The Basics

All master students must complete both an Internship and Capstone project (or Thesis) for graduation.


The Maryland Experience Internship (HLSA 778)

     Brief Description

The purpose of the internship is to enable students to gain practical experience as professionals under conditions conducive to educational development. Students need to obtain permission from an advisor indicating that they are ready for the internship (i.e. almost all required courses have been completed). The internship is a time-limited, supervised period of public health policy and practice activities carried out in health or allied health organizations. The internship provides students with the opportunity to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills obtained in the MHA program. Students gain practical experience in real-world public health settings.

The internship may be conducted at the same site where a student works or at another site of the student’s choosing. If the internship is at the work site, internship duties must be separate from and in addition to regular work responsibilities. The internship may be conducted at the same site as the capstone but must be a separate project.

A faculty member works with interns to provide general guidance throughout the internship. Interns will also have access to a site supervisor who provides onsite advice and guidance to the intern and feedback to the faculty member. A beneficial partnership emerges in which the internship site gains from the intern’s contributions and the intern gains from hands-on experience with colleagues in community-based practice sites.

NOTE: Make arrangements with your individual adviser. 

     Guidelines

HLSA Internship Manual 2019  Preview the documentView in a new window

List of Available Internships (You must login to use this resource).

The Capstone (HLSA 786)

    Brief Description

The capstone is a culminating experience (in lieu of a thesis) that provides the student with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in courses to an analysis of a specific public health problem or issue. The capstone project demonstrates the student's understanding of the principles and skills of public health practice and policy, the ability to apply this knowledge to a public health problem or issue, and the attainment of the competencies required by the Master of Health Administration. Students need to obtain permission from an advisor indicating that they are ready for the capstone project (i.e. almost all required courses have been completed).

A student may conduct and complete a capstone project during the final semester of studies or work on the capstone project over two semesters. Students need to obtain permission from an advisor to do a two-semester capstone project.
The capstone project may be conducted at the same site where a student works or at another site of the student’s choosing. If the project is conducted at the work site, the project must be separate from and in addition to regular work responsibilities. The capstone may be conducted at the same site as the internship but must be a separate project.

The capstone is a beneficial partnership in which the learning goals of the student are attained and the capstone site gains from the student’s contribution. The capstone project is developed and implemented under the guidance of a faculty member and a site supervisor.

      Guidelines

Capstone Manual (HLSA 786) Preview the document View in a new window

The Thesis

     Brief Description

All Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Health Administration (MHA) students are required to complete an internship (HLSA 778, 4 credits), AND either a field-based project (HLSA 786 MHA/MPH Project, 3 credits) or a thesis (HLSA 799, 6 credits). The MHA/MPH project option provides for one 3-credit hour elective during the course of the program. The thesis option replaces both the HLSA 786 project and the elective with 6 credit hours of HLSA 799.

The MHA/MPH thesis is a capstone experience and must be completed after all other required coursework is completed. Electives may be taken concurrently with the completion of the Thesis. MPH students considering a research-oriented career, or who plan to continue on for a doctoral degree, may consider a master's thesis.

The six-credit-hour thesis (HLSA 799) replaces the HLSA786 MPH capstone project (3 credits) and one elective (3 credits) that are needed to meet the 45-credit MPH degree. The student must still complete the 4-credit internship (HLSA 7) in addition to the thesis.

University of Maryland Thesis and Dissertation Style Guides and Templates can be found in the appendices of the Thesis Manual as well as at the forms and publication section of the Graduate School Website

      Guidelines

HLSA Thesis Manual (HLSA 799) Preview the document View in a new window

Find an Internship

The Master of Health Administration degree program requires students to obtain a significant practicum/internship experience prior to graduation. Graduate students should consult with their department for specific requirements and opportunities tailored to their degree program, concentration, experience and professional goals. However, not all graduate degree programs use the internship database, so it is best to consult with your advisor for the most comprehensive information on opportunities available to you.

Current students access the List of Available Internships here! (You must login to use this resource).

Prospective or current student? The Health Services Administration Department offers students a wide variety of internship and capstone experiences based on their interests. The map included here (or visit a larger version) categorizes opportunities based on the students' program within HLSA. See how past students have fearlessly pursued health for all!

Examples of previous internship sites held by students in our program:

American Institutes for Research

Children's National Health System

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Greater Baltimore Medical Center

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Holy Cross Hospital

Laurel Regional Hospital (Dimensions Healthcare)

Lifebridge Health Sinai Hospital of Baltimore

Maryland Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene 

Maryland State Medical Society

MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

National Center for Health Research

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center

U.S. Public Health Service

Washington Adventist Hospital