Internship Programs

Internships are available independently or as part of structured programs.  USC Dornsife and USC offer a variety of means for students to source internships; be it through our new Dornsife Compass, connectSC, or via structured internship programs to support students' career development.  Whether you pursue a structured internship program or an independent internship, we recommend you pursue internship and experiential opportunities eary and often.  While it is not crucial for First-Year students to get internship experience, internship experience is vital for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.  Employers and organizations seek recent graduates, candidates, who are able to demonstrate preferred experiences and skills.

Fact Sheet #71: Federal Guidelines for unpaid internships at a "For-profit" employer:
  1. The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa
  2. The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions
  3. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit
  4. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar
  5. The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning
  6. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern
  7. The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship

Both student (intern) and employer should be wary if an unpaid internship at a "For-profit" employer does not meet any of the seven aforementioned criteria.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act.

 NOTE: Unpaid internships for public sector and non-profit charitable organizations, where the intern volunteers without expectation of compensation, are generally permissible.

Dornsife Internship Courses

  • AMST 365: Leadership in the Community
  • ANTH 393: Directed Internship
  • EALC 366: Chinese Professional Internship – 2 units (Language prerequisite: EALC 206 Chinese IV)
  • ENST 396: Directed Governmental & Political Leadership Internship
  • IR 391: Directed International Relations Field Study
  • ITAL 222: Italian Professional Internship, Communication and Culture
  • MDA 250: Internship for Liberal Arts: Work and Career – Theory and Practice
  • POSC 395: Directed Governmental & Political Leadership Internship
  • SOCI 450: Non-Governmental Organizations/Non-Profits Field Practicum
  • SWMS 311: Gender & Sexuality Studies Internship

Enroll in a course listed above or any USC Internship course to meet the academic credit criteria for an unpaid internship at a "For-Profit" company.