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Co-op Program

Cooperative education, or "co-op," offers the opportunity for engineering students to learn, earn money, and gain practical experience.

In the Co-op Program, you alternate periods of full-time study with periods of full-time employment at college-approved employers. The synergy between classroom learning and workplace learning is an excellent preparation for engineering careers in the 21st century.

Co-op provides you with the skills, experience, and confidence to make on-the-job contributions as you work with senior engineers and scientists on challenging design projects. You will learn the value of teamwork, an increasingly vital aspect of today's workplace.

Design your future

Co-op is an exciting learning journey that lets you:

  • test-drive your chosen career
  • gain first-hand experience
  • improve your opportunities for employment, often with a higher starting salary

Co-op incorporates about 12 months of full-time work throughout a 5-year undergraduate education plan.


Consider the benefits of the Co-op Program, where you will:

  • earn a professional salary to help pay for your college expenses
  • gain at least a year's professional experience for your resume
  • be able to anticipate a starting salary that will likely be higher than that of your 4-year classmates
  • gain experience working in technical teams outside the classroom

As a co-op employee, you will establish a proven track record with your employer—and be able to demonstrate commitment, professionalism, and maturity on the job. Upon graduation, you may have the opportunity to continue as a full-time professional with the same employer.

While you will enter the job market a year later than your 4-year classmates, you'll have more experience and more relevant accomplishments that employers will value.


The program is optional and is open to qualified students in civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.

You must:

  • have a strong academic record
  • be able to balance priorities while handling a workload
  • be able to focus on both academic and professional goals
  • recognize the value of spending 5 years in school and at work

Work placements begin only after a student has completed the "calculus-ready" sophomore year.

Learn more

Contact the Dean's Office to learn more about co-op.

Employers decide which student candidates to interview either on campus or at the work site.

Application to the Co-op Program does not guarantee a job placement. You must be registered as a full-time student at UMass Dartmouth until graduation. You must meet grade point average (GPA) and academic requirements to participate in co-op. Continued performance at this level and completion of all applicable course requirements are required.

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