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How University Co-ops Work

Ever wonder how a 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.

  • One Co-op Option (Four Years) – At the start of sophomore year, students study or work through all terms, including summers. The single six-month period of full-time employment occurs during the junior year. 
  • Three Co-op Option (Five Years) – This option includes three six-month periods of full-time employment. At the start of 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.

To see which co-op options are available for your program, view Drexel's Undergraduate Majors.

Co-op Preparation and Career Services

From Co-op to Career

At Drexel, your preparation for a college co-op begins in your first year. In order to ensure students are on the path to achieving their education and future-career goals, Steinbright helps bridge the gap from education to employment. Armed with the knowledge and confidence you've accrued in the classroom and the tools and advice of the Steinbright Career Development Center, you will be prepared to take your first step into the world of full-time employment.

  • Co-op 101 – All students participating in Drexel Co-op must take Co-op 101, a class specifically designed to introduce students to the co-op process and prepare them for a professional environment.
  • Co-op Coordinators – Co-op coordinators provide one-on-one guidance and coaching throughout your co-op experiences. They can also administer and utilize academic progress and potential career assessments.
  • Career Development Workshops – Steinbright has job search workshops, mock interviews, résumé review, and more for co-op students throughout the year. These workshops help develop skills including, but not limited to: résumé writing, interviewing, networking, and salary negotiation.
  • Beyond Co-op – After you have your co-op experience, Steinbright also has resources to help you secure your first post-graduation job. Steinbright helps connect students to its employer network with opportunities such as Career Fairs and Dragon Jobs.

For more information, visit the Steinbright Career Development Center.

Co-op Locations

Co-op employers are located in 32 states and 51 countries. Many corporations eagerly embrace and nurture the fresh perspectives, drive, and dedication that are typical of a Drexel student. This chart provides the location distribution of last year's students.

Geographic Distribution of Co-op Employment Number of Students
Pennsylvania 4,366
New Jersey 523
New York 222
Massachusetts 33
Maryland 95
California 93
Other states 174
Other countries (such as Brazil, China, Greece, Ireland, India, and Japan) 204

Drexel International Co-op

Working internationally is a unique experience for students to expand their horizons. The international cooperative education program provides students with employment opportunities around the world that will propel them to new heights as a professional. Not only does an international experience set a student's résumé apart, but the cultural perspective and knowledge that the students is able to gain is a highly sought-after commodity for employers in today's global economy.

Learn more about international co-op.

Drexel Co-op Nearby

The Greater Philadelphia region is a nexus of businesses virtually unmatched in scope, scale, and specialty. Some of the nation's top biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms, hospitals and healthcare centers, Fortune 500 companies, and individually owned start-ups call Philadelphia home.

Co-op Employers

Drexel students co-op at some of the world's most prestigious organizations. Take a look at a selection of Drexel's co-op employers:

Select Co-op Employers
Boeing Company
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Comcast Corporation
Drexel University
Exelon Corporation
Independence Blue Cross
Johnson & Johnson
JP Morgan
Lockheed Martin
NBC Universal
Philadelphia Water Department
United States Air Force
Urban Outfitters

Halima: From Co-op to Career