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College of Engineering and Computing

Banner: Internships, Externships and Co-ops

Career Center

Internships, Externships and Co-ops

The Career Center at the University of South Carolina encourages students to gain experience through internships and co-ops, providing them with experiences that will aid in their career development.


An internship is a form of experiential education that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a work setting. The internship is usually the length or equivalent of fall semester, spring semester or summer. The internship may be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid.

Students eligibility requirements vary widely by employer and by academic department. In the case of university recognized internships the work/learning arrangement is directly supervised by a designated employee of the employer and is monitored by a University of South Carolina faculty or staff member who has been appointed as the designated Internship Adviser. 

The University of South Carolina Community Internship Program (CIP) connects students and employers by facilitating internship opportunities. CIP provides the structure and support needed to ensure that both the employer and student have a valuable internship experience. 


Cooperative Education (Co-ops)

Students can gain significant technical experience in the engineering and computing industries before graduation through   co-ops. By integrating multiple semesters of engineering work experience with on-campus study, co-op students enhance their knowledge through hands-on experience. The Career Center can work with students to identify cooperative education options. 

The co-op program at USC follows two formats:


Students work twenty hours per week while attending full-time at USC, for three consecutive semesters.


Students will work a minimum of two semesters full-time (40 hrs/wk) while alternating semesters of working and attending school. This option allows for students to live and work in other parts of the country. 


Externships are typically day long visits to an employer facility to learn more about that organization and their career opportunities. Externships consist of several components including such activities as:

  • Facility tours
  • Welcome from organizational leadership
  • Overview of organization
  • Overview of employment opportunities (internships, co-ops and full-time positions)
  • Networking with employees (often USC alumni)
  • Job shadowing

Employers, if you are interested in hosting an externship at your company's site, complete the externship form.

Upcoming 2017 Pathways to Professions (Externships)