Students Advantages

Cooperative Education, or "co-op" as it is widely known, is a planned and supervised program of alternating periods of classroom instruction with work experience in industry or government that relates to the student's field of engineering study.


The co-op program is designed to enhance the learning process.
  • Adds relevance to education.
  • Develops job-related skills and knowledge.
  • Develops maturity and social skills.
  • Provides useful employment and networking contacts.
  • Provides added financial support.
  • Provides extensive job search process experience.

Advantages to the Employer

  • Access to a skilled short-term, cost-effective workforce.
  • Reduction of recruiting and training costs.
  • Continuous coverage of positions throughout the year.
  • Enhancements of community relationship and image.

Advantages to the University

  • Broadens the education process.
  • Keeps faculty informed of current technology and applications.
  • Enhances graduate placement.
  • Promotes university-employer relations.

Program Requirements

Cooperative Education is mandatory for all engineering students at the University of Louisville. Part of the requirements for a Master of Engineering or Bachelor of Science degree is one year's work experience which translates to three alternating semesters of cooperative education completed during the junior and senior years.

Co-op at Speed School is an academic program whereby students receive two semester hours of credit for each cooperative education period. Students return to the same employer so that an increased level of responsibility, new skills and greater knowledge can be realized each work term.

To qualify for admission to the co-op program, students must declare an engineering major, be admitted into their major department, be in good academic standing and maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher, depending on departmental requirements. The semester prior to going on the first co-op, students must take a 0-credit hour cooperative education seminar in which students are assisted in the job search process and are provided with the fundamentals of career modeling.

Students alternate periods of classroom instruction and co-op as shown in the following schedule:


J.B. Speed School of Engineering's cooperative education program is one of the oldest (1926) and most widely recognized engineering co-op programs among employers. Cooperative education employment encompasses small, medium and large companies as well as governmental agencies located throughout the United States. Local and regional employers have the highest concentration of Speed School co-ops; however, many employers who participate in our program are global companies. While on the job, students are supervised by their employer and are subject to all policies and procedures of their respective employer.


Students are paid by their employers at an hourly rate determined by the employer. Each employer decides whether or not to offer company benefits to cooperative education students while they are on co-op.

Special Course Request While on Cooperative Education Assignment

Academic policy states that co-op work experience is full time. Taking academic classes on co-op is not allowed. See your co-op advisor for more information.