The MPH program requires all students to engage in an internship experience to provide training intended to benefit their professional development goals and career interests. The internship must occur in a professional, community-based public health organization or setting. The Public Health Internship provides opportunities for students to acquire hands-on, practical experience and allows them to implement the skills and professional knowledge learned in courses in tackling real-world public health challenges. Students thoughtfully review the options for internship sites that include non-profit agencies, state or local health department sites, and organizations conducting service trips to select the organization best suited for their interests. Following is a full list of organizations working with VCU MPH student interns.
- American Cancer Society
- American Heart Association
- The Arthritis Foundation
- ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation
- Communities in Schools
- The Daily Planet
- Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
- Greater Richmond Fit4Kids
- Greater Richmond YMCA
- Institute for Public Health Innovation
- International Rescue Committee
- Richmond Ambulance Authority
- Richmond Behavioral Health Authority
- Richmond Global Health Alliance
- Tricycle Gardens
- Virginia Department of Health Central and local health district offices
- Virginia Healthcare Foundation
- Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority
In addition, these VCU organizations and units work with MPH interns:
- Honduras Outreach Medical Brigada Relief Effort (HOMBRE) and Global Health and Health Disparities Program
- VCU Center on Society and Health
- The Wellness Resource Center
"I learned a lot from my time at the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation. Most importantly, through my project assignment, I learned about the value of program evaluation and the importance of building substantive evaluation processes into public health programs during the planning and implementation phases . . . . I also learned that although quantifiable evaluation and outcomes are important, much of the work that ASK does has impact on children and their families that go far beyond statistical analysis."
"[From my work at the Richmond City Health District], I realized that even local public health organizations function at every level—from organizing the smallest of community events to adhering to the most sweeping of national guidelines. Every outreach worker is just as integral as any health director, because each provides an essential service to populations in need and promotes health. I have discovered the importance of networking and maintaining healthy community partnerships—very few programs are able to function in a bubble."
"My experience interning at the Virginia Department of Health has been very educational and enlightening. I have been able to gain a deep understanding of how governmental agencies interact with one another, the importance of data in governmental actions and policy-making decisions, and I have learned about the specific hierarchies of state government agencies."
"My supervisors have . . . allowed me to grow as a leader and explore many facets of developing a non-profit organization based in public health. My experience . . .with the Richmond Global Health Alliance has confirmed my career choice to pursue public health and medicine in an international setting. The skills that I have gained during my internship are essential to what I want to do with my career in the future."