Internships & Cooperative Education
Getting experience related to your major can be a great way to apply what you have learned in the classroom and can help you clarify your career goals. In addition, you gain an edge in your full-time job search because you will have the skills and relevant experience that employers are seeking. At Florida Tech, Career Management Services provides assistance to students seeking major-related work experiences and also administers the Cooperative Education (co-op) Program which enables students to gain academic credit for their experiences.
An internship is a major-related work experience that usually lasts one semester, may be paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time, and may or may not be for credit. A summer job, volunteer, or community service position that is related to your major could also be considered an internship. The key in any internship is gaining experience that is related to your major.
At Florida Tech, students can gain academic credit for their internship experiences, providing they meet the requirements of either the co-op program or of their academic internship program. You should check with your academic program first to see whether an internship is required or if an internship course for credit is offered. If not, students who need academic credit or desire to receive credit for their experience may be able to register for co-op credit through Career Management Services. See the information listed below about the co-op program to determine whether you are eligible.
Students are encouraged to register with Career Management Services to get assistance with their internship search where they will be eligible for resume referrals and email notifications of opportunities. Additional resources are also available online and in Career Management Services. Students may also schedule an appointment with an advisor to discuss the options available and to receive assistance with resumes, cover letters, or any aspect of the job search.
NOTE: Be sure to indicate on your profile that you are looking for an internship or co-op position. Also, update your Panther Career Link profile and resume every semester.
Cooperative Education (Co-op)
Co-ops are typically multi-term, paid work experiences where a student works at least two semesters for the same employer and receives academic credit for that experience. At Florida Tech, students can participate in the alternating plan where periods of full-time work are alternated with periods of full-time study; or in the parallel plan where students work part-time in an approved position while enrolled as a student.
In addition, students can receive co-op credit for approved one term work experiences or for back-to-back work terms if this arrangement is requested by the employer and works out best for the students schedule. Three credits are awarded for full-time work and one to two credits are awarded for part-time work. Students who work full-time in the co-op program are considered full-time students by the university.
Requirements for the Florida Tech Co-op Program:
- Currently enrolled as a full-time degree-seeking student;
- Maintain a 2.5/4.0 grade point average
note: Employers may require higher grade point averages
- Have earned 24 credit hours towards the academic major at the time of application or, if a transfer student, completed one full-time term at Florida Tech;
- Have at least one semester remaining before graduation;
- Receive approval from Career Management Services and the academic department and the International Students & Scholar Services Office if the applicant is an international student;
- Adhere to all requirements furnished by each employer including, but not limited to, major, degree level, work authorization status, and work term agreements.
Co-op credit can typically be used for free elective credit and in some cases technical elective, depending on your major and the nature of your job. Please contact your academic department to determine how co-op credit can be applied in your degree program. Please note: Retroactive co-op credit may not be awarded. You must be registered for co-op in the semester that you worked in order to receive credit for the experience.
To apply for the co-op program, students must register with Career Management Services on Panther Career Link and then schedule an appointment with a advisor to complete the necessary paperwork.
Note: Be sure to indicate on your profile that you are looking for a co-op or internship position. Also, update your Panther Career Link profile and resume every semester.
Requirements for International Students
International students are frequently interested in gaining practical work experience before they graduate but there are many regulations and requirements that need to be met before considering an internship or co-op. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows an international student to work in a job that is an integral part of an established curriculum for which academic credit is awarded. The employment must be an important component of the student's academic program. For specific information on regulations for international students please contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Services located in Room 335, Florida Tech Commons or call 321-674-8053.
Once an international student has established that CPT is an option for them to consider, they can apply to the co-op program provided they meet all the requirements. Applying to the co-op program will not guarantee that an internship will be secured.
For more information about working in the United States, working eligiblity, and employment issues click here.