Working at the Department of Health and Environmental Control

Graduate Assistantships and Postgraduate Programs

Our partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) provides students and postgraduates with unique opportunities to gain public health experience in a practice setting. The program is also a recruitment tool for DHEC that encourages successful trainees to apply for permanent health department positions and stay in South Carolina.

Graduate Assistantships

The Graduate Assistantship is a paid opportunity for current graduate students to work at DHEC. Graduate Assistants (GA's) are expected to take initiative, and have some autonomy, while being closely supervised by DHEC staff. To be considered for a Graduate Assistantship, students must be enrolled in a degree program. They must be registered for at least six graduate credits during a major semester and their record must be in good standing with their department.

Postgraduate Programs

The Public Health Practice Postgraduate Program nurtures trainees in the development of academic public health practice while providing services to practice partners. This program is administered through the South Carolina Public Health Consortium (the Consortium) and the Arnold School of Public Health (Arnold School) Office of Practice and Community Engagement (PACE). Trainees are hired as employees of the University of South Carolina. These temporary (2 year) full-time appointments are eligible for typical USC benefits. The Public Health Practice Postgraduate Program is the only program of its kind in the United States.

Research Associates

The roles and responsibilities of Research Associates (RA) are similar to full-time DHEC staff. The goal of the Research Associate position is to provide individuals with applied work experience in the practice setting. Research Associates normally have obtained a post-graduate degree (MPH, MHA, PhD).

Postdoctoral Fellow

The roles and responsibilities involved in this position are more aligned with a university research setting. While postdoctoral fellows work with DHEC, there is a greater emphasis on research and publication within this position. Postdoctoral fellows are often appointed a Faculty advisor as well. Applicants for postdoctoral fellows must hold a doctoral degree.


A consultancy is a part time position, in which an individual is hired on an as-needed basis to provide advice or expertise to a project. They are generally not eligible for benefits.

For available positions, please visit the Opportunity Manager.

To see some examples of successful placements, visit our success stories page