The MPH is a professional degree that prepares individuals to develop basic public health skills. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), our accrediting agency, requires that each MPH student be able to demonstrate the application of these concepts through an internship experience that is relevant to his or her area of specialization. The internship provides an opportunity for each student to work in a public health setting in a position that carries responsibility and is of particular interest. Each placement is different, but all depend upon completion of most coursework, the ability to work with minimal supervision, and acquiring permission of the student’s SOPH advisor and on-site preceptor/supervisor.
The internship experience must be appropriately planned, supervised, and evaluated. The minimum required contact hours for the MPH internship is 180. MPH students should have completed the core classes before registering for an internship and generally the internships are performed in the summer of the first year at the earliest. To be sure about when you are eligible to register for your internship, check with your department’s program coordinator.
A final grade will be awarded by the faculty internship advisor and based upon the internship supervisor's evaluation and the student's final products. All internships are graded on a Pass/No Pass basis.
The student is responsible for the completion and submission of the "UAB School of Public Health Internship Description and Agreement Form." This is a signed agreement between the student, preceptor, and faculty advisor and is to be submitted via the SOPH InternTrack online system.
This form documents each person’s responsibilities and expectations, including a description of the learning objectives and MPH competencies of the placement, the activities to be performed by the student, and the anticipated final products. The following final products are required for all MPH students completing their internship: Evaluations (Student and Site Supervisor), 5-page minimum paper on the internship experience and a poster presentation. More information on the final products can be found in the syllabus for the internship course. The final paper should be submitted via the SOPH InternTrack online system. Students should contact the Internship Coordinator in the Office of Student Services for deadline regarding all final products.
Given the nature of public health practice, it is possible that the student may be analyzing, interpreting and perhaps even contributing to the collection of data. If there is any question as to whether an internship will require IRB approval, it is the student’s responsibility to submit an application to the IRB. Please be advised that the IRB approval process might significantly extend the time needed to prepare for an internship; therefore, discuss the scope of your internship with your advisor so that no IRB infractions occur.
Prior to registration, students should consult with their academic advisors to determine optimal times for completing their internships. All 180 hours required by the internship should be completed in one semester. Students register for the internship experience through their designated faculty internship advisor. Each department will have an individual course number for the internship experience. Check with your department program coordinator to get the correct course number.
NOTE TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: According to university policy, international students must complete an additional form for the International Scholar and Student Services office in the Hill University Center before beginning their internship.
The mid-point meeting is an opportunity for you to reflect on where you are in your internship and evaluate what needs to be done for you to gain the most out of your experience. Approximately halfway through the internship, the student and site supervisor complete the mid-point meeting evaluation via the InternTrack System. The student should set up a time to meet with your site supervisor and faculty advisor to review this information. The both the internship supervisor and faculty advisor will need to confirming the meeting took place.
At the end of the internship, prior to the end of exams for that semester, a poster session will be held to showcase the internships completed during that semester. You will receive additional instructions on creating your poster prior to the event. Attendance is mandatory, as it is a required component to the internship experience. Failure to attend without permission from the Internship Coordinator will result in a No Pass grade for the internship course. Limited exceptions will be made for students completed internships out of the state or country, that are completing the MPH program online, or cannot attend due to medical reasons. Students who are unable to present during the poster session must request for an alternate presentation option by completing the request form below. This form should be turned in to the internship coordinator, Kimberly Hunter, email@example.com or RPHB130, no later than 2 weeks prior to the internship poster session.
Alternative Option: Eligible students will complete an audio PowerPoint presentation in lieu of attending the internship poster session, which will be uploaded to UAB Canvas. PowerPoint slides without audio will also be submitted to stream during the regular internship poster session. Students eligible for this opportunity include those that are still completing internships internationally/out of state, unable to attend due to medical reasons, and online MPH students. Students can request the Alternative option by completing online Alternative Internship Poster Presentation form. Completion of the form does not guarantee permission to complete the alternative option.
Both the student and the internship supervisor will complete an evaluation via the InternTrack during the last week of the semester. In addition, the student should also submit the agree-upon final products to the same designee.