Internship and Co-op Courses

There are four undergraduate internship and co-op courses:

  • ENGR 195 (internship)
  • ENGR 295 (first co-op rotation)
  • ENGR 395 (second co-op rotation)
  • ENGR 495 (third or subsequent co-op rotation)

These courses do not require any in-class time and all requirements can be completed during your work experience. You can earn 1 credit per internship and 1–3 credits per co-op rotation depending on your major.

Registration

All internship and co-op courses are controlled, meaning you cannot register yourself for these courses as you would do with most of your other Penn State courses. 

To get registered:

  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. If you plan to work on site (rather than virtually) while the University is offering classes in mixed mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic, complete an Internship/Co-op Exception Web Form and Acknowledgement.
  4. We will register you for the course you have indicated on the Employment Survey (e.g., ENGR 195, 295, 395, or 495). 

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 level (sophomore, junior, etc.), your college, and your Pennsylvania residency status. The University’s Student Tuition Calculators can help you determine your approximate tuition.

Course Requirements

All students who are registered for ENGR 195, 295, 395, or 495 must complete the following four requirements, submitted electronically via the Internship and Co-op Assignment Management System (Penn State user ID and password required). 

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.

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, 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: 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 your return to campus following your final co-op experience. Please contact the IE Department Career Contact with any questions about your co-op requirements.

How to Use Credit

Each engineering department has its own rules regarding how many internship or co-op credits you can earn and how you can use those credits to fulfill requirements for your major or minor.

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 credits: 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 the Student Disability Resources (SDR) office at 814-863-1807 (V/TTY). For further information regarding SDR, please visit the Student Disability Resources website.

In order to receive consideration for course accommodations, you must contact SDR and 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