Software Engineering Co-op

Finding a Co-op

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:

  • Career Connect : Lists 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 with faculty coaches 
  • Resume and interview workshops
  • Annual Career Fairs
  • Recruiting Events

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

***Graduate students MUST get approval from graduate program director before submitting co-ops to Career Services. 

Registering and Enrolling Co-ops

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

  • Complete the form at https://www.rit.edu/emcs/oce/student-home to register Co-op and Career Services. 
  • Once your co-op has been reviewed with co-op and career services, staff will enroll you on SIS (allow 1-2 weeks for processing).
  • For technical issues, or to make an update to a previously reported co-op block, contact oceeval@rit.edu.

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
  • 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.

***Graduate Students must get approval from their program directors. 

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)
  • Graduate students must complete co-op orientation. 

If you found your co-op using Career Connect:

  • Positions found through RIT’s Career Connect 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 Career Connect:
  • 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

***Graduate student's must get graduate director's approval before registering with Career Connect, see steps here>>>

  • You may take maximum one course while on co-op. If you are enrolled in classes for the term, email our staff assistant Britt at bmsvse@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.

Graduate Co-op

Before accepting your offer, you need to discuss the opportunity with the graduate program director. Your offer letter must include the following:

  • Company Name
  • Description of the duties of the position
  • Date of employment
  • Expected starting and ending pay rate
  • 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:

  1. Register your co-op with Career Connect
  2. Once your co-op is registered and approved and through the Career Connect, you will be manually enrolled in SIS.Contact our Staff Assistant: Britt Stanford at bmsvse@rit.edu to be enrolled. 
    • You may take one course while you are on co-op. If you are already enrolled in courses, please inform our Staff Assistant in which, if any, course you would like to remain enrolled. 
  3. International Students must also visit the International Student Services  website and submit a CPT form. You will need: 
    • A screen shot of your co-op enrollment in SIS. 
    • A copy of your employment offer letter.

***International students may not take additional courses while on co-op

The enrollment process from when you enter your co-op information into Career Connect 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 and Requirements:

  • Complete two semesters of full-time academic study within the Software Engineering Department, in residence in the United States prior to co-op. 
  • Complete the co-op orientation.
  • 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. 

Co-op Grading and Coaching

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

  1. Submit your student evaluation on the co-op website.  Deadline: Exam week of the term you are on co-op.
  2. Remind your supervisor to submit the employer evaluationDeadline: 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.

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.

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 coaches are assigned based on the first letter of your last name, please find your faculty co-op coach here

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 Coaches

 First letter of last name begins with:

A,Z

Mehdi Mirakhorli headshot
Associate Professor
Department of Software Engineering
Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
Kodak Endowed Scholar
585-475-4663

 B

 

C

 

D,E

Christian Newman headshot
Assistant Professor
Department of Software Engineering
Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
585-475-5094

 

F,G,H

Daniel Krutz headshot
Assistant Professor
Department of Software Engineering
Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
585-475-2896

I,J

 

K,L,N,O

Kal Rabb headshot
Lecturer
Department of Software Engineering
Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
585-475-2949

 

M

Kenn Martinez headshot
Senior Lecturer
Department of Software Engineering
Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
585-475-5152

 

P,Q

Larry Kiser headshot
Senior Lecturer
Department of Software Engineering
Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
585-230-4400

 

R,S

T,U

Tom Reichlmayr headshot
Associate Professor
Department of Software Engineering
Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
Undergraduate Program Director
585-475-2852

 

V,W

Travis Desell headshot
Associate Professor
Department of Software Engineering
Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
Graduate Program Director, Data Science
585-475-2991

 

X,Y

Naveen Sharma headshot
Department Chair
Department of Software Engineering
Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
585-475-2472
Please contact Dawn Smith for scheduling with Dr. Sharma: Email: drsvse@rit.edu Phone: 585-475-4921

 

 

CIR Experience

Undergraduate 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

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 undergraduate 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. 

Graduate students must complete two semesters of courses while resident in the United States. 

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, but strongly encouraged 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 or graduate program director. 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.