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Co-op vs. internships?

  1. Aug 2, 2010 #1
    I'm going to be in chemical engineering and am debating between the two. I want to go to grad school (probably just Master's). If I did Co-op, I'd likely take 5 years to graduate, where as if I did summer internships I would take 4. (I'm an entering freshman). I REALLY want to get a co-op or internship at NASA or another space program, but I don't know how feasible that is being a chemE major. How hard would it be to gain a spot in one of these programs? Ideally Goddard MD as I have housing arrangements easily set up there. My school has a strong program, but we're not affiliated with many companies outside of our region (which happens to not have much space industry).

    How do grad schools look at co-ops vs. internships? I got the impression that co-ops are mainly for those not pursuing further education, but then I'm still in the beginning stages of research.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2010 #2
    Do you have to decide now? That would seem odd, since you're just starting. Most school co-ops or full year internships are done after third year I think.

    Anyway, I'm restarting from first year engineering after finishing a first year in physics. I'm pretty confident I will complete my school's year-long internship program. At my university 99% of the students who apply for the program find get a position. It increases your chances of getting hired after graduation, and I don't see why it would be anything but a positive experience for a future grad student.
    Overall I will need six years to graduate, but I'm fine with it. I'm not sure if it's the same in your country, but in where I live (Alberta, Canada) it also counts as one year towards the work experience requirement needed to become a P.Engg.
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