Sociology and Gerontology Internships

Internship opportunities allow you to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a workplace setting. It is a chance to link theories and concepts to concrete situations while providing service to the community. They also provide a taste of how you can use your degree once you graduate.

Possible Internship Placements for Sociology Majors

Since an internship is not just on-the-job training, but an opportunity to meaningfully apply and use your knowledge, it should come at or near the end of your academic career. 

The following list is not inclusive, but gives an idea of the types of placements available. These sites have either had an intern recently or have requested one. Other internships can be arranged as well. 

Sociology Internships

American Red Cross

Students may have opportunities for placements in public relations, volunteer services, disaster services, RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), and Armed Forces Emergency Services departments.

Carolina Youth Development Center

Among the services CYDC provides are two emergency shelters for children, a residential treatment center for adolescent boys, a day treatment program  providing educational and therapeutic services for elementary and middle school students, a preparation for independent living program for girls aging out of foster care, the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters program, and the Bakker Career Center.  Internship opportunities may be available in several programs.

Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding

This organization provides therapeutic riding for special needs children; intern does not have to know how to ride.  The program is at Brickhouse Plantation on Johns Island.

Charleston Center

This program provides a variety of outpatient and residential treatment programs for chemically dependent adults and adolescents.

Charleston County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department

This department provides a diverse system of park facilities, programs and services.  Opportunities are very varied.  In addition to recreation, opportunities include a wide variety of supportive services such as human resources and capital projects.

Charleston-Dorchester Community Mental Health Center

Internships may be available in a number of different programs serving children or adults, including day treatment programs and residential care facilities.

Charleston Housing Authority

Intern will assist with services to residents such as housing placement and various social services.  Student may work to develp collabotrative resources for those in transitional housing such as the homeless,  physically and mentally challenged individuals, and people with other special needs. 

City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs

There are several different internships available.

Coastal Community Foundation

Students may work with program development, grant making activities and donor services in a community foundation.

Communities in Schools

Communities in Schools is a drop-out prevention program with programs in several elementary and middle schools and at Clark Academy, an alternative high school.  Opportunities include mentoring, tutoring, general support, working in after-school programs and assistance and planning for special events.

Community Outreach Center, St. Matthew's Church

There are several opportunities in this active community center within walking distance of campus. Students can work with adults in educational programs including  English as a second language, grant writing, program development, the food pantry,the Next Steps program, special projects such as the Holiday Bags of Caring, Afternoon Tea and Cinderella Project, and assisting the director in various aspects of non-profit management.

Darkness to Light

There are two internships, one focused on development and one on programs,  at this organization that provides education and awareness to prevent child sexual abuse.

Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center

Clinical Services interns support the efforts of The Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center in serving abused children and their families by assisting with a variety of tasks.  There is also an internship to work with development. 

Department of Social Services

Internships may be available assisting social workers in Child Protective Services at Charleston County DSS.

Disabilities Board of Charleston County

Internships are available in the division of Family Support Services which provides a variety of opportunities in the areas of early intervention, and case management. The program serves and supports developmentally disabled people as well as those with head and spinal chord injuries.

East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO)

This community outreach program provides a variety of services including financial assistance, counseling, social and dental services to low-income residents of the East Cooper area.


This program of the National Crime Victims Center at MUSC focuses on preventing HIV/AIDS and substance abuse in minority teens.  Interns help with transportation, assist the health educators, and have the opportunity to observe and possibly co-facilitate HIV prevention groups with high-risk teens.  A 3.0 GPA is required

Florence Crittenton programs

This organization provides educational, medical and support services which address teen pregnancy and young single mothers and their babies through a residential program, a day program and a family development program. Interns assist clinical staff with client services, groups and administrative work; the internship is a combination of direct contact with clients and administrative support.

Guardian Ad Litem

Internships may be available. Guardians represent the best interests of children in Family Court.  Training to become a guardian must be completed prior to beginning the internship.  


The HALOS Family Support Intern will assist the Kinship Care Resource and Support Program Coordinator with essential programmatic tasks, including providing information and follow-up on community resources, assisting with logistics for bi-monthly evening support group meetings for kinship caregivers and the children in their care, participating in advisory committee meetings and training seminars, and educating the community about the program. The intern will also observe and participate in home assessments for new program participants.

