Employer Guide

Employer Guide
to Co-ops & Internships

The Cooperative Education Program offers two formal experiential learning opportunities.

Cooperative Education (Co-op)

Co-op at MSU is a fully accredited work based-learning initiative that has flourished since 1955. By design, the program is a paid, three or more work term experience designed to help students bridge the gap between education and employment while maintaining their full-time student status. By partnering with MSU, Co-op employers are able to vet qualified short-term employees for potential long-term fit. MSU students may start their co-op opportunity after completing their freshman year and establishing a solid GPA. However, program enrollment is most common following the sophomore year.


The Internship Program offers students from a variety of disciplines paid or unpaid experience in a professional practice setting. Internships may be directly related to the students major or in an industry of interest to the student. Internships are usually one semester and occur most frequently during the summer term. Hiring employers assign interns to a wide range of short-term projects that help the company to improve its bottom line. Employers set internship qualification standards.

Both program options offer quality work experiences for qualified students who desire to combine their academic coursework with planned and monitored work experiences.

Program staff prepares students regarding career readiness and hosts a series of hiring events to connect students with potential employers.

Ready to get started?

Employers interested in hiring MSU students must register with the Career Center.

Employer Guide

Employer Registration

Those interested in becoming a Cooperative Education Program employer should:

  1. Complete the MSU Career Center employer registration found online at https://msstate-csm.symplicity.com/employers/?signin_tab=0.
  2. Recruitment is a competitive process for students and employers, pay close attention to on-campus recruitment dates and course registration deadlines. These can be found in your Connections account and email reminders will be sent.
  3. Employers should adhere to the established work term calendars provided by the program office.

Employer Statement of Agreement

Employer commitment is an integral part of the success of the Career Center’s Cooperative Education Program. To ensure student success, employers must:

  1. Provide a work environment free of harassment and discrimination.
  2. Plan well-defined work assignments before the student’s arrival.
  3. Discuss learning objectives with students upon arrival.
  4. Provide mentorship and regular supervision.
  5. Encourage questions that develop an on-going communication system.
  6. For Co-op, vary the assigned projects/ duties with each work term to expand learning opportunities.
  7. Submit a student evaluation to the program office via your Connections account at the end of each work term.

A full statement of agreement is available to each new program employer seeking to register with the MSU Cooperative Education Program.

Pay Guide

The Career Center does not set pay rates for experiential learning agreements. However, consultation regarding competitive pay is available to registered employers. A prior year student earnings snapshot is available in the program annual report.


Students are often concerned about the availability of housing during their co-op or internship. Those who rotate semesters of work and school often must juggle multiple leasing agreements each year. Employers should consider the availability/affordability of housing in the area when extending offers. Competitive offers often include a housing clause that details the availability of company housing, a monthly housing stipend, or other forms of relocation assistance.

Program Specific Hiring Events

The program office welcomes employers to engage with students on campus each semester. Employers with an established campus presence tend to have the highest number of student applications for their co-op and internship positions. Below is a list of our premiere events for attracting top candidates for your co-op or internship positions.

Fall and Spring Career Expo

The Career Expo is designed to help companies find talented students and alumni for positions at all levels. It brings over 200 employers to campus each semester giving them the opportunity to showcase their brand and employment opportunities to a wide range of candidates in a career fair format.

Co-op and Internship Interview Days

This highly anticipated event is planned for employers with a specific interest in interviewing co-op students or interns to begin work assignments the following semester.

Typically, 50 – 60 employers attend this event and as many as 250 pre-screened students participate each semester. The event is popular for companies (automotive, construction, transportation, biotechnology, engineering, government agencies, etc.) who are focused on their need for ongoing student talent. Employers will work directly with the Cooperative Education Program to arrange open interview schedules and interview qualifying students.

Final Offer and Acceptance

The employer should notify the student directly by email regarding any offer of employment. Once offers are accepted, employers should provide a list of confirmed students to the program office at coop@career.msstate.edu. After notification of acceptance, the program office completes the University’s formal placement process for the specified type of opportunity. A confirmation statement is sent to the employer.