The Co-op Process
You must have a 2.0 GPA overall to participate in a co-op. Students enter the process of securing a co-op in different ways. Some may find positions on their own and come to Career Services to process paperwork. Others may need more assistance in finding and applying for positions and may seek our help earlier.
No matter how you secure a co-op, once you have accepted an offer, you must make contact with the Field Experience Office to process necessary paperwork.
While working in a co-op position, you will maintain a full time student status and you will be automatically reinstated to your academic program when you successfully complete the co-op. However, if you resign or if the co-op employer terminates you for any reason, you may need to apply for re-admission to UMass Amherst. The Associate Director for Field Experience may waive this requirement due to special circumstances.
- For an overview of the Field Experience process, attend an "Introduction to Internships/Co-ops" workshop. We hold these sessions in 508 Goodell. (See Event Calendar for details.)
- Register and explore co-op listings through eRecruiting and other Web sites. Go to Finding Internships and Co-ops for information on eRecruiting, as well as other tips for finding positions.
- Visit Career Services during Walk-in Hours (M-F, 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.) for help with your resume or cover letters. Bring a draft with you for the first visit, as well as information on any specific field experience opportunity you are pursuing.
- Upload your resume to eRecruiting and other Web sites and begin applying to interesting co-ops. Check listings frequently as new positions are added weekly. Go to Applying for Internships and Co-ops for suggestions on this process.
Keep a record of all co-op offers and notify the Field Experience Office immediately when you accept a position. (A placement contract is required for semester positions).
Please Note: If your co-op is during the semester, you must meet with a Field Experience staff member and obtain a Departmental Permission form from the Field Experience Office. Once the Departmental Permission form is received, Field Experience staff will put you on co-op status with UMass Amherst. For a summer co-op, departmental permission is not required.
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Other Important Steps
After you accept a semester long co-op and check in with the Field Experience Office, you may also need to check with the following campus offices:
213 Whitmore Administration Building
If necessary, change your graduation date with the Registrar’s Office so that you will be able to pre-register for the semester when you will return to campus.
Housing Assignment Office
235 Whitmore Administration Building
Remember to cancel housing for the semester you’ll be away and arrange housing for the semester after your co-op.
Financial Aid Services
255 Whitmore Administration Building
Students who receive financial aid should meet with Pat Echols, the Financial Aid liaison for internship and co-op students.
International Programs Office
467 Hills South
International students must contact the International Programs Office to obtain information regarding visas.
Veterans Affairs Office
227 Whitmore Administration Building
Students currently receiving veteran’s benefits should contact this office for information about what impact a co-op may have on their benefit eligibility.
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- Meet with a Field Experience staff member.
- Return Verification Card to provide the Field Experience Office with the name and address of your on-site supervisor.
- Have your supervisor fill out a Position Description form and return it to the Field Experience Office.
- Field Experience staff may contact you to arrange a site visit OR we will mail a Mid-Term Evaluation to you (please make sure we have your current local address).
- At the completion of the co-op, the Field Experience Office will ask both you and your on-site supervisor will to submit final evaluation forms. Once we receive these forms, the co-op will be listed on your undergraduate transcript as a pre-professional experience.
You may meet with a career advisor or Field Experience staff member when you return, to help you develop a career plan that builds on your co-op experience.
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