The Co-op program provides graduate students, including international graduate students, with an optional work opportunity as part of their education. In addition, it also enables them to earn a reasonable amount of money over a 14-16 week work rotation. While placements cannot be guaranteed, the Swanson School of Engineering has a dedicated co-op office that works with many companies to place students in suitable positions.

Eligibility: The program is open to any full time Master’s student after completing two academic terms, as long as he/she is in good academic standing. Typically, the co-op rotation would be over the summer between the first and second years, although it could be also be over the fall term of the second year. SSoE undergraduates who go directly into the program are allowed to co-op the term before starting their graduate degree program as well as the term between their first and second graduate years. In general, the program is not open to full time PhD students unless an exception is granted by both the student’s advisor and the graduate program director.


  1. All participating students must first obtain approval from the graduate program director and their academic advisor prior to signing up for the program.
  2. Students must then sign up officially with the Co-op Program Office, including signing the “Co-op Contract” and agreeing to follow all Co-op rules and policies including payment of the necessary.
  3. The Co-op Program will coordinate company interviews to place the student in an appropriate.
  4. The students are charged the regular Co-op Fee as well as the other applicable University of Pittsburgh fees. The student also registers for the 1 credit that is covered by the Co- op Fee.
  5. The student is required to prepare a short paper describing his/her rotation, including the skills learned and used and its educational relevance. The paper is due within two weeks after completion of the In addition, the student must also complete the required evaluation forms.
  6. Upon acceptance of the paper by the graduate program director, the student receives an “S” grade for the 1 credit. If the paper is not acceptable, an “I” grade is awarded. If an acceptable paper is not received and approved by the graduate program director by the end of the term following the rotation, the student receives a “U” grade and will not be allowed to participate further in the program.
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