Northeastern student with diploma at graduation

Co-op and Experiential Learning

As the cornerstone of Northeastern University’s educational model, CPS Co-op offers learners the opportunity to apply classroom skills within professional settings to solve real-world business problems.

Real-World Learning

Experiential Learning can help you connect with a target organization and earn while you learn, allowing you to put your name and face in front of the right people and prove you have what it takes to work there. Maybe you have some experience in a field, but you’re looking to re-enter the workforce in a better-paying position at a bigger company. Perhaps you’d like a preview of what it’s like to work in a particular field, before you commit to it or just want to start applying the theories you’re learning in class to your real-world job. 

CO-OP

32-40 hours/week, paid positions, 3-6 months in length

PART-TIME CO-OP

15-31 hour/week, paid or unpaid, 3-6 months in length

@WORK

Project-based work done at company outside of job scope

Whatever your reasons, our experiential learning options can give you the edge on preparing for your career. Start by determining your eligibility below and reviewing our checklists for participation:

You may be eligible for experiential learning opportunities whether you take courses on campus or online. We work with CPS students across all Northeastern campuses including Boston, Seattle, Charlotte, the Bay Area, Portland, Toronto, and Vancouver campuses. 

You can book appointments with your CPS Co-op Advisor online.

Walk-in / Virtual Advising Hours

Email contact: [email protected]

MonTueWedThuFri
In-Person1pm – 3pm1pm – 3pm
Virtual1pm – 3pm1pm – 3pm

Boston In-Person Advising
50 Nightingale Hall
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Boston Virtual Advising
Zoom Link
Please note: This link is subject to change and should not be bookmarked or saved. Please be sure to check this page for the most current link.

Email contact: [email protected]

MonTueWedThuFri
In-Person3pm – 5pm2pm – 4pm
Virtual1pm – 3pm10am – 12pm

Toronto In-Person Advising
100 King St W, 52nd floor, Advising Room
Toronto, ON M5X 1E2

Toronto Virtual Advising
Zoom Link
Please note: This link is subject to change and should not be bookmarked or saved. Please be sure to check this page for the most current link.

Email contact: [email protected]

Seattle Virtual Advising
Schedule a Virtual Advising Session
Please note: This link is subject to change and should not be bookmarked or saved. Please be sure to check this page for the most current link.

Seattle In-Person Advising
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12-2 PM PT on the third floor of 225

Email contact: [email protected]

Bay Area Office Hours Calendar

MonTueWedThuFri
In-Person3pm – 5pm
(Silicon Valley)
3pm – 5pm
(San Francisco)
Virtual3pm – 5pm

Bay Area In-Person Advising

Silicon Valley
4 N 2nd St.
(10th floor – outside the blue alcove on the SE side of the building)

San Francisco
Student lounge on the 20th floor

Bay Area Virtual Advising
Schedule an Advising Session
Please note: This link is subject to change and should not be bookmarked or saved. Please be sure to check this page for the most current link.

Email contact: [email protected]

MonTueWedThuFri
In-Person11am – 12pm10am – 12pm1pm – 5pm
Virtual11am – 12pm10am – 12pm 11am – 12pm and 3pm – 5pm1pm – 5pm

The Roux Institute In-Person and Virtual Advising
Schedule an Advising Session

Experiential Learning Overview

In the College of Professional Studies, experiential learning can meet your academic, professional, and personal needs. Through varied, flexible options, integrating experiential learning into your degree plan is a breeze.  

CO-OP

Integration of classroom learning and the real-world experience. Target population: Students in the second half of their degree with core theoretical knowledge and possibly some work experience who will take a Co-op (32-40 hours/week) to apply significant theoretical knowledge and expand professional network.

PART-TIME CO-OP

Part time professional training experiences for students seeking entry into a new field. Students will do a Part-Time Co-op to gain exposure to new skills, a new network, and workplace culture.

@WORK

Project-based work done in the workplace guided by an employer sponsor. Target population: students who are also working professionals and can negotiate with their employer to do a project outside the scope of their regular duties at the organization where they work or volunteer, or students sponsored by an employer partner.

