- All master students must complete both an Internship and Capstone project (or Thesis) for graduation.
The Internship (HLSA 785)
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-word public health settings.
Students identify their internship learning goals and select an organization that offers opportunities to achieve these goals. Students specify which MHA competencies are achieved during the internship. Students are required to complete 210 hours in an internship experience. The intern and site mentor negotiate specific hours and days of the internship. Internships may be compressed into a short and intense time period (e.g. 15 hours/week for 14 weeks) or spread out over a longer time period if 15 hours/week is not possible (e.g. 7 hours/week for 30 weeks). Students need to obtain permission from an advisor to do a two-semester internship.
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. Preferred to have appointments in Spring.
The Capstone (HLSA 786)
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.
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.
Examples of previous internship sites held by students in our program: