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Co-ops for Physics Majors

Through Drexel's renowned cooperative education program, students embark on up to three, six-month periods of full-time employment, exploring their career options, strengthening their resumes and building a professional network in the process. Co-op is the “Ultimate Internship” and was introduced at Drexel in 1919 as one of the first models of its kind; the program has become integral to the University's educational experience.

The co-op program plays a vital part in the student learning experience. Most of our majors participate in research co-ops, both here and elsewhere, graduating with invaluable first-hand insight into their careers.

Learn more about Drexel Co-op

What Physics Students are saying about Co-op

Drexel Physics Student Emily Harkness

“My co-op experience has been fantastic! Through co-op, I've discovered a lot about my own ambitions while learning about what it's really like to do research. While it's often frustrating in the moment to deal with roadblocks in research, I realize looking back that I've accomplished so much in a short period of time. ”
- Emily Harkness, BS Physics '20

Read more about Emily

Drexel Physics Student Riley Stanford “My biggest project while on co-op at Lockheed Martin took me two months to do; I had to find the problem and implement a fix in the code,” she says. "It was very much like untangling a pair of headphones you find in your pocket — you keep finding more and more problems — but it was very cool. The first day I got the fix working, I ran up and down the hall telling my cubemates. It left me feeling like I had learned something and made an impact at my co-op.”
- Riley Stanford, BS Physics '19

Read more about Riley

Drexel Physics Student Mark Giovnazzi

“The co-op program has treated me phenomenally, and I feel that I have gotten the most out of the program. I have done research in computational astronomy and astroparticle physics at Drexel, experimental cosmology at the University of Pennsylvania, and radar technologies and electronic warfare at Lockheed Martin. I learned not only about how physics research is structured, but also about the nature of research across other disciplines. Through my experiences, I have networked with graduate students, researchers, scientists and faculty from all over the world, many of whom have helped me tremendously as both a student and a person. ”
- Mark Giovinazzi, BS Physics (Astrophysics Concentration) '18

Read more about Mark

Jeremy Gaison

“Co-op has been a wonderful experience in helping me to decide what I want to pursue after graduation. I’ve been able to do real research in a number of fields, travel, and present my work at conferences. From my experiences, I’m confident that I want to pursue neutrino physics research and I’m excited about my upcoming co-op doing just that. I’ll be working on the EXO experiment under Professor Dolinski, and plan on continuing my research in this field for my senior thesis.”

- Jeremy Gaison, BS Physics '15

Robyn Smith

“Overall, my co-op experience has been fantastic! I spent my first co-op at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, Virginia. We used brand new radio observations to search for indications of small radio jets in obscured quasars that hadn’t broken out of the host galaxy yet. While at NRAO, I was given the opportunity to visit the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and to spend a week at the Very Large Array in Socorro, New Mexico.” “For my second co-op, I moved to London, Ontario in order to work at the University of Western Ontario. I focused on learning how to work with Chandra X-ray Observatory data as part of the larger project examining biases in black hole mass estimates.”

- Robyn Smith, BS Physics '15

Matthew Parsons

“I spent my first co-op at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) working with the Material Measurement Laboratory. My second co-op was working at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) where I was able to conduct research in support of the development of fusion energy. PPPL is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's national laboratories and is home to one of three major magnetic fusion devices in the country. I returned to PPPL to complete my final co-op during the spring and summer of 2015, where I looked into the use of machine learning techniques for predicting plasma disruptions in magnetic fusion reactors.”

- Matthew Parsons, BS Physics '16

Sam Ciocys

“Over my last co-op, I worked at Argonne National Laboratory in the Material Science Division. My research group collaborated with the University of Chicago to design detectors for the South Pole Telescope for analyzing the cosmic microwave background.”

- Sam Ciocys, BS Physics '15

Recent Co-op Employers

  • Academy of Natural Sciences
  • Aeroflex Control Components, Inc.
  • Agilent Technologies
  • AmeriQuest Business Services
  • Analytical Graphics, Inc.
  • Applied Informatics Group (AIG)
  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • Army Research Laboratory
  • Bayada Home Health Care, Inc.
  • Benjamin's Desk
  • Bristol Myers Squibb Company
  • Certainteed Corporation
  • Charter High School for Architecture & Design
  • Columbia University Medical Center
  • Constitution High School
  • CoreLab Partners
  • Drexel University
  • Drugscan
  • DSG, Inc.
  • Exelon Corporation
  • Gemalto
  • Global Citizen
  • Haddon Township High School
  • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • IBM
  • Independence Blue Cross
  • Innovative Defense Technologies
  • Intel Corporation
  • Kieran Timberlake
  • Lantium, Inc.
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Lupus Foundation of America- Philadelphia Tri State Chapter
  • Micro-Coax
  • Military Commitment - ROTC
  • Monitoring Analytics
  • National Board of Medical Examiners
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • National Radio Astronomy Obs.
  • Pearson VUE
  • PEI Genesis
  • Penn State University
  • PFIT, Inc.
  • Philadelphia Water Department
  • PJM Interconnection, LLC
  • Princeton Plasma Physics
  • Princeton University
  • Protiro, Inc.
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • SAP America
  • Sparks Exhibit and Environments
  • Susquehanna International Group, LLP
  • Temple University
  • U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
  • Universal Technical Resource Services Inc
  • Universidad de Murcia
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • weServe Program
  • Woodward McCoach Inc.