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MPH Practicum/Internship

Practica and 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.

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 Web sites 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 as the Pittsburgh Summer Institute in Applied Public Health (PSI), sponsored by the Graduate School of Public Health. Applications for summer 2018 are closed.  | 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 2018 are closed.  | Read more...


The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank was founded in 1980. It serves those in need across 11 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. This will be the first year that the food bank will be a part of our program at Pitt Public Health. Applications for summer 2018 are closed. | Apply now...

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 2018 are closed.  | Read more... 


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

Maximize Recurring Internship Sponsors

Student mosquito trapping for ACHD Practicum project Summer 2015

Annual Practicum/Internship and Research Experience Symposium

View materials from the December 2017 Annual Practicum/Internship and Research Symposium.

Getting started

Where to begin your search for practicum/ internship?

Department Contacts

Check with your department for specific information on finding a practicum or internship based on your degree program and area of interest. 

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
© 2018 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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