Co-op Policies

Printable Co-op Policy Statement


Students participate in the co-op program in good faith and in fairness to both their employer(s) and to Purdue University, while maintaining a satisfactory academic record and satisfactory job performance with their employer(s).


Job placement is the responsibility of the student. The Office of Professional Practice supports students in finding opportunities through facilitating networking events, information sessions, career fairs, the co-op database and more. Once an offer letter has been received, students will work with their co-op coordinator to be officially placed in the program.


Students will act in a professional manner that represents themselves, their program and Purdue University. Once a student has accepted an offer, they are expected to complete the work session. Students may attempt to renegotiate the timing or other particulars of their work term, but must not renege on an accepted offer. Reneging on an accepted offer is considered an unethical breach of contract and will result in dismissal from the co-op program. 


a. Once a student has received their offer letter and met with their co-op coordinator, they are required to register for a co-op course for each work session (including summer); this secures their spot as a full-time Purdue student and serves to aid in the students’ professional growth while completing the co-op work session through a series of course deliverables. These 0-credit co-op courses ensure that the student retains active “fulltime” status with the university during their work sessions, and constitutes the student’s official record necessary for conferring of the certificate.

b. Each co-op discipline has a set of five courses. Students will progress through the courses based upon the number of previous registered work experiences.

c. All students will initially pursue the Industry Co-op Certificate. If a student progresses to a 5th work session, that student’s curriculum will be updated to reflect the attainment of the Extensive Industry Co-op Certificate. 


Students must meet the Grade Point Average (GPA) and academic equirements set by their specific disciplines in the college/school/etc. and must be in good standing with the university in order to participate in the co-op program. The minimum GPA requirement is 2.6/4.0, unless otherwise specified by the student’s academic program. This GPA is required to participate in the co-op program and must be maintained throughout the program.

Students should be aware that some employers maintain higher GPA standards than those required by Purdue. If a student selects an employer with higher GPA standards, it is the student’s responsibility to maintain this GPA.


If a student’s overall GPA drops below the satisfactory level at the end of an academic session, the student will be placed on co-op probation. Students will have a conversation with their co-op coordinator to determine whether the student has to stay on campus for another academic session or whether they may return to the next co-op work session. Students on probation must achieve a semester GPA of at least the satisfactory level with a normal course load in the next academic session.


a. Students must initiate the co-op process by communicating their offer letter and intent to participate to their discipline specific co-op coordinator.

b. Co-op coordinators will advise on scheduling specific to each discipline to aid in academic student success.

c. The majority of co-op students will alternate between a semester of work and a semester of study. However, back-to-back work rotations are allowed if approved by the student’s co-op coordinator and the employer.

d. Students must complete at least one work session in fall or spring.

e. Students must complete a minimum of two rotations with the same employer.


Students will work approximately 15-17 weeks during the spring and fall work sessions and approximately 12 weeks during the summer work sessions. Students will work out the actual beginning and end dates with their employers and will communicate with their co-op coordinators. Students are expected to work full-time while on work session.


If necessary, a student may resign from the co-op program by communicating with their co-op coordinator and then submitting a formal resignation to their company. Students should work with their academic advisor/co-op coordinator to craft an appropriate resignation letter; this letter should be sent to both the employer and co-op coordinator.


The Work Session Record and Evaluation form, the Student Performance Appraisal form and a written work report approved by the employer are required
for each work session. These forms are found on the OPP website. Additionally, students give the OPP the right to collect and disseminate certain data about work experiences in the aggregate. Only the OPP and university staff will have access to individual data. The students’ privacy will be maintained at all times. Participation in these surveys is a requirement of participation in the program. Submission of these reports, forms and information is a condition for a satisfactory grade in each Co-op work session course. Students should check with their Coop Coordinator for report due dates. 


A co-op certificate will be granted if satisfactory grades have been received in all required work session courses, all of the additional co-op requirements of the student’s specific discipline have been met and the student has completed the minimum number of work sessions for either the Industry or Extensive Industry certificate (see introduction).


Each Co-op coordinator has the authority to make exceptions to the above policies while in communication with the Office of Professional Practice.