In Northeastern’s signature co-op ecosystem, students undertake six-month research and work experiences with businesses, non-profits, and government agencies in Boston, across the United States, and around the world.
In the co-op model, students are constantly preparing, acting, and reflecting. This cycle begins with a one-credit prep course, in which a co-op coordinator teaches students to build an experiential approach to learning, with the goal of mindfully connecting their co-op positions to their courses of study and their professional aspirations. Next, students take their work from campus learning spaces, apply it outside of the classroom in a variety of environments, and then bring that knowledge and those skills back to our campus learning spaces.
Integrating Co-op with Academic Planning
Northeastern students begin by working with their academic advisors to plan how co-op fits best into their Northeastern pathway. Students take a one-credit prep course taught by a co-op coordinator and then begin to alternate between full-time academic classes and full-time co-op semesters. Students typically work six-month assignments. The exact start and end dates are determined by the employer in collaboration with the co-op coordinator.
- Spring co-op: beginning of January through the last day of June
- Fall co-op: beginning of July through the last day of December
Northeastern students begin by working with their academic advisor to plan how co-op fits best into their Northeastern pathway. Students take a one-credit prep course, and then begin to alternate between full-time academic and full-time co-op semesters. Students typically work six-month assignments. The exact start and end dates are determined by the employer in collaboration with the co-op coordinator. CSSH Co-op coordinator offices are located in 180 Renaissance Park.
Through co-op, graduate students gain work and research experience and apply their knowledge and skills across contexts. Students who participate in co-op also engage in a co-curricular, interdisciplinary experiential integration course. Master’s students have participated in co-op at the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General, Indigo Agriculture, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), and many more.
- While on co-op, students maintain their status as a full-time student, which includes continued health insurance and access to NU facilities.
- Co-op can extend time-to-degree by 6 months.
- CSSH master’s co-op requires that students commit to full-time employment for 6 months. The two co-op cycles run from January-June or July-December.
- Students prepare for co-op beginning early in the semester before they plan to go on co-op (in early September for spring co-ops and in early January for fall co-ops).
- CSSH graduate students may choose to take an additional graduate course while on co-op.
- Graduate students can only go on co-op after they have completed two semesters of coursework. They may search and apply for co-op positions during their second semester of coursework if they meet eligibility requirements.
- GPA requirements vary by program: 3.000 is the college minimum, however, some departments require a higher GPA for eligibility to participate in co-op.
- International students can participate in co-op as curricular practical training (CPT), but may do so only after they have completed their first full academic year. This means they may only go on co-op in year 2.
- Students cannot go on co-op once they have completed all of their required graduate courses. They must have a curricular requirement left in order to go on co-op. They may take their last curricular requirement (online or on ground) while they are on co-op or when they return to campus after completing their co-op.
- Students meet with the graduate program director to discuss their interests and eligibility and to determine whether/how co-op fits within the curriculum.
- Students are required to complete a mandatory online information session.
- After completing the online info session, students will be prompted to submit the Co-op Search and Work Agreement.
- Students complete two mandatory online workshops: one on resume writing and the second on interviewing.
- After they complete the online resume writing workshop, students schedule a meeting with their co-op coordinator to review their resume and goals for co-op. They can schedule a meeting in the advising section of the myNortheastern portal.
- Students get approval from the co-op coordinator to begin searching job postings.
- Students select jobs for which to apply, and employers choose whom they want to interview and hire based on skills and qualifications necessary for the job.
- Once a student accept a position, they cannot renege on the offer and must commit to working the full 6-month co-op for the employer.
- Registration for the Co-op Work Experience (XXXX 6964) is handled by Registrar’s Office. It occurs 3 weeks prior to the start of the term and a co-op job has to have been secured. This course triggers full-time academic status. Note: all policy school programs will be registered for PPUA 6964.
- Co-op work experience is graded on a pass/fail basis by the co-op coordinator.
- Registration for the required Experiential Integration course (INSH 6864) is handled by the Graduate Office. This is a co-curricular 1 sh course that is taken twice; and students will be enrolled once a job is secured and as per the timeline below:
January – June Co-op: Register for INSH 6864 in Spring and Summer 1
July – December Co-op: Register for INSH 6864 in Summer 2 and Fall
Important Note: Students must still complete all other curricular requirements associated with their program, so electing to add co-op to the program will increase the SH required for the degree by TWO billable hours.