Host an intern

Host an intern

Public Health Undergraduate Internships

Thank you so much for your interest in hosting an undergraduate Public Health intern! We are very grateful for community partnerships and the beneficial learning experiences they provide students.

If you would like to host an intern, below are the 10 Steps to Hosting an Undergraduate Public Health Intern!

1. Hosting an intern: site or student initiated

Site Initiated: Develop a position description.  Here is a template that can be used a guide.  Send the position description to the Undergraduate Public Health Internship Coordinator, Dr. Karen Elliott at [email protected] to send out on the listserv for students to apply to and follow the steps below.

Student initiated: If a student contacts an organization about an internship, follow the steps below.

2. Double check organization's requirements for an intern

Before offering an internship to a student, please double check the organization's requirements ( affiliation agreements background check, drug testing, internship format, etc.). Make sure to communicate this to the student and let them know if they are responsible for the cost and the expected timeline.

New affiliation agreements

We do not require an affiliation agreement for a Public Health undergraduate internship.  If the organization requires one, creating a new affiliation agreement requires collaborating with the Procurement and Contract Services Office on campus. Due to the volume of affiliation agreements that this office is responsible for, please allow several weeks to months, depending on complexity.

An affiliation agreement can be established with a site that would like to establish a partnership and host interns regularly. We are unable to do one time only affiliation agreements for a student. An affiliation agreement would need to be a partnership that has opportunities regularly available for students to apply to. 

Background Checks

It is not OSU policy to perform background checks on all OSU students, and OSU does not certify or vouch for the background of the students who participate in this internship.

Accordingly, you must conduct your own background check or require the student to obtain a background check, if you would like to determine fitness for duty using that information.

3. Identify an internship preceptor

The site should have designated at least one preceptor to the student during the entire internship process that is available to sign paperwork, meet with the student and provide mentorship and feedback on work projects. It is common for sites to have two preceptors for the student. If the internship has orientations, onboarding procedures, that is communicated to the student by the preceptor.

To be a preceptor, it requires at least a relevant Bachelor's degree, and the person must be employed with the organization (not a volunteer) and not be related to the student.

4. Provide relevant projects

Make sure the internship activities fit with either Health Management and Policy, Health Promotion and Health Behavior. The Internship Requirement Checklist has appropriate projects listed for each.

5. Provide workspace if on site

It is the responsibility of the site to provide the student with workspace and expectations of the work schedule and office related policies if the internship is on site.  

6. Provide 180 hours or 360 hours within a ten week academic term

Internships can be 252-360 hours in one term or 126-180 hours in two terms.

These hours can include the student attending staff meetings, engaging in professional development opportunities, attending relevant committee meetings, conferences, workshops, etc.

7. Meet regularly with the student

The preceptor can meet regularly with the student through email, phone, and in person. The preceptor and student can discuss regular meeting times to receive input and discuss activities.

8. Provide feedback to the student

Most students will be seeking employment after their internship and it is vital that they receive ongoing feedback regarding their performance, skills, and projects.

9. Complete paperwork by the deadlines

Complete the paperwork before and throughout the term with the student by the designated deadlines listed on the forms. The organization/agency and student agree to the internship responsibilities and activities as detailed in the Internship Manual.  The paperwork to be completed, in which the student will provide to the preceptor, includes:

Learning Agreement:  completed by Week 8 the term before the internship

Learning Competency Form:  completed by Week 2 of the internship term

Midway Progress Report:  completed by Week 5 of the internship term

Final Evaluation:  completed by Week 11 of the internship term

10. Contact the undergraduate public health internship coordinator with any questions!

The Undergraduate Public Health Internship Coordinator, Dr. Karen Elliott, is available throughout the process to meet, answer questions, and do virtual or in person site visits (depending on geographic location).  Contact information is: [email protected]