Founded in 1919, Drexel's Cooperative Education program (co-op) was one of the first of its kind, and it continues to be among the largest and most renowned programs in the nation.
Co-op is NOT an Internship
No summers of coffee runs or mindless filing here! Drexel students embark on six-month periods of full-time employment in practical, discipline-specific positions consistent with their interests and abilities. Depending on their chosen program, students have the opportunity to participate in up to three different co-op positions— that’s 18 months of real work experience — during their time at Drexel, allowing them to explore their career options, strengthen their resumes and build a professional network in the process. While co-op opportunities can be both paid and unpaid, students who participate in the co-op program typically receive higher starting salaries post-graduation than graduates of other schools.
Facts & Figures
- 97% of College of Arts and Sciences students participate in co-op.
- $560 is the average weekly salary for paid co-ops in the College of Arts and Sciences.
- 38% of students accepted full-time positions with their former co-op employers after graduation.
- Students can choose from more than 1,600 employers in 33 states and 48 international locations, or conduct an independent search.
- Students in the College of Arts and Sciences have obtained co-op positions with Johnson & Johnson, Comcast, the Eagles and 76ers, the Department of Homeland Security, Marie Claire magazine, Prada, the Philadelphia Tourist Bureau, the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Philadelphia Zoo — just to name a few.
- Co-op isn’t just available in the United States; College of Arts and Sciences students have worked at organizations including the United Nations Development Programme in Africa, the European Parliament, the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program in Equatorial Guinea, and Coca Cola in India.
- Co-op students are entrusted with projects vital to the day-to-day functioning of the workplace.
- Drexel's Steinbright Career Development Center (SCDC) provides students with invaluable resources, including career counseling, workshops, job fairs and résumé reviews.
How it Works
Drexel's academic calendar is based on a quarter system, and a student's co-op cycle determines which quarters he or she will participate in the co-op experience. For example, students with a fall/winter co-op cycle will work full-time during the Fall and Winter Quarters, while a student with a spring/summer co-op cycle will work full-time during the Spring and Summer Quarters. Co-op cycles are typically assigned during freshman year.
The number of co-op experiences required for graduation is determined by the student's course of study.
- Three Co-op Option (Five Years): This option includes three, six-month periods of full-time employment. At the start of the sophomore year, students study or work through all terms, including summers.
- One Co-op Option (Four Years): This option includes just one, six-month period of full-time employment during the junior year. At the start of the sophomore year, students study or work through all terms, including summers.
- No Co-op Option (Four Years): Some programs can be completed in four years without co-op employment. Students are not required to pursue studies during any of the summer terms. Though this option is available, we strongly encourage students to take advantage of the co-op program, a key benefit of a Drexel education!
For more information about the Drexel Co-op program, visit the Steinbright Career Development Center.