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Choosing an Internship Site

The majority of internship sites are located in and around Birmingham; however, students are not required to stay in the local area for their internships. Collaborative relationships are established with adjacent state health departments and with a variety of other regional and national agencies and organizations that may provide placements. Most IH/GS (International Health and Global Studies track) students will be required to complete their internships in overseas settings, primarily in developing countries.

All students are welcome to investigate opportunities wherever they may be available, provided the host agency and proposed internship experience meet the School of Public Health’s requirements for an appropriate internship. Examples of appropriate internship sites include the CDC, HRSA, NIH, state and county departments of health, community-based organizations like The American Cancer Society or the March of Dimes, as well as nursing homes, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, corporate wellness programs, major industries, community hospitals, and other community-based organizations involved in public health work.

An internship at the university will be considered only if it clearly has a community focus. Potential internships that do not clearly meet this criterion should be discussed with the internship director and the faculty internship advisor, and must be submitted in writing to the academic dean for approval. Normally, faculty research projects are not appropriate venues for internships, nor are jobs that are primarily administrative in nature.

In an effort to accommodate students who have personal constraints to carrying out traditional internships, evening and weekend internships will be considered. The proposed internship will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine if there is sufficient opportunity for meaningful public health practice experience in concert with the student's field of study and educational and career goals.