"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” ~ Confucius
Public Health Science (PHSC) majors at the University of Maryland are encouraged to incorporate real-world experiences into their degree programs. The aim is to integrate practical field work with the conceptual learning taking place in the classroom. While an internship is not required for the B.S. in Public Health Science, PHSC majors may apply up to 6 credits from an approved internship experience towards their Public Health Science options.
To receive internship credit, students must be simultaneously enrolled in an internship course that is approved by the Internship Coordinator. Many students enroll in PHSC399 which is repeatable for up to 6 credits. Other internship courses may also count for options credit with advance approval by the PHSC Internship Coordinator. Of note, no more than 6 combined credits of internship and independent study may be counted toward PHSC options, regardless of course prefix. Additional credits over 6 will apply toward general electives.
See the guidelines below or download the Student Guide to PHSC Internships (.pdf) to learn how to get started.
Eligibility & Requirements for PHSC Internship Credit
PHSC Student Eligibility
In order to request PHSC options credit for an internship, students in the Public Health Science major must have:
- Minimum UMD cumulative GPA of 2.5
- 45 credits earned for College Park students; 75 credits for Shady Grove students (by start of the internship)
- An internship offer from an organization that meets the criteria for Public Health Science credit as listed in Internship Requirements below
- Applied for approval of PHSC internship credit by the posted deadline (see table below)
|Term||Internship Dates Fall Within||Deadline to Request PHSC Credit|
|Spring 2021||January 25-May 11, 2021||January 10, 2021|
|Summer 2021||June 1-August 20, 2021||May 22, 2021|
|Fall 2021||August 30-December 14, 2021||August 10, 2021|
PHSC Internship Requirements
- Employer/Organization is vetted and approved in advance by PHSC Internship Coordinator
- Intern’s work is supervised by a public health professional with a master’s degree or 5 years of experience in the field
- Work must be related to public health, and not clinical in nature
- Intern’s duties and responsibilities must be consistent with one or more Public Health Science competencies
- Interns are expected to work in accordance with the number of credit hours they are enrolled in for their internship course
|PHSC399 Credits (1>=45 hours)||
Total Semester Hours
|Approx. Hours/Week (Fall/Spring - 15 wks)||Approx. Hours/Week (Summer - 12 wks)|
- Students who have been employed at an organization for more than 3 months will not be eligible for an internship at that organization unless their job description has changed significantly to reflect a higher level of responsibility.
- PHSC Internship credit cannot be granted on a retroactive basis.
PHSC399: Public Health Science Internship
To receive academic credit for an internship, students must be simultaneously enrolled in an approved internship course. Of note, no more than 6 combined credits of internship and independent study may be applied towards PHSC major requirements, regardless of course prefix.
Most PHSC majors enroll in PHSC399 for this credit, but they may request permission in advance from the PHSC Internship Coordinator to apply credits from another 300 or 400 level internship course towards PHSC options requirements.
How to enroll in PHSC399
Enrollment in PHSC399 is by permission only. Students must complete all of the following steps before they can receive a registration stamp for the course.
- Accept an internship offer from an approved organization.
- Download and complete Internship Contract.
- Have completed PHSC Internship Contract reviewed and signed by site supervisor.
- Submit completed Internship Contract to PHSC Internship Coordinator by the stated deadline.
Failure to secure an internship, receive approval, and complete an internship contract by the deadline means a student will not be able to earn credit for the upcoming semester/summer.
The contract, completed by the intern and site supervisor, ensures that all parties understand the responsibilities of the position including a description of daily responsibilities or the nature of the project for the internship period. The expected weekly hourly schedule for the intern is also required in the contract. The hourly schedule corresponds to the credits applied. No more than 6 combined credits of independent study and internship can be counted as PHSC options.
In order to be considered for internship credit, the student must submit the Internship Contract to the PHSC Internship Coordinator by the following deadlines.
|Due Date||Internship Semester|
PHSC399 Course Requirements
In order to receive academic credit for the internship, students enrolled in PHSC399 complete the following assignments:
- In-person Orientation
- Signed Course Policy Agreement
- Mid-term evaluation by site supervisor
- Final evaluation by site supervisor
- Oral reflection presentation
- Written reflection paper
- Class engagement via Slack platform
Finding an Internship
The Public Health Science program maintains relationships with a variety of public health and healthcare organizations in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore metropolitan area. It is the student’s responsibility to find and apply for an internship before seeking approval of academic credit for the internship. The program will provide support and guidance to locate an appropriate internship site, but ultimately the hiring decision is the sole discretion of the internship site supervisor.
Download the PHSC Internship Preparation Checklist (.pdf) for a step-by-step guide to searching and applying for public health internships.
Approved PHSC Internship Sites
- PHSC and SPH-UG Listservs: Current majors should check their email for announcements on new internship opportunities
- Public Health Science Program Internship Contact List: Current Public Health Science majors can request access to a list of approved internship sites by contacting the Internship Coordinator, Dr. Nancy Smith, at email@example.com, or their academic advisor in College Park or Shady Grove. Please keep in mind, sites listed do not necessarily have a guaranteed open position for an intern. A listing means that the Public Health Science program has approved of the site and has a working relationship with the organization.
Campus Career & Internship Services
University Career Center staff provide assistance with resume and cover letter writing, interview preparation, and internship preparation. See their events calendars for career fairs, panels, and other networking opportunities.
- Careers4Terps: Both College Park and Shady Grove students can use this portal to search job/internship postings, apply for on-campus interviews, practice interviewing, store resumes and cover letters, schedule individual appointments with a career advisor, and RSVP to employer information sessions or workshops.
New Internship Sites
If you are interested in a new internship site that is not on the list of pre-approved PHSC internship contacts, you must submit an Internship Approval Request by sending an email to Dr. Smith, Internship Coordinator. Please use the following format.
Subject Line: New Internship Approval Request
Body of the email:
- Your name, UID, email address
- Site contact information:
- Name of organization
- Address of organization
- Site supervisor’s name and title
- Site supervisor’s phone number and email address
- Brief description of organization, including its mission, services, etc. (in your own words, not cut and pasted from a website.)
- A list of potential internship activities (as specific as possible.) These must align with the public health science program competencies.
- Student Guide to Internships in Public Health Science
- PHSC Guide to Hosting an Undergraduate Intern (internship site requirements)
- Internship Preparation Checklist
- PHSC Internship Contract (Summer 2021)
- PHSC Internship Contract (Fall 2021)
- UMD Career Center Terp Guide: Internship & Job Search (examples of undergraduate resumes, cover letters and professionalism tips)
If you have additional questions about the Public Health Science Internship, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.