George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Co-op and Federal Opportunities

*** The Cooperative Education program is ending effective Fall 2020.  Summer 2020 is the final semester to gain transcript recognition through the program.

Would you like the opportunity to receive recognition on your transcript for your experiential work? If you have been offered a paid co-op, internship, or a Pathways position with the Federal government and are not enrolling in an internship course for academic credit, you may be eligible to enroll in the Career Services Cooperative Education Program.  Read through the menu items below for more information.

We also process agreements for students who have been offered Federal volunteer internships. Students have the option of receiving recognition on their transcript for the experience.

Your work experience in the Cooperative Education Program should be at least 50% related to your academic studies. You must complete a set of learning goals and an evaluation in order to receive the transcript recognition.

Minimum Eligibility Criteria
  • Be enrolled at least half-time working towards a degree or certificate
  • Earned at least 24 college credits
  • Be in good academic standing:
    • Graduate students: 3.0 minimum overall GPA
    • Undergraduate students: 2.0 minimum overall GPA
    • Juris Doctor students: 2.33 minimum overall GPA
  • Hourly requirements apply depending on the type of experiential program in which you would like to participate
  • Specific requirements apply for students on an F-1 visa: International Students
Finding Internships and Co-ops
  • Search for internships and co-ops through the Handshake job database
  • Schedule an appointment with an Industry Advisor in Career Services to help you direct your search. Call 703-993-2370
  • Career Shift searches every career site and job board. Users can search by job title, company name, keywords or location. Relevant jobs can be saved and organized by users.
  • USAJOBS Federal job search database. Once you set up an account, search under Advanced Search using key words: Student Trainee or Pathways
Receiving Non-Credit Transcript Recognition for Co-ops and Paid Internships

If an internship for credit is required in your academic program, please meet with your academic department advisor to discuss your options. Career Services is not authorized to provide academic credit for internships and co-ops.

Career Services offers students the opportunity to enroll in the Cooperative Education program if they have been offered a paid co-op position or a paid internship which does not require academic credit. This also includes paid internships through the Federal Government's Pathways Program. Requirements include completing a learning goals worksheet and an evaluation of your experience. The non-credit transcript recognition will be placed on your transcript providing permanent documentation of your experiential work.

Use the Co-op Application Packet to apply to the program:

Receiving Non-Credit Transcript Recognition for Federal Volunteer Internships

Employers offering volunteer or unpaid internships will often request a signed agreement from the educational institution. Career Services is only authorized to sign volunteer agreements for Federal student volunteer work or unpaid internships. If you have an agreement from private industry or a non-profit organization, please consult with your advisor in your academic department.

Use the Federal Volunteer Internship Application Packet or contact Victoria Suarez for information about obtaining the signature on your Federal Volunteer Internship Agreement and earning a non-credit transcript recognition for your experience.

Making the Most of Your Work Experience

An internship or co-op provides a good opportunity for you to make decisions about your future. An internship or co-op may confirm your chosen direction or you may learn that you would prefer a new direction. Using the guidelines below will enable you to make the most of your work experience.

Develop realistic learning objectives and plans for the experience.

Learning Objectives:

What do I want to learn from this experience?
What knowledge, skills, and abilities do I want to acquire?

Resources and Strategies:

What activities can I undertake to achieve the objectives?
What resources do I need?
What specific strategies can I use, and when can I accomplish this?


How will I know I have successfully accomplished the objectives?
What method of evaluation can I use?

Learn as much about the organization structure and operation as possible.

Keep your eyes and ears open.
Learn from the people, events and world around you.
Ask your supervisor for permission to sit-in on staff and other meetings.
Interview your co-workers and other employees at various levels.
Keep a journal of your experience.

Continually assess your function and how it impacts your learning objectives.

What are your job responsibilities?
How do the responsibilities complement what you are learning in class?
How do these responsibilities match/fit your personal objectives? How are you feeling about it?

Evaluate the career field, work environment and analyze the fit with your values.

Are the employees content in their work environment?
What is the typical salary range for various positions?
Who are the leaders in your organization? Who makes things happen?
How is the information processed in the organization?
How do people find out what they need to know in order to make decisions?
What supervisory style does your supervisor use with you? How does that work for you?

Be professional

Arrive on time and dress appropriately.
Accomplish tasks or projects that you and your supervisor choose.
Communicate with your supervisor openly, particularly if you encounter problems.
Abide by company rules and policies.
Honor the terms which you agreed upon, including starting and ending dates.

Application Packets

Co-op Applications for US Citizens and F-1Visa Students

Note to Students on an F-1 Visa:  Latest date to request a CPT i-20 work authorization from OIPS for the Summer 2020 semester: June 12, 2020.

Federal Volunteer Internships