The South Carolina Semester Internship Program affords students opportunities to work in state government while earning academic credit. Students serve as interns in the South Carolina General Assembly, the Office of the Governor, and in a broad range of state agencies. Through this practical experience students have the chance to witness firsthand the operation of state government and various facets of public service. This program is applicable to all majors. The decisions made by state lawmakers affect all facets of life and all professions. Understanding how state government operates will be an advantage regardless of your career path.
By the end of each semester, many students in the program receive offers to continue working in their internship office. Students who are graduating have been offered full-time positions or supported by letters of reference or connections to other opportunities.
Governor's Office -- Department of Agriculture, Legal Office -- State Department of Education -- South Carolina Department of Commerce
Senate Judiciary Committee -- Office of the Treasurer of South Carolina -- Senate Transportation Office - S.C. Energy Office
Dept. of Natural Resources, Legal Office -- South Carolina School Boards Association -- House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee
This internship program is offered each spring semester. The internship is a three-credit-hour class, SCHC 489A. Students work 20 hours per week during the semester. The student works with his or her office supervisor to establish a work schedule that does not interfere with other class meeting times. Students are paid $2,000 over the course of the semester for their internship work.
The seminar course, which accompanies the internship, is a three-credit-hour class, SCHC 333A. The class dwells heavily on state government operations and public policy issues. In addition, students have the chance to discuss current state government issues with a range of guest speakers, including government officials and state agency administrators.
Both the internship and seminar class must be taken together for a total of six credit hours. While participating in the South Carolina Internship program, most students only enroll in an additional nine credit hours due to the time required for the internship work. This program is offered during the spring semester only.
"My internship with the Legislative and Public Affairs Agency within the S.C. Department of Education was an extremely valuable experience. I was able to apply my coursework in public relations to real-world assignments. I worked with a supportive and knowledgeable staff who gave me meaningful projects that helped me gain experience."-Richard Kopec, '12
"My internship with the Legislative and Public Affairs Agency within the S.C. Department of Education was an extremely valuable experience. I was able to apply my coursework in public relations to real-world assignments. I worked with a supportive and knowledgeable staff who gave me meaningful projects that helped me gain experience."
-Richard Kopec, '12
The seminar class is taught by Fred R. Sheheen, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Public Service and Policy Research at the University of South and Director of the Non-Profit Leadership Institute at Francis Marion University. Mr. Sheheen served as Commissioner and Executive Director of the SC Commission on Higher Education for ten years. He also served as press secretary to the late Donald Russell in his service as Governor and U.S. Senator for the State of South Carolina. His knowledge of state government is based on decades of involvement with key policymakers and state agencies and as one of the change agents in South Carolina's history.
The internship instructor is Beth Watson, Director of Internship Programs for the South Carolina Honors College. While there is not a separate class meeting for the internship, regular evaluations by the intern supervisor, a class presentation, and a final summary paper are part of the academic portion of the internship. Ms. Watson has worked with student internship programs for a decade. During this time, she has made invaluable contacts in most state agencies, in the legislative and executive branch of state government, and with non-governmental agencies who work directly with policy makers and elected officials. Ms. Watson works closely with each student to find the most appropriate placement to enhance the student's work experience and to provide opportunities for the future.
Students are accepted from all of the University's academic departments. The decisions made at the state government level affect all citizens. An understanding of how state government operates is beneficial in any career. Applicants must have a 3.25 grade point average or better and qualify for junior-status based on the total number of hours earned at the University of South Carolina, credit transferred from other colleges, or AP/IB credit earned. To achieve junior-status, you must have at least a total of 60 hours. Students must possess maturity and a strong work ethic to serve in a legislative or government office as a representative of the South Carolina Semester Internship Program.
To apply for the South Carolina Semester Internship Program, which is a six credit hour course, please submit the following information:
After submitting the online application form, please submit the remaining application materials as one complete package. All questions and completed applications should be submitted to
Beth WatsonDirecter of Internship ProgramsSouth Carolina Honors CollegeHarper College, Room 322University of South CarolinaColumbia, SC 29208
Phone: (803) 777-1180e-mail: email@example.com
Political Science major interned in the Research Office of the Department of Commerce
Civil Engineering major interned with the S.C. Department of Transportation, Civil Engineering Division
Public Relations major interned in the Victims Advocacy Office, within the Governor's Office
Applied Math major interned in the Governor's Office
Spanish/Pre-law major interned in the Legal Office of the Dept. of Agriculture
Political Science, Economics minor interned with the S.C. Board of Economic Advisers, Budget & Control Board
Accounting major interned in the Office of the South Carolina State Treasurer
International Business/Marketing major interned in the Office of the Lt. Governor
Criminal Justice major with business emphasis interned with the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, Legislative Office
International Studies major interned in the International Office of the S.C. Department of Commerce
Public Relations major interned in the Public Information/Legislative Affairs Office at the S.C. Department of Education
International Studies/Pre-law major interned in the legal office of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources
Political Science/Pre-law major interned in a Columbia law firm, specializing in public school law
Psychology major interned with the S.C. Senate Judiciary Committee
English major interned with the S.C. Senate Transportation Committee
Political science/Pre-law major interned in the legislative affairs department of the S.C. Assoc. of School Administrators
Sociology major interned with the Department of Agriculture
Economics major interned with the House Ways and Means Committee
Finance major interned with the S.C. Treasurer's Office
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