The co-op experience is a non-credit bearing, full-time, paid employment position directly related to your field of study. Occasionally students work in unpaid positions to fulfill a co-op requirement. These co-op equivalents are handled differently and must be approved in advance. All co-ops (and equivalents) MUST be approved by the Department Chair.
All placements (co-op or equivalent) must be at least 350 hours, require you to do applied work, and be directly related to psychology. You should try to find a position that provides you with hands-on experience in psychology that you have not had before. If your preferred co-op is not obviously and directly relevant to your education in psychology, then you need to clearly demonstrate how your supervisor can teach you the psychological principles of the experience you are obtaining. Final determination is made by the department chair. If you are unsure if your placement qualifies for this requirement, e-mail a description to Dr. Comer (email@example.com) and she will let you know if it will qualify.
You can also use this chart to help you determine if something will count for co-op or an equivalent: .
Meet with your faculty advisor to discuss potential opportunities as early as possible (at least one year prior to the planned co-op). You can also talk to other psychology faculty as well; this is vital if you want to set up an undergraduate research experience.
Attend the Internship Search Workshop for CLA majors or contact the CLA Career Services Coordinator; both are offered through the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education (see the Co-Op Resources tab for contact information)
Search through Handshake (https://rit.joinhandshake.com) to locate job opportunities posted by the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Search regular job sites (i.e., Indeed, Monster, etc.) for jobs that fit the co-op timeframe
Visit the Psychology Co-op and Career Center (Eastman 2378) to browse lists of prior student co-ops and view current advertisements for co-ops and internships
Directly connect with individuals at relevant workplaces or organizations in your community to discuss potential co-op opportunities
You must first complete at least two years’ worth of coursework. Students are strongly encouraged to complete co-op in the summer.
Locate a potential co-op. All co-ops must be pre-approved by the Department of Psychology. So after you have identified a co-op opportunity, complete the approval form (see below) and submit it to Dr. Comer (firstname.lastname@example.org) for approval.
Once approved, you should be automatically enrolled in the relevant course (PSYC 498, 499, or 550) in SIS (but make sure to check SIS to be sure you were registered).
Only for Co-Op and Internship Placements (PSYC 499 and 498): Register your co-op with the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education reporting system. Go to http://www.rit.edu/reportco-op and complete and submit the form.
Note: Students doing the Undergraduate Research Experience (PSYC 550) do NOT register their placement with this system. Submitting the approval form to the Psychology Department is the only paperwork needed
Upon completion of your co-op, you will be directed to complete a summary of your work experience.
Your employer will receive a request to complete an evaluation of your job performance. This request will be sent by the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education.