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Internship Credit: Public Health Science

Earn academic credit for experiences outside of the classroom

As a Public Health Science student, you can earn up to 6 credits towards your degree by participating in "experiential learning" or learning that occurs outside of the classroom (e.g., internships or research experiences). Currently, there are 3 different avenues of experiential learning coursework: PHSC 389, PHSC 399 & other similar courses across campus. 

Do Goof Volunteer
Internships for PHSC credit


Internships are one of the most valuable ways to apply what you are learning in class in a workplace setting. It may be possible for you to earn academic credit, depending on the nature of your work and its connection to your major. To earn PHSC399: Public Health Science Internship credit, you must be enrolled simultaneously while interning. Prior approval is required to enroll, ensuring certain criteria are met. 

Research for PHSC credit


The field of public health is rooted in the advancement of science through exploratory research, scientific discovery, and evidence-based solutions. Participating on research teams serves as an ideal way to gain the essential skills needed for success in the workforce and graduate programs. To earn credit, you must be enrolled in PHSC 389 while completing the research. Get started today by exploring research opportunities both on and off campus.

SPH lab
Alternative courses for PHSC credit


We realize there are a plethora of meaningful learning experiences available around campus for which may already be earning UMD academic credits. It is possible that one of these leadership or professional enrichment courses could count towards your PHSC Options requirement. These requests are reviewed by the program on a case by case basis by completing the PHSC Options Course Approval Request Form.

How do I get started? 

To earn PHSC academic credit for a future internship, follow these steps. Skip to Step 2 if you have already secured an internship.

Where can I intern for PHSC credit?

It is your responsibility to apply for and secure an internship. The Public Health Science program maintains relationships with a variety of public health and healthcare organizations in the greater Washington D.C./Baltimore metropolitan area. However, you are not restricted to using one of these pre-approved sites. You are encouraged to find an organization that aligns with your career goals. You can request a new organization be reviewed for approval by PHSC administrators. PHSC internship experiences may be paid or unpaid.

View the list of pre-approved PHSC Internship Sites 

The list of pre-approved PHSC Internship Sites can be found in the PHSC Major ToolKit in CANVAS. All students in the program should have access to this space. If you do not, contact with your name and UID to be added.

Already have access to view the PHSC Major Toolkit? 
Click here to view the list of PHSC Internship Sites List in the Beyond the Classroom module.

Note that the organizations listed do not necessarily have a guaranteed open internship position at this time. A listing means that the Public Health Science program has approved of the site for a previous student and has a working relationship with the organization.

Request Approval for an Internship

If you have an offer from an internship site that is not on the pre-approved list, you can initiate the request process by completing the online form.

When completing this form, please include as much information as possible to formally request the use of a proposed internship for academic credit (PHSC399). We strongly recommend filling this form out with your site supervisor. 

We will need information related to the following three areas:

  • Part 1: Student Information 
  • Part 2: Internship Site & Supervisor Information
  • Part 3: Internship Description & Learning Objectives

Resources for finding an internship 

The University Career Center @SPH provides resources and guidance for students to assist with searching for an appropriate internship that meets your interest areas. Career Center staff can assist you with all stages of your search – everything from writing an email to a potential worksite, updating your resume, preparing for interviews, and much more. The staff also coordinates networking events with employers and workshops on job search topics. 

In addition to that, the Public Health Science program hosts a variety of professional development events for students at all stages of career planning. To stay up to date with all that is happening in PHSC and around campus, be sure to check out the PHSC Career Development calendar on the PHSC Student Resources page.

For additional help with finding an internship, contact 


Submit Internship Credit Request Form: Linking Experiential & Academic Learning

To receive academic credit for an internship, students must be simultaneously enrolled in an approved internship course. To initiate the process of enrolling in PHSC 399, all students must complete the online Request Form. This will be reviewed by PHSC administrators to ensure that the place of work and the scope of your intern job duties are directly related to your PHSC major and the core competencies of your degree.

Eligibility for PHSC Internship Credit

We hope that all PHSC students will engage in experiential learning and interning for academic credit is one way to do so! You just have to make sure that things are verified prior to the semester start. In order to be eligible to enroll in the PHSC 399 course, there are 3 layers of approval: your eligibility; organization eligibility; and supervisor eligibility. Both the organization and the supervisor must be verified and approved in advance by the PHSC administration.

Student eligibility requirements
  • Minimum cumulative UMD GPA: 2.5 
  • Minimum number of credits earned by the start of the internship (College Park students: 45+ credits & Shady Grove students: 75+ credits). 
  • Completion of this approval process prior to the start of the semester in which you wish to enroll.
Scope of work requirements
  • Your projects and duties must be clearly related to the field of public health and directly aligned with one or more of the PHSC program competencies.
  • Work must be significantly complex and demonstrate critical thinking warranting upper-level college credits (399). 
  • Clearly delineated tasks and projects with tangible deliverables.
  • Must engage in active learning. Although some observation and shadowing activities may occur, this should not be a substantial amount of your time and cannot count towards your total hours. 
  • The nature of the work and assigned tasks must be new learning for you. If you are already employed at an organization, your job description must change significantly to reflect a higher level of responsibility and substantially different projects.
Supervisor eligibility requirements
  • Your work must be supervised by a public health professional currently working at that organization.
  • Your supervisor must have a bachelor's degree or higher. 
  • Consistent access to your supervisor through check-in meetings scheduled regularly to receive feedback on your progress.
Organization eligibility requirements
  • The mission and vision must be connected to public health. 
  • The services provided must be public health oriented and not fully rooted in direct patient care. 
  • The organization must provide you with adequate tools, resources, and space to complete your duties.

