Cooperative Education Timeline & Eligibility

Co-op Application Timeline

  • Fall Co-op: Applications open in May & the deadline to apply is the last week of Summer C classes
  • Spring Co-op: Applications open in September & the deadline to apply is the last week of fall classes
  • Summer Co-op: Applications open in January & the deadline to apply is the last week of spring classes 

To apply for cooperative education your students should complete the following steps:

  • Have an ACTIVE Handshake account. All Co-op training positions are pre-approved and listed in Handshake for only approved Co-op students to view and apply for
  • International Students Only: must complete an Eligibility Clearance Form which must be taken to the international services office to be signed for approval to participate in Co-op. Students must have the signed form before calling to schedule an appointment with the Co-op Coordinator and should bring it with them to the appointment
  • Call Career Services, 813-974-2171, to schedule a meeting with the Co-op Coordinator

Co-op Eligibility Requirements

All students: 

  • Must be officially admitted to USF on a degree-seeking basis AND currently enrolled in classes at USF
  • Must have a declared major in Banner or officially accepted into a limited access program/academic dept. and have a career goal for which you want to obtain career-related experience
  • Must be in good academic standing
  • The first semester of Co-op CANNOT be the semester in which the student is to graduate
  • Must maintain academic progress toward graduation

Undergraduate students: 

  • Must have completed at least 45 credit hours (60 recommended)
  • Minimum overall GPA of 2.5
  • Transfer students must also have completed at least one semester of coursework (6 hrs) at USF
  • When enrolling in the Co-op course students must plan on completing 24 credit hrs. per academic year

Graduate students: 

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Be enrolled in at least one NON-thesis or dissertation class required for their degree and still have coursework remaining to complete their degree requirements
  • International Students who have only thesis hours remaining should speak to the International Services office to discuss alternative options for CPT

New Co-op training positions not already in Handshake may be submitted for consideration by students who are Co-op applicants, but only after their application has been approved and they have completed the course prerequisites. If submitting a training position for consideration, your student must provide the company name, a contact person, and their phone number or e-mail address. Career Services will contact the employer for possible acceptance into the Co-op program. Because this process takes time, we cannot guarantee that new employers and/or positions may be approved by a specific date. If the employer is approved by Career Services, their position(s) will appear in Handshake with the other approved positions, for the semester for which they are approved.

Career Services definition* of a full-time Co-op student participating in Alternating or Parallel Co-op options is as follows:

Parallel: Work a minimum of 15, preferably 20, on-site hours at an approved Co-op site that results in a minimum of 240 on-site training hours for the semester

  • International students must be enrolled and complete a minimum of 12 credit hours (graduate students should be enrolled a minimum of 9 credit hours) and must work no more and no less than 20 hrs. per week

Alternating: Work a minimum of 35 on-site hours at an approved Co-op site that results in a minimum of 480 on-site training hrs. for the semester; No coursework is required; however, it is recommended that one course (on-line or evening) be taken to avoid paying a Co-op fee and maintaining academic progress toward graduation

*Please note that other University offices may define a full-time student differently. In addition, other benefit programs may use different criteria to define a full-time student. These may include, but are not limited to: the Veterans Administration, Bright Futures and other scholarships programs, other federal, state or civic programs or scholarships.