Engineering Co-Op Program

The University of South Alabama Engineering Cooperative Education Program provides an opportunity for students to alternate time in the classroom with periods of paid, full-time, career-related work experience. Work experience may take place in industry or government agencies.

Please contact USA Career Services at (251) 460-6188 for more information regarding the Engineering Co-op Program.

Benefits Of Engineering Co-Op Education
USA students gain valuable work experience through the Engineering Cooperative Education Program. Students experience work in a "real world" setting with an employer where their contributions make a difference.

  • The Engineering Co-op Program allows students to interact with professionals in their field of study on a daily basis. This experience can help students decide if they have chosen the "right" major.
  • Engineering co-op students integrate classroom theory with their work experience to enhance performance in both settings.
  • Co-op students are compensated for their work. Salaries paid to students while on co-op are typically 65-70 percent of the salary of new engineering professionals.
  • Successful completion of an Engineering Co-op Program is recognized as a significant achievement among engineering professionals.
  • Starting salaries for engineering co-op graduates are typically higher than non Co-op graduates. Employers often pay higher starting salaries as credit for one year's industrial work experience.
  • Engineering Co-op students obtain work experience that sets them apart from others as they enter the job market upon graduation. Many engineering co-op students receive full-time job offers from their employers.

  Engineering Co-Op Requirements

  • Prior to the first work experience, students must complete two or three semesters of study for a total of 24 credit hours toward the engineering degree. Classes must include Calculus I (MA 125) and Calculus II (MA 126). No student may initiate participation after the start of the senior year.
  • All students must be in good academic standing with the University and have at least a 2.30 institutional grade-point average. This GPA must be maintained for the duration of participation in the program.
  • A completed resume must be uploaded to Handshake and approved before employment interviews may begin.
  • Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum of 12 credit hours each semester when in class.
  • All students must register for the appropriate Cooperative Education (COE) course each work term. Course listings are found in the USA Bulletin under Co-op.

* Although no credit hours are assigned to Cooperative Education courses, a grade of Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U) is assigned at the end of each work term and will appear on the official University transcript.

Five Year Plan

Engineering Co-op, an optional program at USA , entails work assignments one semester in duration beginning typically in the third or fourth semester of enrollment in the five-year engineering curriculum. Work assignments alternate with class semesters until three work semesters, or 52 weeks, are completed.

Students may begin their first work rotation in a Fall, Spring, or Summer semester. Students entering USA as first-time freshmen in a Fall semester will follow one of the two paths shown. Transfer students will begin work rotations after all program requirements are met.

An Academic Advisor in the College of Engineering will help students establish a degree plan that allows the smooth integration of classes and work. The shortest path to their engineering degree will be developed for each engineering co-op student regardless of the semester of entry at USA . All students must consult their Academic Advisor to establish a complete degree plan before beginning the first work rotation. The application and preparation process may begin when 12 credit hours are completed.

Path 1
   Fall Spring  Summer 
Year 1  C C* 
Year 2 
Year 3 
Year 4 
Year 5  C* 

Path 2
   Fall Spring  Summer 
Year 1  C
Year 2 
Year 3 
Year 4  C* 
Year 5   


C=Class; W=Work; C*=Class Optional