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Cooperative Education (Co-op) for Master’s Students

Experience Co-op as a CSSH Master’s Student

All CSSH master’s programs offer an optional Cooperative Education Experience (“Co-op”) to eligible students.illustration of virtuous cycle of study and experience

Cooperative education is central to both the Northeastern experience and to the College of Social Sciences and Humanities Experiential Liberal Arts framework. Northeastern’s signature co-op ecosystem provides master’s students with six-month work experiences in businesses, non-profits, and government agencies in Boston, across the United States, and around the world. Through co-op, graduate students gain work and research experience, apply their knowledge and skills across contexts. Students also participate in a co-curricular, interdisciplinary experiential integration course. CSSH 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.

Quick Facts

  1. While on co-op, master’s students maintain their status as a full-time student, which includes continued health insurance and access to NU facilities.
  2. Co-op can extend time-to-degree by 6 months.
  3. 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.
  4. Students prepare for co-op beginning early in the semester before they plan to go on co-op.
    • Spring co-ops: January – June: ~ early September
    • Fall co-ops: July – December: ~ early January
  5. CSSH graduate students can take an additional graduate course while on co-op.


  1. 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 after completing one full semester of courses in their master’s program at Northeastern.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Coursework and Co-op Work Experience

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.


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 after completing one full semester of courses in their master’s program at Northeastern.

  1. Students meet with the graduate program director to discuss their interests and eligibility and to determine whether/how co-op fits within the curriculum.
  2. Students are required to attend a mandatory information session (offered at the beginning of each semester).
  3. Students are required to submit the Co-op Search and Work Agreement by the stated deadline. The Graduate Office will send a link to the Agreement and notification of deadlines.
  4. Students attend two mandatory workshops: one on resume writing and the second on interviewing.
  5. After they attend the resume writing workshop, students must schedule a meeting with their co-op coordinator to review their resume.
    • They can schedule a meeting in the advising section of the myNortheastern portal.
  6. Students get approval from the co-op coordinator to begin searching job postings on NUcareers.
  7. 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.
  8. Once students accept a position, they cannot renege on the offer and must commit to working the full 6-month co-op for the employer.

Contact List

ProgramGraduate Program DirectorCo-op Coordinator (s)
MA EconomicsJun Ma (ju.ma@northeastern.edu)Linnea Basu
Steve Williams
Rebecca Westerling
MA EnglishRyan Cordell (r.cordell@northeastern.edu)Lisa Doherty
MA HistoryMartin Blatt (m.blatt@northeastern.edu)Richard Conley
MA International AffairsGavin Shatkin (g.shatkin@northeastern.edu)Joani Lamachia
Jon Andrew
Rebecca Westerling
MA Political ScienceMai'a Cross (m.cross@northeastern.edu)Eric Winter
MPA Public AdministrationChris Bosso (c.bosso@northeastern.edu) Eric Winter
MPP Public PolicyChris Bosso (c.bosso@northeastern.edu)Eric Winter
MS Criminology & Criminal JusticeGreg Zimmerman (g.zimmerman@northeastern.edu)Michelle Zaff
MS Security & Resilience StudiesDaniel Aldrich (d.aldrich@northeastern.edu)Eric Winter
MS Urban Planning and PolicyGavin Shatkin (g.shatkin@northeastern.edu)Eric Winter
MS Urban InformaticsDan O'Brien (d.obrien@northeastern.edu)Eric Winter