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Cooperative Education and Internship Program (CEIP)

CEIP is the Cooperative Education and Internship Program for undergraduate students.

After you have secured an offer of a co-op or internship, this program enables you to be enrolled for zero academic credit during your work term(s), which appears on your transcript.

For students:

Why participate? Benefits to students:

Benefits of co-ops and internships:

  • Often earn a competitive wage while learning.
  • Gain in-depth and valuable work experience.
  • Enhance your marketability to employers upon graduation.
  • Network with professionals in your field.
  • Build a great resume for the future.
  • Develop professional competencies.
  • Learn what you like (or don’t like) to do.

Benefits of enrolling in CEIP:

  • Enrollment documented on transcript.
  • Maintain student status if enrolled in full-time program.
  • Career advisor to coach you on handling workplace issues.
  • Opportunity to network with other CEIP students.
  • If working locally, you can choose to pay VT fees for access to student football tickets and to use the gym.

Two options: Full-time and part-time work programs

Full-time work program

  • Work hours per week: 32-40.
  • Work throughout full academic term.
  • Academic terms you may be enrolled: fall, spring, summer.
  • Zero credit hours.
  • Does maintain your full-time student status.
  • You may not take a full-time academic course load during the work term.
  • CEP 4084 on your transcript for work terms.
  • $75 enrollment fee.
  • Work for any employer.

 Part-time work program

  • Work hours per week: 4-31. 
  • Minumum work hours total: 40.
  • Mimimun of four weeks of work.
  • Academic terms you may be enrolled: fall, winter, spring, summer.
  • Zero credit hours.
  • Does NOT maintain your full-time student status.
  • You may take for-credit classses during the work term.
  • CEP 3084 on your transcript for work terms.
  • $75 enrollment fee.
  • Work for any employer.

Academic enrollment terms:
Exact dates for each term are on the university's academic calendars.

  • Fall term: late August to mid-December.
  • Winter term: late December to mid-January.
  • Spring term: late January to mid-May.
  • Summer includes three enrollment term options:
    • Summer 1 [S1]: 6-week term, late May to early July.
    • Summer 2 [S2]: 6-week term, early July to mid-August.
    • Summer 3 [S3]: 12-week term, late May to mid-August.
student interns at Wild Mountain Snowsports School

Student spotlights

Michael Mulvey
CEIP work experience at Rugged Races.
Majors: Math and Economics

Christine Ash
CEIP work experience at Sam Adams.
Major: Biological Systems Engineering

Rachel Kitchen
CEIP work experience at Reinventing Geospatial Inc.
Major: Computer Science

Paul Stiles
CEIP work experience at Albemarle Corporation.
Major: Chemical Engineering

Facts and FAQs

Work locations, by state, of students enrolled in CEIP during fall 2020.
Work locations, by state, of students enrolled in CEIP during fall 2020.

Employers and locations by major

Majors participating

Wages for first work terms

Frequently Asked Questions

The terms mean different things to different people and are sometimes used interchangably.

  • “Co-op” usually refers to a multi-work term agreement with one employer; traditionally with at least three work terms alternated with school terms, resulting in a five-year degree program for what would otherwise take four years. Co-ops are traditionally full-time, paid positions.
  • “Internship” usually refers to a one-term work assignment, most often in the summer, but not always. Internships can be full- or part-time, paid or unpaid, depending on the employer and the career field.
  • However, beware: Not all employers use these terms consistently or with consistent meanings!
  • Some employers use the term co-op to refer to a one- or two-term work assignment.
  • Internships can occur in fall or spring semesters, as well as summer, and internships can sometimes be multi-term programs.
  • When you talk with employers about their programs, make sure you understand their program requirements, and know what they expect of you so that you can seek a good fit or match.
  • Both terms "co-op" and "internship" are in our program name because students in either type of work experience may enroll in the program.
  • More about: Internships and co-ops: What's the difference.
  • Career and Professional Development does not require any student to be enrolled in CEIP.
  • Employers sometimes require students to be enrolled with their university during a work term. CEIP can help meet that requirement. 
  • It is to a student's advantage to enroll in CEIP if you are in a full-time work program during a fall and/or a spring semester, so that you maintain student standing while working.
  • No. You cannot earn academic credit through enrollment in CEIP.
  • Academic credit can only be granted by academic departments, and each academic department has its own policies on whether or not it will grant academic credit for an internship.
  • Students interested in credit-bearing internships should discuss this with your academic major department.
  • You must have completed at least one academic semester at Virginia Tech before you can be enrolled in CEIP for a work term.
  • A CEIP work term may not be your last semester of your undergraduate degree.
  • Engineering majors usually cannot split your senior year with a work term, due to the senior design project spanning a full academic year.
  • A student may work one or multiple terms, as agreed by the student, the employer, and the student's academic department.
  • Employers may require students to work a specified number of terms to meet the employer's requirements.
  • Academic departments may place restrictions on when students can work — because the ultimate goal is for the student to complete degree requirements, and students may need to be taking courses during particular terms when those courses are available.
  • Students who work in fall and/or spring semesters may need to extend their academic program beyond four years, depending on the timing of their work terms and when required courses are offered.

