Cooperative education, also called co-ops, are a multi-work term agreement with an employer that allows undergraduate engineering students to alternate periods of academic study with full-time periods of paid work.
Participating in co-ops is optional in the UK College of Engineering. If an undergraduate student is interested in pursuing an engineering PhD program, undergraduate research may be more valuable than co-ops. However, if an undergraduate student is interested in entering the workforce after graduation, co-ops are strongly encouraged.
Co-ops allow undergraduate students to connect with employers, receive professional development training and gain valuable work experience related to students’ academic and professional goals before graduation.
Students who participate in co-op agreements with employers are not required to complete the UK College of Engineering co-op program application, but it is strongly recommended. Academic transcripts of students in the co-op program will reflect co-op experience as long as all program requirements are met.
Students can apply for the co-op program at any point during their undergraduate career. Students can also fill out the program application retroactively if they have already completed a co-op rotation.
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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.
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.
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 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 the appropriate co-op course: EGR 399 in Fall/Spring, EGR 398 or 399 in Summer
- 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.