1.What is the difference between CIP and Co-op?
The Community Internship Program (CIP) and a Cooperative Education experience connects students and employers by facilitating opportunities to acquire practical experience in employment related to their areas of interest. CIP is typically a one semester, paid work experience. In a Parallel Co-op, a student works twenty hours/week while attending college full-time for three consecutive semesters. In an Alternating Co-op, a student works a minimum of two semesters full-time (40 hours/week) while alternating semesters of working and attending school. This option allows for students to live and work in other parts of the country. Co-ops are also paid.

2. What are the requirements to participate in CIP/Co-op?
Student Agreement Guidelines (link)
Employer Agreement Guidelines (link)

3. When is the deadline to register for a CIP/Co-op?

All CIP/Co-op students must meet with a Program Coordinator in the Career Center prior to participating. Students have until the last day of drop/add EACH semester according to the academic calendar to register.

4. Can I co-op fall and spring semester if I take summer classes?
According to the Registrarís office a student must be in classes, with a minimum of 15 hours, one of the two main semesters of an academic year - either fall or spring in order to be a full time student. Otherwise, they will not be admitted back into the University without re-applying to the Admissions Office. A student who wishes to extend a co-op may run the risk of losing their full-time status.

*Alternating co-op example
Fall 2015 Spring 2016 Summer 2016 Fall 2016 Spring 2017
Co-op Class Co-op Co-op Class
Class Co-op Co-op Class Co-op

5. Can I participate in CIP/Co-op my last semester?
Students need to complete their final semester of academic courses at the University of South Carolina. Students are not eligible to participate in a full-time CIP opportunity their last semester. Likewise, students participating in an alternating co-op are unable to co-op during their last semester of school. However, students participating in a parallel co-op are eligible to participate in co-op during their final semester, because they will be attending school and working simultaneously.

6. How do I participate in athletic events during my CIP/Co-op experience?
Students enrolled in CIP/Co-op are eligible to participate in the USC Student Account Manager on Ticketmaster. Students are required to pay the student activity fees. Please visit for the most up to date fee schedule.

7. Can International Students participate in CIP/Co-op?
International students interested in participating in CIP/Co-op must first meet with an International Student Advisor located at 901 Sumter Street (International Student Services Office) to determine their eligibility. You can also contact the International Student Services Office at (803) 777-7461.

8. What about health insurance?
As a CIP/Co-op student, it is your responsibility to contact your insurance carrier regarding your enrollment status. Students are able to utilize the Thomson Student Health Center service as an out of pocket expense per visit or can purchase the TSHC insurance coverage. Please contact the TSHC at (803)777-3175 for more information or visit

9. HELP! I'm unable to register for classes next semester..
Students are informed to contact their academic advisor prior to leaving campus for CIP/Co-op. If you are unable to register for classes, contact your academic advisor to explain you are away on a University-approved co-op or internship for the semester. Advisors only need to lift the advisement hold from the future term to allow student access to register. Students must contact their advisors prior to registering. Please visit USC advising for more information.

10. Where can I get a "full-time" letter for insurance or loan purposes?
You may now access the National Student Clearinghouse under the "Academics" menu on Self Service Carolina. This will allow you to print, free of charge, official enrollment certificates for health insurance or other companies that request proof of enrollment. You may also still obtain a verification letter by going to the Office of the University Registrar with your student ID card.

11. My CIP/Co-op is out of state. Will I be able to maintain my SC legal residency?
In order to maintain your in-state tuition and fees you must maintain your SC legal residency. That includes the following:

  • Holding a SC Driver's License or state IDD
  • Registering, licensing, and maintaining a car in SC (if applicable)
  • Filing a SC tax return each year
  • Continuing to use a SC address on all permanent records
If you have additional questions regarding SC residency while on co-op please contact the South Carolina Residency Manager at (803) 777-4081.

12. How will I know Iím enrolled in co-op or the Community Internship Program?
Visit Self Service Carolina to confirm your enrollment in USC 999 Cooperative Education or USC 999 Career Center Internship. This will also be listed on your university transcript.

13. Will I still be able to maintain my scholarships if I am enrolled in a CIP or co-op?
A student who is on CIP or Co-op fall or spring semester, and therefore not receiving any hours, are only required to earn 15 hours for that academic year to maintain their state scholarship. Every studentís financial aid and scholarship package is unique, therefore, we strongly advise students to visit the Financial Aid & Scholarship office at 1714 College Street for more information.

14. Can I take an online or evening course at USC during my CIP or Co-op?
Any student interested in completing an online or evening course in addition to their internship or co-op must obtain written approval from their academic advisor and internship/co-op supervisor. Full-time co-ops may take up to six credit hours. Approval must be completed prior to the studentís co-op start date.

15. My academic program requires an internship for academic credit. For example; Iím an HRSM student required to take HRTM 495 (internship course) for six credit hours. Can I also participate in the Community Internship Program (CIP) to maintain my full-time student status?
Yes, students earning required academic credit for their internship can also participate in the Community Internship Program. Please note that students and employers will need to complete BOTH requirements outlined in their academic course and the Community Internship Program.