-op, joining the program gives you access to select engagement events, connection to employers and professional development training. Then, if you embark on our three-rotation co-op program, your commitment will be reflected on your academic transcript when you graduate.

That’s right: Employers analyzing your resume and transcript will see that you did more than earn good grades; you devoted a year to developing in-demand skills in a real engineering context.

You can sign up at any point while you’re an engineering student at UK. You can even join if you’ve already completed a co-op. You have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose by entering UK’s Co-op program. It’s not mandatory, but it’s essential.

If you have questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at zachary.fuqua@uky.edu.

- Zach Fuqua, Engineering Co-operative Education Program Director

Ways You Can Co-op

Once you enroll in the Co-op program, you have a variety of options for pursuing the co-op experience that is right for you.

Summer Only

Work full-time or part-time during the summer months.


Work full time during an academic semester. You must register for the Co-operative Education Course (EGR 399) to maintain your status as a full-time student.

Full Rotation

A full rotation of full-time work with semesters of full-time classes at UK. During your spring or summer work semesters, you must register for EGR 399 in order to maintain your status as a full-time student. By completing three co-op rotations, you will receive recognition on your academic transcript.


The following requirements must be met to receive recognition on your academic transcript and a special cord at graduation.

  • Complete the initial program application
  • Complete EGR 200
  • Complete a minimum of three full-time co-op rotations
    • The co-op rotations can be completed as three semester rotations, alternating semester/summer rotations or summer-only rotations
    • Enroll in EGR 398 or EGR 399 during your summer rotation
    • Successfully complete all assignments and evaluations and receive a passing grade with each term
  • Participate in a minimum of two Engineering Career Development workshops and events (excluding the career fairs)

Participation in the Co-op program does not guarantee employment but will give additional access to companies.