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COOPERATIVE EDUCATION (CO-OP) is a planned and supervised program that alternates semesters of full-time college classroom instruction with 3 semesters of full-time paid employment. The work assignments are closely related to your academic program and are designed to prepare you for your professional career by combining your academic training with practical work experience.

Interested in co-op?

 

Have you secured a co-op for a future semester?

 

 

Quick Facts

  • All co-op positions are paid! The average co-op salary is $20.86/hour based on the 2022-2023 academic year
  • You can gain up to 1 year (52 weeks) of experience before graduating
  • Over 480 students are currently in the program
    • 84% of students are in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering
  • Over 100 companies recruit co-op students each Fall and Spring semester
  • The Auburn Co-op Program was established in 1937

 

What's the Difference Between Co-op and Internship?

Co-op
  • Three-semester commitment with the same company.
  • Co-op takes place year-round and students gain up to 1 year of experience and is a full-time work experience.
  • Co-op students have the opportunity to develop an in-depth skillset and manage their own projects during their work terms.
  • Companies give more responsibility to co-op students due to the longer period of time spent at the company.
  • Engineering students are ready to apply for co-op positions during their sophomore year.
  • Co-op students receive priority registration status and are able to register each semester during the early registration period for priority students.
  • Students do not pay tuition during co-op work semesters and are enrolled in a 0-credit hour course to maintain student status.
Internship
  • One semester commitment.
  • Internships typically take place only during the summer semester or 10-12 weeks but can happen during fall and spring semesters as well.
  • Internships may be part-time or full-time.
  • Internships provide a broader overview of work life.
  • Internships allow students to spend time at different companies.
  • Students can intern as early as the summer after their Freshman year
  • Students do not pay tuition during internships and are enrolled in a zero credit hour course to maintain student status.
Already completed a co-op rotation?

The Co-op Program will work with students in any major or academic program to identify a suitable co-op opportunity, but co-op positions are typically only available for students in Engineering, Building Science, Supply Chain Management, Business, and related disciplines.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.
  • Engineering Students must be in-major before beginning a co-op job.

If you don't meet the requirements for co-op, internships are a great alternate option to gain experience. 

 

Complete the Professional Experience Interest Form

You will have the option to indicate interest in four areas: co-op, internship, undergraduate research, and global experiences. A staff member from each area will reach out based on your selection(s). CDCR offers two Canvas courses to support your job search for co-op and internships called Co-op Ready and InternReady. 

 

INTERESTED? STEPS TO GET STARTED:
1. Attend an Interest Meeting: These usually take place during the first few weeks of each semester. See Upcoming Co-op + Internship Events
2. Complete the Professional Experience Interest Form.
3. Meet with a Co-op + Internship Career Coach: Schedule an Appointment on Handshake
4. Upload your revised resume to Handshake
5. Schedule interviews and attend Career Fairs

Co-op Ready: After you submit the Co-op Interest Form, you will be enrolled in a 0-credit hour Co-op Ready Canvas course which will help guide you through the job search process.

 

JOB SEARCH + INTERVIEWING

 

Handshake: All co-op positions are posted on the University's online job search platform, Handshake. Be sure to upload your updated resume to Handshake before applying for jobs.

 

 

Career Fairs and on-campus interviews are your opportunity to interview with 100+ companies to find the best fit. Sign up for interviews on Handshake.

Check out these helpful interview tips and tricks to help you land a job!

Send-Off Meeting:  All students who have accepted co-op positions are required to attend a Co-op + Internship Send-Off Meeting at the end of the semester in which the student accepts a position. At this meeting, students will receive helpful guidance for having a successful work experience.

 

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Scholarships: The Office of University Scholarships works with students to defer appropriate scholarships when students are completing co-op work terms. Please review this FAQ page for more information on this process.

Meal Plans: Students can request an exemption from meal plans for each work semester in AU Access > My Campus > Away From Campus Dining Accommodation Request.

Housing: Co-op students who need to request termination of their Auburn on-campus housing contract due to a co-op work semester may use this link

What is an alternation plan?

Your path to co-op success at Auburn starts with a personalized roadmap: the alternation plan. This tailor-made academic blueprint, crafted by the Career Development and Corporate Relations (CDCR), integrates your future co-op rotations seamlessly into your upcoming semesters. This plan ensures you never miss a vital class by carefully scheduling around your co-op experiences. Think of it as a bridge between your academic pursuits and real-world work, guaranteeing you a smooth transition and maximizing your learning potential. Your academic advisor reviews and approves this flexible plan, which can change as your academic journey unfolds.

 

What do I do with my alternation plan?

Upon completion of the Professional Experience Interest Form (www.aub.ie/careerexperience), you will receive a personalized alternation plan via email. Your academic advisor will be included in the email and their signature on the plan is required before proceeding further. To facilitate co-op opportunities, please schedule a meeting with your advisor to receive their approval and subsequently upload the signed plan to Handshake, our professional platform that connects students with employers.

 

Does co-op always delay graduation?

