Coop for Firms

Purdue Landscape Architecture Coop Program

A Better Experience, by Design

The Coop Program

We believe that formal training in landscape architecture is not enough. A complete education in our profession must include hands-on work experience in a professional landscape architecture office. That’s why we developed the Purdue Landscape Architecture Cooperative Education (Coop) Program more than 30 years ago — and this program makes Purdue Landscape Architecture graduates unique.

To earn a Purdue Landscape Architecture degree, our students must participate in the Coop Program. This is not just a summer internship. Our students gain practical experience working with your professional team.

Our students:

  • Have formal training. Our students participate in this program the fourth year of their five-year degree program. They come to you with three years of coursework, so they already have training in technical drawing and analytical skills. Purdue students are recognized for their advanced technological skills and strong work ethics.

  • Are eager to contribute and learn. You will be able to rely on our students’ talents for more than just a summer. Our degree program requires students to work in an office for 9-15 continuous months. They become part of your team.

An Affordable Resource

Because Purdue Landscape Architecture Coop students are trained and motivated, they are prepared to contribute immediately.

Our students offer you:

  • A source of talent. A number of firms treat the experience like an extended job interview. You may choose to invite our students to join your team after graduation. You know them, and they already know your office culture.
  • Quality work. Ideally, our students become trusted members of your team, just like entry-level employees. For more than 10 years, Purdue has been nationally ranked in the top 7 undergraduate landscape architecture programs (DesignIntelligence, www.di.net)
  • Mentorship opportunities. Your current employees become stronger team leaders by working with students.

A Valuable Experience

By working in your office, Purdue Landscape Architecture Coop students gain experience that students attending other universities can’t match.

You provide our students:

  • Real experience. Our students learn how to solve the challenges of real projects, not just textbook versions of what should work.
  • Professional opportunities. They will complete their experience knowing what it takes to be a landscape architect, which helps them and our profession.

Get Involved

You will negotiate directly with students about start and end dates, salaries, and other conditions of employment. Typically, wage agreements should allow students to live comfortably in your locality.

Incentives like paid holidays or time off are enticing to the student but not mandatory. All arrangements are between you and the student; there is no contract with Purdue University.

If you have questions about the Purdue Landscape Architecture Coop Program or want to participate, please contact our faculty coordinator:

Bernie Dahl, FASLA, FCELA
Coordinator, Coop Program
Purdue Landscape Architecture Program
Office: 765-494-1330
Mobile: 765-430-9290
bdahl@purdue.edu
ag.purdue.edu/hla/la

What Other Coop Firms Are Saying

“Our intern has proved to be a very hard worker, and in this short period of time has become a real asset to our organization.”
“He educated our office on many programs that we have found useful and are now implementing. He is an extremely hard worker and always follows through on deadlines.”
“Our intern has been able to master our design program and actually do more with it than we thought it could do. . . . After graduation, I plan to sit down with him to discuss full-time employment.”
“We have been impressed with the general attitudes and abilities of the interns that have come to help us.”
“If our intern has any bad memories of his experience with us, it was probably a result of our forgetting he was an intern and putting responsibility on his shoulders he should not have had to bear.”
“We will definitely be looking for another Purdue intern next year.”
“Her work is both problem-solving focused as well as aesthetically nuanced. . . . Her collegiate attitude and grace under pressure is a rare commodity.”
“Our intern had an amazing attitude and was able to contribute to the studio at a level beyond what might be typical of an internship experience.”

Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, 625 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2010 USA, (765) 494-1300

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