Co-op in the College of Art and Design

Define Your Path

Take your individual growth as an artist, scientist or technologist to the next level with a co-op (cooperative education)! At RIT, co-ops give students unrivaled industry experiences that align with their career goals.


RIT Ranking for co-op or internship programs

U.S. News & World Report, 2024


Approximate hourly wage for undergrads on co-op

RIT Career Services and Co-op

*College of Art and Design undergraduate students

What is a Co-op?

A gif graphic listing the definition of co-op.

Co-op. Internship. Summer job. Apprenticeship. Paid experience. The terms can be confusing, but at RIT, it all counts toward your future goals. As long as you are doing paidhands-on work that relates to your major for 10-plus weeks, you are eligible for either part-time or full-time co-op credit. 

Prepare for the Real World, in the Real World

RIT consistently ranks as having one of the top co-op programs in the country! With support from the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, students have assistance every step of the way as they pursue unparalleled experiential learning opportunities. 

Co-op versus Internship - What's the Difference?

Differing from co-op, an internship at RIT is a credit-bearing learning experience requiring faculty approval. The number of credits for an internship depends on the experience. Tuition is charged per credit hour. Learn more about the benefits of interning

Why Co-op?


Save Money, Make Money

While completing full-time co-ops, students do not pay tuition. Co-ops are paid experiences that can support your tuition, help offset college expenses or set you up for financial independence after graduation.


Explore Careers

Students often use co-op experiences to help determine the field they prefer to work in after graduating. 


Establish Connections

While on co-op you will interact with industry experts, including alumni in some cases. It provides an experience that sets you apart while growing your professional network.


Develop Hard and Soft Skills

Refine workplace competencies that allow you to stand out in the job market, such as technical and creatives abilities, leadership, decisiveness, conflict resolution, etiquette awareness and professionalism.

What's Out There?

Our students employ professional-level skills sets to elevate the companies they work for. Their co-op experiences have been at top creative agencies, advertising firms, professional studios, automotive companies, research institutions, software companies, media organizations, professional art, game and production studios, theme parks and everything in between. Whether it's working with cutting-edge filmmaking technology or for a world leader in sustainable energy, our students' co-op contributions are felt across countless fields.

Student co-op placements have included Canon, Warner Bros., Tiffany & Co., Tesla, Dixon Schwabl, Google and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Student Simon Yahn holds a camera.

"I would recommend a co-op to students who want to start proving their learned skills from classes in real-world scenarios and learn from seeing professionals in action."

- Simon Yahn '22 (motion picture science)
RIT MAGIC Spell Studios co-op, virtual production behind-the-scenes producer and videographer

Yahn is now an imaging engineer at Technicolor Creative Studios

Ashley Mastin stands next to illustrated DNA strands.

"Co-ops allow you to build skills that can’t be taught in the classroom. It is important to have a strong portfolio, but that extra experience of a co-op really pushes your competitiveness as a new artist entering the field.”

- Ashley Mastin '21 (medical illustration)
St. George's University School of Medicine co-op, scientific illustrator

Mastin is now a scientific illustrator for Science magazine

Recent Positions

Ben Braun taking a self-portrait.

Ben Braun (photojournalism - photographic and imaging arts)

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Marian Draper holds a cup she made.

Marian Draper (ceramics - studio arts)

Northern Clay Center
Teaching Assistant

Isaiah Gates headshot.

Isaiah Gates (production - film and animation)

SFL Media
Intern/Production Assistant

Katie Hobler headshot.

Katie Hobler (new media design)

User Experience Design Intern

Premium Opportunities

The biggest names in industry have hired our students for co-op positions — below are some examples, by program! 

School of Art

  • Black Forest Games
  • BOOM Concepts
  • Flying Mollusk
  • Global Experiences
  • RIT MAGIC Spell Studios
  • Rochester Museum & Science Center
  • Savage-Katz Productions, LLC.
  • Six Flags Darien Lake
  • The JDK Group
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Waldorf Publishing
  • AngioDynamics
  • Center for BioMedical Visualization (St. George's University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies)
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • LimbForge
  • VisualDX
  • XVIVO Scientific Animation
  • Ayesha Mayadas Jewelry
  • Canoga Park Youth Arts Center
  • Corning Museum of Glass
  • Guardian Liberty Voice
  • Heifer International
  • Juneve Enterprises
  • Nechamkin Silver Studios
  • Northern Clay Center
  • Reeds Jewelers
  • RIT MAGIC Spell Studios
  • Rochester Museum and Science Center
  • Rochester Contemporary Art Center
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • UrbanGlass
  • Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts

