Student Intern Program

The Student Intern Program provides unpaid academic study-related work assignments that allows students to explore career options in Law Enforcement &/or Detention in addition to developing personal and professional skills. Working in either the Department of Patrol Services or Department of Detention Services, this assignment can prepare students for a career with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The program offers many advantages including career exploration early in a student's academic studies.  Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office interns are exposed to new and emerging occupations, technologies, and academic credit. This work experience may be considered relevant if the student later applies for a permanent position.

Slots are limited per semester; the deadline to submit an application for the spring semester is November 30th, summer semester is March 30th, and fall semester is June 30th. Prior to the start of the internship, an in-person orientation session will be held to discuss assignment locations and policy & procedures. 

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Be enrolled in a college or university and within 6-12 months of graduating to be considerd for the internship program.
  • Students seeking their associates or bachelors degrees are qualified to apply; students in a masters program are ineligible.
  • Obtain an agreement from the institution to participate.
  • Maintain a satisfactory academic record of 2.5 or better cumulative grade point average.

Background Investigation

Students may be accepted to the internship program, based upon a satisfactory completion of the background investigation.

Work Schedule

Students are expected to intern for the required semester credit hours per your school.


Most assignments are ride-a-longs with deputies in one of the five districts within Hillsborough county. Other internship opportunities can include shadowing a deputy in the Detention facility, observing dispatchers in the Communications Center, and the Behavioral Resouces Unit.

How to Apply

If you have questions on eligibility or availabillity, please email Elizabeth Cartagena, Internship Coordinator at:

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Recruitment and Screening Section


Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


No, our internships are designated for those who are 6-12 months from graduation. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office offers the Explorer Post 238 program designed for youths ages 14 through 20 who are interested in a law enforcement or related career. Go to the Programs & Charities tab and click on Explorer Post 238 for more information.
Yes, you can start the application process during your internship. As long as you’re in your last semester (prior to graduation) and meet the minimum age requirement, you can apply online at The job listings will note the age requirements and position requirements for each position.
No, students who are residents outside of the state of Florida can apply for the internship, as long as the student meets the required qualifications. 
No, we do not offer internships to active military personnel. The internship program is offered to students who are currently enrolled in a college or university and earning credit hours. 
Our internship program is currently extended to college students who are 6-12 months away from graduation.
No, the internship program is for students who have an interest in the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office either in a sworn or civilian capacity. The student will receive credit hours that will be applied to their degree program.
You can note the international driver's license on the application but you will need to have a valid identification issued by the state of Florida once the internship begins. 
No, shadowing a particular area or section of the agency is not permitted. Outside of the internship program, citizens can schedule a ride along with any of the five districts located throughout Hillsborough county.