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How Co-op Works

Under the Drexel Co-op plan, students attend classes full-time freshman year. Then, depending on their academic program and co-op option, they alternate six-month periods of full-time study with full-time employment at University-approved employers. 

Co-op Cycles

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.


The Co-op Process

Many business, governmental, and other institutions embrace and nurture the fresh perspectives, drive, and dedication typical of a Drexel student. Drexel's Steinbright Career Development Center (SCDC) works with these organizations to ensure an optimal experience for both student and employer. SCDC also prepares students for co-op positions by:

  • Maintaining a database of available positions
  • Providing career counseling, workshops, job fairs, and résumé reviews
  • Helping to match prospective employers and employees during the interview process

In addition, all students participate in CO-OP 101 before beginning the co-op process. CO-OP 101 is a joint venture between the Steinbright Career Development Center and the Pennoni Honors College that teaches critical skills and approaches for achieving success in finding and mastering co-op.

For more information, visit the Steinbright Career Development Center.