As a public health student, you have many opportunities to complete engaging internships. Gaining internship experience can help to reinforce and enhance your undergraduate studies, as well as cultivate valuable professional skills and areas of special interest within the field of public health and health sciences. Students complete internships at various public health organizations — including on campus, in their hometowns, throughout Massachusetts, and abroad.
Students may choose to complete public health internships for course credit. In order to receive public health course credits for an internship, students must observe the following requirements:
- All internships must be approved by the Undergraduate Program Director, Dr. Gloria DiFulvio
- Students must have previously completed a minimum of 60 credits
- Students must currently hold a GPA of 2.5 or higher
If you do not wish to receive credits for your internship, you can explore and sign up for internships on your own. Even if you don’t receive credit, your experience will strengthen your resume and your understanding of the field.
How Do I Find An Internship?
UMass Amherst and the School and Public Health and Health Sciences are committed to helping students locate relevant, stimulating internships. Check out the following resources to help get started:
- The SPHHS Public Health Newsletter, which is sent to SPHHS students each week
- The SPHHS Workforce Development page, which lists current postings for internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities. The page is updated frequently — so stop back often!
- UMass Career Services “Internships and Co-ops” resources
- The UMass Office of Undergraduate and Research Studies (OURS) internship navigation services
- The American Public Health Association (APHA) “Public Health CareerMart”
- The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) “Career Connection” health education job locator
- LinkedIn — Create your own LinkedIn network, join public health groups, and grow your professional network
- Idealist — Find internship, volunteer, and job opportunities focused on social change
- Find your own internship! Your local hospitals, health departments, and social service organizations are all great sources for internships opportunities, as well as informational interview and career “shadowing” experiences. Many professionals are interested in mentoring and supporting young people in the field — networking and making personal connections is very important!
When should I do an internship?
Students may complete internships during the school year or over the summer. If you are interested in receiving course credit for your internship, please consider the following important logistics:
- If you wish to receive credit for an internship that you complete during the school year, the credits will be included as a part of your regular tuition.
- If you wish to receive credit for an internship that you complete over the summer, the credits must be paid for separately, through Continuing and Professional Education (CPE). In order to receive credit for your summer internship, you’ll need to fill out an Independent Study Registration Form, which must be signed by the Undergraduate Program Director, Dr. Gloria DiFulvio. Summer credits are $195/credit. Financial aid may be possible — ask the Financial Aid Office about Summer Financial Aid.
Some students find that paying to complete a for-credit internship over the summer makes their course schedule more feasible. It’s important to think about what works best for your learning style.
How do I get credit approval and sign up for my internship in Spire?
In order to get approved to receive credits for your internship, you must fill out the Internship Application Packet (downloadable from this page), sign the packet, and have your internship supervisor sign the packet. If you are seeking credit approval for a summer internship, you must also complete and attach the CPE Independent Study Registration Form to your application packet.
Internship Application Packets must be submitted to the Undergraduate Program Director — Dr. Gloria DiFulvio — in Arnold House, room 307. Once you’ve received credit approval, the department will contact your internship supervisor to verify internship details. After receiving credit approval, the department will register you for PubHlth 398 in Spire.
In order to receive internship credits, students are required to participate in a reflective coursework experience through Moodle. The reflective coursework is intended to help students integrate their internship experience with their public health studies, and consists of several readings and short reflection assignments based on core principles of public health practice. Students will receive a notification to begin participating in the Moodle course once the add/drop period ends, during the third week of September.
How many credits will I get for my internship?
Internship credits are calculated by the number of hours spent at the internship site each week, during a regular 13-week semester:
- 3 credits = 9 hours per week, including time for required reflective coursework
- 2 credits = 6 hours per week, including time for required reflective coursework
- 1 credit = 3 hours per week, including time for required reflective coursework
Students may apply a maximum of 15 internship or independent study credits toward their university degree. Students may apply a maximum of 9 credits (or 3 public health internships) toward their toward their public health coursework. The first 3 credits will be applied to PubHlth 398; additional credits earned will be applied toward the collateral field.
How many internship credits can I Take?
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. No more than a total of six internship or independent study credits can count towards Public Health electives (>300).
How much does it cost to do an internship over the summer?
Credits during the summer are paid for separately through CPE and are $195.00 per credit.