Start Your Co-op Journey
Eligibility, Requirements, Schedules, FAQs, Application
Academic Eligibility & Requirements to Participate in Co-op
- You must be a declared engineering major in civil, electrical, industrial, manufacturing, or mechanical engineering in the Ingram School of Engineering.
- Must be a fulltime undergraduate student; must have a minimum of 2.25 cumulative GPA
- Must complete the online co-op application and submit all required documents
- Co-op Prep Workshops are held each semester.
Cooperative Education Courses: ENGR 3190 and 3290
ENGR 3190 and ENGR 3290 are the Cooperative Education courses currently available for spring, summer, and fall semesters.
ENGR 3190 Cooperative Education is a 1-credit course:
►FULL-TIME (≥ 35 hours/week) co-op work assignments in the summer, and for
►PART-TIME (=20-34 hours/week) co-op work assignments in the spring or fall
ENGR 3290 Cooperative Education is a 2-credit course:
►FULL-TIME (≥ 35 hours/week) co-op work assignments in the spring or fall
Students can receive a maximum of 3 credits for participating in co-op. A combination of ENGR 3190 + ENGR 3290 will satisfy the requirements for an advanced engineering elective course in the Civil, Electrical, Industrial, Manufacturing, and Mechanical Engineering Programs in the Ingram School of Engineering.
When is the best time to co-op during college? What would my schedule look like? What are my options?
Employers typically hire students who have completed their sophomore level courses for co-op. In co-op, students alternate between academic and co-op semesters.
►Back to back co-ops, reflected in schedules A, B, and C, are very popular with students and employers.
►Alternating schedules, such as D, are more traditional.
Frequently Asked Questions
- You will gain exposure to a variety of career paths for engineering majors
- You will link your classroom learning with real-world, hands-on engineering and industry experiences
- You will develop new job skills, technical skills, and work habits and work directly with professionals in your area of study
- Get paid and make money to cover your expenses; co-op earnings do not affect your FAFSA or Estimated Family Contribution
- You will earn academic credit for paid employment and maintain your full-time student status
- You will gain a competitive edge in the job market and increase potential income upon graduation
Full-time or part-time
Full-time or part-time
Paid or unpaid positions
Paid positions, frequently higher salaries, and higher levels of responsibility
Typically, a summer position; shorter and less training
Alternating semesters of school and work, thus more training and opportunities across functions
May or may not involve the university
Joint ventures between the university, employer, and student
Internships do not receive course credit in ISoE degree plans
Earn ISoE course credit
Earnings impact the FAFSA Estimated Family Contribution ((EFC)
In the student income section of the EFC worksheet for FAFSA, co-op earnings are subtracted from total student income; co-op earnings will not impact the EFC
Probably not full-time student status
Co-op students maintain their full-time student status; you will not lose financial aid
When should I start looking for co-op positions? How far ahead do employers hire students for co-ops?
Students can begin looking for co-op positions at any point as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. Many employers look to fill positions a semester to a year in advance, so advance preparation is key! Employers typically post their positions in Handshake, LinkedIn, and on many other job search platforms.
Employers who attend TXST’s Career Fairs will typically hire students for co-ops approximately three months before the co-op period for which they are hiring. For example, employers attend career fairs and interview candidates in late September and during the month of October for a January-start or May-start co-op assignment.
Yes! Some employers do not differentiate between internships and co-ops. In order for an internship to be considered as a co-op for academic credit:
- You must first meet with Dr. Michelle Londa, Cooperative Education Coordinator, to discuss the details of the internship so that she can determine if it meets co-op standards and eligibility.
- You must meet the eligibility guidelines and complete all documentation requirements for the ISoE Cooperative Education program.
- The internship position must be full-time or part-time and meet the required minimum hours and work terms to be considered as a co-op for either ENGR 3190 or ENGR 3290.
- The internship supervisor must complete and submit the Supervisor’s Evaluation form at the conclusion of the work term.
- The employer/supervisor will follow the guidelines in the ISoE Cooperative Education Employer’s Handbook.
- Consult with Dr. Michelle Londa, Cooperative Education Coordinator, or Ms. Elisa DeFord, Career Services Liaison to the CoSE, to discuss co-ops and to help write/revise your resume.
- Attend on-campus recruiting events and career fairs that are held each fall and spring semester, and participate in employer visits (both on-campus and virtual).
- Join a student organization and attend seminars and industry visits to and from prospective employers.
- Develop a LinkedIn profile; search for and contact TXST alumni at companies where you would like to work.
- Develop a Handshake profile including your resume, and search regularly for co-op opportunities.
- Research companies on the internet and apply for their open positions.
- Ask your family and friends to help you; they may work for a great company or know someone who does!
Dozens of companies have hired co-op students from the Ingram School of Engineering, including Apple, AMD, TEL, Austin Energy, Caterpillar, Dell, Emerson, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Vitesco, and Tesla – among many others!
Where are co-op positions located? What if my co-op is in another city? How do I pay for housing in another city?
Many co-op positions are located within driving distance of campus because Texas State is centrally located in the Austin-San Antonio corridor. There are also co-op positions at companies through the United States and even internationally.
You will expand your co-op opportunities by considering a variety of geographical locations outside of Texas, including international co-op positions. Many companies offer travel, relocation, and housing stipends when students do co-ops for companies outside their home state. You can always check with the recruiting contact at a company to see if they provide housing, a housing stipend, relocation assistance, and/or a travel subsidy.
The average co-op salary is $27 per hour. The current range of salaries for Ingram School of Engineering co-op students is $15 per hour up to $55 per hour. The hourly rate for any position is determined by the employer.
Please check the Student Business Services website for the most recent tuition rate information.
- If you are only enrolled in co-op and are not taking any other classes, you will not pay any additional fees.
- Students doing co-op maintain full-time student status so that you will not lose financial aid and your co-op income will not affect your FAFSA.
Students do not typically take classes during the semesters that they co-op full-time (> 35 hours per week). We encourage co-op students who are working full-time to focus on their co-op and get the most out of their time learning on the job.
Participating in co-ops can extend your graduation date. It is recommended that students to meet with an academic advisor to understand how co-op can affect their graduation date. Keep in mind, beginning employment in your chosen field early and graduate with valuable work experience that makes these types of students more marketable hires.
No. Students cannot obtain academic credit retroactively.
In order to receive academic credit, students must first complete the co-op application process, receive final approvals from Dr. Londa, and register for ENGR 3190 or 3290 before the registration deadline for each semester.
Students who want to do a co-op during their Capstone Senior Design semester(s) must schedule a meeting to first discuss this with Dr. Michelle Londa and the Capstone Senior Design Coordinator for your major.
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