How do I get Public Health Internships?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 January 2019
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There are four requirements to obtain public health internships: qualify for admission into a public health education program, complete the course work, pay the tuition, and apply for internship positions. A public health internship is typically arranged by the school of public health, as part of a degree or diploma in public health. The focus of a public health education includes food safety, water safety, disease control, and epidemic management.

In order to gain acceptance in a public health internships program, there are specific application criteria that must be met. Candidates must have successfully completed high school courses in math, biology, chemistry, and English. Additional courses in nursing or laboratory skills are also very helpful. The number of applicants for public health programs is quite high, as this field is forecast to have a higher than average growth in the next five to seven years.

When selecting a school for a public health training program, it is important to review three main items: reputation, breadth of program offerings, and internship opportunities. A school with an excellent reputation has dedicated significant money, time, and resources to the program over a period of years. Look at the qualifications of the instructors, their areas of expertise and research. Review recent publications to learn more about their philosophies and approach and read the school website for detailed biographies.


Internship and cooperative job placement opportunities are critical to gaining valuable experience. Review the breadth of internship opportunities available from the public health school. Look for schools that have internships in different sectors or industries, ranging from government agencies to hospitals to long-term care facilities. The broader your experience, the more job opportunities become available to you.

The cost of an education in public health depends on the level of post-secondary education that you select. University programs typically cost more, while college-level programs have more paid internship opportunities. Talk to your academic adviser about scholarships, student loans, bursaries, and grants to help reduce this cost.

The coursework in a public health program is divided into two streams: theory and application. The theory-based courses include a significant amount of information about microbacteria, epidemics, airborne and waterborne diseases, food contamination, and more. The application stream provides courses focused on client interaction, diagnosis, testing, and reporting to the public. Public health internships typically fall under the application stream of this program.

In order to get public health internships, candidates must meet the academic requirements specific to each institute. The best internship opportunities often require additional experience, personal essay or interview. Research the institute and incorporate specific skills or knowledge that is relevant to its practice into your essay or interview. Obtain reference letters from your professors or program administrators and include them with your application.



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