Engineering Co-op Program

Co-op is an opportunity for you to advance your knowledge and skills in the context of industry, government, and society. Through the Co-op Program, you will be empowered to create a career plan that will enable you to make well-informed choices for lifelong career success.


Young professionals communing

Professional Development Community

The Engineering Co-op Program offers a professional development community dedicated to assisting students to secure paid, engineering-related experience while still graduating within four years.* Students who complete the requirements of the Co-op Program receive a notation of their successful participation on their Cornell transcript. Highlights include:

  • 7 months of engineering-related experience
  • Earning a salary ($4,198/month= average Co-op salary in 2018-2019)
  • Professional development workshops and networking
  • Opportunities to apply theory to practice
  • Graduating on time!


  • Cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher
  • Sophomore standing to get started 
  • Both Junior standing and accepted to an Engineering major by the start of the first work term
  • Co-ops must be paid work experiences.

How Co-op Works:

  1. If you're a qualified sophomore, let the Co-op Program know of your interest.

  2. We will inform you of how to meet the eligibility requirements to participate in on-campus interviewing for Co-op positions.

  3. Once you meet those requirements, you are officially a Co-op Candidate and can participate in our on-campus recruiting events and professional development opportunities exclusively for the Co-op Program.

  4. After you secure a Co-op, you will most likely need to take Co-op Summer Session classes during the summer after sophomore year in order to graduate in four years.*

  5. Then you will go out and work one semester of junior year (usually fall semester, but some flexibility exists) plus the summer following junior year.

  6. Finally, you will return to campus and complete senior year courses.

In this way, you achieve seven months of work experience and graduate on time! Flexibility exists in the program depending on major and curricular progress, and different work terms may be possible.

*As of summer 2019, Engineering Physics and Biomedical Engineering do not offer major coursework during the Co-op Summer Session. With department permission, students in those majors may participate in the Co-op Program with the expectation that graduation would be delayed in most cases.

image of Eileen Chang

Take advantage of not only what the Co-op offers, but also what the Co-op process offers: job-hunting, networking, and interviewing skills. Even if I had walked out without an offer, I would have been thankful for the practice and experience I've earned.

— Eileen Chang '21, Mechanical Engineering, GE Aviation
image of Scott Svensson

I decided to pursue a Co-op because I wanted a more in-depth view of industry work than an internship. The longer I work with a company, the more valuable the experience I could gain from working there, and thus the more prepared I would be for the industry experience.

— Scott Svensson '21, Chemical Engineering, Infineum

Learn More About the Co-op Program

Whether you are getting started, taking summer classes, or out on the job, web resources are available to keep you informed.

Why Co-op?

An Engineering senior discusses why Co-op was a better choice for him than an internship, and how it fit into his academic and career plans.

Transcript [pdf]


Information Sessions:

  • Thursday, August 29, 4:45pm, Olin 155
  • Monday, September 16, 4:45pm, Olin 155
  • Wednesday, October 9, 4:45pm, Olin 155

Co-op Information sessions are regularly held in the fall and spring semesters. Students who are interested in joining the Co-op Program or exploring it as an option are encouraged to contact the Co-op office for more information at or phone at 607-255-3512.

All students participating in Co-op are required to complete an on-campus recruiting (OCR) tutorial. Please go to the Cornell Career Services website to locate and complete the tutorial.


Nishant Goel

I learned a lot of technical skills, some people skills and got a taste of what life is going to be like after college. It also allowed me to experience the world of data engineering/science so I can look into that as a career option now.

— Nishant Goel '19, Operations Research, Amazon Robotics
Diana Chu

Being able to work at a heart valve startup and learn about the culture that comes with that specific line of work was amazing. It has broadened my perceived options for my career.

— Diana Chu '19, Mechanical Engineer, Cephea Valve Technologies
Canhui Yu

As the only co-op at Heller Industries, I was treated as one of the mechanical engineers after I completed my training in Shanghai.. I was not only given the challenge to solve problems, but also given the opportunity to see what it's like to be a mechanical engineer and learn as I was working on the project step by step... designing a new component that will possibly be put on production.

— Canhui Yu '19, Mechanical Engineer, Heller Industries