Internships and Career Services

Individuals from varying educational backgrounds are drawn to the dynamic and rewarding field of public health for a variety of reasons and find themselves working on a diverse range of issues. It is an exciting and growing field of study which challenges its professionals to confront complex health issues. The scope of work extends from the local level, to the national scene, to global communities. The field of public health promises excitement, stimulation and fulfillment. If you’re interested in improving access to health care, controlling infectious disease, protecting the health of the public or reducing environmental hazards, among many other options, public health is the field for you.

The School of Public Health internship program remains the national model for practice-based public health education. The School offers a wide variety of internship sites for students in every concentration, and as a requirement for the interdisciplinary program, students must rotate through diverse areas of public health practice.

The School of Public Health at the University at Albany is unique from other public health programs because we maintain a close relationship with the NYS Department of Health (DOH),  giving students the privileged opportunity to embark on internship experiences there. While providing valuable, practice-based experience, these internships also give students a chance to network in the field. Each semester internship opportunities at DOH, community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, county health departments, and private sector businesses, among others are made exclusively available to the School’s student body. Students also have the option to find other professionally fulfilling opportunities through the School’s long-standing relationships with other organizations, alumni, and international/global health office.

Acquiring an Internship

At the start of the first year, informational sessions are held regarding how to learn about and acquire an internship. A student’s first internship experience is often during the summer after their first year of coursework, after the completion of all core course requirements. During the first year, students are asked to develop and submit a professional resume to the Internship and Career Services Office. Students are supported in this effort through the Internship Coordinator, and through a number of informational sessions held throughout the year focusing on resume writing, interview skills, and professional conduct. During the Spring term, internship proposals for the summer are posted for students to view. Students are asked to review the internships, discuss various options and possibilities with their academic advisor, choose several that they are interested in and submit these choices to the Internships and Career Services Office by a certain date. Student resumes are then submitted to the host organizations that are seeking interns. Students will be contacted directly by mentors at these organizations for interviews at which students are expected to act and dress in a professional manner. Once students have acquired an internship, they work directly with the Internship Coordinator and their mentor to register for the internship and to fulfill all of the internship requirements.

More information about the internship selection process can be found in the MPH Internship Handbook

MPH Degree Requirements

The internship component of the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is viewed as the culminating experience of your graduate academic program. It is designed to provide a meaningful opportunity for you to integrate knowledge gained during academic coursework in a professional public health setting.

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 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. Many students choose to do a 6-credit internship during the summer after their first year which involves working 40 hours/week for a period of 12 weeks and then a 3-credit internship during either the Fall or Spring semester which involves working 20 hours/week for 12 weeks. It is also possible for students to complete three 3-credit internships; one each during the summer, fall and spring semesters. Internships allow for flexibility and individual student circumstances can be accommodated.

However, at least 6 credits of 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.

Up to 6 credits of internship experience may be waived for students with significant past public health experience. For more information on internships and internship waivers, please see the Internship FAQ’s

MS Degree Requirements

Internship requirements for the MS degree vary slightly depending on which department and concentration the degree is being completed in. For more information, students should contact the academic department.

Located in the Student Affairs Office Corridor of the George Education Center, the Internship & Career Services Office at the School of Public Health is committed to providing opportunities to further advance students in their professional careers by offering the following resources:

SPH Internships & Career Services Listserv

Every Tuesday, students receive an e-mail from the Internships & Career Services Office through the SPH Internships & Career Services listserv.  The listserv is the PRIMARY communication to SPH students regarding important information pertaining to internship processes and deadlines, full and part-time job postings, and upcoming SPH career programs and events.  SPH students need to check their e-mail regularly for listserv messages. 

SPH Internships & Career Services Drop-In Hours

The Internships & Career Services Office is available for drop-in hours and career appointments to discuss topics related to the internship/career search.  Drop-in hours are 15 minute sessions for quick questions. Hours will be posted on the office door for the Director of Internships & Career Services.  Students are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

SPH Career Appointments

Career appointments are for more in-depth discussions about the internship/career search process and for resume/cover letter critiques.  They are usually 45 minutes and are strictly confidential.  Students need to schedule an appointment by e-mailing Katrina Chamberlain or Susan Bernardi-Bain with your request and availability.

Career Events & Programs

The Internships and Career Services Office hosts a variety of career events and programs to assist SPH students entering or advancing in the workforce. Topics include but are not limited to: career panels with public health professionals, networking events, interviewing techniques, leadership skills and etiquette in the workplace. Information regarding upcoming events and programs will be advertised in the SPH Internships & Career Services listserv.

Fall 2015 Career Services Calendar

Spring 2016 Career Services Calendar

UAlbany Main Career Services Office: Uptown Campus

Located in the Science Library on the uptown campus, UAlbany's Career Services Office has a comprehensive list of services they can provide to SPH students and alumni including:

Developing resumes and cover letters;
Building personalized search strategies for internships or full-time jobs;
Conducting practice interviews to prepare for an actual interview;
Workshops, Career Panels, Networking Events, and Annual Job & Internship Expo;
One-on-one career counseling through appointments and drop-in hours;
UA Career Path (job posting site), career assessment tools and a comprehensive career library  

For more information on services for students, visit the UAlbany Career Services Office webpage

For more information on services for alumni, visit UAlbany Alumni Services

Resume and Cover Letter Critiques

Resumes and cover letters are critical tools for your job and internship search, each serving an individual and unique purpose.  Resumes and cover letters will be reviewed during career appointments only.  Resume workshops are also offered during the year. 

To make an appointment for a resume/cover letter critique, e-mail Katrina Chamberlain or Susan Bernardi-Bain, and attach a copy of your current resume and cover letter.  Students can also schedule an appointment with the

UAlbany Main Career Services Office.

How to Prepare a Resume

How to Prepare a Cover Letter  

Where do I go for more information on internship opportunities?

If you are a student and would like more information on possible internship opportunities you may visit the Internship and Career Services Office in the Student Affairs Office and arrange to meet with the Director of Internships and Career Services in Room 117 at the School of Public Health. The MPH Internship Handbook also provides a comprehensive description of the internship process at the School of Public Health.

If you are mentor or would like to become a potential mentor please contact the Director of Internships and Career Services for more information.

Please note:  These internships are restricted to students currently enrolled in the School of Public Health.

 Katrina Chamberlain, Director  Susan Bernardi-Bain, Program Coordinator
 Internships & Career Services  Public Health Leaders of Tomorrow/Certificate in PH
 (518) 402-0404      (518) 408-2341
 Room 117, GEC     Room 118, GEC