Through the assistance of the School of Engineering’s Cooperative Education Office, formal arrangements are established with industry that permit students to rotate four-month terms between the workplace and the classroom. At the University of Pittsburgh, this rotation begins after the completion of the sophomore year, and extends into the senior year, with the Co-op student completing at least two four-month work rotations. These rotations, which are typically but not necessarily with the same employer, allow job duties to increase as the knowledge and skills of the student progress.
During Co-op rotations, students earn competitive salaries. In 2013-2014 the average monthly salary for a CS Co-op student was $2809.
Co-op Capstone Option
Completion of at least 2 four-month Co-op rotations and a summary paper can be used by a Computer Science major to satisfy the Capstone graduation requirement. However, the Co-op does not count in place of any regular Computer Science courses.
In addition to receiving an “S” grade for at least two co-op rotations, students using their cooperative education experience for their capstone requirement must complete an 8-10 page paper as the final requirement. This paper must be completed in the term following your final co-op rotation. The deadlines are as follows:
|Final Co-op Term||Paper Deadline|
The topic should be an examination / explanation of your co-op both from a technical point of view (projects you did, things you learned, etc) and from an experiential point of view (workplace issues, organization, etc).
Please use a standard format (.doc, .docx, .pdf) and submit via email to Dr. Ramirez. You are strongly encouraged to have your paper reviewed by the Writing Center http://www.writingcenter.pitt.edu/ prior to submission.
Note: Students cannot graduate in a co-op semester.
Applying and Enrolling
In order to register for the Computer Science Co-op Program, the student must submit the following materials to the Cooperative Education Office in 152-D Benedum Hall:
- Evidence that the student has declared his or her major as Computer Science
- An Interest Form submitted in person or by email
- An unofficial transcript submitted in person – free to students at G3 Thackeray Hall
- A resumé submitted in person or by email – must be in pdf, word .doc , or word .docx format
- A completed Co-Op Schedule form submitted in person or by email. This form must be approved by the CS undergraduate office
Students apply to the Co-op Program at least one semester before they begin their rotations. In order to be eligible for all positions, please see the following dates for paperwork completion.*
- Spring Co-op: End of September
- Summer Co-op: End of January
- Fall Co-op: End of May
- *These deadlines are established with the student’s best interests in mind. It is still possible for a student to apply after these dates, however, this student will have missed out on opportunities.
Students on Co-op assignment are still responsible for getting themselves registered for classes in the term following their Co-op term. Some assistance may be provided by the engineering Co-op office. Additional assistance may be provided by the Computer Science Department.
For more information, see the Cooperative Education Home Page. If you are interested in the Co-op program, your first point of contact should be the Co-op Office, not the CS Department.