FAQs About Co-op at UA
What is Cooperative Education?
Cooperative Education (Co-op) is a program designed to integrate academic study with related job experience. Undergraduate students Co-op multiple alternating work terms of full-time work and full-time study.
How far along in my academic program should I be before applying to the Co-op Program?
Most students begin applying for Co-op in the spring of the freshman year in order to begin Co-op in the sophomore or junior year.
How many hours are required to begin work as a Co-op Student?
Students must have completed their freshman year with 30 hours.
What GPA is required to apply? And to remain active in the program?
A 2.2 gpa is required for all Co-op applicants to be considered eligible. To remain active in the program all Co-op students must maintain at 2.0 gpa.
Is it possible to Co-op only in the summer?
No, undergraduate Co-op students work multiple terms, a total of 3 is required. A spring, summer, and fall semester are typical for the alternating work sessions.
Are all of the Co-op jobs located in the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham area?
UA Co-op students work primarily in the State of Alabama; however jobs are also available throughout the United States. Willingness to relocate is one of the key factors to an increased number of job opportunities.
May I live at home while I Co-op?
Yes, if you accept a job near your hometown or near relatives.
Do I pay tuition while out at work?
Co-op students reporting to work must register for a Co-op class during the semester they are scheduled to work. The tuition for this class is for one credit hour, for a total of $264 each work term.
What do I do about my scholarships/housing/financial aid while at work?
Prior to each work semester, all co-op students report to the co-op office to complete necessary paperwork to ensure the proper procedures are followed to hold all scholarships, housing arrangements, and financial aid while away at work. The co-op office will help facilitate this process.
What about my housing situation when I go to work?
A variety of options are available to students. Often employers will assist their co-op students in finding local housing arrangements and may offer students a housing allowance to contribute to their out of pocket expense. Students working near UA campus can remain in on-campus housing.
Do I receive academic credit for my Co-op experience?
No, but your transcript will reflect your participation with 12 hours each semester you are at work. This protects your full-time student status. At the conclusion of your work semester the 12 hours posted for Co-op participation will be removed and a Pass/Fail grade will be awarded.
Do I remain with the same employer during the entirety of my Co-op assignment?
Yes. Remaining with the same employer during the entirety of your assignment allows students the opportunity to experience multiple levels of responsibility as well as be exposed to various operating experiences. In special circumstances, the UA Co-op Office approves changes of employers, but only in extenuating circumstances.
What happens if I elect to change my major during my tenor as a Co-op student?
A change of employer may be required, however you may also be able to work in another department more closely related to your new major within the same company.
Will I have a guaranteed job offer from my Co-op employer when I graduate?
Not a guaranteed offer, but companies prefer hiring students who have related work experience, especially within their organization.