CO-OP vs Internship

Cooperative Education Internship
Goal To provide students with practical experience related to their major that will enhance and complement their classroom learning To provide students with practical experience related to their major that will enhance and complement their classroom learning
Number of Semesters Two or three semesters of full time work alternating with semesters in school or two or more consecutive semesters of work on a part-time basis One semester, either full-time or part-time
Year in School Usually start during late sophomore or early junior year, but can begin as early as freshman year Usually participate during late junior or early senior year, but can begin as early as freshman year

Work
Assignments

Student assignments often increase in difficulty and responsibility as the student progresses through their college education and the student may work in different functional areas Students will work in the same position at the same level of difficulty throughout their work assignment
Training More training provided by employer than an internship Less training provided by employer than cooperative education
Pay All positions are paid Some positions are paid, others are volunteer, or unpaid
Academic Credit Students receive a transcript notation for zero credit hours that maintains their status as a full-time student Students may or may not receive credit from their academic department
Post-Graduation Opportunities Students frequently start at higher salaries and higher levels of responsibility than interns Students have an edge over students without experiential education
Work Assignment Supervision Students are supervised and evaluated at the work site by the employer Students are supervised and evaluated at the work site by the employer