The Public Health Internship (HSC 479) serves as the culminating experiential opportunity enabling students to demonstrate their ability to perform the UCC Tier 3 cognitive skills from "experience to information to action." Consists of a paid or unpaid internship experience in an approved environmental, public, community, clinical, worksite, or other health science program setting working a minimum of 360 hours. Integrates specified academic elements in addition to on-site work objectives. The internship provides students with experience in a minimum of four of the seven responsibility areas as outlined in the Responsibilities and Competencies for Entry-Level Health Education Specialists (NCHEC). Prerequisite: admission to internship program.

An important part of this internship is the conferring of the Outstanding Intern Poster Award.

Public Health majors prepare themselves to function professionally in a community setting through university courses and practical experiences. The primary purpose of the internship program is to provide opportunities for students to become acquainted with the role of the community agency, organization or industry in promoting community health.

The internship provides students with on-site work experience which assists them in developing entry-level job skills, and increasing knowledge about health education as it occurs within community agency operations.

Students join a community health agency as staff members (paid or non-paid) and are expected to function professionally in an effective manner while learning from the opportunities provided.

Experiences in the classroom, field experiences in the community, and communication with a wide range of people from varying backgrounds and age groups help prepare the undergraduate students to meet the challenges of the times and to realize their own potential as a prospective health educators.


For more information check out the internship handbook, and frequently asked questions below, or contact Program Director, Dr. Lynnea Melham.

Download Intern Handbook (PDF) 


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers about the internship program:

It is each student’s responsibility to secure their internship. Students will receive guidance and assistance at each step of the process, in HSC 495, and in
consultation with the Public Health Program Director, Dr. Lynnea Melham. These steps include but are not limited to:

  • identifying internship requirements
  • evaluating possible sites
  • developing a resume/cover letter
  • preparing for interviews
  • honing professionalism
No, as long as the internship has been approved by the program director and appropriate agency personnel.
Typically no. It is more difficult to find a paid internship. However, some level of "stipend" may be offered at some agencies.

In order to enroll in HSC 479, (6 cr. hr.), health science majors must have taken a minimum of 25 credit hours in health science, and must earn a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 in the following health science courses:

  • HSC 200
  • HSC 210
  • HSC 220
  • HSC301
  • HSC302
  • HSC 310
  • HSC 344
  • HSC 387
  • HSC 388
  • HSC 487
  • HSC 494

Additionally, the student should plan to complete HSC 495 1-2 semesters prior to their internship.The internship itself will be completed the last semester before graduation, typically in Spring or Summer semester.

The internship is completed in 360 clock hours. The internship must be completed in one semester.
The internship typically lasts 11-14 weeks.
Interns earn 6 creditsin HSC 479.
Yes. Although they can expect to receive guidance and assistance from the program director and department faculty, students must take the lead in researching and procuring their internship. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange interview dates and times with prospective internship sites.
Business clothes are preferred.
Yes. It is most appropriate to send a thank you note regardless of whether or not you intend to complete the internship at the agency. It is also necessary to inform the program director about your intentions regarding the prospective internship.