Student-found or Direct Hire Co-ops

Position Requirements

If you are offered a co-op position outside of the Co-op Program interview process, as a direct hire, and would like to earn technical elective credits toward your degree while you work, the following requirements must be met:

  • You must be an upper division undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota in one of the majors the Co-op Program serves.
  • You must work for at least two semesters (a third semester is optional).
    • You must work full-time during those two or three semesters.
    • You cannot work only summer semesters. At least one semester must be a fall or spring semester.
  • The position must be related to your major.
  • You must be paid a competitive wage.
  • The Co-op fee must be paid by your employer ($800 per working semester). This fee is not the same as the tuition fee paid by students for enrolling in the Co-op courses.
    • Not all employers are willing to pay this fee. Please contact the Co-op Program before you accept a position to see if there is an agreement already on file, or if your potential employer has refused to participate in the Co-op Program.
    • More information can be found on the Employer's Direct Hire webpage.

All students, regardless of how their co-op position was acquired, must enroll in the Co-op courses and complete the assignments in a timely manner.  The Co-op courses and work semesters follow the University's semester calendar. See the "Working Students" section on this website.

Required Paperwork

  1. Submit the Student-found Co-op Inquiry Form
    1. The Co-op Program will review your information and student record and let you know if you should move onto steps 2 and 3. You will be contacted via email within one business week. If you do not hear back quickly enough for your particlar situation, please email for expedited service on this matter.
  2. Have your employer submit the Employer Agreement, agreeing to pay the Co-op fee if they are not a part of our program yet.
  3. Compete the Job Status Form.
  4. Follow the instructions under the "Newly Hired Students" section for the rest of the required paperwork instructions.

All of the paperwork must be completed before the start of your first working semester.

Turning an Internship into a Co-op

If you have been working at an engineering internship position and would like to turn it into a co-op position, you need to:

  • Meet the requirements listed above
  • Make an appointment with the Director of the Co-op Program, Dr. Frank Kelso, to discuss the feasibility of this transition as soon as possible as the coursework cannot be done retroactively.