The Cooperative Education Program

The Cooperative Education Program (co-op) was established at Marquette University in 1919. The program combines in-the-field work experience with the academic program degree requirements for Opus College of Engineering students. Students in this program alternate periods of academic semesters with periods of employment in industry. The industry work experience is technical in nature and provides the opportunity for the student to apply their engineering knowledge and skills. The objective is balanced training; the combination of theory and practical work experience during the early years of professional development. In additional to the formal co-op program, undergraduates may also gain experience through summer internships.

Co-op employment is competitive and available for all engineering majors. All students employed in the co-op program earn an hourly salary. There is a small fee to stay enrolled as a full-time student. Tuition is not charged during full-time work periods, unless the student chooses to enroll in a class. In this case tuition for the class is charged at the per-credit rate in addition to the co-op fee. Students who complete the minimum requirement of three work terms earn enough academic credit to fulfill an engineering technical elective toward the program degree requirements. Most engineering students participate in the co-op and/or internship program prior to graduation.

Student participants have said that the program helps them to clarify their career goals, increase their performance and engagement in the classroom by using their knowledge of industry, form their professional network, and open doors to secure full-time employment once they earn their degree. Students also develop the maturity, poise, communication skills and confidence needed to thrive in a business environment.

Enrollment and participation in the Co-op Program requires that:

1. The student is a full-time, degree-seeking student in the Opus College of Engineering at Marquette University.

2. The student is making satisfactory progress toward their engineering degree and has completed their sophomore-level course work. 

3. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.000 or greater to be eligible for and to remain enrolled in the co-op program.

4. The student has taken and passed GEEN 2952 Professional Development for Engineers.

5. The student is able to obtain a co-op job offer from an employer who is approved by the college’s Industry Relations Office.

6. The student reports the employment offer to the Opus College of Engineering’s Industry Relations Office and follows the co-op enrollment procedure, co-op course registration requirements and satisfies the requirements to earn credit for their work term.

7. The employer, the student and the student’s academic adviser agree to a work/school plan that satisfies all degree requirements and the completion of at least three work terms.

8. International students must work with Marquette University’s Office of International Education to complete the required employment processes prior to their first day of employment as a co-op employee.

Since the cooperative education program is considered an integral part of a student’s education, the co-op student is a full-time student at Marquette University; whether they are in school or at work. When the co-op student is at work, they are under the company’s direct supervision. The student is subject to the rules of the company which may include background checks and/or drug screening. Wages are paid directly to the student by the employer. The university does not employ the student, but cooperates with industry in arranging such employment.


The Les Aspin Biomedical Internships

The Department of Biomedical Engineering in conjunction with the Les Aspin Center for Government at Marquette University offers internships in medical regulatory and public policy issues. The Les Aspin Biomedical Engineering Internships began in Spring 1997 with qualified biomedical engineering undergraduates traveling to Washington, D.C. The venue for the engineering internships is Capitol Hill, the Food and Drug Administration or private industry located in the Washington, D.C., area. In addition to participating in the internship experience, the students take Marquette University classes at the Les Aspin Center for Government, located a few blocks from Capitol Hill and reside nearby in Marquette-owned, furnished apartments. This program is unique in providing undergraduate experience in research and regulatory issues.

Education Abroad Programs

Engineering students may study abroad with a Marquette-affiliated program, a Marquette-exchange program, a Marquette summer or intersession program or a non-Marquette program. Students are urged to contact the Education Abroad office and the Engineering Academic Advising Center as early as possible for details. See also, this bulletin under Education Abroad. The Education Abroad Resource Center is located in the Holthusen Hall, 4th Floor. For additional information, see the Education Abroad website. Also see Concentration in Global Engineering in the Concentrations and Minors section of this bulletin.

Five-year Combined B.S./M.S. Program

Each of the departments in the Opus College of Engineering at Marquette University offers programs, which allow highly qualified students to complete a bachelor of science and master of science degree in five calendar years (six years for students enrolled in the Cooperative Education Program). By increasing course loads slightly in the junior year and/or by taking courses in the summer of the junior and/or senior years, qualified students may be able to complete the B.S. degree on schedule in four years and the M.S. degree at the end of five calendar years.

Students intending to pursue one of these programs should begin planning at the end of the sophomore year. Formal application to the program takes place during the second term of the junior year. See individual departments for details.