What Exactly is a UConn Co-op?

UConn Co-op is for matriculated undergraduate students from all campuses, who have completed at least one full semester at UConn and are in good academic standing. Traditionally, co-ops are completed in a student’s junior year; however, we have worked with second-semester freshmen as well as students who finish their coursework but want to have a solid work experience before they graduated.  Co-op stands for Cooperative Education and references a 4-8 month work experience in lieu of attending college for one or two semesters and must cover at least one semester; experiences just for the summer are not considered a UConn Co-op. When on co-op, students can take the semester off from academics but do not need to submit for a leave of absence from the university. A co-op is an excellent option for students considering the world of business, including sales, marketing, and finance, as opportunities are vast and fulfilling.

A few businesses that hired students in the past year or so in the business/marketing/ finance/sales fields in the last year or so include (may need to search by term co-op; a 6 month internship will also count as a UConn Co-op):  Disney, IBM, AmeriCorps Vista, Collins Aerospace, and Henkel. Dozens more are currently listed in Handshake, for locations throughout the United States, both from recognizable organizations as well as those you might not know yet but could lead to amazing opportunities in the future – so be sure to check them out. Companies are recruiting now for next semester, listing in Handshake, and coming to the career fairs.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Co-ops

Does Co-op Include Credit?

  1. A co-op experience receives no credit, but the student is still considered the equivalent to full-time
  2. A co-op student may take up to six credits of other coursework, if the work schedule permits it

Is There a Cost for the Student While on Co-op?

  1. It costs $104 to be on an official UConn co-op if the student takes no classes
  2. If the student registers for courses, tuition by the credit hour and fees will apply

What Makes a Position a UConn Co-op?

  1. Minimum 35 hours/maximum 50 hours per week
  2. Minimum 4 months/16 weeks; maximum length of time per co-op 8 months
  3. Work must be appropriate for someone pursuing a college degree
  4. Located in the US
  5. Must be Paid
  6. Virtual experiences are considered case by case

How Do I Find a Co-op Position?

  1. Use Handshake or other job boards
  2. Discuss opportunities with the Career Center staff, faculty, advisors, and others in your network

What Do I Do Once a Co-op has Been Offered?

  1. Once an offer is received, verify its eligibility with the Career Center
  2. Send an email to careercoop@uconn.edu for eligibility confirmation

How Do I Register for a UConn Co-op?

  1. Once the co-op is approved, the student will work with the Co-op Coordinator to complete the necessary paperwork
  2. The student must still enroll in courses for the semester they are going on co-op, to hold their place, until the Co-op Coordinator completes the registration process with the Registrar’s Office.
  3. Co-ops may be registered right up till the add/drop period ends for that semester, though we do encourage students to not wait that long if at all possible.

Direct questions to Beth Settje, Co-op Coordinator in the UConn Career Center, at careercoop@uconn.edu.

Questionmark photo by Simone Secci on Unsplash

By Beth Settje