Why should I hire a co-op or intern student?
Hiring students can help you:
- Develop a pipeline of talent for permanent, full-time hires.
- Provide a cost-effective solution to complete seasonal or special projects, cover gaps, or free up more-experienced personnel for higher-level tasks.
- Add fresh perspectives, new ideas, and diversity to your organization.
- Provide an opportunity for current employees to take a leadership role in supervising and mentoring a student.
All UC students gain real-world experience as part of their education. With UC, you can meet all your student hiring needs. From technical work to HR to marketing and beyond, we’ve got you covered.
What differentiates the University of Cincinnati co-op program from other colleges?
At UC, we believe we are more successful when we work together. We’ve spent the last 100+ years developing deep and impactful partnerships with organizations across a broad spectrum from Fortune 500 companies to cause-based, community non-profits and beyond. The University of Cincinnati has the oldest and one of the largest co-op programs in the world. We invented cooperative education in 1906, and each year more than 6,500 students participate in full-time, part-time, and project-based co-op. As an urban, public research university of more than 47,000 students, UC is well-positioned to maximize partnerships to achieve real results.
- UC is ranked among top 5 in the nation for Co-ops and Internships (U.S. News Best Colleges 2021)
- UC ranks in the top tier of America’s Best National Universities by U.S. News and World Report (2020)
- UC is home to 14 unique colleges with a wide range of degree programs and specialty areas
- UC is recognized as a top public research institution by the National Science Foundation
- UC is one of the few universities that requires experiential learning and career education for all undergraduate students
What majors are available for co-op or internship opportunities from the University of Cincinnati?
UC connects employers with students to fill some of the most challenging positions to recruit and hire for today. Connect with talent in the following fields and many more:
- IT and Computing
- Organizational Leadership and Human Resources
- Art, Design and Planning
- Healthcare Services and Administration
- Sales, Marketing and Communications
- Manufacturing and Logistics
- Digital Media and Web Development
- Construction and Real Estate
- Finance and Accounting
- Civics and Government
- Research and Development
- Community Development, Fundraising and Social Services
With hundreds of programs, the University of Cincinnati has the talent you need. View our majors and programs to learn more.
If you have a need that’s not addressed here, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-556-6526.
What majors have a required co-op?
At UC, cooperative education is mandatory for undergraduate students in:
- College of Engineering and Applied Science
- College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP)
- Information Technology majors in the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services
Cooperative education is optional for:
- Any major in the Lindner College of Business
- Communication majors in the College of Arts & Sciences
- Medical Laboratory Science majors in the College of Allied Health Sciences
Graduate-level cooperative education is available in the following master’s degree programs:
- Community Planning
- Landscape Architecture
- Information Technology
How do I post a job? Is there any cost to post a job?
No, there is never a cost to post a job. Visit: Post a Job to get started.
When should we recruit? When are students available?
As a general rule, we suggest posting your job at the start of the semester prior to your desired employment dates. For example:
For work starting in: Begin recruiting in: January September (fall) May January (spring) September May (summer)
How do I create a job description for a co-op/internship position? Should it be an existing job description or center around the project?
If a student will be hired for the same position in the future, you’ll want to develop a position and a description specifically for it. If you have meaningful work to support the position into the future, this is a good option to ensure continuous employment. If the position will focus on a specific, shorter term project, we suggest you develop a description which outlines the skills specific for that project. The Partnership Development team can also provide examples of position descriptions if needed.
Will the University of Cincinnati pre-screen student applicants for us?
When you post a job in Handshake, you have the option to set up specific preferences, so that you can easily see which applicants fully match your preferences and which do not. The four preference options include:
- US Work Authorization: if the candidate is authorized or not
- Student Graduation Date Range OR School Year
- Student Minimum GPA
- Student Majors
Read Understanding Job and Applicant Preferences for additional information. Additionally, UC does not provide background checks on students. The University of Cincinnati does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status or gender identity and expression in its programs and activities. The complete Notice of Nondiscrimination can be found at: uc.edu/about/policies/non-discrimination.
Is it difficult to hire an international student?
Getting permission for international students to work in the United States is not as difficult as many employers think. Most international students are in the US on non-immigrant visas (F-1 and J-1). International students with these visa statuses are eligible to accept employment under certain conditions.
View the Hiring International Students Quick Guide for Co-op Employers to learn more.
Hours and Location
How many hours can a co-op student work in any given semester? Are there required hours?
We offer several options to meet your hiring needs.
Full-time Part-time Project-based*
- 35+ hours each week
- 15-17 weeks (semester)
- Typically, onsite but can be remote
- Required for students in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning; and Information Technology
- 5-20 hours each week
- 15-17 weeks (semester)
- Onsite or remote
- 5-40 hours total
- Short term, varies based on project needs
If you have questions about any of these options or would like to discuss how to use them to meet your needs, please reach out to the Partnership Development team at email@example.com or 513-556-0320.
How long should a co-op or internship last?
Generally speaking, full- and part-time co-op students are available to work 12 to 17 weeks at a time during each semester: spring, summer and fall. Students can also be hired to help with project-based work which is usually short-term; length of time will vary based on project needs.
- Can students participate virtually in a co-op program?
