Internship and Co-op Courses

There are six internship and co-op courses offered through our office:

  • ENGR 197 (undergraduate internship, 0.25 credits)
  • ENGR 195 (undergraduate internship; 1 credit)
  • ENGR 295 (undergraduate first co-op rotation; 1 credit)
  • ENGR 395 (undergraduate second co-op rotation, 1 or 2 credits depending on major)
  • ENGR 495 (undergraduate third or subsequent co-op rotation; 1, 2, or 3 credits depending on major)
  • ENGR 595 (graduate internship; 1 credit)

ENGR 197 is a special internship for undergraduate students whose internships are less than 10 weeks in duration or that offer fewer than 20 hours of work per week. ENGR 197 credit cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements.

ENGR 195–595 courses require 12–15 weeks of work during a fall or spring semester and 10–12 hours of work in the summer; students enrolled in these courses must work 20–40 hours per week.

None of these courses require any in-class time. All requirements can be completed during the work experience.

Registration

All of our internship and co-op courses are controlled, meaning you cannot register yourself. Our staff will register you for the relevant course after you have completed the following steps:

  1. Formally accept an offer for internship or co-op employment (either verbally or in writing).
  2. Complete the Employment Survey, which provides us with basic information about your job type, location, and employment timeframe.
  3. International students only: Complete the iStart application through the Directorate of International Student & Scholar Advising (DISSA) and notify us when your secondary recommendation for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) has been submitted.

Tuition and Billing

You must pay tuition for any credits you earn during your internship or co-op. The specific amount you pay will depend on the number of credits you are taking, your Penn State campus, your degree and class level, your college, and your Pennsylvania residency status. The University's Tuition and College Cost Estimator can help you determine your approximate tuition in a given semester based on these factors.

To make sure you receive an accurate bill:

  • If you have registered for on-campus courses during the semester when you intend to work on-site (just in case!) and you want to drop those classes, wait until you see your internship or co-op course on your transcript. Then, when you log into LionPATH to drop your classes, you will see a message asking you whether or not you intend to be registered as a full-time student. You must indicate that you do not intend to be a full-time student.
  • If you have not registered for any on-campus courses during the semester when you intend to work on-site, wait until you see your internship or co-op course on your transcript, then contact the Office of the Bursar and indicate that you do not intend to be enrolled full-time while you are working.

NOTE: Although the Office of the Registrar considers you a full-time student even when you are registered for only 1–3 internship or co-op credits, the Office of the Bursar will not generate an accurate bill unless you indicate that you do not intend to be registered as a full-time student.

For any questions about tuition or your bill, contact the Office of the Bursar.

Course Requirements

Students who are seeking credit for ENGR 197, 195, 295, 395, 495, or 595 must complete a series of requirements, which must be submitted via the Internship and Co-op Assignment Management System (Penn State user ID and password required).

Students enrolled in ENGR 197 must complete:

  • Work Period Registration Form
  • End-of-Semester Evaluation
  • End-of-Semester Report

Students enrolled in ENGR 195, 295, 395, 495, and 595 must complete:

  • Work Period Registration Form
  • Mid-Semester Evaluation
  • End-of-Semester Evaluation
  • End-of-Semester Report

Work Period Registration Form

This online form provides basic information about your workplace and contact information for both you and your supervisor. You must complete this form within two weeks of the start of your work experience, or as soon as possible.

Mid-Semester Evaluation

Both you and your supervisor should complete this form following a meeting to assess your performance approximately halfway through your work experience. We will send both you and your supervisor notifications by email when it's time to complete this form.

End-of-Semester Evaluation

Both you and your supervisor should complete this form following a meeting to assess your performance at the end of your work experience. We will send both you and your supervisor notifications by email when it's time to complete this form.

