Co-op Resources

Finding a Co-op

Office of Co-op and Career Services

The Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education should be your first stop when preparing for your co-op jobs. They offer a variety of services, including:

  • Handshake has a list of full-time and co-op opportunities that are pre-approved by the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
  • Co-op Orientation and Information Sessions (required) to get you started
  • 1-on-1 advising sessions
  • Resume and interview workshops
  • Annual Career Fairs
  • Recruiting Events

Contact Stephanie Ryan (sbroce@rit.edu), the Software Engineering coordinator, for more information.

Other Resources

  • Network with your classmates
  • Watch for company visits to Society of Software Engineers meetings, and other events on campus
  • Talk to a faculty member
  • Talk to your academic advisor

If you find a position through your network, you should be in touch with Stephanie as soon as you have been offered an interview. Stephanie and her office will double-check that the opportunity is legitimate and that it will count for co-op credit. You will need to provide the following information:

  1. Company Name
  2. Company Address
  3. Name of contact, including phone number & email address
  4. Description (detailed list) of the duties of the position

Registering Your Co-op

Co-op Enrollment

To enroll your co-op: 
Report the position to Co-op & Career Services:

Students should also notify:

  • Financial Aid: Report the co-op block through eServices: Log-in and click Financial Aid & Scholarships > Change of Enrollment
  • Housing: If applicable, contact Housing Operations to adjust your contract, housing@rit.edu

Co-op Prerequisites
Be sure you complete the following prerequisites before registering for co-op:

  • SWEN-099 (Undergraduate Co-Op Seminar) 
  • SWEN-262 (Engineering of Software Subsystems); with a C- or better
  • COMM-253 (Professional Communications)

Enrollment notes:

  • You may take maximum one course while on co-op. If you are enrolled in classes for the term, email contact@se.rit.edu. You will need to include if you would like to be dropped from all classes or if you want to stay in one course while you are on co-op.
  • Co-op is registered on your schedule as a 0 credit class. While on co-op, you are considered a full-time student. However, during co-op, students are not eligible to receive financial aid, including private alternative loans. Contact your Financial Aid counselor with any questions.
  • Report your co-op within one week of accepting a position. If you do not register your co-op promptly, you are putting your health insurance, financial aid and student loans at risk.
  • Full-time students must complete a minimum of 3 co-op blocks (2 semesters and one summer). Additional co-op blocks are permitted, with advisor approval, up to a maximum of 6 blocks total.

Co-op Approval
If you found your co-op using Handshake:

  • Positions found through RIT’s Handshake and labeled for Software Engineers are typically pre-approved. However, you should use your judgment; if a position does not look appropriate, contact the SE coordinator in the Co-op & Career Services Office, Stephanie Ryan, at sbroce@rit.edu.
  • If you found your co-op using a method other than Handshake:
  • Before accepting your offer, you should review the position with Stephanie Ryan.
  • Provide Stephanie the following information:
    • Company name
    • Company address
    • Point of contact, including phone & email
    • Description of the duties of the position
    • Required qualifications for the position
    • Technologies with which you will work

Co-op Grading

Three steps In order to earn a passing grade for your co-op:

  1. Submit your student evaluation on the co-op websiteDeadline: Exam week of the term you are on co-op.
  2. Remind your supervisor to submit the employer evaluation. Deadline: Exam week of the term you are on co-op.
  3. Schedule a meeting with your Faculty Co-op Coach Deadline: Upon your return to campus / by the end of Week 3, in the term following your co-op.

