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Why should I do a co-op or internship?

The Cooperative Education and Internship Program offers students the opportunity to explore engineering careers and develop engineering skills through periods of professional practice while they are still students. Supervised professional engineering-related experiences in business, industry, education, or government expose students to the challenges and opportunities of the day-to-day life of an engineer. Students with co-op and/or internship experience are sought by employers and usually receive higher starting salaries upon graduation. A portion of registered co-op and/or internship experience before graduation can be credited toward the experience requirements for professional licensure in Iowa and some other states.

Qualified students may choose to alternate periods of on-campus study with full-time work experience, or they may elect to work half time while taking at least 6 s.h. of classes. The co-op experience may cover one to three semesters, a series of summer placements, or a single summer. Students may apply to the program following their first year. Academic record and class status are considered in acceptance decisions. Interested students and employers or organizations must register with the College of Engineering director of professional development. For details, see Engineering Professional Development.