Skip to main content

Public Health Program

Internship Approval

The internship experience is intended to help students gain practical experience and apply their education to real-world problems.  PHS majors must devote at least 100 hours to an internship. Internships are typically with organizations outside SCU such as in public health departments, health clinics, community health agencies, or non-profit organizations. Such experiences are a valuable part of an integrated education and benefit you when applying for jobs, graduate and/or professional programs.

Internship Criteria to fulfill the PHS major requirements:
  • The work must be relevant to understanding and/or improving human health, health care delivery, health education, or health policy.
  • Internship activities must include opportunities for active engagement and intellectual creativity.Passive observation or repetitive tasks are not sufficient.
  • Internship activities must provide insight into human health at the community or population level. Working with health care providers dealing with individual patients is not usually sufficient.You and your mentor must make a conscience effort to broaden insights gained from clinical experience to the community and population level.
  • Supervisors of interns must have appropriate training and expertise.
  • You must participate in internship activities for a minimum of 100 hours.
  • You may receive course credit for your internship if it is unpaid or as part of an approved study abroad program in Public Health.Course credit must be arranged IN ADVANCE (PHSC198) with the PHS program staff.Course credit for summer internships requires enrollment and tuition.
Internship Process:
Step 1: Successfully complete PHSC 1.

Step 2: Enroll in/successfully complete PHSC 139 (2 units) prior to, or concurrently with, your internship. (Enrollment in PHSC 139 after completion of internship is not recommended). This course will help you identify what to look for in an internship, how to apply for internships, and what to expect/how to get the most out of your experience. (*Steps 2-4 can be completed simultaneously)

Step 3: Identify possible internship opportunities. Resources include: online searches, personal networking, SCU Career Center, and the SCU Public Health group on LinkedIn.

Step 4: Once an internship is obtained, meet with a Public Health Faculty member to determine if the internship aligns with the goals for the PHSC requirement. Complete this step PRIOR TO THE START OF YOUR INTERNSHIP. Bring your filled out Internship Approval Form to this meeting.

Step 5: After receiving faculty approval, submit your filled out Internship Approval Form (signed by faculty member) to You will receive confirmation of receipt via email.

Step 6: Complete a minimum of 100 hours of approved internship activities.

Step 7: Ask your supervisor to send an email to the Public Health Program at verifying that you have satisfactorily completed > 100 hours in an internship with their organization.

Step 8: Prepare a written summary of your internship experience and submit it to the Public Health Program at by the appropriate due dates. This paper will document your internship and help you examine and reflect upon the experience. This will serve as a valuable resource for you when applying for jobs, professional schools, or graduate programs.

Essay Instructions (~ 4 - 6 pages):

Part 1 - Summarize (1) the position you held; (2) the organizational and community context you workedin, (3) the goals of the internship, (4) the activities you engaged in, and (5) your major accomplishment(s).

Part 2 – Reflect on how the internship addressed learning objectives of the PHS major :"Students will actively engage with real-world public health problems in order to: (1) develop critical thinking capacity for the analysis of complex problems that require creative, integrative solutions; (2) nurture ethical awareness and sensitivity to social justice issues inherent in the health disparities facing underserved populations and communities; and (3) develop communication and leadership skills that will enable students to productively address pressing public health issues in their community.


Deadlines for Reflection Essay Submission/Internship Hours Confirmation to

Internships Completed During

Essays/Internship Hours Confirmation Due By

Fall Quarter

Second Friday of Subsequent Winter Quarter

Winter Quarter

Second Friday of Subsequent Spring Quarter

Spring Quarter

May 15 for graduating seniors, last Friday in June otherwise


Second Friday of Subsequent Fall Quarter



Valeriote Goldman Symposium: Public Health & Social Justice