Co-op, Part-Time Co-op, and Experiential Learning at Work are all optional experiential learning activities offered in CPS. Students in CPS can also complete Experiential Network (XN) projects. These projects can be completed both in your classes and as an extracurricular activity. For more information on (XN) projects, visit the XN project website

If you are interested in engaging in a Co-op, Part-Time Co-op, or other experiential learning options, be sure you meet all the eligibility requirements.  

Part-Time Co-ops (Graduate)Co-ops and Co-op at Work (Graduate)
-Complete 12 credits in your current program of study at CPS
-Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
-Complete 20 credits in your current program of study at CPS
-Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
Part-Time Co-ops (Undergraduate)Co-ops (Undergraduate)
-Complete 15 semester hours in your current program of study at CPS
-Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
-Complete 30 semester hours in your current program of study at CPS
-Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • International students must meet additional eligibility requirements for work authorization. Please see the “Experiential Learning for International Students” section. 
  • A Co-op or Part-Time Co-op cannot take place is a student’s final term. Students must have at least one graduation-required course left to complete in the term after the Co-op or Part-Time Co-op.

Understand Where and How Experiential Learning Can Fit into your Program: 

Meet with your Academic Advisor to: 

  • Communicate your interest in experiential learning and discuss the various options 
  • Discuss your course plan and where experiential learning can fit it considering the academic and other eligibility requirements for experiential learning and your program requirements 

Meet with your Co-op Advisor to: 

  • Go over the process of engaging in an experiential learning opportunity and learn important deadlines and dates 
  • Learn about the required courses to get credit and registrations to maintain status 
  • Learn about the database of positions currently available to CPS students. Students are welcome to develop their own opportunities with employers not affiliated with our database, as long as the position meets the criteria for a Part-Time Co-op or Co-op and falls within the appropriate academic term timeframe. 
  • Let us know your interest in experiential learning by completing the Intent to Participate Survey. By completing the Intent to Participate Survey, this will let us know that you are interested in incorporating experiential learning into your program and allow for easier communication between us and you so that you can stay as up to date as possible on events, workshops, Co-op openings, and much more.

Enroll in INT2000/INT6200: Preparing for Experiential Learning (optional) 

Your academic advisor can assist you in enrolling in the INT 6200 – Preparing for Experiential Learning- course if you are a graduate student or INT 2000 -Preparation for Experiential Learning – if you are an undergraduate student. This 1 credit course is not required for students who expect to self-develop their Co-op, but it is encouraged. For those students that will be searching for jobs through our Northeastern developed opportunities (including access to NUworks) and for those wishing to participate in an extracurricular XN project, there continues to be a requirement to successfully complete the INT course. 

As an international student, you have the option to incorporate a Co-op, Part-Time Co-op, or XN Project into your program. We recommend you begin at the start of your degree to ensure it is integrated into your course of study—helping you take advantage of as many opportunities as possible while you are at Northeastern. 

Before you can participate in a Co-op, Part-Time Co-op, or XN project you must: 

  • Enroll in INT 6200 (Graduate)/INT 2000 (Undergrad): Preparing for Experiential Learning (1 credit) to increase your likelihood of success (optional but recommended). 
  • Obtain approval from your Co-op Advisor once you have an offer letter in hand 
  • Apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization with your Co-op Advisor. See below for more details:
    • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as alternative work/study, Part-Time or Full-time Co-op, cooperative education, or any other type of required practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.
      • A student must complete one academic year (two semesters/three quarters) of full-time study in the US before being eligible for CPT.
      • CPT authorization is required for all unpaid and paid Co-op/Part-Time Co-op positions.
      • No final term CPT is authorized – must have at least one degree required course left to take in the term after Co-op/Part-Time Co-op.
      • If you have already completed your degree requirements, you cannot receive CPT authorization.
    • Students should submit their CPT Work Authorization Request at least 3 weeks before your desired start date, to ensure that there is enough time for their approval.
    • Students should submit their CPT E-form Request through the OGS office, after their Co-op is approved by the CPS Co-op Team. Students should use [email protected] as the Secondary Approver Email when prompted.

US based students who receive a paid position and do not have a social security number (SSN) must apply for an SSN once they have received CPT authorization. 

