Frequently Asked Questions - Preceptor

By the time they begin their internship, our MPH students will have at a minimum completed their first year of coursework. These include courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health care organization and policy, and health behavior. They may have also taken additional courses in their area of interest. 

Students can begin an internship at the beginning of any of our three semesters (FALL: August – December, SPRING: January – May, SUMMER: June to August).

Students are ultimately responsible for securing their own internship, based on their discipline of study, and personal preferences and circumstances, so we cannot predict which organizations they will choose. However, we are eager to work with you to increase your chances of getting the right student for your organization.

Students can apply to internships coordinated through the school, or they can identify their own opportunity.  Students are encouraged to first review posted internships coordinated through the school.  These opportunities will be distributed to students through the SOPH student newsletter and through direct outreach from faculty and the internship coordinators. You can also submit that your opportunities be posted in HireABlazer, UAB’s Career Management Site.  Visit HireABlazer to learn more. 

InternTrack is the online database used to manage all documents related to the MPH internship.  You will see your student advisee’s name when you log in to the system.  Click on his or her name to view the corresponding documents.  Information will be organized by the role you have (review and sign, review only), and you will be notified when action is needed in the system.  Log in with your assigned username and password at InternTrack (https://www.soph.uab.edu/interntrackv3/).  Don't have a username or password?  Please register at https://www.soph.uab.edu/interntrackv3/user/register.

In order to access InternTrack, you will need to be assigned a username and password.  Please complete the preceptor registration form at https://www.soph.uab.edu/interntrackv3/user/register.  If you’ve already registered, but have forgotten your password, please click on the “Password Reset” link on the InternTrack website and a new password will be issued.  If you still don't see your intern's information listed, please verify they are using the same email address you used to register. If you continue to have issues, please contact the Office of Public Health Practice at ophp@uab.edu

At the completion of the internship, the student provides a final paper and poster to his or her faculty advisor that document the experience. Also the student and preceptor also complete a detailed evaluation. Students receive a Pass/No Pass grade based on these products.

Students are required to work at least 180 hours over the semester.  This is an estimate of approximately 13 hours per week. However, preceptors can require the student complete additional hours.

  • Develop a job description along with the student intern before the internship begins.
  • Explain the structure and function of the agency.
  • If available, Provide the student with space within the organization in which to work while doing the practice experience, and include the student in agency and interagency meetings.
  • Introduce the student personnel within the agency and to representatives of other community agencies when relevant.
  • Provide direct guidance and supervision of the student during planned internship activities.
  • Notify the faculty advisor and internship coordinator if any problem arises.
  • Provide a model of professional work habits and attitudes.
  • Maintain periodic contact with the faculty supervisor and student intern. Discuss the student’s progress at least once midway through the internship.
  • Evaluate student performance on the form provided.

As interns, students want to be treated as an integral part of the work team. Characteristics of a successful internship include:

  • An applied, real-world experience that offers professional tasks that relate to the student's field of study
  • Supplies an internship supervisor who is committed to mentoring and providing career advice and constructive feedback
  • Assures that the intern gets an overview of all departments and functions
  • Being part of the "team" (i.e., attend staff meetings, project planning team meetings, etc.)

It depends. The range for stipends or salaries varies widely depending on the organization.  If travel and relocation are involved, students might expect some sort of compensation or stipend. Some organizations have a need for an intern, but are unable to provide a stipend. They normally offer something unique that students cannot find elsewhere.

The Office of Public Health Practice will work with each organization to determine the status of liability and workers compensation coverage.