Software Co-op Internships

Job Details

Job ID: 12451

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.


You can be part of JPL’s Cooperative Educational Internship program, which provides students a full-time internship opportunity by taking a leave of absence for one semester/quarter from their academic institution to complete a 6 month internship with JPL. Students are fully immersed in the JPL environment and culture. At the conclusion of the program, students return to school where they can directly apply JPL work experiences to their field of study. 

As a Cooperative Education intern, you will receive guidance and support from a JPL advisor to help strengthen your skills and develop your career path.  You’ll also build relationships and experience through networking events, seminars, tours, informational interviews, technical training, and more. This is your chance to join an innovative team that dares mighty things every day.

As an Undergraduate Student Co-Op, you will be a member of Engineering Operations for Surface Missions Group. We are looking for a student with strong object-oriented programming experience to work with the Mars Science Laboratory Engineering Operations Team. Tasks will involve developing software tools to aid in data analysis for the assessment of health and safety of the Curiosity rover. This will include improving existing tools, as well as creating new tools and capabilities for the operations team. Software tools include complex scripts for parsing and interpreting data in a Unix environment as well as visualization tools in web-based dashboards for trending analysis.
A strong candidate not only has strong programming abilities, but also a passion for space exploration and robotics and a desire to learn about the systems they are helping to analyze. System level understanding and context is crucial to making sure the software developed will truly support the end users and be maintainable.



Required Qualifications:

  • Must be currently enrolled in a college or university pursuing a Bachelor’s, Master's, or PhD in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering or related discipline
  • Must have the ability to take off of school for the program and be able to work (40 hours/week) for a period of at least 4+ months
  • Must have at least 1 semester or quarter remaining to complete degree
  • Must have a minimum cumulative 3.0 out of a 4.0 GPA or equivalent
  • Experience in in Python and/or Javascript, and familiarity with Object Oriented Programming concepts

 Desired Qualifications:

  • Organized: organizes code in a robust, maintainable, easy to read way, sufficiently comments code, able to document user’s guides and create training materials when necessary
  • Completed coursework with exposure to standard principles, theories, concepts and techniques in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or Computer Engineering.
  • Comfortable in Unix environments
  • Familiarity with Bash and PERL
  • Front-end web development experience including data visualization. Experience building database queries to retrieve data is also a plus, especially for Elasticsearch databases.
  • Experience working with data in formats such as JSON, XML and CSV tables.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and ability to work in a team environment.
  • Ability to work effectively with general supervision.

Work Authorization

Ability to Obtain Work Authorization

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JPL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, protected military or veteran status or any other characteristic or condition protected by Federal, state or local law.

In addition, JPL is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

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The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federal facility. Due to rules imposed by NASA, JPL will not accept applications from citizens of designated countries or those born in a designated country unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S or have other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). The Designated Countries List is available here.