Cooperative Education is a great career strategy in which a student gains invaluable professional training. Students that co-op are considered ‘industry-ready’ and, also, begin establishing their professional network for the post graduation job search. This web page offers a general overview of the requirements and registration process.
Any undergraduate student in good academic and social standing may participate in the co-op program, provided the student has completed at least one year of study at Michigan Tech (or for a transfer student, one semester at the University).
To participate in the co-op program, a graduate student must have full-time student status at the time of application and throughout the co-op experience. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, good social standing, and signed permission from their graduate advisor.
To work in the United States, International Students must be issued an I-20 from the Office of International Programs and Services (IPS). To obtain an I-20, IPS must receive a copy of the employer offer letter and a copy of the Student Information form, date stamped and signed by the Co-op Office at Career Services. Speak with a representative of IPS to discuss employment/education requirements. International students must be enrolled for two semesters prior to the co-op and must inform the IPS office of their co-op plans to ensure compliance with visa requirements.
The Co-op Search
You can find co-op positions through our HuskyJOBS system, job fairs, academic departments at Tech, student organizations, and online searches. If you come across employers who are not yet familiar with Michigan Tech’s co-op program, feel free to refer them to our office, and we will answer any questions they have.
In order to maintain continuously enrolled status (and retain loan deferment, health insurance status, and the ability to register for classes in upcoming semesters) students frequently register for the co-op course during the fall and spring semesters.
Co-op Status Requirements
Students on a full-time co-op work full-time hours during the semester (an average of 35–40 per week) and register for 2 undergraduate or 1–6 graduate co-op credits. A parallel co-op, requires a student to work part-time hours (20–25 per week), register for 1 co-op credit, and take another, for credit, course at Tech. It is important to understand that the term full-time co-op is different than being considered a full-time student. While a student on a full-time co-op is considered 'full-time' by Tech, other entities, such as scholarship providers, may not recognize the student as full-time. Please consult with Career Services and Financial Aid if you have questions.
How to Register
- Download and complete the three required registration forms.
- Submit your three completed forms and a copy of your offer letter to the Co-op Office.
- You will be registered for UN3002 (undergraduate, 1–2 credits) or UN5000 (graduate, 1–6 credits).
- Note: You may only register for the co-op course through Career Services—you cannot register via the Registrar's Office or Banweb.
- You must register with the Co-op Office for every semester of the co-op assignment. We will not automatically register you for future semesters without notification.
- Remove yourself from any upcoming interview schedules, and inform any other companies considering you for employment that you have accepted a position with another company.
- It is unethical to continue the co-op search once you have accepted a position.
As a co-op student, you are only required to pay for 1–2 undergraduate co-op credits or 1–6 graduate co-op credits, regardless of your residency status. You will receive your tuition bill per the usual billing schedule.
As with any class at Michigan Tech, if you register late for your co-op you will be assessed a late registration fee. Note: You must pay for your credits by the due date, or you will be dropped from the course and charged a late fee to be re-registered.
Navigating Your Co-op Experience
Career Services is here to help you get settled into your co-op assignment, unravel the intricacies of the workplace, and understand your role as a co-op employee. See co-op tips, and get the scoop on everything from relocating to coping with jitters to following the office chain of command.
Fulfilling Your Course Requirements
The Co-op Course has now moved to Canvas. Co-op students will be required to log in to Canvas and follow the instructions provided on the Canvas course web page. Co-op students will submit all of the graded documents into the Canvas system. Discussions will also take place within the Canvas system. Registration will NOT occur through the Canvas system.
After registration students will have access to the Canvas course. Students will be required to read an “Orientation Manual,” which is accessible within Canvas. The student will then take a brief quiz on the contents of the manual. The purpose is to orient students to the co-op course. Students will receive a point total for the number of correct responses. The specific due date is viewable in Canvas.
Co-op students will be provided with discussion prompts throughout the semester. The student will be required to respond to the at least one discussion prompt. The topics for discussion will include career-related issues, co-op expectations, ethics, and technical challenges. The topics are designed to prepare students for responding to the essay questions, which are due at the end of the semester. Posting in the discussion board is required to obtain points toward the final grade.
Throughout the co-op course students will be required to participate within Canvas. One form of participation is completing and submitting evaluations of your work. Each student is required to submit two evaluations per semester. The first evaluation, which occurs around the mid-point of the semester, is called a Progress Evaluation. The second evaluation is called the Final Supervisor Evaluation. In both cases the student and student’s supervisor should work together in completing and discussing the evaluation. Submission of the evaluations on time is sufficient for earning the credit for the assignment. The Final Evaluation is due at the end of the semester. Specific dates will be set for each semester and are viewable in Canvas. See co-op forms.
Co-op students are required to complete two sets of essay questions. The first set is titled “Technical Essay Questions,” and the second set is titled, “Reflective Essay Questions.” The questions are found in Canvas and are to be submitted through Canvas. Students will type their responses to the essay prompts in a document. Students will then print the document and have it reviewed by their supervisor. The supervisor will sign the cover page of the document (which is also provided in Canvas), approving the contents of the responses and verifying that there is no proprietary or confidential material included within. The student will either take a photo of the document or re-scan the document and upload it into the Canvas system. The students’ responses will be graded on thoroughness, adequate detail, and appropriate spelling and grammar. Therefore, students could earn a higher or lower grade on these assignments depending on the quality of the responses. The student is required to submit the essay question responses by the end of the semester. Specific dates will be set for each semester and are viewable in Canvas.
Co-op students are required to submit an updated resume. The resume should integrate the co-op work experience into an existing resume. If the student performed special or relevant projects while on co-op this could also be added. The resume must be submitted in Canvas and doing so is sufficient for earning the points on this assignment.
Prior to submission of the end of semester assignments, students are required to complete survey. This survey addresses the co-op work experience, supervisor, housing, location, and social life. The survey is to help future co-op students, employers, Career Services, and the academic departments improve the co-op program.
Multiple Semester Co-ops
Some students participate in the co-op for the duration of one semester, but some students participate in multiple, consecutive semesters. In order to ensure that students who are on a multiple semester co-op are not performing redundant academic work, accommodations will be made. IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT A STUDENT IS REQUIRED TO COMPLETE ALL OF THE REQUIRED WORK AT THE CULMINATION OF EVERY SEMESTER. This includes multiple semester co-ops assignments.
Due to the large number of reports that must be graded each semester, a course grade is not typically available to submit by the end of finals week. As a result, students are initially assigned a "P" for "Progress."
Once the reports are graded, a grade will be submitted and the "P" grade will be replaced by a letter grade, which will be posted to your official transcript.
In most majors, co-op credits can be used for free electives or technical electives pending the academic department's approval. Talk with your academic advisor for specifics regarding your situation.
Additional End-of-Co-op Tasks
- Update Your HuskyJOBS Profile: Don’t forget to update your resume and profile in HuskyJOBS. You’ll want to highlight this valuable work experience for potential employers.
- Update Your Student Info: If your expected graduation date has changed, you’ll need to call or visit the Registrar’s Office to have it updated. You can change your address via Banweb.