End-of-Semester Report*

This is a final report that summarizes your experience and gives you a chance to evaluate what you have learned from your internship or co-op. It should be written as a Word document, 5–10 pages long (excluding graphs, charts, or photos), double spaced and using a standard 10–12-point font. Use first-person language (e.g., "I worked at…") and your best spelling and grammar.

Include your name, major or concentration, course, semester worked, employer, location, and Penn State email address at the top of the first page.

In the body of your report, provide details about:

  • Your employer (e.g., size, location, products/services)
  • Your day-to-day job responsibilities
  • How you used the technical skills you have learned at Penn State in your job
  • Differences you noticed between what it’s like being a student vs. being a working engineer
  • Intercultural differences you noted between American and international colleagues, if relevant (especially important if you worked at a domestic company with a lot of overseas locations, if you worked overseas, or if you are an international student working in the U.S.)
  • How the internship or co-op helped you to grow professionally
  • How the internship or co-op has impacted your future academic and career objectives

Your supervisor must review and approve your report prior to submission to ensure that you have not included any proprietary information.

End-of-Semester Reports are due on the last day of class in any given semester.

*Industrial Engineering majors completing a co-op: If you are completing ENGR 395, you have the option to do a final PowerPoint presentation about your work experience rather than a written report. If you choose the presentation option, please submit a copy of your slides to our office. If you are completing ENGR 495, you are required to do a PowerPoint presentation, and submit the slides to our office. You will give the presentation in the IE department after the completion of your final co-op experience. Please contact the IE Department Career Contact with any questions about your co-op requirements.

How to Use Internship or Co-op Credit

Each engineering department has its own rules regarding how many ENGR 195, 295, 395, and 495 credits undergraduate students can earn and how those credits can be used to fulfill requirements for a major or minor.

Graduate students should talk to their departmental or thesis adviser about how they can use ENGR 595 credits toward degree requirements.

Aerospace Engineering (AERSP)

  • Credits allowed: 1 for ENGR 195 or 295; 1 or 2 for ENGR 395; 1, 2, or 3 for ENGR 495
  • Internship: Up to 6 credits for multiple internships; the first 3 credits may be applied to the Limited Elective, the second 3 credits to the Technical Elective
  • Co-op: The first 3 credits may be applied to the Limited Elective, the second 3 credits to the Technical Elective

Architectural Engineering (AE)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: Add-on credit; does not apply towards degree requirements
  • Co-op: Add-on credit; does not apply towards degree requirements

Biological Engineering (BE)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 295–495
  • Internship: Add-on credit; does not apply towards degree requirements
  • Co-op: Up to 3 credits may be used for a Technical Selection

Biomedical Engineering (BME)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: May be used on a case-by-case basis (see department adviser); you may earn up to 3 credits for multiple internships
  • Co-op: 3 credits may be substituted for the Science & Engineering Elective; you may either earn 1 credit per semester for three co-op semesters or 1 credit for the first semester and 2 credits for a subsequent semester after completing two semesters of work at the same company

Chemical Engineering (CHE)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: May be used to fulfill 3 credits of Professional Elective if you complete three internships (or a combination of three internship and co-op semesters)
  • Co-op: May be used to fulfill 3 credits of Professional Elective if you complete three co-op semesters (or a combination of three internship and co-op semesters); alternatively, you may petition the CHE department to use the credits for a 3-credit Engineering Elective instead of the Professional Elective—petition requires submission of all three co-op End-of-Semester Reports and a one-page summary of the technical merits of the co-op assignment, and must be submitted after all co-op semesters are completed

Civil Engineering (CE)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: May be used on a case-by-case basis—see department adviser; alternatively, you may substitute 1 credit for ENGR 295 if you complete two additional semesters of work
  • Co-op: May be substituted for General Elective; no credits will be applied until three co-op semesters are completed

Computer Engineering (CMPEN)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: Up to 2 credits may be substituted for Department List Electives
  • Co-op: Up to 3 credits may be substituted for Department List Electives

Computer Science (CMPSC)

