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​Internship Opportunities

Are you currently enrolled at a college/university or professional training program and interested in practical experience in public health? The Department of Health has internship opportunities throughout the department that will allow you to apply your classroom experience to real-world public health issues and enhance your educational experience. Internships are only available in Harrisburg, unless otherwise specified.    

How do I apply?

We are transitioning to posting our available public health internship opportunities on the Commonwealth's Internship webpage at  You can browse and find opportunities which closely align to your educational goals.  Click on the title to learn more and apply.  If you have questions regarding an internship opportunity, view the posting for the hiring agency's contact information. Please be sure to check this page regularly for new opportunities that arise.  

Types of Internships

Internships are grouped into six areas.  Please see the six internship profiles below to better understand the types of internship opportunities available.  On your application you will need to select the type of internship for which you are applying.  You may select more than one on your application.

  1. Public Health – Quantitative Emphasis;
  2. Public Health – Qualitative Emphasis;
  3. Health Policy, Legislation and Administration;
  4. Health Care and Quality Assurance;
  5. Technology; and
  6. Press and Digital Communications.

Within the first week of starting an internship, the supervisor and the intern will establish the student's project and goals for the internship.  The intern's work will align with the internship profile and the student's knowledge and skills.

Profile 1:  Public Health – Quantitative Emphasis

An intern could expect to participate in surveillance activities, collect data and analyze data.  He or she would be expected to use his/her knowledge of epidemiology and statistics to interpret data and make recommendations to address public health issues.  Additionally, the student should be able to interpret findings from epidemiological studies, including recognition of data limitations, bias and confounding.  These activities would be used to produce a deliverable, usually a written report.  Interns who wish to pursue a career as a state epidemiologist, a public health physician or a laboratory director may be interested in this emphasis.  

Desired Skillsets:

  • use of data analysis software (STATA, SAS, SUDANN, SPSS, R);
  • descriptive and inferential statistical analysis;
  • data interpretation;
  • ability to present data graphically;
  • literature reviews;
  • knowledge of epidemiological methods;
  • knowledge of study design; and
  • communication skills – oral and written.

Suggested Majors:

  • Biology;
  • Biostatistics/statistics;
  • Chemistry;
  • Computer Science;
  • Environmental Science;
  • Epidemiology;
  • Health Informatics;
  • Mathematics; or
  • Public Health

Profile 2:  Public Health – Qualitative Emphasis

An intern in this position could expect to engage with stakeholders, facilitate focus groups, evaluate programs, perform community health assessments, write grants, develop questionnaires/surveys and create logic models.  These activities would be used to produce a deliverable, usually a written report.  Examples include a report analyzing the results of the focus groups, a program evaluation or questionnaire/survey.  An intern may also be asked to work on public health education initiatives and produce materials such as brochures, posters or web content.  Interns who are interested in pursuing a career as a community health educator, a public health program manager or a grant writer may be interested in this emphasis.

Desired Skillsets:

  • effective interpersonal skills;
  • communication skills – oral and written;
  • organizational skills;
  • computer skills (Microsoft Office);
  • data collection;
  • focus group experiences;
  • interviewing (phone and in person);
  • questionnaire/survey development;
  • data interpretation;
  • descriptive statistical analysis;
  • program evaluation;
  • logic model; and
  • grant writing.

Suggested Majors

  • Behavioral and Community Health;
  • Business;
  • Communications;
  • Emergency Management/EMS;
  • English;
  • Health Administration;
  • Health Education;
  • Marketing;
  • Nursing;
  • Nutrition/Dietetics;
  • Psychology;
  • Public Health;
  • Social Work; or
  • Sociology.

Profile 3:  Health Policy, Legislation and Administration

An intern in this position could expect to perform reviews of previous regulations/policies, evaluate those regulations/policies and research possible updates.  You would be tracking legislation that impacts the Department of Health as it moves through the Pennsylvania legislature.  Interns may be asked to research health issues related to newly passed legislation and assist in the implementation of parts of that legislation.  They may provide administrative coordination for projects related to department operations.  Interns who are interested in pursuing a career as a lawyer, a policy director or hospital administrator may be interested in this emphasis.

Desired Skillsets:

  • effective interpersonal skills;
  • communication skills – oral and written;
  • analytical skills;
  • research skills;
  • problem solving;
  • knowledge of health policy issues;
  • policy analysis;
  • legislative analysis;
  • computer skills (Microsoft Office); and
  • organizational skills.

