Engineering Co-ops and Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to my scholarship or financial aid when I am on co-op?

When you are doing a co-op, the Financial Aid office may need to be notified so that your scholarship or financial aid is available when you need it. More information can be found on the Financial Aid website here.

Do I get credit for my work experience?

The co-op experience is worth one (1) credit hour for each semester on the job. As a student at the University of Toledo, you will have an opportunity to participate in up to 5 semesters of co-op experience. You must successfully complete three semesters of Cooperative Education Experience in order to graduate.

Does the Career Development Center guarantee placement?

No. We do not guarantee placement. Our staff will assist you in fine-tuning your resume and developing strong interviewing skills and job search resources. We will refer your resume to employers that are a match for your skills. However, the employers determine who they will interview and hire. YOU ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR OBTAINING YOUR OWN CO-OP POSITION.

Do I retain my full-time student status when on co-op?

Yes. The University recognizes that you are involved in a full-time academic experience. This confirms that students can remain active on their parents' or guardians' insurance policy and avoid loan repayments from being activated. However, students receiving financial aid are required to check with the Office of Financial Aid to confirm the impact of the work experience on their financial aid (since they are not registered in full-time coursework). Generally, scholarships are not available when students are on co-op assignments.

We strongly discourage taking classes during your full-time cooperative education experience. It is imperative that you remain focused on your co-op experience with the company and not be distracted by class assignments and exams. Taking classes could be detrimental to both your grades and your work experience.

Will I get paid for my work experience?

Yes. Wages for co-op positions are set by the company. Remember, however, the primary reason for obtaining a cooperative education position is to gain valuable experience, training and skills directly related to your field of engineering study.

Can I participate in a work experience anywhere?

Yes. It is encouraged that students look at the opportunity and not the location. If the opportunity the student selects is in a different geographical location, this will also be a learning experience. Students should also explore opportunities in areas where they think they may want to live and work after graduation. This will allow you to test the location prior to an expensive relocation.

Am I able to live at home during my work assignments?

Yes. However, positions are not always found within easy commuting distance from one's hometown residence. Students should prepare themselves to go where the opportunities are. Students should explore other housing arrangements when the employer is beyond commuting distance.

If I get a co-op job in spring semester, will I be released from my dorm contract?

Yes. Furthermore, there is no deadline for doing this. If a student gets a job at the last minute, he or she will still be released from their dorm contract.

Do employers assist with housing if the work experience is in a distant location?

It is not the employer's responsibility to locate housing for you; this is part of the learning and maturing gained from cooperative education. Some employers offer subsidized housing or provide a housing allowance. Some employers have purchased homes and/or apartments that they lease to students. Other employers have housing committees that assist students. Some employers even have housing available at no cost to the students. Many employers have multiple students participating in work assignments, which means that students can share housing in the area. Still, employers may not offer any housing assistance. Make sure that you ask the employer during your interview about housing issues.

Housing Tips:

  • Connect with the HR Manager or whoever you have been working with to find out if there are any other interns that will be working there this semester.  You can then reach out to them to connect.
  • Do an extensive Google or other search engine search for “housing” in that area.
  • Many students have had success with utilizing Airbnb or VRBO while on co-op.
  • is a good resource to utilize.  It can help you find roommates, sublets, and more.  Look for a university close to your co-op location and start with that in your search on the site.
  • Check to see if there are any universities or colleges that may offer short-term housing—many do this during the summer especially.
  • Check hotels in the area.  Many times we have had students rent extended-stay hotels for their co-op period.
  • Check with your Co-op Director! They may have targeted regional apartment lists for certain companies, or can put you in contact with other UToledo students who maybe co-oping at the same location or company.
Do employers hire students for full-time employment following graduation?

Yes, in many cases. The current trend for employers is to "test out" students during their cooperative education assignments without an obligation to hire the student after graduation. Based upon the student's performance during the work period, the employer may decide to hire the student full-time. This provides the employer with a low-risk hire upon the student's graduation.

Can I negotiate the wage for my co-op education work assignment?

No. Most employers have established a wage structure for students on work assignments. In many cases, students will receive an increase in their wage based on the number of credit hours they have completed.

Can I automatically assume that the employer will inform the Career Development Center that they have hired me for a work assignment?

No. As soon as you have secured a work assignment, call your Co-op Director. We need to obtain the placement information from you for our database so that you will receive credit for your experience. We also request the employer to call us as well.

Will the employer evaluate me during my work assignment?

