What are the general expectations for all experiential learning opportunities?
- A structured experience related to a student’s major and/or career goal
- An experience that should enhance a student’s academic, career, and personal development
- Supervised by a professional in the field
- An experience that can be one academic term (summer, spring, fall) or multiple academic terms in length
- Paid or unpaid, part-time or full-time.
- An experience that is mutually agreed upon by the student, supervisor, and Undergraduate Program Office.
How do I get started?
- Identify and secure an experience. For advice, see the FAQ section for each experience.
- Reach an agreement with a supervisor about the expectations of the experience (e.g., hours, activities, etc.)
- Complete application and consult with the Undergraduate Program office. Application forms can be found
Which semester should I complete my experiential learning requirement?
We strongly recommend you complete your experience after taking CPH:2050; however we know that opportunities may arise in your first year and we don’t want you to miss out. The experience may be completed during the academic year (fall or spring semester), during the summer months, and during the winter break. If planning to participate in global learning, the summer months are the most flexible in working with your four-year plan of study.
How do I know if an opportunity is “public health”?
Public health is a very diverse field. Not all opportunities in public health will be labeled with “public health”. Opportunities may be directly or indirectly related to the field. For example, you may find an internship with a county public health department in which you help with disease outbreak investigations or you may find a position in city government in which you support the development of equitable housing policies. If you have a question as to whether or not it is public health enough please speak with someone in the Undergraduate Program Office.
How many semester hours should I register?
In general, students should register for:
- 1 s.h. for 80 hours of activity over the length of the experience
- 2 s.h. for 81-160 hours of activity over the length of the experience
- 3 s.h. for 161 or more hours of activity over the length of the experience
During the fall and spring semester, students should register for:
- 1 s.h. for 5 hours of activity/week (80 hours total)
- 2 s.h. for 6-10 hours of activity/week (81-160 hours total)
- 3 s.h. for 11-15+ hours of activity/week (161 or more hours total)
During the 8-week summer session, students should register for:
- 1 s.h. for 10 hours of activity/week (80 hours total)
- 2 s.h. for 11-20 hours of activity/week (81-160 hours total)
- 3 s.h. for 21-30+ hours of activity/week (161 or more hours total)
Students who are receiving payment for their activity should register for 0 s.h. At a minimum, students should be engaged in 5 hours/week of activity during the fall or spring semester and 10 hours/week of activity during the 8-week summer session.
Can my experience count in two different categories, for example, I’m conducting research outside of the U.S.?
You may only be registered for one experiential learning course in a semester. Please consult with the Undergraduate Program Office about which course is most appropriate.
Can I complete more than one experience before I graduate?
Yes, you can complete as many experiences as you would like, however all you need is one.
Do old experiences count? (high school, prior to joining public health major, forgot to ask for credit/missed deadline)
Unfortunately, prior experiences do not count for experiential learning credit. There are requirements for receiving academic credit, which does not allow us to grant credit retrospectively.
Are scholarships available to help support experiential learning activities?
At this time, there are scholarships available for Global learning. These can be found on the Global Health Funding and Scholarship page.
Where and how do I find internship opportunities?
Diversify your internship search:
- Contacts – get referrals from friends, family, professors, advisers, etc.
- Events – employer information sessions and university fairs.
- Online –employer websites, internship sites, internet keyword searches, etc.
- Create your own – approach an organization you feel passionate about with a proposal stating how you could benefit them and what you could learn from them
- Does the internship involve meaningful work or just menial tasks?
- Does the employer seem committed to providing ongoing supervision and feedback?
- Are you genuinely interested in the internship and do you have time to fully engage in it?
What resources are available at the UI to help me with my internship search?
The UI Pomerantz Career Center is a great place to start your internship search or check out other online databases.
Global Learning FAQ
Where and how do I find global learning opportunities?
- Not sure where to start? Check out the public health major advising page (MAP) on the UI Study Abroad website.
- Visit the Office of Study Abroad
- Meet with the CPH Global Public Health Coordinator- Sophie Switzer, Sophiefirstname.lastname@example.org
- Speak with faculty about your interest in doing independent research abroad.
Are there scholarships available?
