An internship or cooperative education program (co-op) is a professional, career-related experience in an organizational or company setting. Students may have the opportunity to receive credit for the experience, although some students intern for the experience and contact, not for credit. Internships are often completed during the academic year in conjunction with classes or as a stand-alone experience in the summer, whereas co-ops are usually done over an extended period of time. Interns often work 10-12 hours/week during the academic year and 10-40 hours/week during the summer; co-op is often over two or more semesters, and students often work full-time. Alternative schedules are possible and depend on the needs and expectations of the parties involved, including the student intern, a faculty adviser, and the intern supervisor for the company/organization. Many departments require a student to complete 120 career-related work hours to receive 3 credits.
Cooperative Education (Co-op)
Although students are expected to take an active role in locating, applying for, and obtaining an internship site and completing the necessary requirements for academic credit, the Academic and Career Planning Center does provide several services and resources to help students find and prepare for internships and co-ops, including:
- Internship/co-op links and postings
- Resume and cover letter assistance
- Interview assistance
- Job and Internship Search Manual (download)
- Assistance with issues that arise within the workplace during the internship.
Job Posting/Company Verification Disclaimer
Read the full disclaimer which describes the shared responsibility among Penn State Career Services (including University Park and Commonwealth Campus career offices) and internship/job seekers in researching and identifying potential concerns about the legitimacy of employers and their respective postings.
For more information about internships and co-ops, contact Courtney Steding at (814) 898-6164.