Sources through which students found their work positions for CEIP:

  • 17% Engineering Expo
  • 7% Fairs sponsored by Career & Professional Development
  • 9% Personal contacts in the employing organization
  • 16% Student contacted organization directly
  • 4% Source in academic department
  • 22% On-Campus Interviewing Program
  • 6% Handshake
  • 3% Worked for the employer before in another capacity
  • 15% Other
  • Social distancing may require that you work from home for some period of time.
  • Please discuss this with your supervisor and ask questions about how long you might be working from home, what equipment you are able to take with you, what support (technical and otherwise) will be available to you, and how to communicate with your team members and supervisor.
  • Please contact the CEIP office about the change in your work.
  • If you feel unsafe in your workplace for any reason, you should alert your supervisor or Human Resources office.
  • If you feel unsafe as a direct result of COVID-19, please discuss alternate work accommodations with your supervisor. You can also reach out to the CEIP office for advice.

Think back to your CEIP orientation session. We discussed many options for keeping yourself busy.  Here are some suggestions:

  • If your projects have slowed down, volunteer to help another team. Review, edit, and type up your notes from this semester and prepare a transition document for the next intern/co-op student.
  • Although you may be working remotely, you can still connect with co-workers via phone or Zoom. Reach out and ask some new co-workers to discuss with you their roles, career paths, and recommendations to you as someone hoping to work in this field.
  • Think about technology you have used this semester — is there something new you can learn or some technology skill you can improve? Look up online tutorials or LinkedIn Lab videos to learn a new skill.
  • Ask your supervisor if there is anything else you can work on in your down time.
  • Complete reflective worksheets on professional competencies developed by Career and Professional Development to help you reflect on your experience and practice articulating it to future employers. See worksheets on professional competencies, including:
  • If your employer terminates your work experience earlier than expected, please notify the CEIP office as soon as possible. We can help you through the remainder of the semester.
  • Before your last day, ask your supervisor or Human Resources contact the following:
    • If you will continue to be paid through your initial end date, or if you will receive any kind of severance pay;
    • How you need to close out any company housing you received, if applicable;
    • If there will be any assistance for covering housing costs and/or a lease you signed; and
    • How you should wrap up your projects.
  • We will work with you and your immigration advisor in Cranwell. As soon as possible, you should notify the CEIP office and your immigration advisor of the updated end date.

Requirements of the program

Student eligibility

  • You must be an undergraduate student and have completed at least one semester at Virginia Tech to enroll in the Cooperative Education and Internship Program (CEIP).
  • You may not have completed all your undergraduate course requirements. If you have completed all your course requirements for your degree, you may not enroll in CEIP; differently stated, your last undergraduate term cannot be solely for enrollment in CEIP.
  • Graduate students who wish to register with the university during a work assignment must follow the requirements of the Graduate School Cooperative Education Program. Career and Professional Development is not authorized by the university to enroll graduate students.
  • For work term timing: Note that some engineering majors may not split their senior semesters with a work term, due to the senior design project that spans two consecutive semesters of the senior year.

Students in all undergraduate majors are eligible to enroll, as long as permitted by your academic department. You can view recent term enrollment by college and major.


  • Career and Professional Development requires that you have a 2.0 minimum.
  • Specific academic departments and specific employers may have higher minimum standards.
  • You must have established a GPA at Virginia Tech. See information below for transfer students.
  • If you have a work-school schedule for multiple work terms, and your GPA falls below 2.0 between work terms, you will not be eligible to enroll in CEIP as long as your GPA remains below 2.0 (or higher if required by your academic department). 

