Cooperative Education Program

What is Co-op?

The Engineering Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program at CU Boulder, a professional development program, allows undergraduates to have a year-round schedule that alternates professional work experiences with classroom coursework.  The Co-op Program can provide as much as two years of direct professional development within a five-year bachelor's degree program.

Students who participate in co-ops are better prepared to enter the work force and often continue their employment with their co-op employer after graduation. 

Co-op experiences are paid and result in academic credit, although this credit does not apply towards the student’s degree. Co-op students receive an official entry on their transcript for each co-op experience, as well as a certificate of completion at graduation.

Why Co-op Could Be for You?

  • Make money (up to $16K per work term)
  • Gain one year of real-world experience
  • Apply what you learn
  • ​Work on compelling projects
  • Build skills over time
  • Establish a professional network
  • ​Explore career options
  • Earn course credit/notation on your transcript
  • Receive a Co-Op Certificate of Completion from a college-endorsed program

Am I Eligible for Co-op?

  • Must be in good academic standing (minimum 2.75 GPA)
  • Second-semester sophomore or above

Where Can I Do My Co-op?

  • Choose from top companies in Colorado or other major U.S. cities
  • International co-ops are also an option
  • Opportunities range from Fortune 500 to startup companies

How Do I Get Involved in Co-op?

  • Meet with the co-op director for your department (see list in the "Co-op Key Contacts" section below)​
  • Submit an application to your departmental Co-op director
  • Create a resume to be submitted to potential employers
  • Interview with potential employers
  • Notify your Co-op director and academic advisor when you accept a job offer
  • Attend required workshop with your Co-op director prior to going on your Co-op assignment

The Cooperative Education Program is a professional development education program that allows students to participate in a year-round schedule that alternates professionally related work experiences with classroom coursework. Co-ops are made possible by industry partners willing to host co-op students for this valuable experience.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science offers an excellent curriculum with hands-on, service, and discovery learning opportunities. CU students have strong engineering and team skills combined with a strong work ethic. Students who participate in co-ops frequently choose to continue their employment with their co-op employer after graduating.

Co-op experiences are paid by the employer and result in academic credit. Co-op students receive a certificate of participation or written acknowledgement as well as an entry on their transcript for each co-op experience.

How Does Co-op Benefit Employers?

  • Access to and retention of top talent
  • Opportunity to develop new positions
  • Opportunity to develop leaders from within
  • Low-risk opportunity to try out new employees
  • Pipeline for developing a diverse workforce

Employer Responsibilities

  • Provide a paid, professional work experience that allows the student to be a team member
  • Arrange challenging work for the student
  • Assign work of real importance, not "make-work"
  • Incorporate a large spectrum of the company's activities
  • Ensure that assigned work is major-related
  • Commit to providing single and/or multiple work terms for the student
  • Increase technical involvement and level of responsibility as the student progresses
  • Evaluate student performance and provide feedback to the college


Participating Employers

  • 3M
  • Amgen
  • Baxter
  • Bend Research
  • Chevron Phillips

  • Dow Chemical
  • Micron Corporation
  • NASA
  • Roche Colorado
  • Washington Group International​

Co-op Key Contacts

Aerospace Engineering

Chemical and Biological Engineering
 Carrie Ngai    303-735-7872

Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering
​  Matt Morris    303-492-0468

Computer Science

Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering

Mechanical Engineering
​  Jeffrey Knutsen    303-492-8322

International Co-ops
​  Andrew Wingfield    303-492-9571

All Other Majors and Co-op Program Oversight
​  Sharon Anderson    303-492-4404