Heart Health Program, MUSC

Heart Health is a pediatric weight management and preventive cardiology program.  Student must be interested in dietietics and nutrition education. Intern will shadow dieticians, conduct clinic/education sessions with patients, create educational materials, and conduct nutrition and fitness assessments among other activities.

211 Helpline

Trident United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline is a 24 hour general counseling, information and referral and crisis intervention hotline. Interns may be trained in counseling techniques and crisis intervention skills to help staff the helpline and will also have the opportunity to network with other agencies, help with tricounty-wide outreach events, and learn about the inner-workings of a non-profit.

Humanities Foundation

The intern will assist with ShelterNet, a program that offers assistance to families and individuals to prevent homelessness, by processing referrals and working with data.  This student needs good communication skills, both oral and written.

Mayor's Office for Children, Youth and Families

Interns provide general assistance with various projects, including planning and implementing programs.


This is a community development corporation which offers youth programs, housing assistance, and economic development.  Students can work with the Young Leaders Program in several ways, including program evaluation, data analysis, and research assistance to the director as well as directly with the children.

One80 Place

Opportunities include working directly with clients or indirectly on policy and possibly grantwriting, depending on student's interest. This organization provides a variety of services for the homeless, including shelters for individuals and families, food programs,  and social, medical and legal services. 

Our Lady of Mercy Outreach Services

There are different opportunities depending on the student's interest. Services provided on Johns Island include English as a second language classes, health care and social services.

Palmetto Community Action Partnership 

This community action agency assists economically disadvantaged residents with self-sufficiency and basic needs through a variety of programs.

 Pet Helpers

Interns assist the administrative staff at the Lowcountry's only "forever" animal shelter and spay/neuter clinic. Interns assist with a variety of programming, marketing and fundraising, which includes grant research/writing, marketing and media relations, creating and cultivating partnerships, events, promotions, and planning for specific programming and Pet Helpers' events as to grasp a well-rounded knowledge of the basic functioning of a private non-profit organization

Ronald McDonald House

Interns assist in providing supportive services for families of hospitalized children in various roles such as program development, educational support groups, the playroom, the family room at the hospital and working with the meal calendar. If you are interested in nonprofits, there are also opportunities in marketing, operations, and learning The Raiser's Edge software.

South Carolina Coastal Conservation League

Internships may be available depending on the current projects of the organization. Specific projects are often research oriented and focus on public policy.

Trident Literacy Association

Students will provide tutoring for adults with low literacy skills and assist with operations of the organization.


Gerontology Internships

Ansonborough House Independent Living

Students assist the service coordinator with various tasks, including operating a food store, assessing residents, planning activities and handling administrative tasks related to federal and state programs for seniors.

Bishop Gadsden

Students have many options to intern in the different levels of care (independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing) available at this continuing care retirement community.

Charleston Area Senior Citizens

Students have a variety of options for interning at this broad-based activity and service center within walking distance; services offered for older persons include employment services, Foster Grandparent Program, food and recreational programs and case management.  An intern could focus in one particular area of their interest or do a rotating internship through each department.

East Cooper Meals on Wheels

Intern would assist with providing daily nutrition to senior and homebound members of the East Cooper community and to advocate for our recipients when their needs go beyond nutrition.

Home Instead Senior Care

Work with an organization that provides non-medical in-home care services such as respite care, companion services, and personal services for seniors.

Lutheran Hospice, Lowcountry

This internship provides the student with the opportunity to either work directly with Hospice patients or to work in the office to support the programs that Hospice provides.

Mayor's Office on Aging

The student will work with the MOA director to assist in making recommendations to the City for improving services for seniors, researching aging issues and matching seniors in need with appropriate organizations and programs.

Respite Care Charleston

The student will work with a social model adult respite program designed specifically for persons with Alzheimer's disease and related forms of dementia. This small non-profit welcomes interns interested in taking on projects that will give first hard experience in program development and planning or non-profit administration. Projects can be designed to offer students a combination of direct client interaction and non-profit administration. The office is within walking distance at St. Matthew's Church.

Trident Area Agency on Aging

Many potential areas to work in at the AAA, including the Aging and Disability Resource Center which was designed to take services for those 65+ or disabled out into the community and the Ombudsman program which investigates complaints about long term care facilities.

For more information about sociology and gerontology internships, contact:

Brenda Sanders

Department of Sociology and Anthropology