5 Internships in the Public Health Sector

Internships can open the door to a host of interesting careers in the public health sector. Students in public health programs can find internships with such organizations as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Red Cross, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Public Health Association (APHA). Completing an internship gives you the chance to apply academic knowledge to real-life situations in your chosen branch of service in the public health sector.

Public Relations

An internship in public relations or outreach connects you with the general population through a variety of channels. You may help to design, write and deliver press materials about health polices or current health issues. These materials require research that must then be translated into language the public can understand and use to make better decisions about their health or develop stronger local health initiatives. Another facet of public relations involves working with local health-related groups to inform them and help them improve the services that they provide to people in the community.


Education internships take outreach one step further to give people the tools that they need to utilize the constant stream of new health information. You may work with organizations to implement onsite health programs to better serve employees and clients in their personal health journeys. There are also internships available that involve educating people about specific health conditions with the goal of improving awareness regarding issues that are often misunderstood. If you're passionate about showing others how to better their health, this type of internship will help you achieve that goal.

Mental Health

Mental health is an important niche in the field of public health that has been drawing more attention in recent years. Being an intern in this branch of the industry means learning how to navigate the necessary administrative processes and adhere to current standards. By assisting with different aspects of patient care, you gain a greater understanding of how various mental health conditions affect people's lives and what mental health issues look like in the "real world." This hands-on experience prepares you to deliver useful and compassionate care to your own patients in the future.


With the ever-growing popularity of social media, branding and advertising are just as important in the public health sector as they are for businesses. Marketing interns may be involved in:

  • Writing blog content
  • Creating and developing websites
  • Designing and implementing ad campaigns
  • Managing social media
  • Managing customer relationships
  • Creating print materials
  • Tracking campaign analytics

These duties serve to keep the public health industry visible to the individuals, businesses and groups that are looking for health information and products. An internship in this area is a good choice if you're a fan of working with design, computers and statistics.


Students with a mind for facts and figures can do well in research internships. New health research is being conducted all of the time, and the professionals running these studies need help collecting information, interpreting results and presenting the subsequent conclusions to the public. You should be able to find a research internship in just about any branch of public health. The information you gather as you assist in research projects will take you beyond your school studies to a much deeper understanding of your chosen topic.

Every internship has its own application requirements, so be sure to read all the information before applying. Look for an internship that will serve you well on your chosen career path, and you'll be one step closer to getting the job of your dreams.

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