Pittsburgh Summer Institute

MPH Practicum/Internship Experiences with the Allegheny County Health Department

The Pittsburgh Summer Institute in Applied Public Health (PSI) provides an enhanced and productive practicum experience at the Allegheny County Health Department. In addition to working to address real public health problems in the county, participants experience the day-to-day operations of an active health department while working with experienced public health practitioners. In addition to their individual projects, PSI students engage in a group project that exposes them to the multidisciplinary, cross-cutting nature of work that is done in a local health department. The PSI offers a stipend of $1,500 to each student.

The summer 2019 PSI will run from Wednesday, May 15–August 9.

Core Experiences

  • Attendance at orientation.
  • Completion of a 200 hour practicum (flexible schedules are possible).
  • Participation in PSI group project (min. 15 hours). The 2019 group project will focus on in-person outreach to health care providers about the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. The WIC program offers a variety of health and nutrition services.
  • Completion and presentation of a project that addresses a specific public health need in Allegheny County at one the Annual Student Showcases.
  • Attendance at the mid-summer Student Showcase on July 16 and the Closing Reception and Celebration on August 8.

Qualifications for summer 2019

  • Current University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health student though the summer of 2019
  • Must have completed two semesters enrolled as a graduate student by the start of PSI 


The application period for summer 2019 has ended. We expect the application portal to open in early January 2020 for summer 2020 opportunities. All applications require completion of a brief online form and submission of a current resume and cover letter.

About the PSI

The PSI is sponsored by the Graduate School of Public Health. For students interested in PSI opportunities, questions can be directed to Robin A. Leaf, MEd, educational programs and practicum manager.


PSI 2018 Cohort

The PSI welcomed 16 students at the orientation session held in May. The students will work in groups, on a project outside of their assignments at ACHD, throughout the summer addressing real-world public health problems and completing a group project about the tobacco retail environment.