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School Library Certification

If you need program or certification information about the School Library Certification program, please visit the Academic Programs pages of our website. 

Here is additional information you will need after you are enrolled in the program.

Program Requirements

For Initial Certification:
Required courses for initial certification are:  ISCI 701, 703, 705, 706, 742, 761, 756, 757, 720, 794 (two internships), two preapproved elective courses and four required education courses as outlined in the SLM Checklist for Certification.

For Advanced Certification:
For individuals who hold current classroom teaching certification, the required courses are:  ISCI 701, 703, 705, 706, 742, 761, 756, 757, 720, and 794 (one internship) as well as two preapproved elective courses.

Capstone Courses
ISCI 720 and ISCI 794 are capstone or final courses. ISCI 720 is a pre-requisite or co-requisite for one 3-hour internship. 

Application For A School Library Internship

Candidates who are currently certified as classroom teachers or who have successfully completed a semester of student teaching in a classroom setting prior to admission to the iSchool are required to complete one three-credit hour internship in a school library. Candidates seeking initial certification must complete two three-credit hour internships in two school libraries, elementary and secondary, planned over two separate fall and spring semesters. Candidates who have worked in libraries as paraprofessionals, aides, graduate assistants, or as school librarians without certification will not receive credit for an internship based on previous experience.  Candidates may not complete internships in schools where they are employed.

Internships are offered during fall and spring semesters. Students should notify Shana Watson, student services program coordinator, at least one year prior to applying for an internship. Each three-credit hour internship requires a minimum of 120 hours working in a school library during the USC fall or spring semester. Internship dates and times are scheduled prior to the internship semester in coordination with the candidate, the cooperating school librarian who supervises the internship, and the iSchool faculty internship supervisor. In addition, candidates must complete activities and hands-on experiences as outlined by the faculty internship supervisor, attend at least one national or state-level professional conference (e.g. SCASL), visit other school libraries, and participate at onsites scheduled for ISCI 794. Fall internships usually begin the end of August and end the first of November with end of program portfolios due November 15th. Spring internships usually begin the middle of January and end the first of April with end of program portfolios due April 15th.

In addition to the certification application sent to the USC-COE Office of Student Affairs, a separate application for internship placement must be submitted to the iSchool Student Services Office. 

Deadlines for submitting internship applications to the ISCI Student Services Office are:

March 1 for Fall internships
October 1 for Spring internships

Candidates applying for internships (ISCI 794) will be contacted by the Coordinator of School Library Field Experiences before placements are made in K-12 school libraries. Placements for spring are made in November and December and placements for fall are made in April and May. Once placements are made, the ISCI Student Services Offices will register candidates for ISCI 794. Candidates should confirm their registration in ISCI 794 using VIP and pay fees before the deadline so that enrollment is not cancelled for non-payment.

Note - TB Test Requirement: Effective with the Fall 2014 semester all school library interns must provide documentation to Student Services of a negative TB test prior to the start of classes. If you have been exposed to TB in the past, you will need to contact your physician for appropriate documentation. If you live in the Columbia area, TB testing is available at the USC Student Health Center. You must make an appointment and it will take two days for results. 

Portfolio Requirements

Successful completion of the End-of-Program Portfolio is a requirement for the master’s degree and successful completion of the school library preparation program. Portfolio submissions are posted throughout the student’s program of study.  Final school library portfolios are submitted in ISCI 794, prior to graduation by April 15th for a May graduation and by November 15th for a December graduation.  View the portfolio guidelines»


If you’re applying for certification in South Carolina, you’ll need to take the PRAXIS II specialty area test for Media Specialist/Library Science and score at least 151. If you’re applying for certification in another state, check the Licensure requirements on your state’s Department of Education website. For more information on the test, visit the DOE website.

For more information about the certification process, contact:

Lauren Sanborn, Certification Officer
College of Education – Wardlaw 113
820 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29208

Phone: 803-777-5531
Fax: 803-777-3068

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