Cooperative Education Program

What is a Co-op?

  • Paid career-related educational work opportunity to help undergraduate students gain experience in a professional setting before graduating.
  • Available to students in the College of Computing and Informatics, William States Lee College of Engineering, and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Participating students may work 3 alternating full-time semesters of work with full-time semesters of school, 2 back-to-back full-time semesters of work, or 3 parallel part-time semesters of work with part-time semesters of school:
    • College of Engineering students must commit to 3 co-op work rotations. Rotations can be alternating or back-to-back (spring-summer or summer-fall). Example: [Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Summer 2019] or [Summer 2019, Spring 2019, Summer 2020], etc.
    • College of Engineering students may earn up to 1 year towards their North Carolina professional license after working and completing three full time semesters of co-op.
    • Computing and Informatics students need only 2 alternating semesters. 
    • School of Architecture students typical coop experience is back-to-back semesters
    • Back-to-back schedules must not include fall and spring in a given semester (spring-summer or summer-fall only).
  • While on your co-op assignment, you are registered for a $60 zero-credit transcript notation course that is applied to your student account each work rotation.  Enrollment in the course during your work rotation maintains your full-time student status.
    Students receive a “Satisfactory” or Unsatisfactory” grade for the co-op transcript notation course, based on completion of a co-op student evaluation.  Student evaluations are sent by email near the end of each semester.  Students will not receive a “Satisfactory” grade for the co-op transcript notation course, unless their student evaluation is completed by the date designated in their co-op work semester.
  • There is a $60 registration fee for transcript notation that is applied to your student account each work rotation (and co-op seminar rotation via your academic department).

The University Career Center processes co-op applications one semester at a time. (Note: If you are hired to work back-to-back rotations over the course of two semesters you must still reapply for the second rotation.) We accept applications each semester based on the course registration dates set by the office of the Registrar. Submission dates for each semester are as follows:

  • Fall Co-ops- We will begin accepting applications the first week of July
  • Spring Co-ops – We will begin accepting applications the first week of November
  • Summer Co-op Applications- We will begin accepting applications the first week of April
  • Program is open to undergraduate students only.
  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student (minimum of 12 credit hours) during the fall or spring semester prior to the semester you start your co-op.
  • Must have completed 30 earned credit hours at UNC Charlotte before you begin working (12 as a transfer student).
  • Must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5.
  • Must be in good standing with the University with no financial holds over $99.

**Both Graduate and Undergraduate students from the School of Architecture are eligible to participate in a Career Center Co-op after they first apply and are officially accepted to the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (iPAL) curricular pathway.

  1. From Hire-A-Niner, click "Enroll in the Co-op Program" under "Experiential Learning" on the right-hand side of the homepage
  2. Click "Add New Experience"
  3. Complete all required fields and click "Submit"

A member of our team will be in touch within 5 business days as soon as your submission has been reviewed.

Information Required

  • Co-op approval form signed by your co-op faculty advisor listed on the form below (complete before your first co-op work rotation only unless your rotations change).
  • Detailed job description showing an overview of your daily activities and responsibilities as well as the skills you will learning and using throughout your co-op.
  • Offer letter
  • Supervisor's contact information
  • Pay

Co-op Approval Form

Co-Op Faculty Advisors

Department Faculty Advisor Office Phone
Architecture Dr. David Thaddeus 247 Storrs (704) 687-0421
Civil Engineering Dr. Janos Gergely 3262 EPIC (704) 687-1221
Civil Engineering Tech Dr. Tony Brizedine 274 Smith (704) 687-5050
Construction Management Dr. Tony Brizedine 274 Smith (704) 687-5050
Construction Management Tech Dr. Tony Brizedine 274 Smith (704) 687-5050
Electrical & Computer Engineering Ms. Nan Bousaba 2165 EPIC (704) 687-7029
Engineering Management Dr. Churlzu Lim 212 CARC (704) 687-1954
Fire Safety Engineering Dr. Tony Brizedine 274 Smith (704) 687-5050
Fire Safety Tech Dr. Tony Brizedine 274 Smith (704) 687-5050
Mechanical Engineering Dr. Kevin Lawton 160 Duke (704) 687-8338
Mechanical Engineering Tech Dr. Tony Brizefine 274 Smith (704) 687-5050
Systems Engineering Dr. Churlzu Lim 212 CARC (704) 687-1954
All Others Jim Novak 150 Atkins (704) 687-0787

 

All other majors should contact experiential-ed@uncc.edu to determine their appropriate faculty advisor. 

