Practical Work Experience

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering strongly encourages students to gain work experience during their academic studies. Employers give considerable preference to applicants with work experience, and students have documented the enhancement to their studies that work experience brings. Work experience can be gained through co-op or internship opportunities. Academic credit can be granted, as a general elective, for work experience gained through either an internship or co-op.

An internship is typically a one term position with a qualifying company.  In contrast to a co-op position, there is no commitment on the student or the company for subsequent internship positions.  A co-op work experience differs from the internship work experience in that a given number of work periods (usually three) typically occur in alternate semesters. Information on available internships and co-ops can be obtained from the Career Resource Center and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.  All co-op positions should be reported to the Career Resource Center,

General elective credit may be granted for qualifying internship or co-op work experience, but is not mandatory. Credit can only be awarded for work experience performed in an engineering environment where the student is under the supervision of qualified personnel. One credit is granted for each increment of 480 hours of employment (or 12 weeks at 40 per week) up to a maximum of three credits.  The credit needs to be placed on a student’s schedule during normal registration time for the semester.  The credit can only be placed on a schedule for the semester a student plans to work at the internship or immediately one semester after the work experience.  A grade of “S” or “U” is earned based on the completion and results of the Practical Work Evaluation form and Supervisor Evaluation form.

The following is a step-by-step description of the process in order to receive credit:

  1. In order to place either an internship or co-op credit on your schedule, students will need to complete the EIN 4944 Registration Request Form.
  2. Toward the completion of the experience, students need to complete the Practical Work Evaluation Form.
  3. Once the Practical Work Evaluation form is submitted, the Department will directly email the Supervisor Evaluation form to the noted supervisor.

It is recommended for our students to start taking engineering courses before entering an internship or co-op. Such qualifying courses are COP2271, EML 2023, or EIN 4354. Those students lacking any engineering background may be faced with menial work assignments that would not be eligible for Practical Work credit.  EGS4034 is a prerequisite effective for all students after summer 2015.