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Internships at DPH

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) offers internships for undergraduate, masters and doctoral level students. The majority of these internships are unpaid.

There are four separate internship programs which places volunteers and graduate students in local and regional health departments throughout Massachusetts as well as within DPH.

  • The Student Experience Program (SEP) offers valuable work experience at DPH directly related to the students’ academic field of study year-round.
  • The Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps, which places volunteers with local boards of health year-round.
  • The DPH Local Health Internship Program, which places graduate students with local boards of health during the summer.
  • The Public Health Policy and Clinical Fellow, which places a medical student with the Commissioner’s Office.

Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps - Volunteer Opportunities

The Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps (APHVC) is a program of the Massachusetts Academic Health Department Consortium (AHD) formed at the request of the Baker-Polito Administration and the COVID Command Center in March 2020. The APHVC enlists volunteers to augment and promote local public health in Massachusetts.

APHVC volunteers are paired directly with local boards of health, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, or public health affiliated organizations in Massachusetts to support a variety of community level projects related to: Health Communication, Social Media Development and Management, Community Outreach, Translation Services, Data Analysis and Presentation, Policy and Protocols, and Mobilizing and Supporting Partnerships.

These are just a few of the volunteer roles:

General Volunteer Requirements

  • Volunteers must be affiliated with one of the APHVCs thirteen partner institutions as any of the following:
    • Undergraduate student
    • Graduate student
    • Alumni
    • Staff/Faculty

A more detailed list of APHVC volunteer services can be found here.

Student Experience Program (SEP)

The student experience is an unpaid or short-term paid program which offers valuable work experience at DPH directly related to the students’ academic field of study. It is expected that students performing unpaid work are earning course credit or receive credit for meeting a course requirement. Please email DPH HR with questions about the Student Experience Program.

General Program Requirements

In order to qualify, the student must be:

  • At least the minimum age required by federal, state or local laws and employment standards;
  • A U.S. citizen, or appropriate employment authorization documentation;
  • A student enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student;
  • Able to produce a letter of verification from your educational institution showing proof of enrollment.

Public Health Policy and Clinical Fellow

Download the description and application details: DPH Public Health Policy and Clinical Fellow

DPH is currently seeking applications for January/February 2021 or May/June 2021.

Local Health Internship Program – Summer Only

The DPH Division of Epidemiology and Immunization has hosted the Local Health Internship Program since 2004, annually placing up to 35 public health student interns in local, regional, and state health departments throughout Massachusetts. The goal of the program is to provide graduate public health students with the opportunity to supplement their classroom education by gaining an understanding of the critical role of local health departments, and to support local health departments in undertaking and completing public health projects.

Selected students work on a wide range of topical projects at the local level including environmental health, substance abuse, communicable disease case investigation, needs assessments, emergency preparedness, health education, data entry/analysis, and health policy. Accepted students have access to mentors at the state and local level and are offered the opportunity to spend time shadowing epidemiologists and health educators with various DPH programs (Infectious Disease, Substance Abuse, Global Health, Environmental Health, etc.).

The program concludes with a final session where the students’ summer projects are showcased via poster and oral presentations. Students must commit to a minimum of 160 hours during the summer (Estimated time frame: Late May to Mid-August). This is an unpaid internship.

Local Health Internship Program Seasonal Timeline

January & February Local Boards of Health (LBOHs) design project proposals and submit to DPH an official application requesting to host an intern for the coming summer
Mid/Late February DPH posts a comprehensive listing of approved internship vacancies and instructions for public health student applicants.
Mid-March Student Internship Applications are Due
Late March Student Match Week
Late May Student Intern Orientation and Program Commencement
June & July DPH Shadowing Opportunities Available
End of July Student Project Abstracts Due
Mid-August Closing Session/Final Projects Presentation

The formal student application will be posted late February of each year and includes specific deadlines/timelines. View the most recent year’s application and internship descriptions.

Please contact Hillary Johnson for additional information on the Local Health Internship Program.

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