Cooperative Education vs. Internships

Cooperative Education (Co-ops)


Co-ops, which last one year or more, are generally longer than internships, which are typically a few weeks to several months. Co-ops may be done in conjunction with taking classes or during breaks.

Different Types of Internships


·Paid: Exist primarily in the private sector or in large organizations. Students earn income while also gaining hands-on experience.


 ·For Credit: Require that the experience is strongly related to the student’s academic field or discipline.  Students wanting to do an internship for credit usually need to have an academic adviser oversee and set the criteria that needs to be met. In order to meet these criteria, students often need to complete a journal, essay or presentation during or immediately following the internship to demonstrate the knowledge they gained during the internship. 

·Non Profit: These internships are usually done with non-profit organizations/groups, university, government agency, religious organizations or a hospital.  These internships are not typically paid.

·Summer: Lasting anywhere from eight to 12 weeks, these internships can be paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time.


·Unpaid:  For information about unpaid internships, click on the link below:

Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act