Co-op Information and Timing

A co-op (cooperative education) experience is any full-time work experience related to an engineering degree program in which a student temporarily leaves school (at least one semester). These experiences typically last 6-9 months and delay graduation, but benefits include potential academic credit and direct employment upon graduation.  

Students planning to pursue a co-op experience are encouraged to plan ahead. Be sure to meet with your academic advisor to plan your schedule to minimize the additional time required to complete your degree. This discussion is important to determining if/how co-op experience can fulfill course requirements.

  • Students with minimum 2.0 UB GPAs and no disciplinary service indicators may take a leave of absence from the university to pursue co-op experiences. A leave of absence can last for up to (2) consecutive semesters. Total absence may not exceed (4) semesters.
  • Alternatively, students can maintain full-time status by taking at least (2) credits of EAS 496 in each co-op semester. Some financial aid awards and scholarships cannot recognize this standing.

As part of planning, students should meet with a financial aid advisor to understand the impact of leave of absence or other registration policies.

For undergraduate students, in order to minimize the number of semesters required for degree completion, please adhere to the recommended co-op timing for your department.

International students should meet with an advisor from the ISSS (International Student and Scholar Services) Office to ensure compliance with work authorization regulations.

Co-op Timing

Chart visually displaying co-op timing. See descriptions below.

Biomedical Engineering

Beginning with the Fall 2016 freshmen class, ideal timing for a co-op starts the summer after junior year and should continue for the entire senior year due to pre-requisite course requirements.

Chemical and Biological Engineering

Beginning with the Fall 2016 freshmen class, ideal timing for a co-op starts the summer after junior year and should continue for the entire senior year due to pre-requisite course requirements.

Computer Science

Beginning with the Fall 2017 freshmen class, ideal timing for a co-op is the summer after junior year, continuing through the Fall semester of senior year. Degree completion would occur in Fall of the 5th year.

Computer Engineering

Beginning with the Fall 2017 freshmen class, ideal timing for a co-op is the summer after sophomore year, continuing through the Fall semester of junior year. Degree completion would occur in Fall of the 5th year.

Civil/Structural Engineering

Beginning with the Fall 2016 freshmen class, ideal timing for a co-op starts the summer after junior year and should continue for the entire senior year due to pre-requisite course requirements.

Environmental Engineering

Beginning with the Fall 2016 freshmen class, ideal timing for a co-op starts the summer after junior year and should continue for the entire senior year due to pre-requisite course requirements.

Electrical Engineering

Beginning with the Fall 2016 freshmen class, ideal timing for a co-op is the summer after junior year, continuing through the Fall semester of senior year. With proper planning and extra course work in Spring of senior year, it is possible for degree completion in four years (with Fall of the 5th year as a worst case scenario). Please consult the EE Academic Coordinator for details regarding required courses EE408 and EE478.