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Cooperative Education (co-op) is a unique feature of the RIT experience that gives students meaningful work experience during their time at RIT. Co-op is full-time, paid work experience directly related to student's field of study and career interests.

The co-op experience is a reason why many students choose RIT. Parents and students can learn more about co-ops directly on the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education website, but here are some common questions and concerns of parents and students:


Co-op requirements vary by college and department. The co-op can be required or optional, and the amount of required time spent in a co-op differs by department. View the list of co-op requirements by college to see what is expected of your student based on his or her field of study.

Finding a Co-op

Students are not guaranteed a co-op job; there is no placement program. Students must search, apply, and go through the same hiring process as a regular job. The Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education is the primary office that can assist students in utilizing available resources to find a co-op position.

Tuition and Financial Aid

RIT does not charge tuition during a student's co-op, which means most forms of financial aid are not awarded during co-op employment. Students should contact their Financial Aid Counselor ( with specific questions regarding financial aid during co-ops.

Housing While on Co-op

A student whose co-op is located 45 miles or more from Rochester and requires the student to relocate (not a co-op completed virtually) during fall semester may maintain his/her RIT housing contract and assignment. Rent will be reduced for the term(s) that the resident is on co-op to one-half the term's rent. The student will not have key or card access to housing during the term(s) he/she is not on campus, and will not be allowed back into housing until the official move-in date. The student must notify Housing Operations in writing to participate in this housing hold no later than two weeks prior to the start of the term that he/she is registered for co-op.

This housing hold option is not available to students whose co-op is to be completed virtually or locally (within 45 miles of RIT). It is also not available during spring semester or summer term.