Through this innovative program, our Dragons are given the opportunity to test-drive potential careers as they take full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit pioneers, innovative startups, government agencies, and other industry leaders. These experiences not only allow our students to apply their knowledge in real-world environments while learning alongside the leaders of their fields, but they also provide the chance to explore different paths and discover what they want to do (and don't want to do!) after graduation.
Shaping the Leaders of Tomorrow — Today
Serving as the cornerstone of experiential learning at Drexel, co-op enables students to gain up to 18 months of work experience and build an impressive résumé before they graduate that will set them apart from their peers. Each co-op experience is unique and serves to broaden the scope of a student's learning, allowing them to return to their classrooms with an enhanced contextual understanding and perspective they can share with their professors and classmates. Even better, the majority of co-op experiences are full-time and paid, and those that are carry a median six-month salary of over $19,000.
But, most importantly, co-op helps our Dragons to develop as leaders able to make real contributions to the organizations they work for. It gives them the chance to turn their ambition into action, to connect with and learn from new mentors, to develop relationships with influential companies and organizations, and to build professional networks composed of industry experts from around the globe. By taking advantage of everything co-op has to offer, our students graduate and enter the workforce as much more than aspiring learners — they do so as experienced professionals prepared to make an impact the moment they arrive.
Choose the Plan That's Right for You
Most majors and programs allow students to choose a Three Co-op Option (Five-Year Program) that will allow them to maximize the benefits provided by Drexel Co-op. A One Co-op Option (Four-Year Program) is also available.
Empowering New Leaders for a New Workforce
A Program Built to Yield Results
Co-op presents a chance to learn from a mentor, travel the world, or pursue a passion. This experiential approach to education nurtures driven graduates who are ready to make a real, dramatic impact in their field from day one — and their accomplishments are recognized and valued by all those around them. In fact, nearly half of all Drexel graduates receive a job offer from a company where they went on co-op, according to surveys of exiting seniors.
of co-op participants working full-time had received a job offer from a former co-op employer.
*Data from academic year 2020-2021 co-op data
Frequently Asked Questions about Cooperative Education
Students can change between the Three Co-op (five years) and One Co-op (four years) Option until their second year at the University. Before starting classes, admitted students can email Undergraduate Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about a co-op change. Once enrolled, students should contact their academic advisor to change their co-op plan. To learn more about the co-op plans available for specific majors, please visit Drexel's Course Catalog.
Kieran Billmann's co-op with Penn State Applied Research Labs set him on a path to his current career with the U.S. Navy at the Naval Air Warfare Center in New Jersey.
"The co-op program was amazing. You can tell they've been doing it for 100 years because it's very well-orchestrated and very well done. Everyone was there to help you. Everyone gave me tidbits of information for how to do better interviewing. So, when it actually came time to get a real job, I felt pretty comfortable with interviews because I had already had so many."
Kieran Billmann '11 and '15,
College of Engineering
Penn State Applied Research Labs
While on co-op with Philadelphia-based startup Lia Diagnostics, Riley Stanford created a patent-pending film for the firm's flushable pregnancy test, which is close to commercialization.
"It's definitely a project I'm proud to be involved with. What they are doing is good for the environment and good for women, and both are things that I care passionately about. The Drexel co-op system ultimately gave me the chance to see everything through and effect change for the company."
Riley Stanford '19,
College of Arts and Sciences
Brian Lofink is one of Philadelphia's most high-profile chefs and he says it likely wouldn't have happened without the opportunity to co-op for acclaimed chef and five-star restaurateur Georges Perrier of Le Bec Fin fame.
"Without working in that specific co-op, I'm not sure I would have lasted this long in the restaurant industry. It was such an intense period — immersive learning — that it set up my whole career. It catapulted me ahead of my peers because, by the time I left, I was 24 years old and had worked in one of the best restaurants in the city with one of the best chefs in the world."
Brian Lofink '03,
Food & Hospitality