Semester Calendar Conversion for Co-op Employers FAQs

RIT moved from a quarter to a semester academic calendar beginning Fall 2013. Summarized below is information to assist you in recruiting RIT co-op students under the semester calendar.

When did the RIT semester calendar officially begin?

The first day of classes on August 26, 2013. (See the full RIT 2013-2014 Academic Calendar).

Why did RIT change to semesters?

The calendar conversion is one of many new initiatives that enables RIT to continue its ascent as one of the world's leading technological universities by:

  • Expanding time and opportunities for creative projects, student research, innovative projects and study abroad.
  • Aligning our calendar with most other institutions thereby facilitating transferring to RIT, student and faculty exchanges, and study abroad opportunties.
  • Creating an academic common market, as most other institutions follow the semester calendar.

In what ways will the co-op program be different under the semester system?

RIT will continue to maintain its historically strong commitment to experiential learning and specifically cooperative education.  The calendar change resulted in different co-op work schedules and a reduction in the extent of the overall co-op requirement for students in certain programs.

The transition included two phases:

•    The 2012-2013 academic year will be the last cycle under the current requirements and schedules.  This information continues to be available through the employer portal section of our web site.

•    Beginning in the Fall 2013, students who were preparing for co-op will begin their work schedules under the new calendar plan. There will, however, also be a significant number of co-op students who will be in a “mid-program” transition under which both their work schedules and co-op requirements will change and vary – in some cases by program and in other cases by student – in order to accommodate the transition in a way that does not adversely effect student graduation planning.  For this reason, during this stage of the transition it will be difficult in certain circumstances to be specific about the number of students available at certain times during the year.

By Fall 2015 all students should be consistently following both the requirements and schedules established in accordance with the semester calendar plan.

What are the co-op requirements under the semester calendar?

Specific requirements will continue to vary by academic program. Visit our Semester Co-op Schedule page for more details about availability and requirements by academic program.

A few examples of those new requirements include the following:

•    All Engineering and Engineering Technology students will be required to complete a full-year of co-op by participating in two semesters and two summers of co-op.

•    Computer Science and Software Engineering students will be required to complete two semesters and one summer of co-op. Other programs in the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences will be required to complete two summers of co-op.

•    Students in the Saunders College of Business are required to complete one semester or two summers of co-op.

Specific schedules for certain departments are still being finalized and will be posted as soon they become available. In the meantime please don’t hesitate to contact our office (585.475-2301) directly with any specific program questions.

What is the length of a semester? Of a summer term?

A semester will run between 15-16 weeks in length and the summer between 10-12 weeks

At what points in the year will students be available to co-op and for how long?

Students will be able to begin a co-op assignment at the start of either the Fall Semester, Spring Semester, or Summer term.  In many instances (e.g. Engineering and Engineering Technology) students will be scheduled to work for multiple academic periods - Spring and Summer (January to August) or Summer and Fall (May to December).  Specific dates for the variety of work assignment combinations beginning in Fall 2013 include the following:

Fall Semester Co-op Assignment:
Spring Semester Co-op Assignment:
Summer Term Co-op Assignment:
Spring/Summer Co-op Assignment:
Summer/Fall Co-op Assignment:
August 26 to December 20, 2013
January 27 to May 30, 2014
June 2 to August 22, 2014
January 27 to August 22, 2014
June 2 to December 19, 2014

RIT will also feature an intercession under the semester calendar.  In 2014 the dates of the intercession run from January 2 to 22 2014.  It is quite likely students may be interested in extending a Fall co-op assignment to January 22 rather than December 20 or beginning a Spring co-op on January 2 rather than January 27. These differential start an end dates may be negotiated between you and the student.

Are the requirements for an acceptable co-op position different under the semester calendar?

All requirements for an acceptable co-op position remain the same:
•    Substantive and meaningful experience related to the student’s field of study
•    Full-time, paid position for the dates of the term per the co-op calendar or as negotiated with the student and our office
•    Supervised and evaluated by the employer

What are the average salaries provided to co-op students?

Salary data and program info by college and major on our employer Salary and Program Overview.

What is the best time to begin recruiting available co-op students?    

Under the semester calendar, you will have more time and flexibility to recruit via a job posting or on-campus interview. We encourage employers to begin recruiting 3-4 months prior to the start of their co-op term. We will still post our Key Dates for Recruiting Calendar, which provides specific dates and time periods for prime on-campus recruiting, recommended co-op work start and end date as well as the academic calendar.

Will RIT continue to host two annual university-wide Career Fairs?

The Fall 2013 Career Fair will continue to be held in late September.  The timing of the Spring Career Fair in 2014 is a little sooner, in late February. We’ll communicate the exact dates as soon as we are able to confirm the schedule for that year.

For additional semester conversion FAQs see RIT Semester Conversion.


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