Co-op offers your child(ren) the unique opportunity to combine an outstanding academic education with up to 18 months of full-time professional work experience.
We believe an informed, supportive family plays a major role in a student’s educational success. Here, we’ve complied the questions that parents most often ask about the co-op (Cooperative Education) program. To learn more, visit our How Co-op Works page and our student FAQ section.
What is the difference between an internship and a Northeastern co-op?
A Northeastern student in a co-op position works full-time (5-days a week) for a period of six-months and is usually paid, while internships are mostly part-time (sometimes for a period of 3 or 4 months) and unpaid.
If my child never had a job before, will he or she get hired?
In most cases, the answer is yes. Co-op positions are available at various levels, and your child’s coordinator will work with him or her to identify appropriate jobs.
Will it be necessary for the student to have a car in order to take a co-op position?
No. While a small number of positions do require a vehicle because of location or irregular hours (i.e. overtime), many of the co-op positions filled each year are accessible by public transportation. In addition, some employers in suburban locations provide or subsidize transportation to their company’s facility.
Can my child live at home while on co-op?
Yes. If the co-op position is close to your hometown, he or she is welcome to live at home.
What about health insurance while students are on co-op?
Students on co-op are still considered full-time students, therefore, his or her health insurance remains in effect. If your child is enrolled in the University student health plan, coverage continues during co-op.
What kind of support will my child receive on co-op?
In addition to an academic adviser, each student works one-on-one with a co-op coordinator. He or she specializes in your child’s major and helps your child prepare for co-op, find a job, and reflect on the experience to get the most from it. In addition, co-op is embedded into our curriculum and scheduling.
Can I talk with my child’s co-op coordinator?
We encourage parents to foster independence in their child by encouraging them to be proactive during the co-op process and bring up any concerns with their co-op coordinator. However, should you have a question or concern, you are welcome to contact their co-op coordinator.
What are the additional costs?
In the most popular track, students complete three co-ops and their academic coursework in five years. However, a Northeastern education does not cost more than a traditional four-year college (with the exception of room and board). Other schools may charge tuition for internship credit. In addition, students graduate Northeastern with up to eighteen months of full-time work experience already on their resumes – a key asset in their search for a job or applications to graduate school. Students may also pursue other tracks with fewer or no co-ops.
Will my child receive a wage on co-op?
Co-op wages are set by employers and depend on the industry, the level of the position, the student’s experience, and market conditions. Northeastern encourages co-op employers to pay an hourly wage, and the majority of our employers do. However, not all industries or employers can or do pay. To view average wages (or salary based on a 6-month period) for students enrolled in Northeastern’s various colleges, please visit “Co-op by College.”
Is a co-op job guaranteed?
No. A student’s co-op coordinator will make every reasonable effort to help students find a position, but because of job-market or other external conditions, Northeastern cannot guarantee that every student will have a job during each of their co-op terms.