Lyle School of Engineering - Cooperative Education
The history of the Lyle School of Engineering at SMU demonstrates a commitment
to the concept of cooperative education. When the Lyle School of Engineering
was established in 1925, it already had a close relationship with the Technical Club
of Dallas. Members of this group owned factories and engineering consulting firms
and wanted to participate in the training and development of their incoming
employees. The Technical Club asked SMU to include the Cooperative Education
Program (Co-op) in the original design of the school.
SMU was one of the first universities in the Southwest to adopt this concept of
practical education. From 1925 to 1965, all Lyle School of Engineering undergraduate
students participated in Co-op. Since 1965, the program has been optional.
The SMU Co-op Program is designed so that each student can enhance his or
her education and career by receiving professional training while alternating terms
of classroom instruction. Participation in the Co-op Program allows students to:
Entry into the Co-op Program is typically offered at the spring term of the
sophomore year or the fall term of the junior year during the studentís academic
progression. These are shown below:
- Confirm that they like working in their major.
- Discover the kind of work they like within their major.
- Establish a professional reputation.
- Earn the cumulative equivalent of one year of a new graduateís starting salary.
- Gain invaluable work experience when competing for full-time jobs upon
Students who want to participate in the Co-op Program should begin the application
process two terms before their anticipated first work term. The application
process includes attending a Co-op Orientation (preferably during the first year),
receiving interview skills training, learning the job search process, and completing
a computerized application. The Co-op Director guides students through each step
of the process.
Each applicant receives quality advising from the Co-op Associate Director. A
direct result of advising is that the student gains a better understanding of individual
options and a strategy for pursuing those options. The application process requires
one or two hours per week for almost two terms. The process normally results in
an offer of Cooperative Education Training Employment beginning in the spring
term during the sophomore year or the fall term of the junior year.
Who May Apply?
Any Lyle School of Engineering undergraduate student in good standing who
has enough time remaining before graduation to alternate at least three times
between terms of full-time work and terms of full-time school may apply for
admission into the SMU Co-op Program. Transfer students must be admitted and
accepted at SMU.
When to Apply
Many students choose to begin the application process during the first term of
their first year. This head start is especially beneficial for students planning to
participate in Greek Rush during the second term of their first year. Students should
- Two or more terms before the work term begins.
- The first of these terms is for preparation.
- The second is for applying/interviewing with companies.
Since 1925, SMUís Lyle School of Engineering has created and maintained
numerous strong corporate relationships. Many factors contribute to these relationships,
including the quality of the academics and research, the advancement of
alumni, and SMUís close proximity to high-tech corporations. An SMU Co-op
student directly benefits from these relationships.
However, the student bears an obligation to preserve these relationships for
future students by following SMUís Lyle School of Engineering Co-op Program
Undergraduate Student Agreement. The agreement balances the studentís individual
needs with the long-term goal of maintaining corporate relationships so that future
SMU students will have as many opportunities as possible.
- Students must maintain good standing with SMU and their employer at all times.
- All Co-op Training Jobs must be approved in advance by the SMU Co-op
- Before each work term begins, each undergraduate Co-op student must enroll
in the appropriate Co-op course for the term when they work.
- SMU charges no fees or tuition for these courses. Each course is graded as
pass/fail by the Co-op Associate Director. The courses do not count toward
graduation. The course numbers for each work term are, respectively, SS 1099,
SS 2099, SS 3099, SS 4099, SS 5099 and SS 6099.
- Students enroll at SMU each term, including summers, once they begin the
Co-op rotation between work and school.
- Co-op students take full-time class loads at SMU during alternating school
- Co-op students do not work part-time for the Co-op employer during school
- Co-op students complete all work terms with the same company.
- Once a student accepts a Co-op Training Job, the student may switch jobs
within the sponsoring company with the approval of the company.
- Each Co-op student completes his or her originally planned number and
sequence of alternating work terms. The term of graduation must be a term of
full-time study at SMU.
- Each Co-op student accepts responsibility for knowing and following all Co-op
regulations of SMU and the participating employer.
Co-op students who plan and complete all originally scheduled Co-op work
terms in good standing with the University and the Co-op Office receive a Co-op
Program Certificate to coincide with graduation.
For additional information, contact the Co-op Associate Director at 214-768-
3039 or by e-mail at email@example.com.