Cooperative Education Program (Co-op)

Paid, hands-on experience

The Cooperative Education Program (co-op) is designed to provide you with an employment opportunity to gain practical degree-related work experience before you graduate. The program is structured so you can take a break from your studies and work full-time for one or more semesters, including spring/summer or summer/fall. This allows 8-9 months of work experience versus the 3 summer months allowed for internship positions.

Starting the co-op process

Upwards of 200 employers hire Missouri S&T co-op students annually. COER also works individually with students who wish to co-op with an employer who does not currently participate in the Missouri S&T co-op program.

You can apply for these positions through the traditional resume/interview job search process facilitated by COER. Before you can be considered for a co-op, you need to register with HireMiners.

Co-op eligibility requirements

  • Minimum Requirements
  • Freshman Student
  • Transfer Student
  • Graduate Student (MS/PhD)
  • International Student
  • Co-op Waiver Form

Minimum Requirements

To be eligible to participate in the co-op program, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  •  Be full-time degree seeking. Full-time is defined as satisfactorily carrying and passing a minimum of 12 credit hours (9 credit hours for a graduate student) in a fall or spring semester
  •  Have at least a cumulative GPA of 2.0 out of 4.0 to apply to and participate in the program
  •  Not be on any type of probation
  •  Other eligibility requirements may be established by the sponsoring company with Missouri S&T

Freshman Student

Freshman students are eligible after two semesters.

Transfer Student

Transfer students are immediately eligible. A transfer student who is participating in a co-op program through another institution may transfer and continue the co-op affiliation subject to Missouri S&T's guidelines.

Graduate Student (MS/PhD)

Graduate students are eligible after completing one semester. 

The one semester requirement is waived if the student received an undergraduate degree from Missouri S&T.

International Student

International students are eligible after completing 9 months of studies and with academic department approval. International students are eligible to apply for up to 12 months of Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which allows them to accept internship or co-op positions prior to graduation.  CPT is approved and issued by the Missouri S&T International Affairs Office and can be processed within one week.  Employers do not need to sponsor international students for co-op or internship employment.

Co-op Waiver Form

If you would like to petition to waive the requirements set by Career Opportunities and Employer Relations in order to participate in the Cooperative Education Program at Missouri S&T, please fill out the Coop Waiver.

Co-Op Benefits

  • Gain future employment advantage
  • Earn a higher starting full-time salary
  • Validate your career plans
  • Option to earn academic credit
  • Network with professionals and other college students
  • Learn corporate recruiting strategies
  • Help finance college

Co-op Hiring Schedule

Employers hire throughout the academic year.  Most commonly, employers prefer to recruit for combined semesters (summer/fall or spring/summer), and will then decide to make additional offers based on student performance and employer needs. Other options are alternating multiple semesters of study with employment. However, this is a decision between the employer and student, and the schedule can be arranged as agreed on by the parties. It is Missouri S&T policy that students are not away from their studies for a full academic year unless prior authorization is given by the academic department.

Co-Op Work Terms

  • Fall (August - December)
  • Spring (January - May)
  • Summer/Fall (May - December)
  • Spring/Summer (January - August)

Receiving a Co-op Offer: The Next Steps

Co-Op Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in the co-op program, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  •     Be full-time degree seeking. Full-time is defined as satisfactorily carrying and passing a minimum of 12 credit hours (9 credit hours for a graduate student) in a fall or spring semester
  •     Have at least a cumulative GPA of 2.0 out of 4.0 to apply to and participate in the program
  •     Not be on any type of probation
  •     Other eligibility requirements may be established by the sponsoring company with Missouri S&T


Freshmen - After first two semesters

Transfer - Immediately eligible. A transfer student who is participating in a co-op program through another institution may transfer and continue the co-op affiliation subject to Missouri S&T's guidelines.

Graduate (MS/PhD) - After completing one semester, unless undergraduate degree is from Missouri S&T.

