Co-op & Experiential Learning
Experiential learning is a distinctive feature of a Northeastern education and is at the center of our approach to learning at the Roux Institute.
A cooperative education experience, or Co-op, is the cornerstone experiential learning opportunity for Roux learners.
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FAQs on the Co-op Process & Experience
The Roux Team closely partners with employers to develop engaging and meaningful co-op opportunities for our talented and motivated students. For six months at a time, co-op students become fully immersed team members who work as full-time employees. Supervisors partner with their co-op students to develop learning objectives and goals at the beginning of their co-op, coach and mentor them throughout the co-op experience, and then review the student’s performance in an online performance appraisal and during a one-on-one meeting at the end of their co-op experience.
Northeastern’s co-op program offers students a unique opportunity to integrate their academic knowledge with industry. Students may gain six to eight months of full-time work experience, allowing them to build their resumes, earn income, and gain a competitive edge for post-graduate employment opportunities.
Students do not receive academic credit for co-op or internships. However, after accepting a co-op position, students must notify their co-op advisor and create an Experiential Work record in NUworks. Then the Registrar registers the student in Co-op Work Experience (course). Students do receive an “S” (Satisfactory) notation on their transcript if the work experience is completed successfully. If the experience ended early or if a student was unprofessional, a “U” (Unsatisfactory) notation may be assigned.
Typically, students can start co-op following their second semester, on a six- to eight-month or three- to four-month (summer) co-op.
To be eligible for co-op.
CPS students must have:
- Completed the co-op prep course (INT6200)
- Completed 20 credit hours.
COE, COS, and Khoury students must have:
- Completed the co-op prep course (BINF6500 and Khoury Graduate Career Prep)
- Completed 16 credit hours.
International students must be enrolled at NU for a full year prior to going on co-op.
*Please note that you will not be approved to participate in co-op during the last semester of your academic program – unless you are enrolled in a College of Science program.
All Roux learners are assigned both an academic and career & co-op advisor based on their program of study. Learn more about the Roux Career & Co-op Team here
Academic advisors work with students to develop their academic schedules and meet graduation requirements. The career & co-op advisors work with students on their career journeys and support them through the job search process (co-op and full-time employment). Career Advisors help the students identify opportunities that best fit their academic, professional and personal goals. Career and academic advisors collaborate and work together to ensure that each Roux learner can achieve their professional development goal
A co-op search is the period when the student is applying to co-op jobs, participating in interviews, and considering offers. The following requirements must be met before a student can engage in the co-op job search activities, and they must continue to be met during the entire search:
- Complete the Intent to co-op process by the deadline.
- Complete a co-op preparatory course.
- Receive authorization to begin a search by the Career & Co-op Advisor.
- Meet with their assigned Career & Co-op advisor.
- Complete the Professional Standards Agreement or Co-op Acceptance Agreement form for their program of study.
Once the student has completed the co-op preparation course or is enrolled in it, they will begin working with their Career & Co-op Advisor, meeting individually with them to review appropriate positions and apply for jobs that are of interest to the student and for which the student is qualified. Employers review resumes and select students for interviews like any job search. Employers (not the co-op advisors) make the final hiring decision
Students who do not secure a co-op placement during their first co-op search may request to extend their search by one semester. All eligibility requirements still apply, and such an extension can be requested once.
Students at the Roux have many co-op opportunities available to them in Maine, and career & co-op advisors will work closely with the student to help them secure suitable positions. In rare cases, a student may not get a co-op job in a given semester due to market conditions, economic circumstances, or other factors. In that case, and depending on their field of study and program, they may return to classes and begin the process of applying for co-op jobs for the next semester.
Most co-op positions require full-time work hours. It is possible to take a class (on-campus or online) during co-op, but not always recommended. Academic and Career & Co-ops Advisors can assist the student in determining whether it is possible to balance coursework with specific co-op positions.
Most Roux students work in Maine for co-op, and the Roux partners with over 100 Maine-based employers looking to hire young professionals from the Roux. However, Roux students can interview for any co-op job available in NUWorks. We highly recommend students ask their Career & Co-op Advisor about all options and the requirements needed. These advisors are here to help students find the best possible experiences and future career opportunities.
Co-op is the cornerstone of a Northeastern education, but it is not required for graduation in most programs. Students who choose not to pursue co-op can engage in other forms of experiential learning and participate in the career and professional development events offered to them.
Co-op is required for students enrolled in the Biotechnology and Bioinformatics programs. Students in these programs should check in with their Career & Co-op Advisor early on to determine the optimal time to go on co-op.
Yes. After a student accepts a co-op position, they must notify their co-op advisor and create an Experiential Work record in NUworks. Then, the Registrar registers them for Co-op Work Experience; this is a requirement for Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
The co-op assignment must align with academic semesters to obtain CPT approval and may not exceed eight months. International students may not work back-to-back co-op assignments. For example, if your fall co-op or internship ends in December, you cannot begin a spring co-op or internship in January. A fall co-op also cannot be extended into the spring semester.
Create a profile in NUWorks. In addition to a resume, Roux learners are asked to create a “profile” in NUworks. The profile allows students to highlight aspects of their abilities and experiences. The Roux team will use these profiles to highlight Roux learners to Maine-based employers. Each term, Maine-based employers will be sent a Roux Look Book highlighting the students enrolled in our programs.
Students who choose to take advantage of this service in NUworks could be contacted directly by employers looking for candidates with their skill sets – whether they applied to positions at this company or not.
LinkedIn is an important networking tool for creating and maintaining professional connections. We strongly encourage students to keep their profiles up to date and use it to reach out to NU alumni or other LinkedIn users. Make appointments with your Career & Co-op Advisor or Northeastern’s Employer Engagement and Career Design’s Career Studio to discuss how best to use LinkedIn to pursue professional goals—from highlighting key skills and work experiences to developing networking strategies and locating opportunities interest.
The student should contact the appropriate company to answer any questions about their offer. Also, students can contact their Career & Co-op Advisor. They can assist students in thinking through their options and are available to students at any point in the job search process.
For more information on Cooperative Education, click here.