The application process has three steps:

  1. Applicants should submit their resume and completed questionnaire to
  2. USC Stevens seeks interns who have demonstrated strong academic success coupled with a desire to enter the business world. Applications with strong cover letters that describe how education and business experience will impact USC Stevens are preferred.
  3. Applicants who meet the needs of USC Stevens will be contacted for either a preliminary phone interview or an in-person interview.

There are opportunities available with the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences teams. Note: legal externships are a separate program and those positions can be applied for here.

All interns will receive training and work in the following areas:

Technology Commercialization — support the team by analyzing the viability and commercial potential of key USC inventions, draft cogent descriptions of new technologies and various applications, conduct detailed technology and market assessments, perform commercialization outreach, and draft non-confidential summaries of the new inventions as marketing tools. Additionally, interns may help develop marketing strategies and help both develop and implement marketing strategies for licensing portfolios.

Corporate Collaborations — research and document: USC research assets and capabilities, industry market trends within life sciences, physical sciences or digital media, draft non-confidential summaries and bios of USC investigators, assist in the planning, scheduling, and execution of meetings with USC faculty and industry prospects, evaluate and develop collaboration strategies.

Interns are required to commit to at least two semesters, working 12-15 hours each week during the academic year, and up to 30 hours during summer.

Interns work in the USC Stevens office during normal office hours between 8:30 a.m.– 5:30 p.m. This ensures that the interns have access to the staff and resources to successfully complete their duties. Interns will not have access to the office after hours.

Applicants must be currently enrolled as a USC graduate student (Master’s, Ph.D., JD, MBA) or a postdoctoral fellow, pursuing degrees in science, engineering, or digital media. Additionally, there is a strong preference for interns with an existing exposure to classes or other experiences related to intellectual property (IP) or patent law. In some cases, the Stevens Center will entertain internships for students who will complete their degrees immediately prior to the internship beginning; these are classified as fixed term project employees. If you are applying for an internship and meet this criterion, please be sure to mention that in your application.

Applicants must have strong written and oral communication skills. Applicants must be able to work independently, be self-motivated, and have the ability to complete multiple tasks in a timely fashion as well as have a desire to learn and grow. Applicants must be passionate about emerging technologies and entrepreneurship. Applicants must be able to present themselves professionally, both in the office and at meetings with faculty and industry as needed.

To ensure quality work and open communication between advisors and interns, USC Stevens makes sure that both the PhD applicants and their advisors understand the time commitment and requirements of the internship. Approval from the applicant’s advisor/PI and department must be obtained prior to contacting the Graduate School. Each PhD application is handled on a case-by-case basis.

Yes, to be considered for the USC Stevens Innovation Intern Program, you must have the appropriate documentation as listed on the USC Office of International Services (USC OIS) website.

The Stevens Center is not an academic center. Your internship will offer you the chance to use the knowledge you have already gained in your studies and, more importantly, the importance of using your learning skills to become knowledgeable in a wide range of science and technology. The internship allows you to become a vital part of the process of taking academic research to market by understanding how to assess emerging technologies while also analyzing the potential of those technologies to impact current and future markets.

Whether your goal is a career in academia and you want to understand how to work with industry, or your goal is to enter the private sector and find ways to capitalize on breakthrough ideas, innovation interns finish their term with strong foundations to move in either direction.

All interns receive on-the-job training under close supervision and mentorship in order to maximize the internship experience for both parties. Many projects will be provided that allow for independent work, while some internship projects might require extensive shadowing of technology licensing managers, depending on the needs of the office and the demonstrated skills of the intern.

The training program is comprised of several training sessions encompassing the following subjects:

  • Overview of Stevens Center
  • Intellectual Property
  • Agreement Types
  • Licensing
  • Corporate Collaborations
  • Marketing