Cooperative Education (Co-Op)
RIT has the forth oldest and one of the largest co-op programs in the world. The Institute partners with companies not only in the Rochester area, but across the country and abroad. About 80% of RIT students will participate in the Co-Op Program. Depending on the major you enroll in, your department may require your to participate in co-op before you are able to graduate.
There is a chart that I think is a great reference. It explains which majors will co-op, how many co-op placements will be required, and the aveage salaries that students are earning when they are out on co-op.
If you enroll in a co-op program at RIT, you will have between six and 15 months of paid work experience completed by the time you graduate. You will have worked for as many as five different employers in locations across the country. Whether you work in a large industrial laboratory, a world-renowned medical facility or a software development firm in your hometown, you’ll have a good idea of what you’re looking for in your career after graduation. You can also sample the lifestyles found in different parts of the United States (or the world) while you explore career opportunities through co-op. Upon graduation, you’ll be able to choose the place and position that are right for you.
RIT co-op also gives you the chance to test what you’ve learned in the classroom in real-world situations. When you’re in a lab testing a new theory in quantum physics, reading a textbook on cognitive psychology or computing net present value in a finance problem, you may wonder how your studies fit your future career. Our co-op program gives you a chance to find out. If you’re like many RIT students, understanding how theoretical knowledge is actually used in the work place will give you the incentive you need to work harder when you come back to campus for your academic quarters.
While you’re working on co-op, you’ll meet other professionals in your field. You’ll be able to consult with them on professional issues and talk with them about your goals. These professional contacts can help you identify job openings in your field and get you started on the road to your lifetime career goals.Co-op also helps you pay for your college education. At RIT, no tuition is charged for the quarters you are employed as a co-op student. Instead, your employer will pay you a full-time salary. Last year, RIT co-op students earned more than $20 million. Refer to our salary data to find out how much you can expect to earn through co-op. You’ll find that your co-op earnings can go a long way toward helping you finance your RIT education.