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Students working in chemical engineering lab
Co-op & Experiential Learning

Combining rigorous academics with a variety of experiential learning opportunities

Northeastern’s approach to education combines rigorous academics with experiential learning anchored by our world-renowned cooperative education program. Experiential learning encompasses our co-op program as well as research, global experiences, service learning, and student organizations.

Cooperative Education

Co-op affords students the chance to work in engineering practice prior to graduation. Through this program, undergraduate and graduate students gain hands-on, professional experience as well as a chance to build personal connections and contacts within their field of interest.

Undergraduate students can complete up to three co-op work experiences throughout their Northeastern career. As a result, students will develop an increasingly strong range of skill levels and aptitudes as they gain more knowledge and work experience. Co-op is offered to graduate students as well who participate in the second year of their program.

  • A123 Systems
  • 1366 Technologies
  • Acorda Therapeutics
  • Ambri
  • Arsenal Medical
  • Ashland
  • Biogen Idec
  • Bristol-Meyers Squibb
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • DuPont
  • Eink
  • GVD Corporation
  • Henkel Loctite
  • Infinium
  • Metalor Technologies
  • Nano-C
  • Nuvera Fuel Cells
  • Pellion Technologies
  • Pfizer
  • Sanofi Genzyme
  • Selecta Biosciences
  • Shaw, Stone and Webster
  • Technip
  • TEL
  • Waters Corporation
  • Xtalic Corporation

“As a small chemical technology and design engineering firm, our staff must be ready and able to execute a wide variety of engineering and design activities both within and outside their own disciplines. The chemical engineering Co-op students we employ from Northeastern University fit perfectly with our dynamic operational model. They are integral to our project teams and make valuable contributions to our daily engineering, design and project management objectives.”

— John Doring, Engineering Manager

“Over the past few years, I have found the Chemical Engineering Co-op program to be an excellent resource. The coordination staff makes establishing a new program within an organization a breeze and ensures that a steady stream of interested students are lined up ready to help. The effect that a co-op student can have within a department can be significant – their energy and enthusiasm have helped move many programs/projects forward.”

— Kyle B. Haraldsen, Executive Director, Technical Operations


Research Experiences

Research is an integral part of our experiential learning portfolio in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern. Our undergraduate and graduate students are gaining real-world experience by working with our faculty to uncover innovative solutions to solve today’s pressing global challenges.

There are a wide range of opportunities for students from co-op and study abroad experiences, to working alongside faculty in their labs, as well as part of our research centers, such as international centers at the International Material Research Center with Soochow University and the Center for Nano and Pico Medicine with Wenzhou Institute of Biomaterials and Engineering.

Co-op Experience Identifies BioTech Passion

Bradley Priem, BS, chemical engineering, had two co-ops that gave him the ability to delve into a particular industry. At Synlogic he was a bioanalytical chemist and bacterial engineer creating e-coli strains, and at bluebird bio he was an upstream process development engineer for gene production. He now knows he wants to go into the biotech industry and is interested in graduate school too.

International Research Exchange in Spain

Dan Rourke, BS, chemical engineering, spent two months conducting research at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain. During this time, he worked in the Analytical Chemistry department studying the possible applications of atmospheric pressure glow discharge plasma in nanotechnology. This was very early-stage research which was done independently, with guidance from Professor Francisco Andrade.

three students posing in city square in Spain

Co-op Experiences Locally and Abroad

Emily Spence, a senior chemical engineering student, did three co-ops while at Northeastern including one in Holland. She says it broadened her knowledge more than she could have imagined.

Journey to Medical School

Jordan Harris, E'17, chemical engineering, started at Northeastern working early on in research in the Advanced Drug Delivery Lab under Professor Rebecca Carrier, chemical engineering. At the time, he thought he’d like to wind up in a PhD program related to tissue engineering or molecular biology. His three co-ops, though, helped him realize a tremendous interest in medical research and immunology. As a result, he’s now at the University of Pennsylvania earning a dual MD/PhD degree.

student in medical robe with stephascope around neck

Featured Experiences

students standing in front of big AIChE letters

Student Organizations

Northeastern's student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) was named an Outstanding Student Chapter for the 2017–2018 school year. The College of Engineering has over 50 student organizations including honor societies, competitions, professional societies, and affinity groups.

group of students pose with Brazil banner on a group trip in that country.

Global Experiences

Chemical Engineering Assistant Teaching Professor Courtney Pfluger led a Dialogue of Civilizations in summer of 2019 where students traveled to Brazil to learn about Sustainable Energy. The College offers a wide variety of global experiences including Dialogue of Civilizations, study abroad, research experiences, and global co-op, among others.

Student Experiences

Making World-Changing Progress through Cancer Immunology Research

Jordan Harris, BS, Chemical Engineering, 2017, had a simple goal: Take advantage of Northeastern’s College of Engineering education and experience to gain access to a graduate program to render his opportunities in science and engineering virtually limitless. Graduating with a 4.0 GPA and being accepted into many dual MD/PhD programs, Harris is on target for […]

four girl students posing in Spain

Chemical Engineering Dialogue of Civilizations to Spain

Written by Sofia Catalina, BS Chemical Engineering student. This past summer I traveled to Tarragona, Spain, with Prof. Ronald Willey and 22 other students on a Chemical Engineering dialogue to study Thermodynamics and Process Safety. Going on dialogue has been one of my favorite parts of Northeastern thus far. Dialogues enable you to learn and travel […]

Scholarship Supports Global Co-op Opportunities

Taylor Wilde, BS Chemical Engineering 2019, was the recipient of a Fung Scholarship, which allowed him to work on co-op at a research lab at École Normale Supérieure, a university in Paris. Source: News @ Northeastern Chemical engineering major Taylor Wilde, E’19, came to Northeastern, in part, for the university’s renowned co-op program, looking to […]

student outside in Belize smiling

Sustainable Agriculture Engineering Service Trip in Belize 

Written by Cassandra Johnson, a fourth year chemical engineering student. About Me Cassandra Johnson is a fourth year chemical engineering student from Issaquah, WA. I had my first co-op at Takeda Pharmaceuticals where I was a part of the Analytical Team in the Oncology Department. At Takeda I ran various physiochemical assays and created new […]