Cooperative Education

All students pursuing the B.S. degree are required to participate in three semesters of co-op. This program sends students out for an entire semester to gain practical engineering experience in a professional setting; this is an important (paid) supplement a students on campus academic experience.

Today, most engineering schools across the country do not require a co-op. At those schools, students enroll for the traditional two semesters (Fall and Spring) and then spend an inordinate amount of time trying to line up a meaningful Summer engineering internship.

Here in the Speed School, you don’t have to worry about that! Our students are on campus for three semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer) per academic year but are out on co-op three times, throughout their four years. And the Speed School sets up your internship for you! This leaves you to focus on engineering – not job hunting.

In the past five years, we have sent students out to co-op at over 145 different companies. These include Cummins, Exxon, Ford, General Electric (both Appliances and Aviation), Hamilton-Sunstrand, Lexmark, Samtec, and UPS.

Every Speed School student is required to complete a three semester cooperative internship or receive credit for equivalent experience through the advanced standing process. The semester prior to the first co-op period, the student must register for a non-credit co-operative education seminar, ME 288. This course includes information about preparing for interviews, placement procedures, and preparing co-op reports.

Advanced Standing for Co-op

If a student has technical work experience prior to enrolling in Speed School that seems equivalent to one or more cooperative internships, they may apply for advanced standing credit. The student should first discuss the details of the experience with the staff of the Cooperative Education Office. If the result of this discussion is favorable, the student should then complete an Application for Advanced Standing for Co-op form, which will be further evaluated.

Attending Classes During Internships

Speed School students occasionally wish to take a course during an internship. If so, several restrictions apply:

  1. A student may not enroll for more than 4 semester hours while on co-op.
  2. The student must obtain prior approval for the course using the form entitled "Permission to Take a Course While on Co-op."
  3. The course must meet at a time that does not interfere with the duties of the internship. If the course meets during normal work hours, a letter of permission from the employer is required.
  4. The student is responsible for obtaining a Visiting Student letter from the Office of Academic Services if enrolling at an institution other than the University of Louisville.
  5. Students attending an institute other than the University of Louisville during the co-op period are responsible for seeing that an official transcript from the host institution is forwarded to the University Registrar's Office.