Cooperative Education at the University of Wisconsin-Stout is part of a nationwide university program that integrates career-related work experience with academic course work. UW-Stout’s Cooperative Education Program is centrally coordinated through the Career Services Office in cooperation with the academic departments of the university.

The Co-op program supports UW-Stout’s polytechnic designation by providing students the opportunity to experience an active and applied focus on learning in their professional field. The success of the Co-op program is based on a framework of collaborative partnerships between employers, students and the university.


  • Apply your classroom knowledge to a professional work setting
  • Gain confidence in your skills and abilities
  • Build a stronger resume with work experience employers need in the future
  • Strengthen interpersonal skills (Important aspects of any job include the ability to work cooperatively with others, dealing with pressure, and developing effective communication and supervisory skills.)
  • Have a possible position in place before graduating (Many students receive a job offer from their Co-op employer for a full-time position following graduation.)


  • Must be a paid work experience (hourly/stipend)
  • Work a minimum of 320 total hours (per semester of enrollment)
  • The Co-op position description is approved by the Co-op
    faculty mentor
  • All Co-ops are academic courses ending in _49
  • All Co-ops are graded A-F by a faculty mentor
  • Must be taken for 1 to 6 academic credits
  • Include learning objectives and strategies, application of  knowledge, and evaluation of learning outcomes   

Am I eligible for Co-op?

Students eligible for Co-op will have:
  • Completed a minimum of one semester of full-time coursework at UW-Stout(12 Credits)
  • Enrolled in an academic undergraduate or graduate program/major
  • Good academic standing (2.0 GPA)
  • Completed and submitted the Stout CareerLink profile and uploaded a current resume

How Do I Register For A Co-op?

  • Fill out a Co-op notification form in Career Services.
  • Sign up and attend a Pre-work Seminar in Career Services the semester before your Co-op begins.
  • If you found the Co-op on your own, (self-generated Co-op), ask your employer to complete the online Cooperative Education Program Position Description form HERE
  • Once the employer submits the form, it will be sent to the Faculty Mentor for approval. You will receive confirmation once it has been approved.
  • Meet with your faculty mentor to review learning objectives and determine credits.
  • Turn in all Co-op materials to Career Services to complete registration for Co-op (cannot register online)

How Many Credits Will I Take And What Are The Fees?

  • Credits earned per term (semester/summer) range from one to six depending on length of time, program requirements, and intensity of experience.
  • Students will meet with their faculty mentor regarding credit requirements.
  • Fees will be like any other course, you will pay the per credit fee

Will I Be Considered A Full-Time Student While On A Co-op?

  • To be considered for full-time student status, a Co-op student must work 40+ hours per week at their Co-op and be registered for Co-op credits (course ending in _49).

Can I Keep My Current Health Insurance While On A Co-op?

  • Check with your insurance company to see if they need full-time student status documentation.
  • Documentation can be provided by contacting the Career Services office.

What Do I Do About Housing?

  • Students must plan ahead to avoid conflicts with off-campus rental contracts.
  • Housing and living expenses while on a Co-op are the responsibility of the Co-op student.
  • Some employers assist with locating housing.
  • Career Services can assist students with a "release for on-campus housing contract" form.

Co-op Scheduling

  • A Co-op experience is usually a full-time position, one semester and/or summer in length. Some employers prefer six-month positions, such as January through June, or June through December.
  • Some students complete two or more Co-op experiences with the same employer at upgraded levels, alternating with a semester on campus. The number of Co-op experiences varies from one to several, up to a maximum of one year.
  • A parallel Co-op, consisting of combining part-time work with part-time school, is possible when Co-ops are within commuting distance of UW-Stout.

Evaluation Of Co-op Experience

Both the university and the employer evaluate the Co-op student. It is important to have ongoing communication between the supervisor and the university Co-op mentor. The university Co-op mentor assigns the final grade.

Long-Range Impact Of Co-op

Program directors or faculty mentor must be included in all phases of planning and completing the Co-op experience to ensure that program requirements are met. Lengthy or multiple Co-op experiences usually extend the time required to earn a four-year degree. The extended time is generally more than offset by the salary earned while participating in a Co-op experience. The experience often provides a competitive edge in the job market.

Co-op Positions

  • Currently, more than 500 companies and agencies are enrolled with the Co-op program at UW-Stout. Due to supply and demand, positions are not always available for all students, or sometimes not enough students are available for all openings.
  • Check with the Career Services office and job search early. University staff help to develop Co-op sites and make necessary arrangements, however, students may generate a Co-op position themselves with help from Career Services.


The co-op program supports UW-Stout’s polytechnic designation by providing students the opportunity to experience an active and applied  focus on learning in their professional field. The success of the Co-op  program is based on a framework of collaborative partnerships between  employers, students and the university.

Make an Appointment

103 Administration Building

Monday-Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm