Academic Credit Options

In addition to gaining practical experience during your internship or co-op, you also have the option to earn academic credit while working.

Internship and Co-op Courses

If you’re a domestic undergraduate student, you can choose to earn academic credit for short-term work experiences by being registered for an internship or co-op course—ENGR 195, 295, 395, or 495—during each work semester. 

International students are required to register for internship or co-op credit.

Benefits of registration include:

  • Remaining in full-time status while registered for as little as 1 credit
  • Avoiding the need to take a leave of absence from the University (fall and spring semesters only)
  • Earning credits toward your degree requirements, including English 202C if you do three work experiences
  • Retaining your class scheduling priority and access to student football tickets
  • Retaining access to Penn State library resources
  • Continuing to defer any student loan repayments
  • Receiving ongoing faculty and staff oversight and support during your work experience

English 202C by Portfolio

English 202C by portfolio—ENGL202C(p)—may be a good option for you if you are already confident about your technical written communication skills and you want to save time toward your degree by receiving credit for work you are already doing or have already done.

To be eligible for this option, you must:

  • Be pursuing an undergraduate major in the College of Engineering or an engineering major in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
  • Have completed two semesters of a for-credit internship or co-op experience (you submit the portfolio during your third co-op or internship semester)
  • Have at least fifth-semester standing at the time of portfolio submission

Online Courses

If desired, you may also take online courses during your internship or co-op experience. 

Office for Digital Learning

Courses offered by the Office for Digital Learning (ODL) in the College of Engineering are designed to serve students who cannot take classes at any Penn State campus due to job, family, time, distance, or economic constraints. These courses use a variety of delivery technologies that allow students a lot of flexibility in completing the coursework. 

The ODL website provides details about types of courses offered, technologies used, and other details that may help you decided whether or not this option is right for you.

World Campus

The Penn State World Campus was created in 1998 to help students who are unable to participate in traditional classroom education to obtain Penn State degrees and certificates across a variety of disciplines.

You can take one or more courses through the World Campus during your internship or co-op. Learn more at the World Campus website.

Transfer Credit

If your internship or co-op is located near the campus of a university other than Penn State, you may choose to take one or more courses at that institution concurrently with your work experience and transfer the credits to Penn State. 

Transfer credits do not affect your grade point average; only the credits are transferred, not the grades.  However, you must earn a grade of “C” or better in each course in order to receive credit.

The Undergraduate Admissions office website provides information about transfer credit policies.


Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032