Benefits and Pay
Do students have to be paid? What are the pay requirements? Do you have a suggested pay range?
Students do not receive academic credit for their participation in co-op employment, therefore, we require that students are compensated for their work. In some instances, stipends may be permitted. Hourly salaries typically range from $12-$20, depending on the level of difficulty, skills needed, and a student’s past experience. Salary ranges for specific majors can be found here. If you’re a non-profit or small business (fewer than 50 employees), UC offers a number of grants and funding opportunities to subsidize and sometimes complete cover the cost of your student hire. Reach out to the Partnership Development team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-556-0320, if you would like to learn more.
Can I offer other stipends/benefits?
Yes, non-monetary compensation in the form of incubation resources, start-up community mentorship, financial stipends, studio or other workspace, project materials, access to tools, etc., may be provided.
Are students eligible for unemployment benefits?
Student co-ops and interns are not generally eligible for unemployment compensation at the end of the assignment.
Can I hire a student as a 1099 employee or do I need to put them on payroll?
The IRS provides definitions for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, with consequences for employment tax and tax withholding. Additionally, a student hired for project or gig work through Parker Dewey is considered a contractor or employee of Parker Dewey.
Do I have to offer medical benefits/insurance? Can I terminate the student/employee?
The University of Cincinnati is unable to provide legal advice. We advise you to consult with your company’s legal counsel or contact an employment law professional before you begin the hiring process to determine minimum wage requirements, workers’ compensation issues, safety and harassment policies, termination guidelines, and how traditional employee benefits and business responsibilities do or don’t apply to interns in your state.
After a Student is Hired
Once I hire an intern, what is expected of me as the employer? What will I need to provide to the student?
The initial on-boarding process sets up the co-op for success. There are three main components: orientation, clear expectations, and feedback and mentoring.
- A smooth well thought out orientation will help the co-op student transition and become productive faster. A smooth orientation will also tell the co-op you are glad they are part of the team.
- Co-op students need clear expectations of responsibilities, behaviors, and outcomes.
- Regular feedback and mentoring are needed.
- Standard employment components: the government I9 process and payroll/W4.
- Assigning a mentor should be well thought out and be introduced to the co-op on day one.
- Ensuring the co-op has access to the proper equipment (desk and computer, for example) on day one.
- Although the co-op may have learned about the company during the interview process and their own research, giving a brief company overview and update is advised.
- The first day can be overwhelming. It is important the co-op meets the team so they feel welcome and have resources for questions when the assignment manager is not available.
- A new workplace can be intimidating so a tour of the facility is a good icebreaker. This helps the student to understand where all the departments are and how they work together.
- Building the initial relationship with the assignment manager is essential. Taking the co-op to lunch on day one is a great way to begin that relationship. Then set up regular check points with the co-op to ensure everyone remains on track.
- Many facilities have required safety or site-specific training. This should be completed in week one to ensure the safety of the co-op and everyone else.
- Review the company’s values, beliefs and ethics to ensure everyone is on the same page from the beginning.
The student may have never worked in an environment like yours. Adjusting to this new environment and culture can be challenging unless they understand all your expectations. Be sure to cover the following items and any additional you feel would be beneficial.
- Work routines and deadlines
- Fitting into the company culture
- Time management and scheduling
- Communication: verbal, non-verbal, written in the business world
- Responsibility and accountability for oneself, others and the company
- Meeting job requirements
- Use of cell phones
- Security policies
- Technology policies
- Workplace attire
- Co-op students will need to be introduced to your organization’s short- and long-term goals. This helps them to feel like they are contributing to a greater good.
- It is important that the co-op understand their goals and how their goals are part of the department and the dynamics of the company’s goals throughout their term.
- Expectations of project and task updates, deadlines and communication of status should be very clear.
Feedback and Mentoring
Honest, upfront and timely feedback is important for the co-op to learn. They need to know what they are doing well and what areas they need to focus on improving relative to their goals and any other expectations as things happen, not just at the end of the term.
- Informal feedback should happen daily. Can be a casual discussion at any time.
- Formal feedback at a minimum should happen beginning, middle and end of the co-op work experience.
- Formal Evaluation/Assessment is part of the UC co-op process. Students are expected to complete their self-assessment and we encourage their assignment manager to complete the manager portion of the co-op evaluation.
When do students and employers need to notify the University of Cincinnati that they are participating in a co-op program? What type of paperwork/information is needed by students and employers?
All new employers can contact email@example.com to gain access to our co-op program. Additionally, when you sign up for Handshake, you’ll have the opportunity to request approval to connect with the University of Cincinnati. It typically takes 1-2 business days to receive approval for your request.
Do I need to let the university know if I make an offer to the student? What are the next steps?
Follow your internal hiring process and ask the student to contact their advisor to notify them of placement and follow next steps.
Do students have requirements while on co-op?
Students complete assignments that require them to meet with their on-site supervisor at the beginning of their co-op in order to set goals for the upcoming semester, check their progress at the middle, and review their work at the end of the co-op experience. Students will also evaluate their progress toward developing and improving a variety of professional skills through assignments, which are reviewed with a faculty member. Questions regarding student assignments can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.