Welcome to Co-Op
"Our mission is to
provide our students and employer partners individualized opportunities to
enhance success and opportunity in the workplace environment through relevant
and challenging assignments that will result in the graduation of excellent
engineers and scientists."
There aren't many opportunities that can boast the advantages that cooperative education can offer. What other program can offer you the chance to learn, earn, and graduate with a higher starting salary, while maintaining status as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student?
The University of Pittsburgh is steeped in history and tradition, and our cooperative education program is no exception. Founded as the third co-op program in the nation, Pitt's co-op program flourished until the Great Depression caused its suspension in the early
1930s. In 1987, under the tutelage of Dean Charles Sorber, the program was re-established for undergraduates. Today, almost half of Pitt's graduating seniors participate in cooperative education.
We have also expanded to allow participation from Pitt students in science-related fields, and we offer the co-op opportunity to all of our regional campuses in engineering and engineering technology. Recently, we implemented a co-op initiative for graduate
level engineering candidates.
Co-op offers students the chance to obtain a full year's worth of work experience prior to graduation.
Visit our new co-op page on the
Engineering Library website:
Nathan Smialek named Co-op Student of the Year!
In recognition of his accomplishments during a four-semester rotation at Philips Respironics, Nathan Smialek was selected to be the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering Co-op Student of the Year. Mr. Smialek, a native of Girard, Pa., will receive his bachelor’s degree
in bioengineering in the spring of 2016.Among his activities, Mr. Smialek is University Innovation Fellow; a member of the U.S. delegation to Vice Premier Liu at Intel U.S.-China International Maker competition ceremony; and served as President of Engineers for Sustainable Medical Development (ESMD) for which his
design team developed an optical coherence tomography (OCT) microscopy mount used in pediatric procedures. The device, for which they filed a provisional patent application, is a mechanical mounting system that allows a surgeon to utilize an OCT microscope while attempting surgery to restore sight
in pediatric patients. The device was used clinically in multiple surgeries. Mr. Smialek stated, “Working alongside industry professionals and actively participating in the development of medical products was the most valuable experience of my undergraduate career. My time at Pitt has been defined by rigorous
academics with the co-op program providing a complementary opportunity to extend my skills acquired as part of my education.”
Co-op Student of the Year Finalists
Morgan A. Skapik
Metallurgy and Materials Engineer
Stephanie Fee Jin Lee
Co-op Student of the Year Honorable Mentions
Renee M. Corbett—Civil Engineer – Langan Engineering
Andrew J. Pouleson—Computer Engineer – Rockwell Automation
Alexander G. Horn—Chemical Engineer – Air Products
Eric P. Walker—Electrical Engineer – Mine Safety Appliances
Sheridan Zivanovich—Computer Science - ANSYS
John A. Pidgeon—Industrial Engineer – Connors Group
James R. Brucker—Industrial Engineer – Fed Ex Ground
Robinson Fans, Inc. and Zoll LifeVest named 2015 Co-op Employers of the Year
Tom Kuli, Chief Engineer, Robinson Fans, Inc. and Dr. Gerald H. Holder, US Steel Dean of Engineering
Dr. Gerald H. Holder and Shane Volpe, Manager of Embedded Systems Development, Zoll LifeVest
Each year the Cooperative Education Program solicits nominations for Outstanding Co-op Employer from faculty and students.
Our previous Employer of the Year awards went to the following companies:
1991 Delphi Packard Electrical Corporation/GM
1992 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
1993 J&L Specialty Steel
1994 US Airways
1995 Nova Chemical Corporation
1997 Bayer Corporation
1998 Westinghouse Electric Company, EMD
1999 ANSYS Incorporated
2000 United Parcel Service
2001 AK Steel
2002 Mine Safety Appliances Company
2003 H.B. Maynard
2004 American Bridge Corporation
2005 Dupont Chemical Solutions Enterprise
2008 FedEx Ground
2009 Advanced Integration Group, Inc.
2010 Vocollect, Inc.
2011 FirstEnergy Corporation
2012 Siemens Energy
Co-op and Study Abroad --- You Can Make It
- 96% retention rate to
- You will most likely see an increase in your grades; last
year's co-op graduates boasted a 3.22 average GPA!
- Co-op graduates
average almost $4,000 more in a starting salary than non-participants
- Most students complete the program and graduate in 4 ½ years
- Academic credit is earned and official transcripts are certified with co-op
- All co-op positions are paid
- Each student has a
faculty co-op advisor
You Own Your Future! And BEST of ALL:
The staff of the co-op office maintains an open door
policy each day. We offer resume assistance, mock interviews, and individual job
development. Our goal is to help you find your path to future success. Our
students work locally, nationally, and even internationally.
Where Pitt co-ops work!
This map shows
the location of Co-Op student employers. You can interact with the map to zoom
in and out, and move left to right, to view regional and national employer