Cooperative Education and Internship Program

CEIP is the Cooperative Education and Internship Program for undergraduate students. This program allows you to do career-related work during your college years, and your work terms appear on your transcript with zero academic credit.

Why participate?

Benefits to students

Benefits of co-ops and internships:

  • Often earn a competitive wage while learning.
  • Gain more in-depth and valuable work experience than your peers.
  • 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.

Additional benefits of participating in CEIP:

  • Ensure a quality work experience.
  • Be able to make mistakes in a learning-focused environment where there is a lot of forgiveness.
  • Stay connected to Virginia Tech while you’re away.
  • Access to a professional advisor to help guide you through any difficult work situations.
  • Document your work experience on your transcript.
  • Maintain your student status while working.
  • If working locally, you can choose to pay VT fees for access to football tickets and to use the gym!

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

 Full-time Work Program

  • 32 to 40 work hours per week.
  • 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

  • Four to 31 work hours per week (40-hour total minimum).
  • Work must extend over four or more weeks during a semester.
  • Can enroll during fall, spring, summer, winter.
  • 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.
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

Learn more

Info sessions:

  • The CEIP information session gives you an overview of the benefits and requirements of the program, and we'll answer questions that you have. Attendance is highly recommended, but not required.
  • Sessions last 45 minutes. Attend one.
  • For spring 2020, the four sessions offered are listed below. 
  • Click on a specific session to see location and other details and to log in to Handshake to register.
In Spring 2019, 53 co-op students were working in Virginia.

Wages for first work terms

Employers and locations

Majors participating

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a co-op and an internship?

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.

 Is enrollment in CEIP required?

  • 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 students' 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.

Can I enroll in CEIP for an academic-credit internship?

  • 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.

How many work terms are required?

  • 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.

Does the co-op or internship position have to be paid in order to enroll in CEIP?

How have students found their co-op and internship positions?

Sources through which students found their work positions for CEIP:

  • 20% Engineering Expo.
  • 9% Fairs sponsored by Career & Professional Development.
  • 6% All other job fairs held at VT.
  • 10% Personal contacts in the employing organization.
  • 15% Student contacted organization directly.
  • 4% Source in academic department.
  • 18% On-Campus Interviewing Program and Hokies4Hire (through 2017-2018. Handshake replaced H4H for 2018-2019).
  • 21% Worked for the employer before in another capacity.
  • 3% Other.

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).
  • 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). 

The university's academic eligibility policy (see the undergraduate course catalog within Academic program information) 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.

If you have a "university hold" on your account, you must resolve that issue prior to enrollment in CEIP. See information about "holds" on the Bursar's Office website.

  • 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 students' 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 job must be related to your major or career goals, and the work should be meaningful to the organization and compatible with the student's abilities while also enabling the student 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, 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 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.

Course assignments

These 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

  • Submit four assignments during the semester:
    • Partnership Understanding.
    • Learning Objectives and Professional Competency Pre-Test.
    • Student Self-Evaluation and Professional Competency Post-Test.
    • Two-Minute Reflection Video.
  • Earn a “Satisfactory” or “Not Satisfactory” grade.
  • To participate in the program multiple semesters, students must:
    • Successfully complete and submit all assignments for each term enrolled on Canvas.
    • Follow CEIP participation requirements and policies as stated on the Student Agreement Form.

Steps to enrollment

Info session (optional)

Orientation session (mandatory)

  • Attendance at an orientation session is required prior to enrollment; this includes an overview of the program, course options, and skills needed to be successful at work.
  • Each session lasts 60 minutes. Attend one.
  • During spring 2020, ten sessions, listed below, are being offered from Thur. March 19 through Thur. May 7, 2020.
  • Click on a session below to view details and to log in to register.

Enrollment week session (mandatory)

  • Attendance at an enrollment week session is mandatory before you can be enrolled in CEIP.
  • Each session lasts 50 minutes. Attend one.
  • During spring 2020, nine sessions will be offered from Monday, April 13, through Friday, April 17, 2020.
  • Click on a session below to view details and to log in to register.
  • If you receive your offer of a co-op or internship position after enrollment week, the CEIP office will tell you how to proceed.

Contacts for CEIP

If you have reviewed the information above and still have questions, please contact:

Ms. Liz Wilson
Assistant Director, Cooperative Education and Internship Program
Career and Professional Development

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