Co-op & Experiential Learning
Combining rigorous academics with a variety of experiential learning opportunities
Northeastern’s approach to education combines rigorous academics with experiential learning anchored by our world-renowned cooperative education program. Experiential learning encompasses our co-op program as well as research, global experiences, service learning, and student organizations.
Co-op affords students the chance to work in engineering practice prior to graduation. Through this program, undergraduate and graduate students gain hands-on, professional experience as well as a chance to build personal connections and contacts within their field of interest.
The Co-op Advantage
Lee Makowski, Professor and Department Chair of Bioengineering, speaks to the value of the of co-op experience as part of the educational curriculum and how it gives students the opportunity to make an impact in the field while in the program and also a competitive advantage after graduation.
Co-op Helped Her Achieve Her Next Step in Medical School
Aanie Phillips, BS, Bioengineering, says co-op puts into perspective what you learn in the classroom providing an immersive learning experience. She did two co-ops, a clinical one at a doctor’s office, and the other as a mechanical and operations engineer at Virtudent, a teledentistry startup. Aaanie is off to medical school with a full scholarship from her top-choice school.
Master's Student Improves Manufacturing Technologies for Therapies on Co-op
Millicent Gabriel, ME’19, bioengineering, had a co-op at bluebird bio. She worked on improving current manufacturing technologies for therapies. She says her knowledge grew twofold and the connections in Boston with the biotechnology industry and anything bioengineering related is invaluable. The professors, classes, and co-op has prepared her for the workplace.
Bioengineering Co-op Quick Facts
- Boston Scientific
- MIT Lincoln Labs
- Smith and Nephew
- Vention Medical
- Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering
- Alternative Biofuels
- Medical Devices
- Nano Medicine
- Tissue Engineering
- Research and development
- Medical device design
- Instrumentation design
- Lab technician, manufacturing
- Advanced material
- Research and development
- $18 (sophomore)–$22 (senior)
- 30 – 40 employers in bioengineering
- Students: We meet with students to prepare them for co-op and advise them on career related matters. As faculty members, we teach co-op and career-related courses and work with students one-on-one. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to participate in co-op.
- Employers: We also work closely with companies to develop quality co-op positions for our students that also provide a contribution to the employer. In order to make hiring easier, we want to understand the type of candidate hiring managers are looking for and screen candidates.
- Schedule: Undergraduate students work for 6 months, from January – June and July – December. Graduate students work for 4, 6, or 8 months at a time depending on the position and the student’s availability.
- Hours: Co-op positions are full time (40 hr/wk) during which time the student has no obligations to the school, but is focused full time on their employment – making a substantial contribution to their employer while simultaneously learning and applying course work taken to date.
- Pay: Co-ops are paid positions, with the wage determined by the employer. Co-op Coordinators collect wage information at least once a year and will share average pay ranges with employers in order to stay competitive.
- Creating a Position: To get started in the hiring process, employers are required to complete and submit a job description at: https://nucareers.northeastern.edu/employers/overview.htm
- Deadlines: Job descriptions are due at the end of January and the end of September for the Spring and Fall terms, respectively. Employers who have missed the deadlines are still encouraged to reach a coordinator, as the hiring cycle takes several months and we may still have candidates available.
As she begins her pursuit of a PhD, Ashka Patel, E’24, hopes to use what she has learned on co-op in Boston and beyond to create a more innovative and equitable health care system.
By succeeding academically, thriving in two co-ops, participating in student groups, and working with a mentor, Hannah Kim, E’24, bioengineering, is set to pursue an advanced degree with a research focus on tissue mechanics and tissue biology.
The three co-op experiences and capstone project of Jessica Chen, E’24, bioengineering, has solidified a love for cell culture and the cellular parts of bioengineering. She had co-ops at Gentuity, a medical device company; Ensoma, a biotech company; and through the CaNCURE program at Northeastern, that places undergraduate students in cancer nanomedicine positions in Boston. […]
Luke DeMarco, E’24, bioengineering, is interested in a career in cancer research. He’s had two co-ops in the area of immunotherapy and cancer research, including at biotech startup Catamaran Bio and at Northeastern conducting research in a faculty member’s lab. He also went on a Dialogue of Civilizations to Italy and has applied for a […]