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Cooperative Education and Internship Program (CEIP)

for undergraduate students

For undergraduate students: After you have secured an offer of a co-op or internship position, the Cooperative Education and Internship Program (CEIP) enables you to be enrolled for zero academic credit during your work term(s), which appears on your transcript.

Graduate students: see the Graduate School for the graduate student cooperative education program.

Benefits to students to participate

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.
  • Some Virginia Tech fees could be optional for you; so you can decide if you wish to access student services such as health services, athletics, etc., during your work semester(s).

Two options: Full-time work or part-time work

Full-time work program (CEP 4084)

  • 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 your work term(s).
  • CEP 4084 on your transcript for your work term(s).
  • Deadlines to request enrollment.

Part-time work program (CEP 3084)

  • Work hours per week: 4-31.
  • Minimum total work hours: 40.
  • Minimum 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 your work term(s).
  • CEP 3084 on your transcript for your work term(s).
  • Deadlines to request enrollment.

Virgina Tech academic terms:

  • Fall term: mid-August to mid-December.
  • Winter term: late December to mid-January.
  • Spring term: mid-January to mid-May.
  • Summer includes three term options:
    • Summer 1 [S1]: 6-week term, late May to late June or early July.
    • Summer 2 [S2]: 6-week term, early July to early or mid-August.
    • Summer 3 [S3]: 12-week term, late May to early or mid-August.
  • EXACT DATES for each term are on the university's academic calendars.
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

Employers and locations by major

Majors enrolled

Wages for first work terms by college and major

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 and 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

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.
  • See majors participating above.


  • 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 policies (see the undergraduate course catalog: academic policies: academic eligibility) supercede the CEIP policy. A student who is on suspension by the university may not be enrolled in CEIP.
  • 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.

University fees

  • CEP enrollment does not involve academic credit; effective spring 2024, there is no fee for enrollment in CEP 3084 or 4084.
  • During your CEP enrollment and work term, if you also choose to enroll in any course(s) for academic credit, including online courses, you are required to pay tuition as charged by the university for the academic credit course(s).
  • During your work terms when you are enrolled in CEP 3084 or 4084, you are NOT automatically billed for university fees. Therefore you do NOT automatically have access to all student services.
  • If you wish to purchase access to student services during your work terms when you are enrolled in CEP 3084 or 4084, 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.

CEIP Information Session required for participation

  • Students interested in enrolling in the Cooperative Education and Internship Program (CEIP) are required to attend a CEIP Information Session to learn about the program benefits, expectations, and requirements, enrollment options, and job searching tips. View sessions, next item.

Available session(s) listed. Click on a session to view details and register in Handshake. You must register to access the event (whether by Zoom, in person, or recorded).

Job eligibility / work term timing

Job content: 

  • 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.

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:

CEIP required Orientation and Enrollment Session / deadlines for enrollment

Required Orientation and Enrollment Session:

  • Prerequisite: Students wishing to participate in the Cooperative Education and Internship Program (CEIP) must attend a mandatory Information Session (described above) BEFORE attending an Orientation and Enrollment Session. (This applies to enrollment in either CEP 3084 or CEP 4084.)
  • The Orientation and Enrollment Session covers steps for requesting enrollment and participation requirements. Students are required to pre-register on Handshake (sessions listed and linked below) to access the Zoom or in-person event. Upon completion of the Orientation and Enrollment Session, students will be able to formally request enrollment in the program.

CEIP Orientation and Enrollment sessions:

  • 60 minutes, including time for Q&A.
  • About 10 sessions offered in both fall and spring semesters; attend one.
  • When upcoming sessions are scheduled, they will be listed below; click on a session to see details and register in Handshake.
  • If there are no upcoming sessions, contact CEIP for guidance and assistance.

click a session to view details and register in Handshake

Enrollment deadlines:

After you attend a CEIP Orientation and Enrollment Session, you may request enrollment. For each work term you wish to be enrolled, there is a deadline to contact CEIP to request CEIP enrollment, as follows:

Deadlines to enroll in CEP 4084 (full-time work)

Deadlines to enroll in CEP 3084 (part-time work)

Enrollment term Deadline to enroll in CEP 3084 (part-time work)
Fall semester October 1
Winter term December 1
Spring semester March 1
Summer terms July 1


Contacts for CEIP

If we have not answered your question, or you need other information not provided here, please contact us:
CEIP on LinkedIn

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
Director of Professional Development and Experiential Initiatives
Career and Professional Development