Cooperative Education:
Experience That Launches Careers

What sets RIT graduates apart from their competitors isn’t just the degree they’ve earned, it’s what they’ve done before they’ve even received it.

RIT’s cooperative education program provides exposure–early and often–to a variety of industries and environments. These opportunities are intentional and purposeful–and designed for you to hit the ground running from your first day on the job. And, because of our proven track record, employers know that they have hired a solid, experienced candidate who has spent time in the real world.

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What is cooperative education?

Cooperative education (co-op) is full-time, paid work experience in a professional setting. Students alternate co-op blocks with semesters of on-campus study. In short, co-op is the best idea happening in higher education.

A World Leader in Co-op

RIT has the fourth oldest and one of the largest co-op programs in the world. We’ve been offering co-op for over 100 years because we value preparedness and practice, and the myriad ways that it benefits all. Co-op experience converts knowledge into know-how, skills into expertise, and thinkers into doers.

It’s the crucial element that makes an RIT education exceptional.


Total earned annually by RIT students on co-op


Students participate in co-op


Hiring Organizations


Of co-op employers said they would hire their RIT co-op student for a full-time position

A person running tests on a motherboard

8 Reasons Why Co-op Is the Key to Success

1. High employment outcome
RIT has an overall 95 percent outcomes rate. Students gain experience early and often, apply their learning in meaningful ways, contribute to real-world problems, and build resumes that aren’t the least bit padded.

2. Experience before you graduate
Through your interaction with industry experts, exploration of professional work environments, understanding of perspectives, and application of skills in real world settings, you’ll amass solid, career-focused experience. You are well-positioned for outstanding employment opportunities.

3. Test drive career options
Co-op is a great way to explore different jobs, industries, and types of organizations with no risk, helping you make a more informed decision about the types of jobs and work environments you most enjoy working.

4. Earn a full-time salary
You’ll earn a full-time salary as you gain experience on co-op. This can be used to support your tuition and help offset college expenses, or it can set you up for financial independence after graduation.

5. No co-op fees or tuition
You won’t be charged fees or tuition for co-op, because we believe you should be able to focus on developing your skills, gaining hands-on experience, and exploring your professional future without worrying about extra expenses.

6. Extraordinary employer and alumni partnerships
Industry partnerships provide unmatched opportunities at influential, innovative companies worldwide. And, with 125,000 alumni working around the globe, you’ll benefit from a network of professionals ready to advise and support your career aspirations.

7. Unparalleled support
RIT’s co-op advisors do more than help you identify and apply to co-op positions. They continually check in, provide guidance and support, and are an invaluable resource for all of your professional inquires while you’re on co-op.

8. Develop the “soft skills” that lead to success
RIT can teach you the technical and analytical skills that make you a valuable employee. But the soft skills–leadership, judgment, attitude, self-confidence, etiquette awareness, professionalism–those are the competencies that truly set you apart, and the skills that can only be learned on the job.

RIT’s Outstanding Hiring Partners

We couldn’t possibly list all 3,400 of our hiring partners. It’s a list that keeps on growing.
But here’s a sample of some of the places around the world where you might find yourself working.

Amazon's logo
Apple's logo
EA's logo
Facebook's logo
Fidelity Investments logo
Google's logo
Honda's logo
IBM's logo
Johnson and Johnson's logo
Lockheed Martin's logo
Microsoft's logo
MoMa's logo
SpaceX's logo
Tesla's logo
Disney's logo
RIT students in business attire standing in line to enter the career fair


Learn more about co-op requirements and connect with an advisor who can help you identifying and apply to co-op positions in your major.

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Become a hiring partner.

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