  • The University Career Center requires 5 business days to review your request to enroll in the Co-op Program from the date you accurately complete your submission in Hire-A-Niner.
  • A member of our team will be in touch within 5 business days as soon as your submission has been reviewed.
  • Failure to accurately and thoroughly complete your request in Hire-A-Niner will result in processing time delays.
  • Your application must be submitted before the last day of add/drop for the semester you wish to enroll. Failure to turn the application in before this date may result in having to submit an academic petition to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Undergraduate students will be registered for one of the following courses based on your major in order to set your student status to full-time while you work.
  • These courses are zero-credit transcript notation courses only. No credit hours will be awarded.
  • During the summer term, these courses are full 10 week courses, so they are not broken up into summer I and summer II.
  • A $60 co-op fee will be applied to your student account each semester you are enrolled in co-op.
  • Some majors are required enroll in a 1 credit hour co-op seminar during the semester following each work rotation. See your co-op faculty advisor below for more details.

LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCES

COMPUTING & INFORMATICS

EDUCATION

ENGINEERING

ARSC 3500

BIOL 3500

CHEM 3500

ESCI 3500

GEOG 3500

MATH 3551

PHYS 3590

ITCS 3590

ITIS 3590

EDUC 3500

ENGR 3590

Many of our students enroll in a co-op course over their academic career. Cooperative Education (co-op) is a type of internship program that enables students to receive career training with pay as they work with professionals in their major fields of study (available for College of Computing and Informatics, Williams States Lee College of Engineering, and College of Liberal Arts & Science). This work experience typically enhances the student’s academic training and is also documented on their college transcript. Co-op students are enrolled in a zero credit transcript notation course for the semester in which they work in order to maintain their full-time status with the university. They are also charged a $60 registration fee and no tuition for the co-op course.

According to federal guidelines, as long as a school determines the co-op program is equal to full-time status and the student is required to take the co-op as part of their program, then the school is allowed to pay federal financial aid to these students. UNC Charlotte does not require students to complete a co-op program as part of their degree requirements; therefore, students are not eligible for financial aid in the term(s) where co-op is the only course taken.

Verifying Your Enrollment for Purposes of Financial Aid or Health Care

UNC Charlotte recognizes your enrollment in a zero-credit transcript notation course, for the semester in which you work, maintains your full-time status with the university. While out on your Co-op, you may still receive automatic notices from financial aid or health care insurers which question your full-time status. If you receive such notices (i.e. Financial Aid's referral to Exit Counseling), please visit the Office of the Registrar's website to obtain enrollment verification forms at no charge via the National Student Clearinghouse. The UCC encourages all Cooperative Education students, even prior to the start of your assignment, to contact any relevant financial aid or health care insurer to notify these institutions of your intention and be prepared as to how your full-time status will be handled.

Will a student be eligible for financial aid if they register for other courses along with their co-op course during the same term?

Students may be eligible for financial aid and should check with the Office of Financial Aid to determine eligibility.

What can a student do if they need assistance for living expenses, transportation expenses, etc.?

Co-op students can apply for an alternative loan if they meet the lender’s requirements. Students will need to check with their lender of choice to see if they qualify.

Will students have to begin repayment of their student loans in their co-op term since there’s zero credit for the co-op program?

Co-op students are considered full-time status during the term(s) of the co-op course. Student will remain in an in-school deferment status for loan repayment purposes and will not have to begin repayment during their co-op term.