Internship FAQ

Are there specific internships I can apply for?

Students complete internships in various locations, including UMass Amherst, Western Massachusetts, hometowns, and abroad. Internships are listed on our main SPHHS website. The list is constantly being updated so please check the site regularly. New internships will also be highlighted in our bi-weekly newsletters.

You are also encouraged to investigate possible internships on your own. Networking is very important. Your hometown, parents, friends of parents, local hospitals, and service organizations are all good sources for internship sites as well as informational interviews and career “shadowing” experiences. Many people are interested in mentoring and supporting young people in the field. It is important to make personal connections.

How do I get pre-approval for internships and sign up for the credits on SPIRE?

Fill out the internship paperwork and give it to Dr. DiFulvio (Arnold 302) for review. Dr. DiFulvio will contact you about the approval process. If you are doing a summer internship, you need to fill out an additional form from CPE and get a signature from Dr. DiFulvio.

How many hours count for one credit?

3 credits of internship = 125 hours total: 8-9 hours per week over 13 weeks plus time for coursework

2 credits of internship = 83 hours total: 4.5 hours per week over 13 weeks plus time for coursework

1 credit of internship = 42 hours total: 3 hours per week over 13 weeks plus time for coursework

How many internship credits can I do?

Credits for internships can range from one to nine credits. However, the norm is three credits per semester, with no more than nine total credits allowed for internships and independent study work in the major. A total of 15 internship credits is allowed for your entire undergraduate career. These credits go toward the Public Health electives (300-599) or Collateral field.

How much does it cost to do an internship over the summer?

Credits during the summer are paid for separately through CPE and are currently $195.00 per credit.

What is the Program’s perspective on internships?

Internships, independent studies, and studying abroad are strongly encouraged as they provide an insight into solving real life public health issues. The program’s coursework cover the basic areas of public health, laying a general and sound foundation. It is important to take advantage of opportunities beyond the classroom. Through these opportunities, you receive hands-on experience and professional connections.

When do internships happen—during the school year or over the summer?

Internships can occur either during the regular semester or over the summer. There are some important logistics to take into account:

  1. Internships taken during the school year are part of your regular tuition.
  2. Internships that you complete over the summer and wish to receive credit for must be paid for separately, through Continuing and Professional Education.
  3. If you are not looking to receive credit, you can sign up for the internship on your own. Even if you do not receive academic credit, it will strengthen your resume and understanding of the field.

For some students, paying for the credits over the summer makes their class schedule more feasible (lighter credit load). This might be particularly helpful for a science track student who uses internship credits toward the collateral field requirement and takes only 12 credits of math or science requirements during the regular semester. It is good to think about the different options and what works best for your learning style.