Student Co-op Requirements

The Lindner College of Business requires that co-op positions meet these requirements:

  • Full-time employment (multiple, part-time employment experiences can meet this requirement)
  • Financially compensated (see the co-op handbook for details on unpaid co-ops)
  • Career-related to business studies
  • Supervised by Employer
  • Approved by Career Coach

In order to complete the program and receive program services, students must be enrolled in a full-time degree program offered by the Lindner College of Business and maintain satisfactory academic progress in their program.

Co-op is a transcripted course that students need to be registered for each semester of co-op.

International students

Rules for participating in co-op vary based on a student’s immigration status. Further details on international student eligibility can be found in the co-op handbook.

International students may also consult with UC International Services to determine their requirements.

The criteria for determining eligibility of a student’s proposed experience as a co-op is as follows:

Co-ops must be:

  • paid work experiences (hourly, monthly, or stipend; stipends must be at least minimum wage for hours worked).
  • related to the student’s business studies.
  • Sales-related co-ops must include an amount of guaranteed compensation (not including training, conferences, or professional workshops).

Job descriptions in which the majority of work aligns with the below will NOT be approved:

  • Manual labor
  • Food service
  • Child/youth care
  • Security/valet
  • Factory production
  • eCommerce order fulfillment/delivery (e.g., DoorDash)
  • Retail customer service
  • Uber/Lyft transportation

Additionally, the following roles and experiences will NOT be approved:

  • Student worker jobs
  • Campus-based leadership roles (e.g., PACE Leader, Student Government, student organizations)
  • Tutoring
  • Teaching assistant
  • Peer teaching
  • Peer leader
  • Micro-credentials.

Full-time co-ops should be a minimum of 350 total hours and part-time co-ops are a minimum of 175 total hours.

The numbers below serve as minimum standards to meet the graduation requirement.
Type of student Number of full-time equivalent co-ops  

Lindner Business Honors students

Traditional first-year students (freshmen)

Transition or transfer students (coming from other colleges or universities after their first year)





Two part-time co-ops are equivalent to one full-time co-op. Students are encouraged to and often do complete more co-ops than those listed above.

International co-ops

Each co-op completed in a country where a student has no previous and/or current citizenship or residency status will be counted as twice its co-op equivalent, e.g., a full-time co-op in another country would count as two full-time co-ops towards the co-op graduation requirement, while a part-time co-op in another country would count as one full-time co-op towards the co-op graduation requirement.

Co-op maximums

International students are restricted to a maximum total of 3 semesters of full-time or 6 semesters of part-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization during their undergraduate studies. International students should work with both their Career Coach and UC International to plan accordingly in order to maximize the opportunities for off-campus work experience without jeopardizing their visa.

  • Traditional, first-year students: The first full-time equivalent (FTE) co-op is expected to be completed by the end of junior year to demonstrate satisfactory progress towards meeting the total co-op number requirement.
  • Lindner Business Honors students: The first FTE co-op is expected to be completed by the end of sophomore year and the second FTE co-op by the end of junior year to demonstrate satisfactory progress towards meeting the total co-op number requirement.

Universal co-op rollout

Lindner's universal co-op program has been and will continue to be introduced in stages, and does not impact students that enrolled in a Lindner degree program prior to the timeline listed below. What follows is a tentative plan for when the requirement will apply to students, depending on their individual circumstances:

  • Fall 2022: Requirement for Lindner Honors students 
  • Fall 2023: Voluntary opt-in requirement for traditional, first-year students  
  • Fall 2024: Requirement for traditional, first-year students
  • Fall 2025: Voluntary opt-in requirement for transfer and transition students
  • Fall 2026: Requirement for transfer and transition students

The following students or situations are exempt from the Lindner co-op requirement:

  • Students continuously working full-time in a professional setting while completing their degree.
  • Students who have completed co-op experiences through another academic program or educational institution that has a co-op program with similar standards. Experience must be noted on a transcript and a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) must be granted.
  • Students who have completed full-time work of six consecutive months or more in a career-related job and who have successfully completed the PLA process offered by the university. Detailed information about the PLA process can be found in the co-op handbook.

Co-op Alternatives

Options are available for students to seek alternatives to the traditional co-op experience. These experiences are approved on a case-by-case basis and should be discussed with the student's career coach. Further information on these alternatives can be found in the co-op handbook.

Note: The Lindner Co-op Handbook is continuously edited to keep Lindner students and stakeholders notified of the latest co-op developments.