Faculty Co-Op Coaches

If your last name begins with…

Your Faculty coach is…

Please email your coach to request a meeting

A, Z

Mehdi Mirakhorli

mxmvse@rit.edu

B

Andy Meneely

axmvse@rit.edu

C

Yasmine El-Glaly

ynevse@rit.edu

D, E

Bob St. Jacques

rjsvse@rit.edu

F, G

Bruce Herring

blhvse@rit.edu

H, I

Christian Newman

cdnvse@rit.edu

J, K

Dan Krutz

dxkvse@rit.edu

L

Sam Malachowsky

samvse@rit.edu

M

Kal Rabb

kxrvse@rit.edu

N, O

Kenn Martinez

kbmvse@rit.edu

P, Q

Larry Kiser

llkiee@rit.edu

R, S

Mohamed Weim Mkaouer

mwmvse@rit.edu

T, V

Tom Reichlmayr

tjrese@rit.edu

U, W

Travis Desell

tjdvse@rit.edu

X, Y

Naveen Sharma

Contact Dawn Smith: drsvse@rit.edu

SOFTENG-MS Students

Scott Hawker

jshvse@rit.edu

Notes on grades

  • If you are missing evaluations, you will receive an F
  • If both evaluations are submitted, you will temporarily receive an Incomplete (grade field will be blank)
  • After you meet with your faculty coach, your grade will be changed to an S
  • If you do not meet with your faculty coach by the end of Week 3, your grade will be changed to an F

Notes for students on a double-block

  • You DO need to submit both evaluation forms at the end of EACH term. You will receive an F if both evaluations are not submitted by the grading date.
  • You DO NOT need to meet with your faculty coach while you are still on co-op.
  • As long as both evaluation forms are submitted, you will receive an S for the first block.
Co-op Grading FAQs

What is the purpose of the meeting?

  • Open up lines of communication between you and a faculty member.
  • Bring depth to your co-op experience, by discussing your experiences with a knowledgeable mentor.
  • Give faculty a chance to hear about your co-op experience.
  • This meeting is designed to be mutually beneficial for you and for your co-op coach. This meeting is NOT intended to ‘test’ you, or make it harder for you to pass your co-op.

What will the meeting be about?

You can expect to touch on the following topics during your meeting with your co-op coach:

  • Key points from your evaluation (successes, challenges, etc.)
  • Your supervisor’s review of your work
  • Your feedback about the experience overall
  • How well the SE curriculum prepared you for your co-op
  • Future co-op and career plans

How long is the meeting?

Your meeting is expected to run between 15-30 minutes.

  • I won’t be on campus the semester following my co-op. What should I do?
    • If you won’t be on campus during the term following your co-op (for example, if you're taking a Leave of Absence, or returning home for the summer), you should contact the SE Office to make other arrangements.
    • What if I'm on a double-block?
      If you are on a double-block, you only need to meet with your co-op coach one time – after you return to campus following your final block.
    • If all evaluations are submitted on time, you will receive an S for the first block.
  • My online evaluations have not been submitted. Should I still schedule an appointment?
    • No, you should not plan to meet with your co-op coach until both the student and the employer evaluations have been submitted online.

Co-op FAQ

Co-op (Cooperative Education) is an integral part of our program. Professional preparation includes work in a variety of organizations, where you can both apply skills learned in the classroom and acquire new skills from real-world projects. Through co-op you can enhance your technical, communication, interpersonal, and networking skills.

Definition from the Office of Co-op and Career Services:

Cooperative education at RIT is full-time, paid employment directly related to a student's field of study, for a minimum period of 14 weeks. Co-op begins after students have completed the first two years of coursework in their academic program. Students alternate terms of coursework with terms of co-op during the last three years of study.

Cooperative education is a unique kind of education. It is different from summer employment, and different from an internship. Here's why:

  • Co-op employment is related to a student's field of study
  • Co-op employment is full-time, productive work
  • Co-op employment is paid
  • Co-op employment increases in complexity and challenge according to academic level
  • Co-op employment includes formal evaluation and documentation of performance

Undergraduate students must complete two semesters and one summer of co-op before starting Senior Project. Co-op is optional for graduate students.

A co-op block is 14 weeks of full-time employment (35-40 hours per week). You may, in fact, work longer through RIT breaks and holidays, depending on your arrangement with your employer. Additional weeks are great experience, but cannot be pieced together to fulfill an additional block.

You and your employer must both complete online evaluation forms for each term you work. The Co-Op Office will email links for the form toward the end of the term.

