Public and Community Health Internships
Students in both undergraduate and graduate academic programs in the School of Community Health Sciences are required to complete an internship as part of their educational requirements to earn their degree.
Community Agencies and Prospective Internship Supervisors
If your community agency or organization would like to have undergraduate or graduate interns, please submit an Internship Project Description. For prospective supervisors/preceptors, refer to our Field Study/Internship Handbook that discusses how to set up an internship agreement, supervisor responsibilities and more.
The internship is designed to be a culminating portfolio development and service learning experience for students during their senior year. Through this experience, students will work through three core components of knowledge, action, and reflection that are essential to service learning. Students will complete a public health-related internship with clear, independent outcomes and objectives.
Please note the following:
- Independent research, observation, and job shadowing are not allowed
- Filing, data entry, and other office tasks are allowed, but should not account for more than 10% of time
- Coursework (completing assignments, creating the project film, etc.) does not count towards the hour requirement
- Student cannot be paid for undergrad internships work. Master's level students can be paid
- Friends or relatives cannot supervise students
- Throughout the semester, student should seek out opportunities to represent field study visually for your project presentation film (photographs, sample materials, etc.)
Field Study Information
Three credits of field study are required for all CHS seniors and are arranged through the Field Studies course (CHS 494). Students in CHS 494 are required to develop a health-related project for their organization. This will demonstrate the skills and range of knowledge our seniors have developed. Projects, rather than simply working at a site, provide a unique service to an organization and can be a strong addition to a student's resume. Field studies have provided our undergraduate students with valuable experiences that often lead to job offers and very positive letters of recommendation for graduate school.
Required Undergraduate Internship Forms and Documents
Before beginning the field placement, all students will be required to turn in the following documentation through their CHS 494 Field Studies course(on Canvas):
- Student Learning Agreement
- Student Waiver, Release, and Indemnification Agreement
- Student Orientation Contract and Acknowledgement
Accordingt to the Council on Public Health (CEPH), "All MPH Students must have planned, supervised, evaluated practice experience; in a variety of settings, but especially state and local Health Departments; Preceptors must be qualified public health professionals."
The purpose of the Internship requirement is to provide each MPH graduate with significant practical public health experience in a community-based agency outside of the University. While CEPH specifically mentions state and local health departments above, there are a wide variety of local organizations that would qualify for internship sites.
Students must register for a total of three credit hours of CHS 798, and complete 270 total work hours. This course should not be taken until the student has completed and passed the core courses in public health. Students must complete all applicable documentation and assignments at least one week prior to the last day of the semester.
It is the student's responsibility to locate and arrange an internship experience.
The student's Faculty Advisor and the Internship Coordinator will assist the student in this process. Emphasis should be placed on arranging an Internship experience that will provide the student with new skills and experiences, where the student will be working in a professional capacity. Once a site and Preceptor (site supervisor) have been identified and arranged, student will work with all parties to complete the Internship Student Learning Contract, which outlines student goals, objectives, and competencies to be addressed during the Internship.
The Student Learning Contract must be signed by all parties and submitted to the Internship Coordinator prior to the start of any Internship hours. Preceptors must have significant education and/or work experience in public health in order to qualify. Final determination of Preceptor qualification will be made by the Faculty Advisor and Internship Coordinator.
Student Learning Objectives
- After completion of this course, students will understand the characteristics and skills needed to succeed as future public health practitioners, researchers, educators, and leaders.
- After completion of this course, students will be able to articulate the knowledge base for public health through research.
- After completion of this course, students will be competent in applying key skills to engage with multiple communities through professional and scholarly service.
- After completion of this course, students will be able to articulate the importance of diversity in multiple public health venues.
- After completion of this course, students will be able to apply their knowledge to develop innovative and effective solutions to public health problems.
Graduate Internship Course Information
Three credits of internship (270 hours) are required for all Master of Public Health (MPH) students. This experience is arranged through the MPH internship course (CHS 798). Students complete this course the summer after all pre-requisites have been completed (usually after one year of full-time coursework).