What is Cooperative Education (Co-op)?

The Co-op Program is sponsored by the University Career Center. It allows you to gain career-related experience before you graduate and build an impressive resume that makes you extremely marketable to employers. Your co-op employer also has the opportunity to evaluate your potential as a future permanent employee. Students who participate in co-op traditionally are highly recruited and receive higher starting salaries than other graduates.

Co-ops are paid work experiences in a professional setting with progressive responsibility. You must work full-time for three semesters, typically alternating each semester. You may also choose to do back-to-back co-ops by combining a spring or fall semester of work with a summer semester of work.

Following each work experience you will be required to enroll in a one-credit hour co-op seminar course. Depending on your department's policy, you may be eligible to earn three credit hours of academic credit by successfully completing the co-op program, which is noted on your transcript. Successful completion of co-op may exempt you from one year of work experience under the supervision of a Professional Engineer for the state of North Carolina.  (This is an attractive benefit for students who are planning to become licensed as Professional Engineers in the state of North Carolina).

What are the eligibility requirements?

You must be enrolled full-time, in good academic standing, and maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA. You must also commit to working three full-time semesters with the same company. Finally, you must pay a $60 co-op fee during the work semesters to maintain your full-time student status enabling you to use university housing, health center, and financial aid.

You may participate in the co-op program following your freshman year. Transfer students must complete 13 credit hours at UNC Charlotte prior to applying to the co-op program.

This page is for references purposes only to obtain the latest information please visit the University Career Center in Atkins 150 or online at  General questions about 49erships or Co-ops can also be addressed to Linda Thurman in Smith 228 or at or 704‑687‑5024.