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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

Advanced Certification Students, those who are currently certified as classroom teachers, are required to complete one 3-hour internship in a school library.

Initial Certification students, those who are not currently certified as classroom teachers, are required to complete two 3-hour internships in a school library in 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 their academic advisor at least one year prior to applying for an internship. Each three-credit hour internship requires a minimum of 120 hours. The internship hours come from aa combination of on-site days at the assigned internship sight, conference or workshop attendance, and key assessments completed during specific program courses.

Internship dates and times are scheduled at the beginning of the internship semester in coordination with the candidate, the cooperating school librarian who supervises the internship, and the iSchool faculty internship supervisor. Fall internships usually begin the end of August and end at the conclusion of the fall semester with end of program portfolios due November 15. Spring internships usually begin the middle of January and end at the conclusion of the spring semester with end of program portfolios due April 15.

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 (Supervising Faculty) once confirmations are received. Internship confirmations are received over a course of time from the College of Education. Students will be notified about internship placements once they are received and confirmed by the faculty supervisor. This information generally comes around December for spring internships and over the summer for fall internships.      Once placements are made, the ISCI Student Services Offices will provide candidates with an override for ISCI 794. Once received, candidates should register for ISCI 794 in Self-Service Carolina and pay fees before the deadline so that enrollment is not cancelled for non-payment.

Note - TB Test Requirement: 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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