Cooperative Education - Undergraduate
The WPI Cooperative Education Program (Co-op) is an opportunity for undergraduate students to alternate time in the classroom with extended periods of paid, full-time, career-related work experience in industry or government. This optional program can be done during the following scenarios:
- Summer plus A term
- Summer, A term and B term
- C term, D term and Summer
- D term and Summer
- Summer, A term, B term, C term and D term
- A term, B term, C term, D term and summer
Most students elect to participate in one Co-op assignment, though up to two is possible. Because Co-op is not a credit-baring program, it is recommended that students pre-plan during their first or second year. Preparation of a complete four year plan with the student’s academic advisor is required to ensure compatible scheduling of work periods and academic courses.
In order to qualify for the Co-op program, students must meet the following requirements:
- Must be a current, full time, undergraduate WPI student in good standing. Note: If any of the following conditions apply a student may petition for eligibility.
- Not in good academic standing (i.e. on academic warning or probation)
- Have financial holds on their account
- Have a judicial record. Note: having a judicial record does not automatically preclude you from participating in a Co-op.
- Want to register for up to 1/3 unit of course while on Co-op.
- International students must complete one full academic year at WPI before being eligible for Co-op, due to US Federal Government regulations. In addition, the Co-op must be related to the major (not minor). For questions, please contact International House.
- Understand the impact Co-op would have on your federal and institutional financial aid through a meeting with the Office of Student Aid & Financial Literacy.
- Understand the impact your Co-op will have on your course schedule and outline your four year plan, including projects, Co-op, etc. and have it reviewed through a required meeting with your Faculty Advisor.
- Approval will be needed from your Faculty Advisor, Office of Student Aid & Financial Literacy, Supervisor at your Co-op, Bursar, Dean of Students Office, Career Development Center (CDC), and International House (if applicable). Approvals are done electronically through Handshake, beginning with you entering your Co-op information in your Handshake Account’s Experiences section. The deadline for fall Co-op application is August 1; the deadline for spring Co-op application is December 1. Co-op applications received after deadline are reviewed on a case by case basis. Submissions after the add/ drop deadline will not be approved.
- To be considered, the Co-op must be full time (at least 30 hours per week), paid, 4-8 months in duration and related to your major and career goals.
- Understands and accepts the Terms of Agreement. (see website for more information)
Advantages for Students
Co-op offers several advantages for students:
- Gain experience, build their resume and bring theory into practice.
- Earnings enable students to pay a significant portion of their college expenses.
- Sharpen skills and abilities as an emerging professional.
- Test out career options to help clarify career goals and interests.
- Return to school with new knowledge and experience in their field.
- Position themselves for future opportunities; Co-op participants are preferred full time hires.
- Transcript will show Co-op and indicate company name.
Information and Registration
Students interested in exploring the possibility of participating in the co-op program should attend drop-ins or schedule an appointment with a CDC Career Advisor.