Definitions of Internship and Co-op

What's the difference between an internship and a co-op?


Internships are usually work experiences which may last a fall or spring semester, summer, or sometimes longer. Most internships are not designed to be continuous experiences. They could involve working full-time or part-time, be paid or unpaid, and may or may not involve academic credit. Since many internships do relate to academic disciplines and may carry academic credit, they are generally administered directly through individual academic departments, colleges or schools. However, Center for Career Development works with these departments to make them aware of internship possibilities, and students are encouraged to explore these opportunities both through academic departments and Center for Career Development.

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education, commonly called "co-oping," is available to all undergraduate students. Co-oping integrates classroom theory with practical experience in industry, business or nonprofits through full-time, alternating or part-time semesters of paid employment with usually a minimum of three work rotations in a student’s major or career field. Through the co-op program, students gain at least a year of practical work experience prior to graduation-greatly increasing their marketability, and career direction and professional savvy. Co-ops usually are ongoing experiences, always paid and involves progressively evolving work tasks and activities.

For Employers to participate in the co-op program, there are three simple guidelines to follow after the establishment of an account in Handshake as needed.

  1. A job description submitted for approval to the Senior Director of Center for Career Development or their designee for each co-op position available, posted in Handshake and the issuance of a fully executed written offer of employment upon acceptance.
  2. Both the student and the employer must sign a work agreement before work begins (the student is responsible for picking this form up from the Center for Career Development).
  3. An evaluation process must be completed to provide feedback on the student's performance during each work session.

Student Requirements

  • Undergraduate enrollment at the University of Evansville with at least the completion of three semesters of full-time study.
  • Completion of the "EXED 090: Building Your Professional Image" course (a one or zero credit seminar managed by the Center for Career Development.
  • A 2.25/4.0 grade point average for students in the School of Engineering and Computer Science and 2.50/4.0 grade point average for all other students.
  • Individual employers may have additional requirements as part of their hiring process.

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