Yes. The Career Development Center will have evaluation forms located on a secured website for both you and your supervisor to complete and must be filled out before the end of the semester. Your supervisor will complete the evaluation, share it with you, and return it to our office. In addition, you need to complete your evaluation of the employer and experience, share it with your supervisor, and return it to our office. NOTE: Employers may substitute their own evaluation forms.

We review each of the evaluations and file it in your student records. All paperwork of this kind must be submitted to the Career Management Center in the College of Engineering. No experience will be counted toward graduation until such paperwork has been completed and submitted to our office. To receive credit for your semester of co-op you must sign up for the appropriate class for your major.

MIME 3940 Mechanical, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering
EECS 3940 Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Engineering
ENGT 3940 Engineering Technology
BIOE 3940 Bioengineering
CIVE 3940 Civil Engineering
CHME 3940 Chemical & Environmental Engineering
Do I have to pay income tax on my wages earned during my work assignment?

Yes. Wages received by students during their work assignments are subject to federal, and where applicable, state and/or local taxation. To avoid legal and financial problems, students should make sure that appropriate taxes are withheld by the employer.

What are some examples of employer's pre-employment personnel screening policies and procedures?

Some employers require successful results from substance abuse screening, psychological testing, GPA/transcript review, driving record review, and strength tests. Some organizations adhere to a smoke-free environment policy; others require adherence to strict dress codes.

During my work assignment, do I observe the university or company schedule and holidays?

You will adhere to your employing organization's policies/procedures and holiday schedule. The University holiday/break schedule is not applicable to students during their work assignments.

Can I collect unemployment compensation following a work assignment?

No. While you are working you are still classified as a full-time student. Due to this, you are ineligible to collect unemployment.

Do I have to pay the co-op service fee each time I complete a co-op assignment?

Yes, when you register for your three required cooperative education assignments, your student account at The University of Toledo will be assessed $475. If you complete co-op assignments beyond the three required co-ops, you will not be assessed the $475 co-op fee. For example, if you compete a fourth or fifth co-op assignment, you will not be assessed the co-op fee. The co-op fees support the efforts and operation of the Engineering Career Development Center.

When is the fee billed and how is my grade determined?

Co-op fees will be billed on the same timeline as course tuition and fees, before the start of the term you co-op. This means that your co-op fees will be due according to the regular tuition and fees timeline. Students need to successfully complete their co-op assignment, and have a student and employee evaluation form submitted, in order to obtain a passing grade.

Do I need to update my records with the Career Development Center?

Yes. Each semester we ask that you update your records with our office. As soon as you receive your grades at the end of the semester or complete a work assignment, make the necessary changes to your resume and submit it to the Career Development Center. If you haven't updated your records for two consecutive semesters, your file will be deactivated and you will be ineligible to interview until you have updated your file.

What if I believe that I am experiencing harassment, discrimination, gender bias, or have other concerns and/or problems during my work assignment?

These are very critical issues that need to be addressed immediately! Please contact your Co-op Director or the Career Development Center in the College of Engineering as soon as possible.

If I am not satisfied with my work experience, should I quit?

NO! You must inform the Career Development Center of your concerns/problems prior to quitting. It may be a simple matter of the employer upgrading your job responsibilities, increasing projects, or assigning you to a different work area. However, it may be a more complicated issue that cannot be rectified. It is still important that you notify our office! If you do not complete your co-op assignment, credit for that co-op period may not be awarded.

Do I have to be an expert in the field to participate in my first work assignment?

No. Please realize that you are presenting yourself to an employer as an individual with professional aspirations and a diligent worker who wants to find entry-level employment in your specific field. The first experience is designed as a tool for students to "test out" and obtain exposure in a specific field. This will either reconfirm the student's major and degree program decision or will identify that this is not the correct field of study for the student.

What if I want my resume sent to an organization that Career Development Center has not worked with before?

If you provide a contact name, title, company name, address, and phone number, our staff will either directly contact or send a letter, co-op program information, and your resume to that organization.

Should I look for my own work assignment?

Yes. Due to the fact that you are ultimately responsible for securing your own cooperative education experience, you are strongly encouraged to seek experiences on your own. Students often know of companies in their hometowns that may need co-ops. The student needs to submit the company and position information to the Career Development Center for approval by the Co-op Committee.

Can I use my own resume for an interview?

NO! You should only use the resume that is on file with our office. If you would like to use a specific resume for a position, you should have it approved by your co-op director.

Can I get credit for my past work experience?

As of November  2019, past work experiences will not be counted for co-op credit. 


Last Updated: 7/19/22