3-Session Co-Op Program

Program Structure

Cooperative Education (Co-Op) programs offer numerous benefits for students looking to gain real-world experience before they graduate. In the 3-session co-op program, students will gain approximately 12 months of professional experience while alternating between semesters on campus taking classes and working with their Professional Practice Employer. Unlike co-op programs at other institutions, all three work sessions are spent with the same employer, which allows for a strong relationship to build between the student and employer. As a result, students are able to work on longer, more important projects and are able to take on increasingly responsible and diverse roles in their work sessions. Students also earn a significant and competitive salary while working. While not guaranteed, many co-op students are offered interviews or full-time positions with their host employer upon graduation.

The program is a transcript-recorded experience and provides an academic certificate upon completion.


Students with an overall GPA of 2.60 or higher at the end of three semesters are eligible to apply for the 3-session co-op program. Continued academic performance at the level and the completion of the student's sophomore year courses in their respective disciplines are prerequisites for beginning the first work session. For more detalied eligibility requirements and to see if you are eligible, speak with your academic advisor or co-op coordinator.

Click here to see a list of available programs by discipline/major.


A significant salary is paid for all assignments and varies by degree field and employer. Salaries typically increase for each subsequent work session. Average monthly salaries range from $2600-3800 for the first session and $3000-4000 for the third session.

Program Costs

Students pay a program fee of $400 while at each work session. This fee entitles students to maintain their full-time academic status for insurance and student loan purposes. Normal tuition and fees are charged only while on campus.

Application Procedure

The 3-Session schedule is designed to receive applications during the sophomore and junior year. Applicants are chosen by the employers during on-campus interviews. Selection depends upon the student’s academic achievement on campus within their home department (2.60 GPA minimum) and their success during the interview process. Application instructions can be found here. 


The 3-session co-op program offers a little more flexibility in comparison to the 5-session program, as students can start their first session anytime during their junior year or even as late as the fall semester of their senior year. Sample schedules can be viewed below. Actual schedules will be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the student's plan of study, academic progress, and their employer's needs and timelines.


3-Session Schedule

Purdue University Office of Professional Practice, Potter Engineering Center, Rm 114, 500 Central Dr, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-7430

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