After you and your employer submit online evaluations, you should arrange a meeting with your faculty co-op coach. Your coach will review the evaluations, and assign a pass/fail grade after meeting with you.

For more information, please refer to Co-op Grading.

Yes. RIT defines co-op as paid work. Wages vary by employer and by region, but the average for SE students is $20/hour.

You do not pay tuition or any institute fees while on co-op, but you remain eligible to utilize all the facilities and services of the Institute.

There is no set rate of pay - compensation is decided by the organization that hires you. Currently the average wage for an SE co-op is $20/hour.

Check the co-op website for the latest co-op salary data.

Your co-op should give you hands-on experience that relates to the software engineering skills you acquired in your courses. Job opportunities listed by the Office of Co-op and Career Services are "approved" co-op positions. If you obtain a co-op position through another source, and are not sure if it is acceptable, see your academic advisor before accepting the job.

The Office of Co-Op and Career Services will help you find job opportunities, but seizing the opportunities and interviewing for them is your responsibility. Expect to go through the same hiring and interview process for a co-op as you would for any full-time position.

CIR Experience

Creative, Innovative & Research Activities

Students may substitute one summer term of creative, innovative or research (SE CIR) activities related to software engineering for a traditional co-op experience.

Examples of SE CIR activities include:

  • Contributing to research projects
  • Supervised participation in entrepreneurial activities
  • Cross-disciplinary innovation projects not otherwise eligible for co-op

Students will follow a structured application process prior to registering for the course. They will submit a plan of work that outlines the proposed activities, defines tangible goals and deliverables, and identifies a person (faculty member, business contact, etc.) who will provide oversight throughout the term. At the conclusion of the term, students will follow an assessment process similar to that used for traditional co-op.

The student must have completed one block of traditional co-op (SWEN-499) before
starting a SE CIR experience. SE CIR credit will not be given for any work performed prior
to completing the first co-op block.

SE CIR Guidelines

SE CIR Approval Form

Graduate Co-op

Before accepting your offer, you need to discuss the opportunity with the graduate program director. You will need to provide them with the following information:

  1. Company Name
  2. Description of the duties of the position
  3. Date of employment
  4. The number of hours you are expected to work each week

Once you have discussed your co-op with the graduate program director, you must complete the following steps:

  • Go to https://www.rit.edu/emcs/oce/.
  • Select 'Student.'
  • Select 'Report Co-op or Internship' on the left-hand side of the page.
  • Log-in with your RIT username and password and complete the form.
  • Once your co-op is registered and approved and through the Co-op Office, you will be manually registered in SIS.
  • If you are enrolled in classes for the term, email grad@se.rit.edu. You will need to let the office know if you would like to be dropped from all classes or if you want to stay in one course while you are on co-op.

If you are an international student, you will also need an offer letter from the company for the International Student Services Office. ISS will update your visa and immigration documents after you are enrolled in SIS.

The enrollment process from when you enter your co-op information into Handshake to when you are enrolled in SIS may take one or two weeks. If you are not enrolled after two weeks, email the office.

Co-op is registered on your schedule as a zero credit class. While on co-op, you are considered a full-time student. However, during co-op, students are not eligible to receive financial aid, including private alternative loans. Contact your Financial Aid counselor with any questions.

If you need to be registered for co-op after the add/drop date. The SE Office submits a Late Add/Drop Form to the GCCIS Dean’s Office. They then approve the late add and forward the form to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office will then enroll you. This process is much slower and it could take several days to enroll you in SIS.  Your signature is also required on this form.  If the form is necessary and you are no longer on campus to sign it directly, look for an email requesting your electronic approval.

Register your co-op within one week of accepting a position. If you do not register your co-op promptly, you are putting your health insurance, financial aid and student loans at risk.

Co-op Prerequisites
All graduate students must complete two semesters of full-time academic study within the Software Engineering Department before going on co-op. All co-op positions must be full-time (at least 35 hours per week) and be paid.

Graduate students may not take more than three terms of co-op.