Note: PHSC399 internship credit cannot be granted for prior experiences. There are no exceptions to this rule. 

For additional help with obtaining PHSC internship approval, contact 

After submitting the online Request Form, the program will review it and verify details with your proposed supervisor. All students will receive an email within a week of form submission informing you of next steps.  

If approved, you will be granted a registration stamp allowing you to register for the course.  There may be instances in which more details and information are required or an internship request is not approved. Failure to secure an internship, submit the request form, and receive approval by the deadline means you will not be able to earn credit for the upcoming semester.

Internship Request Form 
This electronic request form should be completed by you with input from the organization.  It ensures that all parties - the student, site, and the university -- understand the interns responsibilities and have clear expectations. Setting you up for a meaningful learning experience!

Submit Internship Credit Request Form: Linking Experiential & Academic Learning
PHSC399 Course Expectations

The primary objective of the internship is successfully completing your agreed upon duties and the hours required. In addition to that, students enrolled in PHSC399 will complete the following assignments and remain engaged with the course throughout the semester.

  • Internship Orientation
  • Course Policy Agreement
  • Midterm evaluation
  • Final evaluation
  • Oral reflection presentation
  • Written reflection paper
  • Class engagement

Internship Spotlights!

Darah Davidson, PHSC Class of 2024
NIH Special Volunteer Intern - National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute
Skills learned: Research and Critical Thinking skills such as collection of confidential patient health data, quantitative analysis of adverse events in cancer patients, creation of new clinical trial guidelines and treatment protocols. Advice: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the team around you. Especially when navigating the use of government and scientific acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon. There are even more acronyms in the government than at UMD!”
Darah, PHSC 399 student spotlight
Cody McMullen, PHSC Class of 2023
Data Intern - IHS, Division of Program Statistics
Skills learned: Project Management & Data/Research skills related to systems development, data collection & analyzing, utilization of internationally known health indicators. Advice: “Don’t be afraid to say yes and take whatever opportunities and projects your supervisor may throw at may learn a lot about the field and yourself.”
Cody McMullen - PHSC399 student spotlight
Verity White, Community Health Improvement Intern
Community Health & Wellness Dept. - Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, MD
Skills learned: Program and Project Management skills such as organizing & facilitating community events/workshops, building partnerships at community health fairs, blood drives & community outreach events, data collection/analyzing for grant proposals. Advice: “To work in this field, you must be ever-learning & up to date on the most current and applicable information. The most important lessons I have learned are: Always Network, Communicate, Be Proactive & Continuously Evaluate."
Verity White - PHSC399 student spotlight

Additional Information

Enrollment in PHSC399 is by permission only. The PHSC 399 course is offered 3 times annually: fall, spring and summer semesters for approximately 15 weeks. The application window opens the semester prior for the upcoming session. 

Please submit the completed request form by the deadline: 

  • Deadline for Fall: August 15
  • Deadline for Spring: January 15
  • Deadline for Summer: May 15

*Note: PHSC 399 is not offered during the winter term.

Interns are expected to work in accordance with the number of credit hours they are enrolled in for their internship course. This makes up a significant portion of the grade you earn so be thoughtful about how many hours you can take on. If minimum hours are not met, this will directly affect your performance in the class and final grade. 

For internships 45 hours = 1 credit

  • 1 credit = 45 total work hours
  • 2 credits = 90 total work hours
  • 3 credits = 135 total work hours
  • 4 credits = 180 total work hours
  • 5 credits = 225 total work hours
  • 6 credits = 270 or more total work hours

Standard tuition rates apply to this course. You will receive a letter grade and academic credit the same as any other UMD course. Information on tuition rates fall and spring semesters are found here

Summer tuition rates can vary; found here

For more information on how to financially support your summer internship, visit this University Career Center website.

Alternative courses for PHSC Options Credit

PHSC Students may apply a maximum of 6 credits of experiential learning (research or internship) towards the 12 credit PHSC Options requirement.  Most PHSC students enroll in PHSC399 for this credit, but you may request permission in advance to apply your credits from another 300 or 400 level internship course towards your PHSC options requirements. 

Is there another UMD course that you think could count as an approved PHSC Options course

  • Review this list to see if it has already been approved. 

PHSC majors in these specific Federal Fellows and Global Fellows seminars may apply their FGSM internships towards their PHSC Options credit: FGSM320, FGSM340, FGSM370, FGSM380, FGSM390. 

Reach out to a PHSC Advisor if you have questions.

Resources for Employers

The PHSC Experiential Learning Manager will be in direct contact with all supervisors of Public Health Science students enrolled in PHSC399, as part of the approval process and course experience. For more detailed information, please take a look at our Supervisor Guide - Hosting a PHSC Intern

Organizations who wish to recruit University of Maryland students for full time positions have the support of the University Career Center. 

Looking for PHSC student interns or to engage with the PHSC program in creative ways? Contact Shannon Edward, PHSC Experiential Learning Manager at