Not necessarily! While co-op can shift your graduation date, the impact depends on your unique academic situation. Factors like your school year, current course credits, and even your major play a role. However, co-op packs nearly a year of industry-relevant experience into your backpack, by maximizing summer semesters. Additionally, you score nearly a year of industry-relevant experience before graduation. The timing might adjust a bit, but the benefits such as enhanced employability and a competitive edge in the engineering job market can outweigh the shift.

 

Where will I live if I go to work outside of Auburn or my hometown?

Though you are responsible for finding your own housing in a new city, there are many resources that can help you in your housing search.

Social Media:

Facebook Groups: Dive into local groups with keywords like "sublet," "roommate finder," and the city/state you're heading to. Many students and young professionals utilize these groups, offering a treasure trove of short-term options. Remember, caution is key when subletting – always research and verify before committing.

College Connections: Research colleges or universities in and around your co-op’s city. Joining their Facebook, Discord/Reddit, or other social media groups can connect you with students in similar situations looking for roommates or sublets. Shared age ranges and experiences can make for a smooth transition.

Reach Out and Explore:

HR/Recruiter Connection: Don't be shy! Reach out to your HR contact or recruiter. They might have inside information about other co-ops/interns also searching for housing. Sharing your situation and asking about their experiences can lead to valuable leads. Just remember, confidentiality might be a factor.

Networking: Tap into your personal network! Let friends and family know you'll be living in the new city. They might have connections or know individuals looking for roommates.

Exploring Options and Resources:

Airbnb: If your co-op offers a housing stipend, consider Airbnb in certain cities. Depending on your timeframe, it might even be cheaper than committing to a lease.

Professional Help: Real estate agents can help! Share your budget, desired number of rooms, and move-in timeframe, and they'll provide a curated list of options. Be prepared for a potential fee for their services.

Extended Stay Hotels: Explore extended stay hotels, which often offer kitchenette facilities and flexible rates for longer stays.

Student Housing Hubs: Check websites like dorms.com or co-living websites like CampusPads for student-specific short-term housing options.

Online Resources: Websites like ApartmentFinder (https://www.apartmentfinder.com/) and Apartments.com (https://www.apartments.com/) offer a vast selection of listings. Plus, Auburn University itself has a helpful resource for off-campus housing: https://offcampushousing.auburn.edu/.

Remember:

Start early: The sooner you begin your search, the more options you'll have.

Be flexible: Your ideal situation might not be readily available, so keep an open mind and consider different options.

Safety first: Always prioritize your safety when researching and meeting potential roommates or landlords. Trust your gut and don't hesitate to walk away if something feels off.

 

Sample Co-op Schedule

Sample alternation plan

Semester

Plan A

Plan B

Fall

Sophomore Year

School

School

Spring

Sophomore Year

Work Semester 1

School

Summer

Sophomore Year

School

Work Semester 1

Fall

Junior Year

Work Semester 2

School

Spring

Junior Year

School

Work Semester 2

Summer

Junior Year

Work Semester 3

School

Fall

Senior Year

School

Work Semester 3

Spring

Senior Year

School

School

 

Summer

Senior Year

Graduated

School

*Graduation time varies. It depends on which classes are offered in the summer semesters and when senior design sequences are offered.

 

Is co-op only for engineering majors?

No, the Co-op Program is for all majors across campus. We are housed in the College of Engineering because 84% of our co-op students are in engineering. However, all students can apply and seek positions. If you are a non-engineering student and are interested in co-op, please schedule an appointment on Handshake.

 

Can I take classes while on co-op?

Yes, you may take up to 5 credit hours of classes while on your co-op rotation(s). We do not recommend students in their first semester to take classes as the adjustment from full-time student to full-time employment is often challenging.

Salary: Co-op positions are paid an average salary of $20.86/hour. Click here for more salary information.

Housing: Co-op students are responsible for their own housing costs; however, some companies may offer housing stipends or provide housing for students.

Meal Plans: Students can request an exemption from meal plans for each work semester through AU Access. AU Access > My Campus > Away from Campus Dining Accommodation Request.

Required Class: During work rotations, students must register for COOP 4910, 4920, or 4930. Students in work rotations do not pay tuition. However, this class is S/U, and a satisfactory grade is earned by completing 2 surveys and 1 evaluation.

Scholarship Eligibility: During work terms, scholarships are placed on hold. Please contact the Scholarships Office to double-check eligibility requirements. For more information, please review these scholarship FAQs.

Football Tickets: All students are still eligible to purchase football tickets. If purchased, Athletics will charge a $101 fee in lieu of student services fees.

Making Changes: Connect with your Co-op + Internship Career Coach to request any change to your plans for upcoming school and work semesters.

Co-op Work Term Checklist:

  • Enroll in the CO-OP class corresponding to your work term (4910, 4920, and 4930)
  • Complete the work information survey, checkpoint survey, and SkillSurvey evaluation

 

SURVEYS + EVALUATIONS

At various points in your work rotation, you will receive surveys and a link to an evaluation from the Co-op office.