The OGS website will provide you with additional important information on procedures and forms to ensure legal authorization.

How do I apply for a Co-op work permit and SIN Social Insurance Number?

Other Co-op Requirements

  • Your Co-op duration must be less than 50% of your total program timeline with a maximum of six months
  • You must be registered in an official Co-op course
  • Your Co-op position must be full time (30+ hours per week)
  • Summer Co-op positions must meet the requirements above, if you choose to work full time on your study permit in the summer, the position will not be considered as Co-op creditable work

Part-time work guidelines for international students in Canada

  • During your study term, you may also work on your study permit for up to 20 hours per week
  • During your Co-op term, legally, you may also work on your study permit for non-Co-op creditable work for up to 20 hours/week off-campus

Steps to Request Co-op Approval (US and Canada)

CPS Co-op Dates and Deadlines, Academic Year 2022-2023

Winter Quarter Important Dates and Deadlines

Co-op Start Date Range: 12/19/22-1/23/23
End Date: 4/9/23

Application Deadlines

Start DateDeadline to Apply
12/19/2211/25/22
12/26/2212/2/22
1/2/2312/2/22
1/9/2312/9/22
1/16/2312/16/22
1/23/2312/23/22

Spring Quarter Important Dates and Deadlines

Co-op Start Date Range: 4/3/23-4/24/23
End Date: 7/9/23

Application Deadlines

Start DateDeadline to Apply
4/3/233/10/23
4/10/233/17/23
4/17/233/24/23
4/24/233/31/23

Summer Quarter Important Dates and Deadlines

Co-op Start Date Range: 7/3/23-7/17/23
End Date: 9/15/23

Application Deadlines

Start DateDeadline to Apply
7/3/236/9/23
7/10/236/16/23
7/17/236/23/23

All Co-op and CPT applications should be submitted 3 weeks prior to the Co-op start date to ensure there is enough time for the approval process. All deadlines are FINAL. We will not be accepting late requests or submissions.

CPS Co-op Dates and Deadlines, Academic Year 2022-2023

Spring Semester Important Dates and Deadlines

Co-op Start Date Range: 12/19/22-1/23/23
End Date: 5/5/23 (4-month only); 6/27/23 (6-month)

Application Deadlines

Start DateDeadline to Apply
12/19/2211/25/22
12/26/2212/2/22
1/2/2312/2/22
1/9/2312/9/22
1/16/2312/16/22
1/23/2312/23/22

Summer Semester (4-month only) Important Dates and Deadlines

Co-op Start Date Range: 5/1/23-5/22/23
End Date: 9/1/23

Application Deadlines

Start DateDeadline to Apply
5/1/234/7/23
5/8/234/14/23
5/15/234/21/23
5/22/234/28/23

Summer 2/Fall Semester Important Dates and Deadlines

Co-op Start Date Range: 6/26/23-7/17/23
End Date: 1/5/24

Application Deadlines

Start DateDeadline to Apply
6/26/236/2/23
7/3/236/9/23
7/10/236/16/23
7/17/236/23/23

All Co-op and CPT applications should be submitted 3 weeks prior to the Co-op start date to ensure there is enough time for the approval process. All deadlines are FINAL. We will not be accepting late requests or submissions.

The review process can take about 3 weeks. Please submit the request for Co-op at least 3 weeks before your desired start date.

The review process can take about 3 weeks. Please submit the request for Co-op at least 3 weeks before your desired start date.

Student Testimonial

“It was a great chance for me to demonstrate what I learned at Northeastern in project management, and how I connected schoolwork and class curriculum to real life project management at Asian Women for Health.”

Chen Fang (Anna) Hung, ‘20
MS Project Management with concentration in Corporate and Organizational Communication
2020 Experiential Learning Humanics Award recipient for her work at Asian Women for Health on an online support group for Chinese women living with breast cancer.

XN Project Winners

Meet the 2021 winners of the Experiential Learning awards who were nominated by their employers for excellence in applying their knowledge to their work in business and non-profits. Undergraduate and graduate students participated in Co-ops and Experiential Network (XN) projects.

Read more

For further information, contact Yvonne Rogers, Director of Cooperative Education & Employer Engagement, College of Professional Studies.