School of Design

  • Blumhouse Productions
  • Dark Ring Studio
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • MPC Film
  • PlayStation
  • RIT National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rosica Hall Motion Lab
  • Savage-Katz Productions, LLC.
  • Signing Animation
  • Virtuos Games
  • Zero Gravity Management
  • Athlete Studio
  • Carbon
  • The Cause Collaborative
  • ChatterBlast Media
  • Crayola
  • Dixon Schwabl
  • Fancy Entertainment
  • Gannett (USA Today network)
  • Giant Food
  • Great Lakes Gaming
  • L3 Harris Technologies
  • Mattel
  • OutSnapped
  • Packaging Corporation of America
  • Procter + Gamble
  • Rochester Red Wings baseball
  • Savage-Katz Productions, LLC.
  • Strong Museum of Play
  • Water for South Sudan
  • Xerox Corporation
  • Allegion
  • Atonaton
  • ChaseDesign
  • Dick's Sporting Goods
  • Endless Highway
  • Fisher-Price
  • GE Appliances
  • Hasbro
  • Loll Designs
  • M&T Bank
  • Procter & Gamble (P&G)
  • Rich Products
  • Rochester Refugee
  • Sargis Associates
  • Siemens Healthineers
  • Staples
  • Think Design
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Toys "R" Us
  • Unilever
  • Westrock
  • Bergmann
  • CPL (Clark Patterson Lee)
  • Gallina Development Corporation
  • Gensler
  • Hanpeter & Associates - Architects
  • Kaplan Thompson Architects
  • LaBella Associates
  • Smith Associates
  • Staach
  • Topeka Independent Living Resource Center
  • Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
  • Amazon
  • Adobe
  • Bank of America
  • Canon USA, Inc.
  • Chautauqua Institution
  • Dominion National
  • Dots, Inc.
  • DraftKings
  • Forbes Media
  • General Electric
  • Golden Harvest Bakery
  • Google
  • IBM
  • Instrument
  • Interlock Media, Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Lyft
  • Microsoft
  • PayPal
  • Punchcut
  • QuickBase, Inc.
  • Rockstar Games
  • Savage-Katz Productions, LLC.
  • Screenvision Media
  • Total Wine & More
  • Two Bulls
  • Uptycs
  • Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
  • Workinman Interactive

School of Film and Animation

  • 9 Story Media Group
  • A Door to Italy
  • Austin Film Festival
  • Comcast (NBCUniversal)
  • FableVision Studios
  • Lemur Studios
  • NASA, Glenn Research Center
  • NetEase Games
  • Panavision
  • PlayStation
  • RIT MAGIC Spell Studios
  • Rochester Red Wings baseball
  • Savage-Katz Productions, LLC.
  • Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Wayfair
  • WXXI
  • Bowie Baysox
  • clevermethod
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Media Forensics
  • Harris Corporation
  • MathWorks
  • Panavision
  • RIT MAGIC Spell Studios
  • Rochester Red Wings Baseball, Video Production Department
  • Zero Gravity Management

School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

  • Albany Times Union
  • Bamboozle Home
  • Big Al's Photo
  • Booksmart Studio
  • Boston Deaf Apostolate
  • Brevia Consulting
  • Catch Light Digital
  • Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation (CiTi)
  • CBS
  • Dubois County Herald
  • Eagle Newspapers
  • Edmund Optics
  • Education First
  • Enchanted Forest Water Safari
  • From the Hip Photo
  • Great Lakes Gaming
  • Hasselblad Bron Inc.
  • The Industry MGMT
  • Juice Creative Group
  • Martino Flynn
  • Mountain House Media
  • Myers Creative Imaging
  • The Op Shop
  • Pari Dukovic
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Rich Brainerd Studios
  • Rochester Business Journal
  • Trusted Media Brands, Inc.
  • Sam Kaplan Photography
  • Savage-Katz Productions, LLC.
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Syracuse Media Group
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Arcadia Camp for Girls
  • Bamboozle Home
  • Capture Integration
  • Carl Zeiss Microscopy
  • Columbia University Medical Center
  • Cornell University
  • D3 Engineering
  • EagleView
  • Edmund Optics
  • Factory LLC.
  • Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Harvard University
  • L3 Harris Technologies
  • National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
  • NVIDIA Corp.
  • Paleontological Research Institution
  • Ross Eye Institute
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Tesla
  • VisualDX
  • Wilsonart

Creative Industry Days

Students meet with RIT's impressive network of companies each year during Creative Industry Days. Organized by the Office of Career Services and Co-op, the event features one-on-one portfolio reviews, recruiting and networking between students and dozens of participating employers — from giants like Adobe, Disney, Google, Microsoft and Procter & Gamble to local creative agencies and companies. The event has directly led to full-time employment and co-op and internship opportunities.

Getting Started

Whether you're starting your search for a co-op, or are ready to report your experience, you have help at RIT!

Find a Co-op

Finding a co-op takes time, preparation and teamwork, and is ultimately your responsibility. The good news is the Office of Career Services and Co-op has a dedicated team with countless industry connections ready to help you identify job opportunities. Be sure to also connect with your academic advisor about your co-op interest. 

Find a co-op

Report a Co-op

Reporting your co-op is a way to pay it forward, as it helps the Office of Career Services develop more job leads for you and your peers. 

Report a co-op


If you have any questions about pursuing or reporting a co-op, the Office of Career Services and Co-op is here for you!

Email Associate Director Gretchen Eshleman