Suspension by the university

  • The university's academic eligibility policy (see the undergraduate course catalog) supercedes the CEIP policy. You may not be enrolled in CEIP if the university has suspended you.
  • You must have established a GPA at Virginia Tech before you can be enrolled in CEIP for a work term. (Although academic credits may transfer from another institution, GPA does not transfer.)
  • You may seek a co-op or internship position before establishing your Virginia Tech GPA, but you cannot be enrolled in CEIP for a work term until your Virginia Tech GPA is verified.
  • International students must request authorization from, and abide by deadlines administered by, the Cranwell International Center before you can apply for co-op or internship positions.
  • Your visa status determines whether or not you are eligible to work in the United States in a co-op or internship capacity.
  • Be aware that many employers cannot, for legal reasons, hire international students. This is determined by the policies of the employer and is not negotiable.
  • Enrollment in CEIP is an option for students who meet the eligibility and program requirements.
  • Career and Professional Development does not require any student to be enrolled in CEIP.
  • Employers sometimes require students to be enrolled with their university's co-op program (which is CEIP at Virginia Tech).
  • It is to a student's advantage to enroll in CEIP if any of your work terms are in fall and/or spring semesters so that you maintain student standing while working.
  • Students who have not been in compliance with CEIP rules and requirements in the past, and/or who have not completed CEIP assignments, and/or who did not achieve an S (Satisfactory) in previous enrollment in CEIP, will not be enrolled in future terms of CEP 3084 or CEP 4084.

Job eligibility

  • The internship or co-op job you secure must be related to your major or career goals, and the work should be meaningful to the employing organization and compatible with your abilities while also enabling you to learn and develop.


There is only one mandatory fee for participation in the Undergraduate Cooperative Education and Internship Program [CEIP]:

  • During each work term (fall semester, winter term, spring semester and/or summer terms), that you are enrolled in CEP 4084 or CEP 3084, this will appear on your transcript. [The CEIP office will enroll you after you complete required steps.]
  • This does not carry credit hours, but does keep you enrolled in the university.
  • Enrollment in CEIP requires payment of a fee to the university during work terms:
    $75 for fall semester.
    $75 for winter term.
    $75 for spring semester.
    $75 for a six-week summer term.
    $75 for a twelve-week summer term.
  • This fee is NOT paid to Career and Professional Development.
  • Due dates for fees are the same as for tuition, and are established by the University Bursar. See the Bursar's Office website for complete information on fees and payment.
  • If you choose to enroll in any course for academic credit, including online courses, during a work term, you will be required to pay tuition as charged by the university.
  • The CEIP enrollment fee does not cover the cost of tuition for academic-credit courses. 
  • During your work terms, you are NOT automatically billed for any fee other than the mandatory fee explained above. Therefore you do NOT automatically have access to all student services.
  • If you wish to purchase access to other student services during your work terms when you are enrolled in CEIP, you must take initiative to pay the fees for these services, such as:
    • Health Service fee
    • Athletic fee
    • Other fees (student activity, bus, rec sports, etc.)
  • See the University Bursar's website for complete information on payment of fees, and contact that office with any questions about how to pay those fees.

Course assignments

  • The assignments are intentionally designed to help you gain the most from your work experience. They are not meant to be time-intensive, so that your focus can remain on your work experience.
  • All the details are explained as you enroll in the program, and all assignments will be submitted through the Canvas course.
  • Completion of the assignments will determine if you earn a “Satisfactory” or “Not Satisfactory” grade.

How to participate


  • Be sure you have read and understand the requirements spelled out above.

Semester timing of your work term

  • Be sure to consult your academic advisor to determine which semesters you are able to work, so that you stay on track to complete your degree, as addressed above in the FAQs.
  • Work term timing is also addressed in student eligibility above.

Seek and secure an internship or co-op position

  • Some students express interest in CEIP after an employer offers you an internship or co-op position; that's fine.
  • Some student express interest in CEIP before having secured an internship or co-op position; that's fine too. In that case, please use these resources to seek a position, and for job search skills:
  • We welcome you to seek advising for assistance in your search process.

Orientation and Enrollment

  1. Students who wish to participate in CEIP for the first time: Orientation and Enrollment are both mandatory. Both must be done before the university deadline to add courses for the term you wish to be enrolled.
  2. Students who have already done CEIP Orientation for a previous work term: You do not have to repeat Orientation. You simply "Request the Experience" again through Handshake.


  • Orientation sessions last 30 minutes, followed by about 15 minutes for Q&A, so the sessions are scheduled for 60 minutes.
  • Each semester we offer about 10 sessions; attend one.
  • Upcoming CEIP Orientation sessions are listed below; click on a session to see complete information in Handshake and to register for the session you will attend.


  • After you have completed Orientation, you will be added into the CEIP Canvas Hub and you will receive an email telling you to join the course.
  • When you join the course you will see all necessary instructions to complete your Enrollment.
  • Allow approximately 30 minutes to complete Enrollment, and do so before the university deadline to add courses.


Contacts for CEIP

If we have not answered your question, or you need other information we've not provided here, please contact us:

CEIP staff members in CPD:

Jenean Meadows

Ms. Jenean Meadows
Enrollment Coordinator, Cooperative Education and Internship Program
Career and Professional Development

Becca Scott

Ms. Becca Scott
Associate Director, Professional Development and Experiential Initiatives
Career and Professional Development