What Kind of Internships Are Available to Someone Pursing a Degree in Health Science?

Health Science InternshipsThe health sciences field includes a wide range of degree programs and careers from surgeons to hospital administrators. One opportunity in health science that each area benefits from are internships. Whether required as part of a degree or certification program, or simply to gain experience in the field, internships provide valuable hands-on learning opportunities for those looking to pursue a degree in health science.


Medicine is one of the most common emphasis areas in health science. It includes positions like physician, nurse, chiropractor and medical assistant. The potential internships are just as varied as the positions in medicine. Students in these degree tracks can find internships in private and public hospitals, research centers, public clinics, physician’s offices and anywhere else that provides medical services to the public. Internships can also be found in nationally recognized organizations, such as the Mayo Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Public Health

Public health graduates include those focusing on environmental and occupational health, epidemiology, toxicology and welfare services. Like medicine, internships in public health can be found in most hospitals and clinics. Internships are also possible with government and regulatory agencies and public health institutions, especially for those looking to work in epidemiology and toxicology. Most cities provide internships in their local public health departments working in outreach, awareness, community coalitions and emergency response. For welfare service opportunities check with local non-profit and social service agencies that offer outreach, medical or educational services.

Clinical Laboratory

Internships in clinical laboratory sciences take students behind the scenes of the hospital and private labs that test various bodily substances for signs of abnormalities or diseases. Opportunities are available for those training to become cytotechnologists, histological technologists, medical laboratory technicians and medical technologists. Additional areas to look for internships in laboratory health sciences include blood banks, plasma centers and drug testing facilities.


Engineering is an area of public health that often gets overlooked, but provides many internship opportunities working with cutting edge technology. Those who focus their engineering degree on health subjects can find internships in research facilities and laboratories that develop and service equipment like pacemakers, lasers for surgery, bioelectrical investigations and even radiation and other medical therapies. Additional opportunities are available with information technology companies that create and service health-related software programs.


Hospitals, clinics and skilled nursing facilities require administrative professionals to keep services running. Most facilities open both intern and volunteer positions to help students and new graduates gain experience. Often these facilities end up recruiting interns for permanent positions. Examples of internships include personnel services, executive leadership, financial management, health information technology, and marketing and labor relations. Many internships allow students to cycle through different administrative areas of hospitals or clinics, providing hands-on learning in a wide range of departments.

Additional Resource: Working in Hospital Administration with a Degree in Health Science

When looking for a health science internship, start with the resources at your college or university. Many schools have connections and partnerships with hospitals and health organizations both in your area and nationally. Larger health organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, also maintain online listings for internships along with applications and contact information.