Cooperative Education

For over 100 years, Northeastern has been a world leader in cooperative education.

The accounting student above completed his co-op at the American Trust Company in 1925.


The cooperative education program at Northeastern began in 1909. The cooperative education program was initially confined to the College of Engineering but later expanded to include other departments.  In 1928, a separate Department of Cooperative Work was established. The Department of Cooperative Work transformed into the  Division of Cooperative Education in 1965. Today, cooperative education placements are handled by each of the individual colleges with support by the Central Cooperative Education Services.

The business student above completed his co-op at the new Packard plant in 1939.



Business Administration student Donald Budge is pictured working at his co-op at John Hancock Insurance Company in 1950. While he is surrounded by women employees, women students at Northeastern historically faced discrimination in their co-op placements. In 1969, female students in the Business Administration program submitted a petition to the Northeastern administration accusing certain employers in the co-op program with discrimination because the female students were given less opportunities than their male counterparts. A Northeastern administrator responded to the petition in a Northeastern University News article published two years later saying, "'As I recollect, we couldn't substantiate the charge. Discrimination is not something you can really put your finger on. Usually its a feeling which only the individuals involved can express.'"