International - After completing 9 months of studies, and with academic department approval. International students are eligible to apply for up to 12 months of Curricular Practical Training (CPT) which allows them to accept internship or co-op positions prior to graduation.  CPT is approved and issued by the Missouri S&T International Affairs Office, and can be processed within one week.  Employers do not need to sponsor international students for co-op or internship employment.


Once you receive a written offer letter for a co-op job, each co-op term (summer, fall, spring) needs to be registered with the university through HireMiners.

Log into your HireMiners account
• At the top of the screen, you will see “Career Center” select “Experiences” from the drop down menu. Click the “Request an Experience” tab located at the top of the Experience screen
• Select “Co-op” or “Internship” as the Experience type
• Please enter the requested information on the page
• Click on the “Request Experience” button at the bottom of the page to submit the experience
• Select the blue “New Attachment” button on the left hand side of the screen to attach the required offer letter
• After submitting the Experience you can review the information. If you find an error, edit the Experience and update the submission.

If you have any questions, please ask Sammatha Wilcox at sammatha@mst.edu or 573-341-4309. Include your offer letter from your employer. 

Registering a co-op will ensure you maintain your student status with the Registrar's Office while working away from campus.  If you are an international student who has accepted an internship, please stop by international affairs to obtain your CPT/ J1 paperwork, and then bring them to the COER to complete the process.

NOTE: If you accept a position, then you are obligated to that position.  If you receive another offer, let the company who presented you with the newer offer know that you appreciate the offer but that you have already accepted an offer and would like for them to keep you in mind next summer.

If you have any questions, please contact Sammatha Wilcox at sammatha@mst.edu or (573) 573-4309.

You may be unable to register your co-op if you have holds on your Joe'SS account. You might also need a waiver.  Reasons for a waiver include the following:

      • Being on scholastic probation
      • Going on co-op two semesters in a row
      • Not being a full-time student the semester prior to the co-op
      • Being in freshmen class standing

Earning degree credit for co-op is optional to students and is at the discretion of the academic department.  Credit options should be discussed between the student and academic advisor prior to co-op registration with COER. Your academic faculty advisor must approve your co-op credit. Retroactive credit cannot be granted after the co-op experience term.

Co-op work program fee is the equivalent of the educational fee for 1 in-state credit hour (regardless of residency), plus a $100 processing fee and is applied for each co-op term. Co-op course for credit is only permitted with advisor approval. Co-ops for credit cost more than the co-op work program fee. Co-ops for credit require a co-op fee of $100.00, the cost of the credits approved, and all on-campus fees paid by students attending classes at the university.

The current rate fee does not apply academic credit to a students transcript, but if academic credit is granted, regular tuition rates apply based upon in-state/out-of state tuition and the number of hours received.

Your financial aid will not be issued while on co-op but will be available when you return to school. Most scholarships are frozen while on co-op.  Please speak with Student Financial Assistance before you leave in order to verify everything is in order.

You will not be penalized for going on a co-op. When you turn in your co-op forms to the COER, we let Registrar's know that you are on co-op and are still considered a full-time student.  Additionally, you are able to continue distance or online classes while on co-op if you prefer.

You will still need to pay the Student Health Services fee for fall and spring semesters if you register to take a co-op for credit, since it is considered a class.  If you take a co-op without credit, there is no charge since it is not registered as a class.  Most students can still be on their parent’s insurance plans, up until age 26, while on co-op.  If you need documentation for insurance purposes, visit the Registar’s website to obtain the Certification Letter Request Form that verifies you are considered a full-time student. 

Salaries and wages vary from one employer to another, as do the travel and housing benefits extended to co-op students. Wages may be established based on student progress toward a degree (class level), GPA and accrued work experience. Missouri S&T does not set pay rates for any participating company or agency, but does publish average monthly co-op salaries based on Missouri S&T student reports for reference. Housing or referrals are usually provided by the employers, and some employers reimburse students for travel to and from co-op assignments.