Five students around a table, working on a group project.  White board has lots of notes.

The possibilities are limitless and the experience is invaluable.

The optional cooperative education experience, commonly known as a "co-op," provides hands on experience in industry and directly relates to academic major.  

Rensselaer's highly-regarded Co-op Program offers students the opportunity to put their classroom skills to work and explore their career paths before graduation.  Students can choose to work for large corporations or help start-ups get off the ground.

A Co-op is a full time, paid experience related to a student’s major/field of study that lasts a minimum of six months and upwards of eight months.

A Co-op is open to all students, all class years, except Freshman, with at least one semester of full time academic study remaining in degree program. Co-ops are traditionally full-time, paid positions.

Search for Co-op opportunities or make an appointment with a CCPD counselor through Handshake.

Co-op Quick Facts

Undergraduate  |  Graduate


  1. Download the Experiential Learning Guide
  2. Complete the Undergraduate Work Plan
    1. Offer letter
    2. Approval signature from academic advisor
    3. Approval signature from co-op counselor
    4. Approval signature from ISSS (if applicable)
  3. Forward a copy of official offer letter, resume, and Undergraduate Work Plan to
  4. Attend a required co-op briefing (posted in Handshake)


  1. Download a copy of the Co-op Guide
  2. Forward a copy of official offer letter and resume to
  3. Attend a required co-op briefing (posted in Handshake)

Offer letters must be on company letterhead or from an official company email and contain:

  • Start- and end-date
  • Rate of pay
  • Description of the work
  • Hours
  • Salary
  • Supervisor's Name and contact information
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