The academically integrated Professional Co-op Program in the Kennedy College of Sciences is available to students in Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Environmental, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences.

The Professional Co-op Program allows students to obtain full-time, paid work experience in their respective field of study.  The valuable, hands-on experience gained from co-op will help to enhance a student's understanding of how course concepts translate to real world situations.

Students in the Kennedy College of Sciences have the opportunity to work in co-op positions across a diverse range of industries, sectors and locations.  Students can participate in at least two co-op experiences (three or six months in duration each) exploring opportunities with UMass Lowell's employer partners located both regionally and nationally.

Benefits of Co-op

Through co-op, a student can develop:

  • Extensive work experience
  • An informed idea of the work environment they prefer
  • A better understanding of one's strengths and weaknesses
  • A stronger, more competitive resume
  • A network of contacts in the professional world

Co-op Sequence

The Professional Co-op Program is optional and students can elect to participate in either 6-month co-op cycle (Jan-June, July-Dec) or a three-month summer-only, co-op work experiences. Most students opt to complete two work experiences during their undergraduate career and this can be any combination of six or three-month experiences.


Students pay tuition while they are in classes (8 semesters), but not while they are out on an official co-op experience. However, students do maintain their full-time student status at the university. Maintaining student status allows students to continue to pay room and board to live in a residence hall while on co-op, participate in student organizations, and continue to have access to all campus resources.

Maintaining student status also allows students to keep their student loans and healthcare. Students are advised to discuss the status of scholarships with the financial aid office. Students do not pay academic tuition to participate in co-op however there is a modest fee to participate in the co-op work experience.

Role of the Co-op Coordinator

Students in the professional co-op program are supported by a co-op coordinator; He/she provides education, coaching, and ongoing guidance on careers and skills necessary for success in the professional world. The co-op coordinator assists students in preparing for co-op and identifying opportunities that match their goals and interests. Students are required to complete a one-credit course before beginning their first co-op experience. The course, Professional Development Seminar, is taught by a Career & Co-op Center professional and covers areas including resume and interview preparation, career decision-making and professional protocols.

Co-op coordinators work closely with students, not only in the classroom, but in one-on-one counseling throughout all aspects of the job-search process. The co-op coordinator also works closely with employer partners in developing, enhancing and maintaining co-op positions that align with the educational goals of the college.

Amanda Teixeira
Assistant Director of Co-op
Kennedy College of Sciences