At this time there are scholarships available for Global learning. These can be found on the Global Health Funding and Scholarship page: https://www.public-health.uiowa.edu/global-health-funding-and-scholarship/.
What resources are available at CPH to help me with global learning?
What resources are at UI to help me with global learning?
The Office of Study Abroad has counselors available to speak with you about global learning.
Timing? When do I begin my search?
It’s never too early to begin searching for global learning opportunities. Your first steps should be to visit the resource room at the Office of Study Abroad. Begin to think about when you want to go abroad and speak with the Undergraduate Program Office to learn how it will fit into your plan of study.
Do I need to go abroad for global experience?
You do not need to go abroad to obtain global experience. There may be opportunities to work with organizations and participate in community-engaged research with a globally diverse population. Please consult with the Undergraduate Program Office if you find an opportunity.
Would taking classes abroad count as global learning?
Registering for academic courses abroad does not count as global learning. In order to meet the requirements you will need to participate in an internship or research activity with a supervisor. Many programs will offer courses along with an experiential learning component.
Where and how do I find research opportunities?
- Identify four or five faculty members whose research interests you. Visit departmental websites, where faculty will describe their research interests and gather information. Collect journal articles, books, and presentations published by the professors. If possible, attend one of their lectures. Don’t limit yourself to College of Public Health or University of Iowa faculty!
- Contact the faculty members. Write an email or visit them in office hours. Be sure to identify the project and some of the information you have learned about their research. List your year in school, major, and relevant courses you have taken or training you have acquired, if any, and ask to meet to talk more about the project.
- Talk to instructors of your courses, especially those you have enjoyed. Your professors may have opportunities available or may know of faculty looking for undergraduate researchers. Similarly, the teaching assistants in courses you are taking may also know of opportunities where they are doing their undergraduate or graduate research.
What are the differences and similarities between CPH:3999 and CPH:4990?
- Students enrolled in CPH:3999 Undergraduate Research Experience in Public Health will have an opportunity for hands-on involvement in scholarly public health research activities under the supervision of faculty or research staff. Independent student research projects are not an expectation for this course. For more information about the policies and procedures related to CPH:3999, click here.
- Students enrolled in CPH:4990 Mentored Independent Undergraduate Research in Public Health will conduct an independent student research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Undergraduate public health majors who plan to graduate with honors in the major are required to register for this course in order satisfy the honors thesis requirement. This course occurs over two semesters. For more information about the policies and procedures related to CPH:4990, click here.
Do I need prior research experience before starting CPH:3999 or CPH:4990?
- If you have no prior research experience and/or aren’t sure if research is your thing, we’d recommend that you start with CPH:3999 rather than attempting an independent student project in CPH:4990.
- CPH:3999 is not a pre-req for CPH:4990, depending on student readiness and faculty support, a student may not need prior research experience in order to successfully complete the requirements of CPH:4990
I’m interested in doing Honors in the major. What research experience should I register for?
CPH:4990 Mentored Independent Undergraduate Research in Public Health is a requirement to graduate with Honors in the major. CPH:4990 will occur over two semesters. In this course you will complete thesis research.
Service Learning FAQ
Service Learning is sometimes confused for volunteer work. Volunteering focuses more on service than learning. Similarly, service learning is also confused with internships. Internships place emphasis more on the learning than service. Service Learning specifically places emphasis on both service and learning.
Where and how do I find service learning opportunities?
Here are some opportunities our students have used for service learning credit.
- ABRD:3445 India Winterim, India Winterim is an intensive, three-week, field-based program comprised of several individual courses that vary from year to year in locations throughout India.
- CPH:4755 Xicotepec, Interdisciplinary service-learning course to enrich understanding of Mexican culture and history
- LS:1024 Alternative Spring Break, must serve as a coordinator/leader, not a participant only
There are other opportunities out there for you to find. If you discover a service learning course which you feel might count as experiential learning credit please consult with the Undergraduate Program Office.
Can I complete a service learning course outside of UI for credit?
Yes, if you find a service learning course at another institution, please consult with the Undergraduate Program Office.
Can I register for more than 0 s.h.?
Our service learning course, CPH:3750, must be 0 s.h.
Does a course that includes volunteer work at a local organization count as service learning?
This is a possibility. Please consult with the Undergraduate Program Office with the volunteer work you find.