As a Public Health student you will be required to complete a 250 contact hour/6 credit internship before you graduate. This is a chance for you to start narrowing down what you want to do when you graduate, gain experience and start networking! Again, you are welcome. Below is a list of answers to the questions we get the most often about interships to start the ol' wheels of thought turning.
When Can I Do My Internship?
In order to be elligible to start/complete your official internship:
- You must have already applied and been accepted to the professional Public Health part of the major (find out how to do that HERE)
- You must have completed HPS/CPH 350
- You can do all 6 credits during one semester or split it up and do two seperate internships in two seperate semesters. Please note, during your internship semester, you'll need to limit your total number of units to 15-16 credits (so 6 credit internship and 3 classes or 3 credit internship and 4 classes).
- You may do your internship over the summer (Please note you will be paying summer tuition at the U of A for the 3-6 credits if you do choose to complete it over the summer so plan ahead!)
- You may also do your internship the summer following the College of Public Health graduation ceremony ONLY IF these are your remaining units to complete the B.S. degree. In other words, you will walk with your class in May, complete your internship and then officially graduate and receive your diploma in August.
Are There Classes I Have to Take Before My Internship?
Yes! You need to have completed HPS/CPH 178, HPS/CPH 200 and HPS/CPH 350 (178 and 200 must be completed prior to taking 350)
We also recommend that you take ENGL 307 or 308 and HPS/CPH 387 prior to your internship as students have found these classes to be helpful while doing their internships.
Where Can I Do My Internship?
We are very flexible with our students because we want you to be engaged and enjoy your internship! Public health is such a diverse field, so as long as your experience has a public health focus (such as, health services administration, biostatistics, environmental health, health policy, health communications, epidemiology, public health program management, family health, global health, occupation safety, etc.!), you can pursue it! I know, we are the best.
You may do your internship out of state or abroad as well!
Examples of internship sites include:
- American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Campus Health, Child Protective Services, Community Health Services, County Health Departments, Elementary and Middle Schools, Indian Health Services, Poison and Drug Information Centers, Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services, and many, many more!
The sky is the limit so be imaginative and think outside of the box when you begin thinking about where you may want to intern!
How do I find an internship?
As mentioned, we are very flexible on what your internship experience will be like because public health is such a broad field and student interests vary. Much like finding a job after you graduate, you need to be responsible for finding and negotiating the specifics of your internship. Students have found success in securing a public health internship by following the steps below.
Watch the internship orientation video the semester before you want to complete your internship! This is a great opportunity to learn about what is expected, which will help you speak with possible internship sites. See more here:
- Google health topics that interest you and your preferred location (for example, “Tucson” or “Oro Valley”). Select health topics that match your personal and career interests (for example, “HIV” or “occupational health”). Click on the search results to learn more about potentially relevant organizations.
- The organization’s website is very helpful to see if it matches your interest. It helps you learn more about the organization (mission, goals, programs or activities they do that you could potentially do as an intern).
- Contact the organization to connect with someone who could be your preceptor.
- Discuss with a possible preceptor about what type of internship experience you would like (health promotion, epidemiology research, addressing health disparities, etc.) and see if their organization can help provide that. If your initial discussion looks promising, follow the instructions of the preceptor about what they want you to do to get the internship set up.
- Work with the preceptor to fill out the required work plan paperwork. Be sure to ask questions so that you understand what your scope of work will be.
Will My Advisor Help Me?
Of course! We will talk you through the process, how you would go about finding one and how to narrow down your choices.
As you already read (above), you will also watch the internship orientation video the semester prior to your internship. During this orientation, you'll learn about how to secure an internship and what paperwork needs completed. While it is your job to secure the internship, we understand this is a first for most of you so we will help you get there!
Can I Do More Than One Internship?
Yes - you super motivated student, you!
We allow you to split the internship up into 3 two credit internships which will allow you to complete more than one.
We also allow you to complete up to 6 credits of your public health electives through internship credits, so potentially you could do four internships before you even graduate!
To be eligible for the elective internships you must have HPS/CPH 178, HPS/CPH 200 and 6 other credits of your choice in Public Health completed.