Internships FAQ

What are you expected to learn from your internship experience?
What classes are necessary to participate in an internship?
What are the internship degree requirements?
What are some examples of potential internships?
Are internship experiences paid?


What are you expected to learn from your internship experience?

During their internship students will learn a variety of discipline-specific and interdisciplinary/cross cutting competencies as outlined by the Association of Schools of Public Health.  The general categories of the competencies have been listed below.  Students learn many of the interdisciplinary/cross-cutting competencies in the core courses offered here at the School of Public health. An understanding of the discipline- specific competencies is dependent on the student’s area of concentration and which discipline the internship can be classified as. When considering an internship position, students should consider the competencies in both the planning stages of the internship and at the end when reporting on the internship experience.

Discipline-specific Competencies:
  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy and Management
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

Interdisciplinary/Cross-cutting Competencies:

  • Communication and Informatics
  • Diversity and Culture
  • Leadership
  • Public Health Biology
  • Professionalism
  • Program Planning
  • Systems Thinking

For details, please see the MPH Student Internship Handbook.
In addition, your public health experience should also include at least one of the following components:

  1. Assessing, monitoring, or conducting surveillance of health problems/services in a population;
  2. Establishing health objectives and priorities;
  3. Conducting research on population-based health problems including biological, environmental, and behavioral issues;
  4. Developing and/or implementing policies and intervention strategies to meet public health needs; or
  5. Studying the natural history of disease or health-related effects in a population.

What classes are necessary to participate in an internship?

In order to be eligible to register and begin an internship, students must have completed at least one full year of coursework, which includes completion of at least 4 core courses, and hold a GPA of 3.0 or better. For part-time students, at least 24 credits toward your degree need to be completed.

The MPH core courses are as follows:

  • EPI501 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology I
  • STA551/552 Principles of Statistical Inference I
  • HPM500 Organization, Financing and Delivery of Health Care
  • HPM525 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health
  • BMS505 Biological Basis of Public Health
  • EHT590 Introduction to Environmental Health

What are the internship degree requirements?

The MPH degree requirements are extensive and total 9-credits or 720 hours of experience. The 9-credit requirement can be filled by various combinations of 3-credit (240 hour) internships. However, at least 6 credits of the internship have to be completed within the student's chosen area of concentration. The additional 3 credits of internship may also be completed within the student's area of concentration, or it can be completed within a different concentration, but all 9 credits may not be completed within the same setting or with the same mentor.

What are some examples of potential internships?

The March of Dimes, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Family Support Effort : The public health concerns related to this experience involve increasing self-efficacy and experiential confidence in NICU families.  The student was able to engage with families through educational and creative groups aimed at empowering the parents.  Other work activities included handing out Parent Care Kits, describing the program, taking pictures and offering emotional support. In addition, the student had the opportunity to assist in the direct development of the program.

NYS DOH Bureau of Women’s Health Rape Crisis Program Primary Prevention Project: The Rape Crisis Program is situated within the BWH, Division of Family Health (DFH).  The New York State Department of Health Rape Crisis Program mission is to reduce the incidence of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse, and emphasizing primary prevention strategies. The challenge the Bureau faces is to identify primary prevention activities and to work with those providers to promote primary prevention of sexual violence. The student conducted an environmental scan to examine community and societal level risk and protective factors associated with sexual violence that are present in New York State. A media and advertising assessment was a main component of the environmental scan. The assessment examined messages portrayed by the media which promoted or protected against sexual violence. The intern then compiled this information with recommendations to be presented to the Sexual Violence Primary Prevention Committee.  

Evaluation of HIV Status among TB Cases in Women 18 years of age and older: The goal of this project was to evaluate local TB programs to identify factors affecting HIV testing among adult females and to propose/develop interventions aimed at increasing the percentage of known HIV status. The student was responsible for performing an evaluation of HIV testing among women, 18 years of age and older, who were reported as TB cases and suspects.  The student reviewed all relevant literature, developed a tool for use in performing the evaluation, and traveled to high morbidity counties with a high degree of unknown HIV status to perform data abstraction.  The student summarized data from NYS DOH databases related to HIV testing of TB cases and compared findings with TB registry data. 

Are internship experiences paid?

Many internship experiences offer financial compensation to students but there are some internship opportunities that do not have the funding available to provide students with monetary compensation. Despite this, students will still benefit greatly from participating in such internships and will complete these internships with a better understanding of the public health. In some cases, the Public Health Leaders of Tomorrow (PHLOT) program may provide internship stipends for numerous practice-based internships at the State and local health departments throughout New York State.

For more information about PHLOT, please visit:  PHLOT