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Internships and Co-ops


An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.

Internships may be linked to an academic department or done independently. The internship is usually the length or equivalent of an academic semester or summer, may be part-or full- time, paid or unpaid.


Cooperative Education (Co-ops) are full-time, paid experiential opportunities lasting an average of three to six months over the course of a semester and may include part/all of the summer too. In some fields (e.g., engineering), the student may alternate between full-time on-campus study and with periods of full-time work. Although working full-time and not earning credit, students may keep their full-time UT student status by being classified by the Registrar’s Office as “Co-op in Field” (noted on transcript). To be classified as such, students must contact the Center for Career Development to complete necessary paperwork*. The Registrar’s Office requires students be advised before beginning their co-op, be in good standing with UT and have no outstanding fees/fines. Students do not typically earn academic credit for co-ops and therefore, are not charged university tuition.

*Some academic departments and colleges manage their own co-op process; e.g. the College of Engineering’s Office of Engineering Professional Practice.

NACE Position Statement on Internships

UT’s Center for Career Development is a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers. As a member our practices and policies regarding internships are guided by the NACE Position Statement on Internships.