Co-op Program

Co-op (or, cooperative education) is an experiential learning program enabling you to explore potential career paths while alternating semesters of academic study with 6-month periods of full-time, paid employment. Northeastern partners with more than 2,000 co-op employers across the U.S. and more than 65 countries around the world. As an undergraduate, you can gain up to 18 months of hands-on, professional experience related to your major or career interests, during which time you do not pay tuition. The skills, contacts, and real-world know-how you gain on co-op—combined with what you learn in the classroom—creates a unique and holistic educational experience. CAMD also offers a graduate co-op program for full-time graduate students.

Explore the co-op difference

Working with your co-op coordinator

Every department in CAMD has a faculty coordinator to guide you through the co-op process—helping you to research co-op positions, develop a strong resume, interview with employers, negotiate and accept an offer, and more. Contact your co-op coordinator to learn about opportunities in your field:

Co-op coordinators also support employers by referring qualified, interested students for full-time co-op positions. Please keep in mind that our co-op partners  are free to choose which candidates to interview and hire.

Before your undergraduate co-op

All undergraduate students in good academic standing may participate in up to three co-ops in a five-year program, or two co-ops in a four-year program. (Students in the School of Architecture go on two co-ops in five years.) To get ready, you will take a one-credit Professional Development course, depending on your major, during your freshman or sophomore year.

Work with your co-op coordinator to:

  • Evaluate career interests, short- and long-term goals, and developmental steps
  • Develop a professional resumé and create digital portfolio or demo reel (if applicable)
  • Research companies and available co-op positions
  • Apply for a co-op position on NUcareers
  • Prepare for employer interviews and job offers
  • Review prior work experience, employer evaluations, and current skills, talents, and strengths

During and after your co-op

You will engage in critical self-learning and reflection activities during and after your co-op experience.

Work with the manager at your co-op to:

  • Discuss your self-established learning objectives and what you hope to get out of your experience
  • Assess progress throughout your co-op, and adjust these learning objectives as needed
  • Talk about your growth, successes, and ways to improve for the future

Work with your co-op coordinator to:

  • Discuss what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown
  • Participate in the required reflection activity
  • Reassess your academic and professional goals

Beyond co-op

While we recommend pursuing co-op through the NUcareers program, some students choose to identify their own opportunities. Contact your co-op coordinator to make a proposal and discuss requirements, documentation, and approval for alternate experiential projects or positions at an employer we don’t currently partner with.

Graduate co-op

Graduate students at CAMD can also gain real-world work experience at employers across the globe. Considering most graduate programs are completed in two years, the 4- or 6-month co-op is a unique educational opportunity.

During the first semester on campus, all students must attend a CAMD Co-op Information Session and meet with their assigned co-op coordinator to discuss career interests and professional goals, develop a resume/portfolio, and explore job search strategies.

Full-time graduate students may complete either one or two co-ops, depending on program length. Students are eligible for co-op only after completing two full semesters of classes. International students must complete both semesters consecutively. Once students complete all academic degree requirements, they are no longer eligible to participate in co-op.