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Practica & Internships

Practica and internships are experiences that enable students to develop skills and gain practical experience related to their academic or career interests outside the classroom. Depending on the field and department, this experiential learning component may be referred to as a practicum, internship, field placement, or MHA residency. Students are encouraged to pursue additional internships beyond the academic requirement. Many students pursue such internship experiences during the summer months.

Practica and internships are experiences that enable students to develop skills and gain practical experience related to their academic or career interests outside the classroom. Depending on the field and department, this experiential learning component may be referred to as a practicum, internship, field placement, or MHA residency. Students are encouraged to pursue additional internships beyond the academic requirement. Many students pursue such internship experiences during the summer months.

The MPH and DrPH practicum requirement allows for in-depth experiential learning, allowing students to apply what they’ve learned in a real-world public health setting. Students complete their practica at a wide range of sites including non-profit organizations, hospitals, and local for-profit firms. The experiences are supervised by a faculty member and an on-site preceptor (or practicum supervisor) who provide guidance and oversight throughout the practicum. Students and the preceptors begin by outlining a set objectives for the practicum and evaluate whether or not those objectives were met at the end of the practicum.

Before arranging a practicum, students must meet with their advisor to verify that the opportunity will meet their department's practicum requirements. Students are also encouraged to meet with a career services counselor to review documents for their practicum applications.

Internships are often unpaid but some may include a living stipend, housing, or some other form of remuneration. Some internships are offered by organizations outside of the United States and are often sought by those seeking the Global Health Certificate. A well-planned internship will provide exposure to professional settings and contacts, help a student develop or enhance valuable skills, and ultimately lead to informed career decision making in the future. See also: Fellowships page.

Some organizations frequently update and add new fellowships and internships. Check the CDC, the ORISE CDC Program, the ORISE EPA Program, the ORISE FDA Program, and Global Health Fellows Program II websites often for their latest opportunities. 

Internships in State and Local Health Agencies and Organizations

Pitt Public Health has developed strong relationships with local and state agencies and organizations to develop the public health workforce of the future. The school coordinates organized programs with the following organizations. For more information contact Robin Leaf.

Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD)

There are opportunities year-round in all fields at ACHD. Fall and spring opportunities are posted in Pitt Bridges. Summer opportunities are offered in collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center as the Pittsburgh Summer Institute in Applied Public Health (PSI). Applications for summer 2017 have closed. We plan to  offer the PSI program next summer. | Read more...

Department of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Opportunities with the state department of health occur during the summer semester. Postings for opportunities and applications are both handled by the state. | Read more... 

Bridging the Gaps

Bridging the gaps is a full-time, paid, interdisciplinary program that provides hands-on opportunities to promote health in underserved communities and learn from organizations on the front lines each summer. Applications for summer 2017 are now being accepted. February 6 is the deadline to apply. | Read more...

Gateway healthSM

Gateway HealthSM is a medical assistance managed care organization providing Medicaid and Medicare (primarily D-SNP and C-SNP) to over 450,000 citizens in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, North Carolina, Kentucky and West Virginia. Pitt Public Health established a relationship with Gateway HealthSM to provide practicum opportunities for our students. Applications for summer 2017 have closed. We plan to offer this program next summer.  | Read more... 

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As specific requirements vary by department, students must check with their department to make sure any opportunity they pursue meets academic requirements.

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Recent Practica

  • Allegheny County School Immunization Report
  • Logistical Review of Racoon Rabies Oral Vaccination Program
  • Geographic and Spatial Data Analysis of Dengue Fever Cases in Cambodia
  • New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice
  • Healthy Villages Internship with the Uganda Village Project (UVP)
  • Lyme Disease Surveillance in Allegheny County
  • Pediatric Cancer Clusters in Shale Gas Drilling Areas in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Project on virulence of TB infection in association with HIV infection, India
  • Genetic counseling at Manovikas Kendra Institute in Kolkata, India
  • West Nile Virus Surveillance In Allegheny County
  • Oral health and health disparities in Appalachia
  • Type 2 diabetes and associated risk factors in African Caribbean men
  • STI Protocol Adherence at Family Health International, India
  • Effects of breastfeeding patterns on risk of epithelial ovarian cancer

Getting started

Where to begin your search for rewarding internship?

Finding a Practicum or Internship

Internship, fellowship, and permanent employment opportunities are posted weekly on Pitt Bridges. Login regularly to review open positions, or schedule an appointment with a Career Services counselor for help finding  the right opportunity for your needs. Contact your advisor, and check out  the Internships and Fellowships pages for ideas of where to apply for training opportunities while you are a student, or upon graduation respectively. 

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