Human Factors Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Cooperative Education Program

The human factors engineering and mechanical engineering programs, in collaboration with the School of Engineering, offers a cooperative education model for students in the undergraduate program.

The program, which will focus on providing on-the-job experiences for undergraduates interested in learning more about career opportunities in human factors engineering and mechanical engineering, creates opportunities for students to network with and learn new skills from professionals working in various related fields.

Co-op students complete a preliminary course (ES-0085) before beginning their off-campus work in basic employment competencies, which include information related to professionalism, business etiquette, and ethics in the workplace, basic resume and interviewing skills, and other job skills related to working in an engineering-based position.

Students are available in January to start working with companies interested in hosting them for a 6-month long cooperative education experience. Co-op terms typically run January 1-June 30 and July 1-December 31, annually.


  • Eligibility: HFE or ME majors, with sophomore or higher standing, GPA >2.8
  • Required prerequisite course: ES85: Professional Preparation for Cooperative Education, before any co-op placement.

Application process

  1. Meet with a faculty advisor (Associate Professor Anil Saigal) to discuss the application process.
  2. Students apply for one of four possible cycles (2 cycles in junior year, 2 cycles in senior year), both years run July to December, or January to June. Students can also apply for the 2 cycles if they choose a five-year program.
  3. Students apply for co-op positions through Handshake.
  4. The employer will screen resumes and contact students for interviews.
  5. The employer decides on a co-op hire.
  6. Both employer and student sign the employment agreement and other forms.
  7. Co-op advisor or coordinator tracks students and sites during interview process and during co-op

Information for Students


To recruit Tufts talent, contact Robin Kahan.

For more information on the Tufts Human Factors Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Co-op Program, contact Professor Anil Saigal.

For logistics information on co-op placement, contact Tufts Student Services.

  • Attending COOP can be beneficial in your overall education and a good complement to your academic studies.  ME-HF COOP is experiential learning in which participating students will have opportunities to

    • practice technical knowledge and skills in real life dynamic cooperate setting,
    • acquire new skillsets and knowledge with immediate impact on task at hand,
    • assess your education and professional career.  

    Through professional work, students engage in creating new ideas and exposed to structured and unstructured office settings.

  • Full-time undergraduates in Human Factors Engineering and Mechanical Engineering with sophomore or higher standing with a minimum GPA 2.8.

    International undergraduate HFE/ME students can participate in co-op through Curriculum Practical Training (CPT).

  • The co-op program has a pre-requisite course (ES-85-ME: Professional Preparation for Cooperative Education) that you need to take before any co-op placement. 

    You will apply for co-op positions through Handshake available on Career Center website. Co-op employers review your resume, contact you for an interview and then decide if they hire you. When you secure a co-op job, you and employer will sign an employment agreement and other forms. Your co-op coordinator will track your activities during interview process and when you are working as a co-op student.

    Once you have completed ES 85 and secured a co-op offer, contact Matt Finch and Anil Saigal to discuss next steps. 

  • The two co-op cycles each have a 6-month duration:

    • Co-op cycle I – Jan. 1st to June 30th  - co-op application, interview and hire agreement in September-November
    • Co-op cycle II – July 1st to Dec. 30th - co-op application, interview and hire agreement in February-May

    Before submitting your application, you should discuss your co-op plans with the co-op advisor.

    Upon completing ES 85-ME, you can take a co-op in any cycle and will return to campus.  Co-op can’t be taken in the final semester before graduation. 

  • During your co-op cycle, you will remain a full-time student at Tufts. As a co-op student, you will not be charged for tuition in the semester you are doing your co-op; but other charges such as activities fees and health service fees will be mandatory, and you will continue to be covered by Tufts health services.

  • A co-op semester will not count as a semester of residency. Eight semesters of residency are required for graduation.

  • You will not be enrolled in any classes and you will not receive academic credit during the period of your co-op.

  • You will still be considered to be a full-time Tufts student during the time you are participating in your co-op. This means, for example, that you will be eligible to stay in on-campus housing, use the library, attend events, participate in varsity or club athletics. If you have student loans, you will be reported to the federal government as a full-time student and your loans will continue to be deferred during your co-op.

  • Your co-op earnings are expected to cover all your expenses for the co-op semester. You aren’t charged tuition and you will not receive any financial aid during your co-op.  Your financial aid arrangements for future semesters will not be changed, and your co-op earnings will not affect your eligibility for future financial aid.   

    If your co-op earnings aren't enough for your living expenses, you are eligible to apply for student loan from the Office of Financial Aid. 

  • You will be responsible for your housing and transportation during your co-op. Co-op employers are encouraged to provide additional financial allowance for housing and any required regular transportation to work. These financial assistances aren’t mandatory for the employers and you may use such factors as part of your co-op negotiations. 

  • Your co-op semester won’t count as a semester residency. To fulfill residency requirement, Tufts allows for one semester of residency by having 5 AP’s or 5 Tufts summer courses. If you satisfy either of these two requirements, you can graduate in four years. If not, you will be at Tufts for 9 semesters, including your co-op semester.