All MPH students in the SOPH are required to complete a minimum of three (3) credit hours in an internship experience (PUH/HB/EPI/HCO/ENH 697). The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), our accrediting body, requires that the internship provides an opportunity for each public health student to develop skills in basic health concepts and demonstrate the application of these concepts through a practice experience that is relevant to the students' areas of specialization.  The internship is a practice-based (rather than administrative or research) experience; therefore, the student experience is required to include opportunities to engage with other professionals and to participate in activities that will advance their public health career potential.  Each internship placement is different, but all depend upon the ability of the student to work with minimal supervision.

The internship experience must be appropriately planned, supervised, and evaluated.  Each student undertaking an internship must acquire permission of the student's SOPH advisor and the on-site preceptor/supervisor.  Students are only allowed to complete internships for academic credit.  You must be registered for PUH/HB/EPI/HCO/ENH 697 during the time the internship is being completed.  A minimum of 180 contact hours is required for the MPH internships, however a student's preceptor can require that a student complete additional hours. MPH students should have completed all public health core courses before registering for an internship.  Usually, this means that students must wait until their third semester to complete the internship. 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 preceptor's evaluation and the student's final products.  All internships are graded on a Pass/No Pass basis.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS (complete prior to registration)

The student is responsible for the completion and submission of the "UAB School of Public Health Internship Description and Agreement Form." This is an electronic form which is completed by the student and approved by the preceptor and faculty advisor through InternTrack, the UAB School of Public Health's internship tracking 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.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS (submitted prior to the completion of the internship)

The following final products are required for all MPH students upon completion of their internship:

  • Student Midpoint Meeting Form
  • Preceptor's Midpoint and Final Evaluation of Student
  • 5-page minimum paper on the internship experience
  • Poster and attendance at poster presentation
  • Any other deliverables and products as determined by site and preceptor 

More information on the final products can be found in the syllabus for the internship course.  The final paper and poster should be submitted via InternTrack.  Students should contact the Internship Coordinator in the Office of Student Services for the 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.


For students completing an international internship, you must register with Education Abroad for the UAB Faculty-Led Program: PUH/ENH/EPI/HB/HCO 697 in Various Locations Program. When you reach the program description, click "Apply Now". When selecting UAB faculty member responsible, select your faculty advisor at UAB SOPH. 


NOTE TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: According to university policy, international students must complete additional requirements for the International Student and Scholar Services office before beginning their internship. Students must apply for Curricular Practical Training ("CPT") by completing the steps listed in the F-1 curricular practical training document here.  The Office of Public Health Practice will complete the academic letter.   


Prior to registration, students should consult with their program coordinator to determine optimal times for completing their internships. All 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.


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 preceptor should complete the mid-point meeting evaluation via the InternTrack System.  The student should set up a time to meet with your preceptor and faculty advisor to review this information.  The both the internship preceptor 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.  Students should follow the instructions on the Poster Requirements page when creating their poster. You will receive additional instructions and details regarding the poster session prior to the event. Attendance is mandatory, as it is a required component to the internship experience.  Failure to attend (or late arrival) without permission from the Internship Coordinator will result in a No Pass grade for the internship course. This poster should also be uploaded to InternTrack prior to the due date (exact date announced by Internship Coordinator).

Alternative Option:  Limited exceptions will be made for students still completing their internships out of the state or internationally, completing their residency program at the time of the poster session, or cannot attend due to medical reasons.  Eligible students may submit a request for an alternative poster option through the Alternative Internship Poster Presentation Request in InternTrack (link available in InternTrack). This form must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the internship poster session. Completion of the form does not guarantee permission to complete the alternative option. If approved, students will create an electronic version of their poster using the template provided on the Poster Requirements page. This poster does not have to be professionally printed, but should be uploaded to InternTrack prior to the due date. 

In addition, students granted an alternative option are required to record a video of themselves presenting their poster as if attending the poster session. The video should be at least 3 minutes in length. In the video, the student should provide an overview of their hosting organization, relevance to public health, their role in the project, the impact of the work they completed, lessons learned, and how it relates to the course material learned during the MPH program including MPH foundational and departmental competencies. The video should be uploaded as an unlisted video onto YouTube. Students will include the link to their poster video when submitting their poster in InternTrack. To see ideas on how to present the material, watch some of the past MPH Student Poster Presentations. Student videos can be recorded through a camera or phone. 


All students must complete a written assignment and poster at the end of the practicum. The purpose of the assignment is to have the student reflect on the practice experience. This is an opportunity for the student to describe what was done, what was learned, and to place the experiences within the context of the organization, the community and the MPH program. The student should think creatively about his/her contribution to the profession and the professional value of the placement. The final paper must be submitted through InternTrack during the last week of class (the internship coordinator will give you the actual date). HOWEVER, a student's internship faculty advisor may request an earlier deadline to review the paper before final submission. Please consult with your internship faculty advisor for specific deadlines. See the Paper Requirements page for more details. 


Both the student and the internship preceptor 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.


  • Check with your department’s program coordinator for any special department/program requirements
  • Consult with your faculty internship advisor
  • Identify an internship site 
  • Apply for the internship opportunity through Hire A Blazer or on your own
  • Complete and submit “UAB School of Public Health Internship Description and Agreement” via InternTrack
  • Obtain electronic approval of your agreement from your internship faculty advisor and preceptor 
  • If necessary, complete and submit IRB Approval Form
  • If international student, complete and submit appropriate form to the International Scholar and Student Services Office
  • If traveling abroad, register with Education Abroad
  • Register for the appropriate 3-hour course
  • Formally check in with your preceptor and faculty advisor during a mid-point meeting approximately halfway through the internship
  • Submit evaluation forms and final products, paper, and poster before the last day of class during the semester registered for the internship via InternTrack
  • Attend poster session 
  • Complete any additional final product(s) requested by the internship site