Northeastern University's Co-op Program: What to Know

Everything You Need To Know About Northeastern’s Co-op Program

Everything You Need To Know About Northeastern’s Co-op Program

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What is Northeastern's co-op program? What is the criteria for enrollment and how does it boost your job prospects? We answer all your questions related to the program.

Madhuwrita Nandi
Updated on:  12 Sep 2023  | Reviewed By: 
| 19.9K | 6  min read

Studying abroad is a life-changing experience, particularly for the exposure it gives a student to the industry even during his/her studying years. ‘Experiential Learning’ is a program which is widespread among foreign universities and is the best path for international students to develop industry skills and get employment after graduation. One of the most popular programs is Northeastern’s co-op program. 


What’s Experiential Learning?

Before getting deep into the co-op program at Northeastern University, let us first know what experiential training is.

Also known as cooperative education, the experiential training enhances what you study on-campus with real-world experience by allowing you to work full-time during the degree. 

The Northeastern's Co-op program is known as one of the top co-op programs providing experiential training to students. Majority of College of Engineering students complete 2 or 3 co-ops during their course. 

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What is the Co-op Program at Northeastern University?

The Northeastern co-op program alternates study semesters with full-time work. In simpler words, you gain industry experience as part of the degree’s curriculum. This program is available in almost all fields of study provided by the university including humanities, engineering, and business. The objective of the co-op program at Northeastern University is to give a student the opportunity:

  • list items To explore different career paths.
  • list items To establish connections in the professional field.
  • list items To acquire practical knowledge and skill to build a foundation for a solid career in the future.
  • Effectively, the co-op broadens the perspective of a student by giving them the chance to learn beyond the comforts of a classroom.


    Understanding the Northeastern’s College of Engineering Co-op Program

    The Northeastern's College of Engineering provides a co-op program for both undergraduate and graduate students. A student pursuing graduate studies may be able to complete 1 co-op program during their study period. If you enrol yourself in a co-op program and are studying a course that is 4 years long, you will have 2 co-ops. For a course that is 5 years long, you can complete 3 co-ops. 


    Although the co-op at Northeastern University is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that international students enrol in it because it will give them a chance to apply their knowledge in a real-life context. Apart from gaining solid industry training and experience, one gets to establish contacts and networks from the industry which are a plus point with respect to employment opportunities in the future.


    Moreover, students learn more skills while working on a co-op program, which can then be integrated into the following semesters of the academic program. Essentially, you get to know how “theory and practice” work together.

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    Salient Features of the College of Engineering Co-Op Program 

  • list items Under the co-op educational program, undergraduate and graduate students will get the chance to work full-time for a period of 4-8 months. 
  • list items They are paid positions where you work on real-world projects.
  • list items The position has to relate to your academics or connected to your career interest. 
  • list items The co-op is open globally; you can work in the US or elsewhere.
  • list items You don’t have to pay tuition when you are in a co-op.

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    How Does the Northeastern University Co-op Program Work? 

  • list items The university provides complete support to candidates who wish to enrol themselves in the co-op program. Students will be connected with co-op coordinator and academic advisors who will be guiding them throughout the process and also help them gain clarity as to which field they should take up the program in.
  • list items Co-op students will be trained in resume writing, interview preparation, job search tactics, professionalism, and so on to help them effectively look for employers for the program. 
  • list items Co-op students will be able to search for jobs with the help of Northeastern’s internal jobs database NUcareers. Apart from this, they are free to network and establish contacts as well as use other platforms as well like LinkedIn and other job portals. All this while, they need to stay in touch with their coordinators. Employers will contact the candidates directly. 
  • list items Once the co-op assignment has ended, you have to explain how it fits in with your academic studies by reflecting upon the experience. The process of reflection can include: Written Assignments/PPTs One-on-one meetings with the co-op coordinator Online reflections on your co-op experience

    Query on Northeastern Co op Program Answered by a NEU Alumni



    Which Courses within Northeastern’s College of Engineering come under the Co-op Program?

  • list items Bioengineering
  • list items Chemical Engineering
  • list items Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • list items Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • list items Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
  • list items Information Systems
  • list items Cyber-Physical Systems
  • list items Software Engineering Systems
  • list items Telecommunication Networks
  • list items Data Architecture and Management
  • Sprinkles

    What are Some of the Employers of the Northeastern College Co-op Program?

      Akamai Technologies   Ericsson Inc Microsoft



      NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory  



    Oracle Corporation




    Bose Corporation



    Cisco Systems




      Johnson & Johnson  



    What is Northeastern’s Co-op Eligibility and Requirements?

    The Requirements You Need To Fulfil Are - 

  • list items Be in a full-time degree; graduate certificate programs are not eligible.
  • list items Have the minimum set GPA. For an undergraduate degree, it is 2.0 for domestic co-op and 2.5 for international co-op.
  • list items Have earned the minimum semester hours of credit.
  • list items Meet the minimum IELTS or TOEFL score. 
  • list items Have no incomplete courses, disciplinary issues or academic probation.
  • list items There should be one on-ground course remaining after the completion of the last co-op.
  • list items Undergraduate students should have completed the Introduction to Cooperative Education or Career Management for Engineers and gained grade D or higher in it. 
  • list items As an international student, you will need to have a valid I-20 and be authorised by the Office of Global Services to participate in the co-op program. 
  • Do keep in mind that the Co-op at Northeastern is not guaranteed. You need to take active responsibility and engage in the search process to be hired by a co-op employer. 
    Note: Detailed eligibility criteria and minimum scores needed to be eligible for the co-op for each program can be found here for graduate students and here for undergraduate students.


    What are the Benefits of Enrolling in the Northeastern’s Co-op Program?

    Northeastern University says that the co-op is central to the College of Engineering student experience because it imparts skills and expertise like none other. Upon graduating, the student has a highly competitive edge over the others when searching for a job.
    Besides an unparalleled career preparation well before you graduate, a few additional advantages of the co-op are:

  • list items You can explore long-term goals, i.e., you can decide if you wish to study further and which field in particular.
  • list items You can discover the various fields of engineering and a plethora of jobs that the present, continually changing world presents. 
  • list items For international students, it is a chance to work for US companies.
  • list items You not only gain professional experience but also financially support your degree as you earn a salary during the co-op.
  • list items Get a job offer even before completing your degree. 
  • Sprinkles

    Summing Up the Co-op at Northeastern University

    In 2019 alone, the co-op program at the Graduate School of Engineering at Northeastern placed one thousand students in technical positions spanning the world. Majority of them were international students. 

    One example is Vaishali Tripathi, an MS in Information Systems student at the university. Vaishali earned a full-time job offer from Amazon after completing her co-op there in December!

    In a gist, in an era where starting a career in your field of interest is getting increasingly hard, the experiential learning co-op program provides an invaluable chance to kickstart your career in the right direction, something a student studying abroad should not lose out on.

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