Process and FAQ

FAQ

What is internship and co-op?

An academic program. Work in a student’s major field of study. Co-op: Paid experience-Multiple work terms (At least two consecutive semesters). Internship: Paid or unpaid experience-usually one semester.

How does co-op work?

Students participate in co-op in one of two methods: Parallel: Students work part-time year round while attending school full time. Alternating: Students work as full-time co-ops/interns every other term, alternating terms of full-time work with terms of full-time school.

How does internship work?

Generally, students intern part-time while attending school full-time. Sometimes students intern full-time during summer or via special internship programs (e.g., The Washington Center Internship Program).

Who qualifies?

Enrolled full time or part-time at UCF as degree seeking graduate or undergraduate. Completed a minimum of 20 college semester hours demonstrating a readiness to add another commitment to student’s schedule. Maintain a 2.5/4.0 GPA. Co-op: Able to work at least 2 full semesters. Internship: Able to work at least 1 full semester prior to graduation.

What are the benefits of internship and co-op?

Clarifies career goals. Provides major-related work experience. Offers competitive salaries. Enhances prospects for employment upon graduation. Applies classroom theory to a realistic work setting. Grants access to state-of-the-art techniques and equipment. Opens opportunities for professional networking.

Does internship or co-op delay graduation?

Most students who participate in an internship or co-op graduate in the same time period as those who do not by including summers in their academic schedule. In the case of co-op, those who do take an extra semester find that they save time in job searches after graduation because they are offered professional positions with their internship or co-op employer or employers who give preference to students with professional experience.

How do you apply for an internship or co-op?

Complete the Application online. You will receive an email informing you on your next steps.

What do I do once I get a job?

Contact your Experiential Learning faculty member and let them know the good news. At your registration interview your Experiential Learning faculty member registers you in the internship/co-op course and introduces you to the course assignments. Maintain contact with Experiential Learning faculty member throughout the semester. Complete all assignments..

 

What is the difference between an “internship” or a “co-op” position?

Though the terms sometimes are used interchangeably by employers when referring to students working professionally in their major, there are some differences. Internships occur over a single semester, usually towards the end of a degree program, allow for earning degree credit for the experience, and may be paid or unpaid. Co-ops work multiple semesters, are always paid, and may or may not receive academic credit, depending on their major.

 

May I earn academic credit for co-op-sponsored CPT?

Co-op for credit is available for students when it will count in their degree programs, either as a general elective or a departmental elective. This is decided in each academic department, usually by an advisor, so getting co-op credit depends upon your major or study program. Students may earn from one to three hours of degree credit for what they learn during each semester they work. A zero credit course is available for students who are not able to earn academic credit in their degree program. This course will show up as an official co-op course on the transcript.

Do I pay anything for co-op?

When you are in co-op, you are registered for a co-op course each semester you work. If you are enrolled for one or more credit hours during the semesters, you do not pay a fee for your co-op course. If you take co-op for credit however, you do pay a fee for the credit as you would for any other credit course. If you are taking no other classes except co-op, you must pay a fee comparable to one hour at the in-state fee level.

Do I need to complete a minimum of 20 UCF semester hours to qualify for co-op?

If you are entering UCF as a freshman or as a first time student in the U.S. in a graduate program, you must complete 20 hours at UCF to qualify. However, if you have already earned 20 semester hours in the U.S., in any higher education institution, you already have enough credits to qualify. Employers prefer students to have completed a year of college work before they offer them professional work experience.

What salaries do co-op (CPT) students usually earn?

Hourly salaries vary both by major field and class standing.

How long does it take to get hired?

Some students get hired within the first week of applying for a position, while others may wait weeks or months, depending upon how quickly employers act upon the referrals they receive. There is no guarantee that a student will obtain a co-op position, but given enough time, most students find an appropriate position.

Do employers offer their co-ops or interns professional positions when they graduate?

Oftentimes, they do. Most co-op employers use their co-op program to identify and train students for career-track positions within their companies.