Apply what you've learned to a real-world public health setting, and come away with actual deliverables that make the public healthier.
Depending on your field, the experiential learning component may be referred to as a practicum, internship, or field placement.
The Practicum/ Internship Experience
Many students complete their practicum during the summer months. This may depend on the field, the department, your career interests, your individual degree trajectory, or other factors. Have a conversation with your advisor or department student services staff member to help decide when you should plan to do your practicum or internship.
Before arranging a practicum, students must meet with their advisor to verify that the opportunity will meet their department's practicum requirements.
It's also a good idea to meet with a career services counselor to review documents for applications and to prepare for interviews. Career services counselors may also be able to help focus your search or tie your practicum to your eventual career goals.
"I think after this experience, I am more motivated to work towards alleviating problems in my career. Even if I can’t ‘solve’ homelessness, I think I have the power to make things a little better for some people." -Alysse Littleberry (BCHS '20)
"I think there is a gap between the clinical field and the public health field and it can only be bridged by such collaborative efforts."
-Mohammed Bu Saad (EPI '21)
Student Perspectives on the Practicum Experience (Spring 2021)
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.
Pittsburgh Summer Institute with the Allegheny County Health Department
Experience the day-to-day operations of a county health department while addressing the public health needs of the Pittsburgh community. The application period is typically January-February.
There are other opportunities with the health department year-round in all fields. Fall and spring opportunities are posted in Pitt Bridges.
Bridging the Gaps
Bridging the Gaps is a full-time, paid, interdisciplinary program in which you can promote health in underserved communities and learn from organizations on the front lines each summer. The application period is typically January-February.
EXPO programs from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center offers two Experiential learning Opportunities (EXPO) for graduate students in public health: EXPO Field Placements and EXPO Collaborative Projects.
Other Internship Sponsors
Some of the organizations below have hosted Pitt Public Health interns in the past, and are a great place to start your search.
- Abt Associates
- Allegheny County Department of Human Services
- American Colleges of Healthcare Executives
- American Public Health Association (APHA)
- American Red Cross Association
- American Statistical Association (ASA)
- Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Clinton Foundation
- Congressional Budget Office
- Federal Government
- National Cancer Institute
- Health Resources and Services Administration
- Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
- Jewish Healthcare Foundation
- Junior Commissioned Officer Student Training
- National Academy of Social Insurance
- National Institutes of Health
- New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
- Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP)
- Pan American Health Organization (if interested, please contact the Center for Global Health)
- Public Health Institute
- Resources for the Future
- South Texas Environmental Education and Research Program
- Unite for Sight Global Health Leadership Internship
- United Nations Internship Programme
- World Bank Internships