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Internships and Co-ops

Both internship and co-op experiences provide valuable opportunities to:

  • Develop your technical and teamwork skills in the real world beyond the classroom
  • Build your professional network and find mentors
  • Gain a sense of professional competence
  • Become an experienced job applicant before you graduate

Compare the Options

Internship

  • Available to all engineering students who have completed at least one academic year (i.e., fall and spring semesters) at Penn State
  • One-semester experience, lasting 12–15 weeks in the fall or spring semesters or 10–12 weeks in the summer
  • May be taken for credit if desired*

Co-op

  • Available to all engineering undergraduate students who have chosen a major and completed entrance-to-major requirements
  • Rotational experience working with one company or organization for two or three semesters, with each rotation lasting approximately 12–15 weeks in the fall or spring semesters or 10–12 weeks in the summer); most co-op experiences include at least one spring or fall semester in addition to summers
  • May be taken for credit if desired*

*If you are an international student, you are required to register for credit per the conditions of your student visa.  You may also have restrictions on the type of work you are able to do or when you are allowed to work.  Please check with an adviser in the University Office of Global Programs regarding any special eligibility requirements and see the office’s website regarding international student employment.

Schedules

Daily work schedules for interns and co-op students vary by employer, although most students start work between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. and end between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.  Your employer will discuss your work schedule with you after you have accepted a position.

Compensation

Engineering internship and co-op positions are almost always paid; compensation varies by employer and by major or field of study.  See our salary spotlight for information about what undergraduate students earned last year.

 

Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032