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Although your co-op coordinator is your main resource in all phases of the co-op cycle, below are links that you may find helpful at any point in the co-op cycle: preparation, activity, or reflection.


  • Co-op Connections Office: For out-of-Boston co-ops: resources on housing, roommates, events, etc.
  • Co-op Preparation Class: Information on registration can be found on the Registrar’s site (EESH 2000).
  • Co-op Search and Work Agreement: All CSSH students who intend to go on co-op for the upcoming cycle must review the information on a PowerPoint and complete the linked Co-op Search and Work Agreement form.
  • Co-op Student Handbook 
  • CSSH Co-op Coordinators 
  • The Global Experience Office: Information on study abroad, Dialogue of Civilizations programs, and Global Co-op logistics.
  • Housing and Residential Life : Information about living on campus, as well as off campus housing. 
  • NUworks: Northeastern University’s database of career and cooperative education job opportunities. 
  • Parking Office: Students who choose to have a car on campus, or are required to have a car for their co-op job, may obtain a parking pass.  See your co-op coordinator for more details
  • Student Employment Office: Students connect with the student employment office to process co-op work study eligibility (a special financial aid designation) or when Northeastern University is their co-op employer.


Co-op is short for cooperative education at Northeastern University. For over 100 years Northeastern’s co-op program has been preparing students for the challenges of the next century. Co-op is an experiential learning program that allows students to gain up to 12 months of professional experience related to their academic or career interests. We partner with more than 2,500 employers across the United States and in 80 countries around the world. Students who participate in co-op alternate semesters of academic study with six-month terms of full-time employment. Students have the option of completing up to two co-ops over a four-year plan.

Students can go on co-op beginning in their second term during their second year at Northeastern. Co-op terms run from January – June and from July – December. Co-op is a three-step process: Preparation, Activity, and Reflection. The “Preparation” happens in a 1-credit co-op preparation class that spans the entire semester before a student wishes to go on co-op. It includes such practical things as resumé writing, selection of co-op jobs, interviewing, etc., as well as other concepts such as how to be mindful of the deeper learning opportunities available during the co-op job. The “Activity” is the six months when students are working in their co-op positions. The “Reflection” component varies in each discipline, but typically takes place both during and after a student returns from co-op.

Participation in cooperative education allows social science and humanities majors to examine a variety of issues they have learned in academic coursework. Students who complete a co-op experience also bring the knowledge they have gained in the workplace back to classroom discussions. Since the career interests of CSSH majors are diverse, the specific learning goals for students on co-op vary depending upon each individual student’s career and academic aspirations. Overall, the learning goals include:

  • Intellectual Growth (critical thinking and communication skills);
  • Academic Growth (increased knowledge of the field of interest and the development of technical skills); and
  • Personal and Professional Growth (the cultivation of ethical and social awareness, as well as career and individual development).

CSSH co-op coordinators are professionals with insight and expertise in career development and employment related to a particular major and the entry level positions most associated with that major. Co-op coordinators work with students throughout much of their time at Northeastern, developing strong, individual working relationships that often last after graduation. They provide information and knowledge about co-op job opportunities as well as the support and guidance students will need to be successful during the entire search process, co-op and subsequent reflection.

Co-op coordinators are assigned to majors. The co-op coordinators’ assignments and their contact information are available on the co-op coordinator web page.

Students are eligible to go on co-op if they meet the particular requirements of both the university and their major. Eligibility requirements include: minimum 2.00 GPA, progress toward degree in the major, successful completion of the mandatory co-op prep course, participation in advising sessions with a co-op coordinator, and meeting all deadlines for the proposed co-op session. Transfer students must also meet these requirements. Please see the Cooperative Education Student Handbook for more specific information. Disciplinary problems or unsatisfactory performance on an earlier co-op job may preclude students from participating. In addition, some co-op employers may require certain pre-employment and/or during-employment screenings, including background checks and drug testing. Failure to complete, or pass these types of qualifying screenings will impact eligibility and/or opportunity for co-op positions.

The co-op prep class is a requirement for students before they go out on co-op. It is a 1-credit class is taught by co-op faculty coordinators and provides students with the tools, skills and values necessary to obtain and excel in a co-op position. Students maintain a working relationship with their co-op coordinator throughout their time at Northeastern.

When students change their major inside of CSSH, they have the choice to stay with their current co-op coordinator or work with someone in their new discipline.  Students who change majors outside of the college will be reassigned to another co-op coordinator in that college. Students who have successfully taken, and passed, the co-op prep course do not have to take it again.

Yes, student-athletes are eligible to participate in co-op. Students should discuss their plan to participate in co-op with their coach and their co-op coordinator prior to registering for the co-op prep class to determine which six-month co-op semester would work best with their sport schedule.

Yes, Northeastern University has been granted authorization by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for students in F-1 status and by the Department of State (DOS) to issue Academic Training (AT) for students in J-1 status. International students on visas that allow practical training (such as F1 and J1 visas) are permitted to go on co-op with the appropriate authorization from OGS. Because there are very strict regulations governing co-op and practical training, it is critical for international students to discuss their situation with their co-op coordinators early. Most employers are able to hire international students, however others are not. For instance, government contractors (requiring U.S. security clearance) are unable to hire international students or even permanent residents. International students may also consider “home country co-op,” in which they return to their country of origin to work during the six-month period. This does not deduct from the student’s available practical training. All international students who are considering this option should discuss it with their coordinators and the Office of Global Services (OGS) very early in the co-op process. More detailed information for international students can be found at the OGS website.

Although Co-op is an optional program in CSSH, the majority of students participate in 1-2 co-ops. Students can also fulfill their experiential education requirement through other programs such a semester study abroad, service learning, independent study etc.

Students who live in a residence hall and accept a position local to Boston may continue living in the residence hall or their off-campus apartment. Northeastern has leased housing in other cities including New York, Chicago and Portland, ME. Please visit Beyond Boston leased housing for more details.

Most employers pay students. Compensation is set by the employer and depends on the industry, the level of the position, and the local economy. Additionally, students do not pay tuition while on co-op. Most CSSH co-ops jobs pay between $18 and $25 per hour. Certain positions in the U.S. federal government are unpaid or may offer stipends. Students who are offered unpaid co-op positions are encouraged to apply for one of the small CSSH grants that are available each cycle to off-set expenses.

The university calendar does not allow for vacations during co-op terms. Students are expected to work from the beginning of the co-op term to the end of their assignment. Students must verify their exact start and end dates with their employer and co-op coordinator. Some employers do award time off, in the form of vacation, sick, and personal days, but it is not required of an employer.

Students should arrange for personal and college-related commitments to take place outside of co-op work hours. If students need to take an occasional day off, they should work this out with their employer. If students must take unexpected, extended time off from work for special circumstances, they should contact their co-op coordinator before requesting permission from their employer. If students have military training or student-athlete team obligations that require time off from work, they should notify their co-op coordinator and their prospective employer during the interview stage of their job search.

Most students choose not take a class while on co-op, but one course is allowed if it does not interfere with a co-op’s work schedule.  It is a good idea to consult with your coordinator and academic advisor before registering for a course while you are working full-time.