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Cooperative (Co-op) Education Program

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.

If you have questions or would like more information, please email zachary.fuqua@uky.edu.

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.