The College of Science Graduate Cooperative Education Program is one option for experiential learning and is available to students enrolled full-time at Northeastern University in a degree-granting program.

The goals of cooperative education are for students to:

  • Integrate knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and co-op to identify and solve problems
  • Gain new knowledge and develop new skills to successfully engage in unfamiliar activities and projects
  • Identify and leverage opportunities to learn beyond the classroom
  • Articulate the intellectual skills that underlie the work they engage in
  • Assess, critique, and improve their work
  • Adapt their behavior to different audiences they interact with (e.g., communication, self-representation, etc.)
  • Behave professionally in various environments (i.e., team, independent, etc.) by adhering to ethical standards and being accountable for their commitments

Master’s-level students must meet the eligibility requirements and follow the guidelines below. Co-op is not guaranteed, and students must compete and be selected for a limited number of co-op opportunities.

Eligibility Requirement for Co-op

  • To be eligible for co-op, College of Science graduate students must: 
    • Be enrolled full-time at Northeastern. Approval is required from the co-op faculty for exceptions.
    • Have completed a minimum of 16 master's-level academic credits prior to the start of co-op.
    • Meet the 3.000 minimum grade-point average requirement.
    • Have no incomplete grades, not be on academic probation, or have any outstanding disciplinary issues.
    • Have at least two required courses remaining in their program after completing co-op (for programs that do not require co-op).
  • Graduate certificate students are not eligible for co-op.
  • International students on an F-1 visa must have a valid I-20 and must follow Curricular Practical Training protocol.
  • Students must successfully complete the Professional Development for Co-op course. This course covers the College of Science co-op performance standards, which encourage professional and ethical behaviors throughout the co-op process and clarify procedures required for continued success of students and the co-op program. The standards establish professional expectations of the student throughout the co-op search process and during the co-op term and address co-op related issues that may involve performance.
  • Students must notify their co-op advisor when they receive a co-op offer.


  1. Co-ops must be aligned with academic terms (fall, spring, and full summer or summer 1 and summer 2).
  2. Students may participate in co-op activities with a single company for four or six months for no fewer than 12 weeks.
  3. Co-ops are required to be full-time, a minimum of 32 hours per week.
  4. Course enrollment while on co-op is dependent upon academic program.
  5. Students can create their own co-op placement outside of NUworks. Approval from the co-op faculty and adherence to all guidelines are required.
  6. Students working in industry must complete an industry project to fulfill the co-op requirement. This must be approved by the co-op faculty and program director.
  7. College of Science students are only allowed to complete one co-op work experience per degree.  

Registering for Co-op

Students are registered for the co-op work experience course based on the co-op position in NUworks. All co-op positions must be aligned with the academic calendar and be approved by the co-op faculty.

Co-op Documentation

Students who fully and successfully participate in co-op will receive a grade of Satisfactory (S). Those who fail to complete their co-op assignment will receive a grade of Unsatisfactory (U). These grades will appear on the student’s academic transcript. Academic credit is not awarded for the completed co-op.

Global University System

University and college cooperative education policies apply to students on all campuses.

The College of Science Co-op Standing Committee

In the event a situation arises that requires special consideration, the College of Science students who are dismissed from or resign from a co-op job will have an opportunity to meet with the co-op standing committee for a review. A decision will be made on future co-op eligibility and access to NUworks.

PhD Students

Please contact your department or Graduate Student Services to inquire about guidelines for experiential learning opportunities.