Co-Op Program

University of Minnesota Department of Computer Science & Engineering Co-op Program


Overview

The Department of Computer Science & Engineering has established a co-op program for our undergraduate students. In a co-op program, students work full-time for companies for up to four non-consecutive semesters in positions that provide a learning experience. Students will typically alternate one semester at work followed by a semester in school. Subsequent work semesters normally take place at the same company. Companies are asked to provide the student with a variety of job experiences while participating in the co-op program.


A co-op differs from an internship in that, as an intern, the student works while attending school or the experience only takes place during the summer months. In a co-op program, students alternate between full-time study and work during fall and spring semesters attaching summer to the co-op experience so about nine months of full-time work experience is attained. Rotating semesters between work and school reduces conflicting demands on a student’s time. The co-op program allows both participants (the student and the company) to be formally evaluated on the quality of their involvement.


The purpose of this program is to provide students with some industrial hands-on experience related to the Computer Science & Engineering curriculum. Companies are expected to provide opportunities for students to learn how computer science is used in industry. At the same time, students have a chance to put into practice what they have learned in their academic program. At the conclusion of the semester, students formally report what they have learned while on the job. Students will receive two elective credits (cannot be used in the program) for their co-op work experience. Students will sign up for CSCI 3970 once approved to participate in the co-op program.

How do employers set up a co-op opportunity?

  • Employers should contact the CSE Career Center and/or the CLA Career Services office to post co-op position(s) to Gold Pass.
  • Employers will need to complete the co-op application form at the bottom of this page with the student once an offer is made and accepted. The student is responsible for submitting these forms to the Department of Computer Science & Engineering
  • Positions will commence at the convenience of the company and the student. Typically, students will work full-time during non-consecutive semesters at the company (subject to satisfactory job performance), allowing a return to school full-time in between the work semesters. During each successive work semester, companies would be expected to supply a somewhat different job experience to the student.

Action required by students (for new and returning co-op students)

  • Students will search for and apply to co-op positions on Gold Pass.
  • Students can ask companies to offer a co-op opportunity rather than a traditional internship opportunity.
  • Once a co-op position is offered to and accepted by a student they must complete the application form at the bottom of this page with the company and submit this to one of the Departmental Advisors. A permission number will be given to the student to add CSCI 3970 once their co-op paperwork is reviewed and approved.

Additional Information

  • CSCI 3970 may be repeated up to four times. The course only qualifies as free elective credits and cannot be used in a student’s track or be substituted for other course requirements in the program.
  • If the student needs more credits to maintain student status or financial aid, insurance, etc., the student must make his or her own arrangements.
  • At the end of the co-op experience, students will write a 4-8 page paper describing what they learned in terms of designing new systems, working as part of a team, working with advanced technology, etc. This paper will be the basis for the final grade in the co-op class. The only grading basis option for this class is satisfactory/not satisfactory (S-N).
  • Current jobs may be used for the co-op program. Check the eligibility requirements and follow the steps above.

Co-op Application Paperwork