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Graphic Design Undergraduate Co-Op Program & Career Opportunities

How Co-Op Works in the Graphic Design Industry

The Graphic Design Co-op program gives students the opportunity to work full-time in the graphic design industry, discover their professional interests and apply their multi-faceted skillsets outside the classroom. All Graphic Design majors participate in co-op in their third year, and graduate with six months of professional graphic design experience on their resume. Students work in top advertising agencies, design studios, corporate design departments, and publishers, gaining an insight into the diverse array of graphic design careers.

Drexel’s academic calendar is based on a quarter system, and a student’s co-op cycle determines which quarters they will go on co-op. For example, students with a fall/winter co-op cycle will work a full-time graphic design job 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 Benefits of a Co-Op Job in the Graphic Design Industry

Through the Graphic Design co-op program, Drexel students graduate having already built a professional network and the skills and experience to succeed in graphic design careers. Because graphic design co-ops spend six months in a full-time graphic design position, they typically receive higher starting salaries from graphic design jobs than their graphic design internship counterparts from other schools in Philadelphia.

The two-term co-op grants Graphic Design majors hands-on experience in the fast-paced design industry, and allows them to apply classroom learning to the professional environment. Students return to classes with an enriched perspective, a network of professional contacts, and a clearer sense of their own interests as they prepare for a career in graphic design.

The Value of a Co-Op in Graphic Design

Local, national, and international employers value co-ops from Drexel’s Graphic Design major for the high level of professionalism and skill they bring to the workplace. Professional development is at the core of the Graphic Design curriculum, which mirrors common professional practice with frequent critiques, discussions, group collaborations and self-reflection. Graphic Design students spend more time with their co-op employers than a traditional 3-month graphic design internship, forging closer industry contacts and gaining a deeper experience of the graphic design profession.

Types of Graphic Design Co-Op Careers

Graphic Design co-ops work with advertising agencies, publishers, printers, independent and in-house design studios, museums and galleries, magazines and newspapers, and television. The co-op experience gives Graphic Design majors an idea of what it takes to become a graphic designer, and prepares undergraduates for graphic design careers in many fields. Graphic Design majors hold such co-op positions as:

  • Graphic Production Artist
  • Creative Services
  • Creative & Digital Branding Co-op
  • Graphic Designer

Co-ops from the Graphic Design program have worked with prestigious employers and companies in Philadelphia, New York, or across the country and abroad.

Graphic Design students often build meaningful mentor relationships with employers during co-op that are an invaluable asset during the post-graduation job search and early years of employment.

Graphic Design Co-Op Job Opportunities and Career Paths

Our alumni go on to successful graphic design careers in a range of positions including lead designer, creative director, art director, UX/UI designer, and owner or partner of design firms. Many graphic design students continue to work at their co-op position once they return to classes to continue their professional development, and a number of graduates secure full-time positions with their former co-op employers. Discover what graphic design career paths await you. Some of the companies where you will find our co-ops and alumni include:

Philadelphia Area Graphic Design Career Opportunities

  • Comcast: career opportunities with Philadelphia-based telecommunications corporation
  • The Franklin Institute: graphic design careers for a leading science museum and the center of science education and research in Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art: professional graphic design opportunities for a world-class art museum
  • QVC: graphic design careers at the nation’s top home shopping channel
  • Urban Outfitters: graphic design career opportunities with URBN, Anthropologie, Free People, and more in Philadelphia

National Opportunities

International Opportunities

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Apply to Drexel Westphal's Graphic Design Major

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