Cooperative Education and Internship Program (CEIP)
CEIP is the Cooperative Education and Internship Program for undergraduate students.
This program enables you, while you do approved career-related work during an academic term, to have your work term(s) appear on your transcript with zero academic credit.
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.
- CEIP spelled out on your transcript for work terms enrolled in CEIP.
- Maintain your student status if working in the full-time program.
- Career advisor to coach you on handling workplace issues.
- Opportunity to network with other CEIP students near you.
- If working locally, you can choose to pay VT fees for access to student football tickets and to use the gym!
- Work hours per week: 32-40.
- Work throughout full academic term.
- Can enroll during fall, spring, summer.
- Zero credit hours.
- Does maintain your full-time student status.
- Not done while taking full-time classes.
- CEP 4084 appears on your transcript for all work terms.
- $75 enrollment fee.
- Work for any employer.
Part-time work program
- Work hours per week: 4-31. Must work at least 40 hours total.
- Work must extend over four or more weeks during a semester.
- Can enroll during fall, winter, spring, summer.
- Zero credit hours.
- Does not maintain your full-time student status.
- CEP 3084 appears on your transcript for all 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.
CEIP work experience at Rugged Races.
Majors: Math and Economics
CEIP work experience at Sam Adams.
Major: Biological Systems Engineering
CEIP work experience at Reinventing Geospatial Inc.
Major: Computer Science
CEIP work experience at Albemarle Corporation.
Major: Chemical Engineering
- This list can be sorted on any heading:
View employers and locations by major.
- Students in any undergraduate major at Virginia Tech may enroll in CEIP, with permission of their academic department.
- View number of students enrolled in CEIP by major and semester for recent years.
- Students, employers, and academic advisors often ask what wages might be typical or appropriate for internships and co-ops. We do collect wage rates from students who enroll in CEIP, and this is published below. This is recent historical data, and might or might not reflect current and future wages being paid by employers.
- You may also wish to consult other salary information sources.
- Hourly wage rate for first work term is compiled from data reported by students who enroll in CEIP. View for:
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.
- No. Students may be paid by their employers, or the position may be unpaid.
- Other benefits such as insurance, leave time, and housing assistance are at the discretion of each employer.
- The U.S. Department of Labor provides guidelines on whether or not employers must pay interns in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
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
- 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.
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.
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 website for complete information on payment of fees.
- 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.
- 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.
Be sure you have read and understand the requirements spelled out above.
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, and we welcome you to seek advising for assistance in your search process.
For students who wish to participate in CEIP, 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. This is your process:
Sign up for and attend virtual Orientation at a specific time (30 minutes, plus time for Q&A):
- Log onto Handshake
- Click on “Events.”
- Search “CEIP.”
- Select a session date/time that you will attend.
(about 10 sessions offered each semester)
- Click "Join."
- Attend the virtual Orientation session.
To complete your Enrollment (allow approximately 30 minutes at a time you choose, before the deadline):
- After you have attended the virtual 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.
*Note: Students who have already gone through a CEIP Orientation for a previous co-op or internship semester do not have to repeat the Orientation. Instead they should simply Request the Experience again through Handshake.
CPD and CEIP continue to assist you during the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis, and in accordance with the Virginia Tech COVID-19 information for the university community.
FAQ for employers about CEIP and COVID-19
FAQs for students about CEIP and COVID-19
- 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.
All our services are currently virtual, so please contact us using the email address and phone number above.
Smith Career Center location.