Suggested Majors:

  • Business Administration;
  • Health Administration;
  • Health Management;
  • Policy;
  • Political Science;
  • Pre-Law;
  • Public Administration; or
  • Public Health.

Profile 4:  Health care and Quality Assurance

An intern in the position could expect to perform literature reviews related to health care facility safety and regulations, analyze data regarding regulatory compliance and CMS standards, and make recommendations to the department based on these findings.  An intern in this position could expect to coordinate projects designed to move the quality of healthcare in the state forward, such as a report of the health care workforce needs of the commonwealth.  Interns who are interested in pursuing a career as a hospital physician, a hospital administrator or a community health nurse may be interested in this emphasis.

Desired Skillsets:

  • analytical skills;
  • communication skills – oral and written;
  • critical thinking;
  • literature review;
  • knowledge of  health care system or clinical background that provides direct;
  • patient care experience;
  • computer skills (Microsoft Office); and
  • organizational skills.
Suggested Majors:
  •  Business:  Economics;  Administration; or Management
  •  Counseling;
  •  English;
  •  Health Management;
  •  Health Administration;
  •  Nursing;
  •  Nutrition/Dietetics;
  •  Pre-Med;
  •  Psychology;
  •  Public Administration; or
  •  Social Work.

Profile 5:  Technology

An intern in the position could expect to perform duties associated with the customer support and operations, including work with databases, Help Desk, servers, networks, telecom, desktop and security.  An intern would be expected to attend meetings and provide input on project ideas.  This intern may develop software packages for deployment, as well as develop software collection queries.  This intern may create PC hardware images and documentation/process for image development.  An intern would use their skills to help maintain system security and telecommunication networks.  They may review websites to ensure optimal performance.  Interns who are interested in pursuing a career as a network administrator, information technology manager, applications developer or a database analyst may be interested in this emphasis.

Desired Skillset

  • analytical skills;
  • coding:  HTML, JavaScript, PowerShell, Microsoft .Net, Visual Basic .Net, C#;
  • communication skills – oral and written;
  • computer skills:  Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Cisco, LINUX, UNIX, VMWare;
  • database:  Oracle, SQL Server, SQL Server Integration Services(SSIS), SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS);
  • critical thinking;
  • customer service;
  • organizational skills;
  • process analysis;
  • project management; and
  • system administration.
Suggested Majors:
  • Computer Science;
  • Information Science;
  • Network Administration;
  • Software Engineering;
  • Systems Engineering; or
  • Telecommunications.

Profile 6:  Press and Digital Communicationse

An intern in the position could expect to assist in the writing of press releases, media advisories, briefing documents, social media content and talking points.  An intern may also help to coordinate press events and communications for reporters.  This intern may help develop web content, marketing materials for department initiatives and graphics for published materials.  Interns who are interested in pursuing a career in media relations as a public relations officer, communications director, marketing director or digital director would be appropriate.

Desired Skillset:
  • communication skills – oral, written and presentations;
  • interpersonal skills;
  • analytical skills;
  • critical thinking;
  • problem solving skills;
  • marketing;
  • knowledge/interest in public health; research and fact-finding skills;
  • knowledge of current affairs;
  • AP Style;
  • grammar;
  • social media;
  • website design;
  • graphic design;
  • computer skills:  InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, SharePoint, WordPress, HTML, CSS, Java Script, Microsoft Office; and
  • copywriting.
Suggested Majors:
  • Public Relations;
  • Journalism;
  • Communications;
  • Graphic Design;
  • Marketing; or
  • English

Other Commonwealth Internship and Fellowship Opportunities

Commonwealth Public Service Intern

This internship is a paid, six-month internship, which provides a flexible pathway for college students to advance from this internship program to commonwealth employment in a variety of occupations.  Following successful completion of this program, students may be promoted to a full-time, permanent position.
To qualify, students must be currently enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited bachelor's degree program and have satisfactory completion of 65 credits, including 12 credits (or a minimum of four courses) in their major field of study.  They also need authorization from their school to participate in this program.   
Most positions will be in the Harrisburg area (Dauphin County); however, there will be select opportunities available throughout the state.
Available Commonwealth Public Service Intern opportunities will be posted on the Commonwealth's Internship webpage at
Questions regarding this program can be directed to or 717-214-4649.

William Penn Fellowship

The William Penn Fellowship is a highly competitive two-year program open to individuals with a master's degree and a passion for public service.  One of the 10 fellows accepted will work with the department on emerging public health issues.  If you are passionate about public health and public service, we encourage you to apply.


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