Internship Program Information for Students
The Department of Health Sciences and Administration offers internship guidance and opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate level students interested in gaining professional experience in the healthcare industry. Emphasis is placed on skills in the following fields: healthcare administration, public health administration, and allied health.
Participating in an internship is a great journey of professional self-discovery. An internship will provide students with hands-on experience in the healthcare industry and exposure to key elements in this environment.
- Senior Status
- Health Sciences Majors--Specialization in Healthcare Administration or Public Health
- GPA 2.5 or above
- Approval from the Internship Coordinator
- Must be able to pay for and pass a required background and drug screening
Time Requirements for an Internship
Students have one semester to meet the following hour requirements on site with their internship:
|120 hours||180 hours|
The Internship Course
In addition to completing an internship, students are required to complete the online companion course (HSA 4941 Internship in Healthcare Administration). The goal of this class is to develop and understand a certain set of skills that will increase professional competencies in the following areas:
- Networking and Relationship Building
- Understanding Healthcare Industry Sectors
- Adhering to Organizational Norms/Culture
- Professional Communication
- Interpersonal Communication
- Receiving Criticism in the Workplace
- Conflict Resolution in the Workplace
- Online Professional Presentation of Self
- Professional Development
Students are graded on a "Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory" (S/U) basis. A "U" counts as 0.0 grade points (same as an "F") while an "S" has no impact in the calculations of your GPA.
Securing an Internship
Internship opportunities should be identified at least 8 weeks before the beginning of a semester. The Internship Coordinator will work closely with you to identify potential internships and develop a plan of action. Students are also permitted to identify their own internships, but must get approval from the Internship Coordinator.
Application Process for Internships
The internship application process should begin no less than 8 weeks before the beginning of the semester in which the internship will take place. This allows students time to work closely with the Internship Coordinator to ensure that they are considering their professional goals when selecting an internship. Follow these steps:
- Contact your Academic Advisor to determine your eligibility (senior status and 2.5 GPA).
- Develop your goals for the internship experience. Ask yourself these questions: What do I want to learn and experience? Do I want to learn a particular skill? What knowledge do I want to acquire? What sector of healthcare do I want to know more about? How will an internship advance my future career goals? How will an internship "fit" in my degree program?
- Set up an appointment with your Internship Coordinator the semester before you are interested in completing an internship to submit your current resume and to discuss internship opportunities. Be prepared to discuss the type of questions suggested above.
- Once approved for an internship by your advisor and the Internship Coordinator, please register for the HSA4941 Internship in Healthcare Administration course.
Frequently Asked Questions for Students
I have no idea where to start. Help!
Take a big deep breath. Your dedicated Internship Coordinator and Advisor are here to help you on your internship journey. You are not expected to go at this alone, we promise. Students are encouraged to start thinking about internships as soon as they find out if it is a requirement. Your first step is to contact your advisor to determine your eligibility. Ask yourself these questions: Are you a senior? What kind of organizations interest you? Is there a particular sector of the healthcare field you want to learn more about? After you meet with your Advisor, your Internship Coordinator will contact you to begin the process.
Am I required to complete an internship?
It depends. All students enrolled in the Healthcare Administration track starting in the Fall of 2016 and beyond are required to complete an internship. If you were enrolled in this track before Fall of 2016, you are more than welcome to complete an internship! However, you are not required to do so. Students in the Public Health track are also not required to do an internship, but can do so if they so wish! The more interns the merrier.
Do I have to live in Pensacola?
Students are not required to be located in the Pensacola area in order to complete an internship. If you are not located in Pensacola, you are encouraged to identify organizations in your own area in order to assist the Internship Coordinator with placement. Students will work closely with the Internship Coordinator to identify and secure the best internship for each student.
Where do students intern?
Students in our department intern in many different sectors of healthcare. Internship opportunities exist at hospitals, private practices, independent medical facilities, insurance offices, mental healthcare facilities, governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, and other areas in the field. Try to think about what kind of location will help you achieve your professional goals.
Do I receive academic credit for completing an internship?
Absolutely! Completing the internship satisfies the HSA 4941 course requirement for all students enrolled in the Healthcare Administration track from the Fall 2016 catalog and beyond. If you were enrolled before Fall 2016, you will receive 3 credit hours that will be classified as a higher level elective. As stated in the application instructions, students are required to meet with their advisor to determine their eligibility and how the credits will factor into their degree.
Can I complete an internship before I am a Senior?
Students are encouraged to wait until their senior year to complete an internship. In the event that your internship site loves your hard work and dedication and offers you a job, you do not want to look them in the eye and say, “I have to go back to school.” Most employers will not hold that position until your graduation. This is why your senior year is the best time to complete an internship. If they love you, they can hire you!
Do I have to have previous experience in healthcare to participate in an internship?
While previous experience in a field is never a bad thing, remember that an internship is a learning experience. You are not required to have worked in the field at all. For many of you, this might be your first exposure to the industry.
I do not want to complete an internship. What do I do?
Why on Earth not?! An internship is an excellent way to network, learn more about your field, and gain experience. If you are required to complete an internship but had not factored that into your plan, look at this as a happy surprise. You get to leave your program with an education and experience. If you're having doubts, contact your Advisor and Internship Coordinator. They can be pretty persuasive.