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The MPH program requires all students to engage in an internship experience to provide training intended to benefit their professional development goals and career interests. This experience meets the CEPH accreditation requirement for an applied practical experience. The internship must occur in a professional, community-based public health organization or setting. The Public Health Internship provides opportunities for students to acquire hands-on, practical experience and allows them to implement the skills and professional knowledge learned in courses in tackling real-world public health challenges. Students thoughtfully review the options for internship sites that include non-profit agencies, state or local health department sites, and organizations conducting service trips to select the organization best suited for their interests. Following are examples of organizations working with VCU MPH student interns.
Here are a few student comments about the value of the public health internship:
"[From my work at the Richmond City Health District], I realized that even local public health organizations function at every level—from organizing the smallest of community events to adhering to the most sweeping of national guidelines. Every outreach worker is just as integral as any health director, because each provides an essential service to populations in need and promotes health. I have discovered the importance of networking and maintaining healthy community partnerships—very few programs are able to function in a bubble."
"My experience interning at the Virginia Department of Health has been very educational and enlightening. I have been able to gain a deep understanding of how governmental agencies interact with one another, the importance of data in governmental actions and policy-making decisions, and I have learned about the specific hierarchies of state government agencies."
"My supervisors have . . . allowed me to grow as a leader and explore many facets of developing a non-profit organization based in public health. My experience . . .with the Richmond Global Health Alliance has confirmed my career choice to pursue public health and medicine in an international setting. The skills that I have gained during my internship are essential to what I want to do with my career in the future."
Please note that the internship program is available only to students enrolled in the MPH program. We are unable to help non-program students find internship placements.