Cooperative education (http://www.uc.edu/propractice/uccoop.html), or co-op as it is commonly called, is an academic program where students alternate semesters of classroom study with semesters of paid, professional work directly related to their major. The University of Cincinnati is the global founder of co-op, having established the practice in 1906. Today, UC houses the country’s largest co-op program at any public institution in the United States.
Cooperative education transports our students from academic studies in the classroom to paid, on-the-job training where they apply what they learn. Students begin co-op work during their second year and must complete at least three semesters of co-op experience before graduation. Most students complete five semesters of co-op before graduation.
More than 600 companies provide our students employment locally, nationally, and internationally. Average student earnings range between $40,000 to $50,000. The Division of Professional Practice prepares students for their co-op experience through classroom education, advising sessions, and ongoing support in locating co-op positions.
INTERNATIONAL CO-OP PROGRAM
The International Co-op Program (ICP) provides excellent opportunities for students to learn a second language and gain international work experience. The University of Cincinnati is one of the few universities in the USA that offers a program that combines intensive language and culture courses combined with national and then international work experience. ICP programs are currently offered for German, Japanese, Spanish, and French.
In addition to traditional co-op opportunities, EECS allows students to alternate classroom study with real, professional lab work in industry or academia. This type of co-op is a great experience for those who are interested in a research career. Working along side experts—PhDs, MDs, and grad students—enables the research co-op student to begin learning, earning, discovering, and publishing before they’ve completed their bachelor’s degree.