  • Credits allowed: 1 for ENGR 195 or 295; 1 or 2 for ENGR 395; 1, 2, or 3 for ENGR 495
  • Internship: Up to 2 credits may be substituted for Department List Electives
  • Co-op: Up to 3 credits may be substituted for Department List Electives

Data Sciences (DATSC)

  • Credits allowed: 1 for ENGR 195 or 295; 1 or 2 for ENGR 395; 1, 2, or 3 for ENGR 495
  • Internship: Up to 2 credits may be substituted for Department List Electives
  • Co-op: Up to 3 credits may be substituted for Department List Electives

Electrical Engineering (EE)

  • Credits allowed: 1 for ENGR 195 or 295; 1 or 2 for ENGR 395; 1, 2, or 3 for ENGR 495
  • Internship: Add-on credit; does not apply towards degree requirements
  • Co-op: May be substituted for Related Electives

Energy Engineering (ENENG)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: May be used on a case-by-case basis (see department adviser); you may earn 1–3 credits for multiple internships
  • Co-op: 3 credits may be applied to EGEE 494 requirement; talk to your Department Career Contact before starting each work semester, as additional course assignments are required

Engineering Science (ESC)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 295–495
  • Internship: Add-on credit; does not apply towards degree requirements
  • Co-op: 3 credits may be used for a Technical Elective

Engineering Technology Majors (ET)

  • Credits allowed: Talk to department adviser
  • Internship: Talk to department adviser
  • Co-op: Talk to department adviser

Environmental Systems Engineering (ENVSE)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: Add-on credit; does not apply towards degree requirements
  • Co-op: Add-on credit; does not apply towards degree requirements

Industrial Engineering (IE)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: May be used to fulfill 3 credits of Engineering Elective if you complete three internships (or a combination of three internship and co-op semesters)
  • Co-op: May be used to fulfill 3 credits of Engineering Elective if you complete three co-op semesters (or a combination of three internship and co-op semesters)

Materials Science and Engineering (MATSE)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: 1 credit may be substituted for ENGR 295 if you complete two additional work semesters
  • Co-op: 3 credits may be used for a Technical Elective

Mechanical Engineering (ME)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: May be used to fulfill 3 credits of General Technical Elective if you complete three internships or a combination of three internship and co-op semesters
  • Co-op: May be used to fulfill 3 credits of General Technical Elective if you complete three co-op semesters or a combination of three internship and co-op semesters

Mineral Processing and Mining Engineering (MNPR/MNGE)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: Add-on credit; does not apply towards degree requirements
  • Co-op: Add-on credit; does not apply towards degree requirements

Nuclear Engineering (NUCE)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: May be used to fulfill 3 credits of General Technical Elective if you complete three internships or a combination of three internship and co-op semesters
  • Co-op: May be used to fulfill 3 credits of General Technical Elective if you complete three co-op semesters or a combination of three internship and co-op semesters

Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering (PNGE)

  • Credits allowed: 1 each for ENGR 195–495
  • Internship: Add-on credit; does not apply towards degree requirements
  • Co-op: Add-on credit; does not apply towards degree requirements

Entrepreneurship Minor (E-SHIP)

  • Credits allowed: 1 for ENGR 195 or 295; 1 or 2 for ENGR 395; 1, 2, or 3 for ENGR 495
  • Internship: May be applied towards internship credits in the minor
  • Co-op: May be applied towards internship credits in the minor

Students With Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs, including internship and co-op courses.

If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic adjustments in an internship or co-op course, contact Student Disability Resources (SDR). To be considered for course accommodations, you must provide documentation regarding your disability. If the documentation supports the need for academic adjustments, SDR will provide a letter identifying appropriate adjustments.

Please share this letter and discuss the adjustments with us as early as possible once you are registered for an internship or co-op course. You must contact SDR and request academic adjustment letters at the beginning of each semester you are working (if working more than one semester).

 

Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032