Undergraduate Internship Rules and Procedures

Students majoring in public health have the option to earn credit for an internship or professional work experience through the course CPH:4850 Undergraduate Public Health Internship. Students must register for CPH:4850 on MyUI and pay tuition and fees based upon the number of credit hours (0-3) earned.  The course can be used to fulfill the experiential learning requirement, and the course can be repeated.

The internship experience must be related to the practice of public health and can take place at both traditional and non-traditional public health settings. Emphasis is placed on demonstrating an awareness of how student’s activities and projects are part of a larger public health context. In general, research experiences will not count toward internship credit.

To qualify as an approved experience for CPH:4850, the position does not have to be labeled “internship.” Many part-time jobs, volunteer opportunities, or even summer jobs can qualify as a meaningful experiential learning activity. The position might also be advertised as a practicum or co-op. The ultimate decision regarding whether or not a specific internship activity meets the criteria of this course is made by the CPH Undergraduate Program Office.

To be eligible for registration and enrollment, students should:

  • be a public health major in the College of Public Health
  • be in good academic standing as defined by the College of Public Health
  • have completed CPH:2050 Second Year Undergraduate Public Health Seminar (strongly recommended, but not required)

To receive credit within the College of Public Health, the proposed internship experience must align with the following definition of an internship. “An internship is:

  • A structured work 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.”

If the internship experience proposed by the student is not related to the practice of public health, other options for registered for academic credit are available through the Pomerantz Career Center. See careers.uiowa.edu for further information about registering for academic credit through the Pomerantz Career Center.

Registration for academic credit:

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 internship activity should register for 0 s.h. At a minimum, students should be engaged in 5 hours/week of internship activity during the fall or spring semester and 10 hours/week of internship activity during the 8-week summer session.

The following steps should be completed prior to requesting permission to register:

  1. Identify internship opportunities
  2. The student should share this CPH4850 Information Sheet for Supervisors with the internship supervisor which details the College of Public Health’s expectations for the internship supervisor.
  3. Prior to committing to an internship, the student and the internship supervisor should develop an agreement about the following items related to the internship activity:
    • Start and end dates for the internship
    • The duties and responsibilities of the student, including the completion of any training that may be required prior to the start of or during the internship activity
    • Whether or not the student will be receiving payment or other compensation for their work
    • The estimated amount of time to be devoted each week to the internship.
    • Other items as determined by the internship supervisor
  4. Prior to committing to an internship, the student should speak with the CPH undergraduate academic advisor – Kim Klinedinst(kimberly-klinedinst@uiowa.edu) to determine whether or not the internship will count toward the experiential learning degree requirement.

In order to request permission to register for CPH:4850, students should:

  1. Complete an online application or a paper application form that requests information about the internship experience and asks students to describe how the specific internship experience will contribute to their overall educational goals and/or career aspirations.
  2. Obtain a signature from the internship supervisor on the application form and/or attach a signed internship offer letter or email from the supervisor in lieu of a signature.
  3. Submit the application form to the CPH undergraduate academic advisor – Kim Klinedinst(kimberly-klinedinst@uiowa.edu), CPH Student Services.
  4. The application form will be circulated for signatures from the (1) CPH undergraduate academic advisor and (2) CPH undergraduate program director. All signatures must be obtained prior to receiving permission to register.

In addition to completing the internship experience as agreed upon by the student and the internship supervisor, the student must also fulfill the following requirements for CPH:4850 Public Health Internship:

  • The student will complete an early-term (during the third week) and end-of-term self-assessment. Online forms will be provided by the Undergraduate Program Office.
  • The internship supervisor will complete an early-term check-in (during the third week) and end-of-term semester evaluation of the student’s performance. Online forms will be provided by the Undergraduate Program Office.
  • When the internship experience is completed, the student must submit a final written report to the Undergraduate Program Office. The report should include a summary of the activities in which the student was involved and demonstration of how the activity contributed to student’s education and/or career goals. The Undergraduate Program Office will provide further guidance related to the required components and formatting of this report.
  • Present at an oral or poster presentation in a venue approved by the Undergraduate Program Office.

General Expectations of the Student

The student will:

  • Identify and secure an internship
  • Reach an agreement with the internship supervisor about the expectations of the internship experience (e.g., start/end dates, hours per week, duties and responsibilities, compensation, etc.)
  • Meet the requirements for course registration (as outlined above)
  • Complete all training as required and prior to/during the internship activity
  • Perform the required work as agreed upon with the internship supervisor
  • Be responsible for completing all course requirements in a timely manner (as outlined above)

General Expectations of the Internship Supervisor

The internship supervisor will:

  • Be available to their undergraduate interns, answer their questions, and treat them with respect and fairness
  • Work with the student to establish the expectations of the internship experience
  • Oversee the student’s internship experience
  • Provide an early-term check-in (typically during the third week of an academic term) and end-of-term evaluation of student performance.

Questions or comments? Contact Margaret Chorazy. This page was last reviewed on March 27, 2019.