Beginning

At the beginning of your work term, you will receive a Work Term Information survey to help the Co-op Program capture the most up-to-date information about your co-op job. This brief survey asks for information such as city, state, and salary.

Middle

Around mid-term, you will receive a Checkpoint Survey. This survey is to check in on your work experience and for you to privately report any potential work issues to a Co-op Career Coach. Remember, you do not have to wait until this survey is sent to report an issue. 

End

Towards the end of each work term, you and at least one supervisor are required to complete performance evaluations on SkillSurvey. Each semester, you will receive an email with a unique link to the survey.

SkillSurvey assessment is a valuable tool that allows students to obtain feedback from multiple managers and co-workers regarding soft skill development. It was developed based on the 8 NACE Career Ready Competencies, which recruiters of college students have determined as the 8 most desired soft skills in new college graduates. Refer to this page to learn more about the Career Ready Competencies.

Fall 2023 (20 weeks)

Report to Work     Monday, August 7

Evaluations Due    Wednesday, December 6

Work Term Ends    Friday, December 22

Spring 2024   (20 weeks)

Report to Work     Tuesday, January 2

Evaluations Due    Wednesday, May 1

Work Term Ends    Friday, May 17

Summer 2024   (12 weeks)

Report to Work     Monday, May 6

Evaluations Due    Wednesday, July 24

Work Term Ends    Friday, August 2

Fall 2024 (20 weeks)

Report to Work     Monday, August 5

Evaluations Due    Wednesday, December 4

Work Term Ends    Friday, December 20

 

Students participate in a 3-semester rotation (typically a Fall, Spring, and Summer semester) to get a full year of experience (52 weeks) prior to graduation.

Group Photo - Wide
Group Photo - Wide

Co-op + Career Ambassadors are a group of student leaders devoted to outreach and programming to increase awareness of the Co-op + Internship Program and encourage undergraduate participation. Co-op + Career Ambassadors are upperclassmen who have successfully completed at least one co-op or two internship work terms, demonstrate leadership on campus and at their respective workplaces, and want to positively impact the campus community at large. Eligible students will be invited to apply for this volunteer role in March of each year.

 

Here are our 2023-2024 Co-op + Career Ambassadors.

Trevor Aupperle headshot

Trevor Aupperle

Software Engineering

Co-op, Mercedes-Benz | Internship, HighTouch Technologies, Amazon

Brick Bills headshot

Brick Bills

Chemical Engineering

Co-op, BASF

Campbell Brown headshot

Campbell Brown

Electrical Engineering

Co-op, Neptune Technology Group | Internship, Leonardo DRS

Peyton Carr headshot

Peyton Carr

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Co-op, Johnson & Johnson

Chloe Grace Cochran headshot

Chloe Grace Cochran

Aerospace Engineering

Internship, US Army Corps of Engineers

Camille Daugherty headshot

Camille Daugherty

Civil Engineering

Co-op, Enercon Services

Josh Dobelbower headshot

Josh Dobelbower

Aerospace Engineering

Co-op, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Jonathan Helms headshot

Jonathan Helms

Chemical Engineering

Co-op, Graphic Packaging International

Cheyanne Hess headshot

Cheyanne Hess

Civil Engineering

Co-op, Schoel Engineering Company

Leighanna Howell headshot

Leighanna Howell

Mechanical Engineering

Co-op, Neptune Technology Group

Jesvin Joseph headshot

Jesvin Joseph

Computer Engineering

Co-op, Club Car

Shrimayi Karanam headshot

Shrimayi Karanam

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Co-op, Johnson & Johnson

Dean Lee headshot

Dean Lee

Software Engineering

Co-op, Integrated Solutions for Systems

Wesley Lowman headshot

Wesley Lowman

Computer Science

Co-op, NASA

Jagger Lynn headshot

Jagger Lynn

Computer Engineering

Co-op, Neptune Technology Group

Julia Menzel headshot

Julia Menzel

Aerospace Engineering

Internship, Pratt & Whitney

Joe Moore headshot

Joe Moore

Mechanical Engineering

Co-op, Southern Company

Annabel Morrisard headshot

Annabel Morrisard

Chemical Engineering

Co-op, SABIC

Emma Perkinson headshot

Emma Perkinson

Mechanical Engineering

Co-op, Technology Service Corporation

Grant Sims headshot

Grant Sims

Mechanical Engineering

Co-op, Mercedes-Benz

Glen Stahl headshot

Glen Stahl

Materials Engineering + Industrial and Systems Engineering

Co-op, GE Appliances | Internship, Walt Disney Company, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Callie Stevenson headshot

Callie Stevenson

Electrical Engineering

Co-op, NASA

Emma Strickland headshot

Emma Strickland

Mechanical Engineering

Co-op, WestRock

Seth Walker headshot

Seth Walker

Chemical Engineering

Co-op, IntraMicron | Internship, ExxonMobil

Maggie Whittle headshot

Maggie Whittle

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Internship. Hendrick Motorsports

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Co-op + Internship Events