Santa Clara University

Public Health Science




The internship experience is intended to help students gain practical experience and apply their education to real-world problems.  PHS majors must devote at least 100 hours to an internship. Internships are typically with organizations outside SCU such as in public health departments, health clinics, community health agencies, or non-profit organizations.


Internship Process:

1.  Successfully complete PHSC 1.
2.  Identify possible internship opportunities. There are many ways to do this – search online, use the SCU Career Center, utilize personal/family 
/faculty connections, etc. We highly recommend joining the “SCU Public Health” group on LinkedIn, as many internship announcements are posted there.
3.  Discuss options with any Public Health Science faculty member (currently: Stephens, Ruscetti, Saxton, Hauff, or Chyu) to determine whether the internship is appropriate for the PHS major.  Once it is determined that a PHS faculty member has approved your internship, have him/her sign off on your filled out internship form (see below).
4.  Scan and submit internship form to for director's signature PRIOR TO THE START OF YOUR INTERNSHIP. You will receive confirmation of receipt by email.
5.  Complete the internship (minimum of 100 hours).
6.  Have your internship supervisor email to confirm that you have completed 100 hours.
7.  Complete reflection essay and turn in to You will receive confirmation by email.


Internship Criteria


To fulfill the PHS major requirements, the internship experience must meet the following criteria:

  • The work must be relevant to understanding and/or improving human health, health care delivery, health education, or health policy.
  • Internship activities must include opportunities for active engagement and intellectual creativity.  Passive observation or repetitive tasks are not usually sufficient.
  • Internship activities must provide insight into human health at the community or population level. Working with health care providers dealing with individual patients is not usually sufficient.  You and your mentor must make a conscience effort to broaden insights gained from clinical experience to the community and population level. 
  • Supervisors of interns must have appropriate training and expertise.  
  • You must participate in internship activities for a minimum of 100 hours.
  • You may receive course credit for your internship if it is unpaid or as part of an abroad program in Public Health.  Course credit must be arranged IN ADVANCE (PHSC198) with the PHS program staff (Drs. Stephens or Ruscetti).  Course credit for summer internships requires enrollment and tuition.

Santa Clara University Food & Agribusiness Institute

The Food & Agribusiness Institute’s “Real Cost of a Healthy Meal” project is a long-term study started in 2011. Interns will research the ability of low-income individuals to purchase “healthy” foods by USDA guidelines with their food stamp allotments through interviews, diet analysis and food cost surveys. The internship will not only allow interns to improve their understanding of the links between public policy, economics, health and social justice, but it will also influence their ability to communicate, increase their working knowledge of Excel, and expose them to database software. Also, it is a paid internship!

here is a link for more information