Capstone Experience

All undergraduate students in the Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) program are required to complete a capstone experience. This experience varies depending upon the student's interest area and is usually completed near the final year of the program. While students are encouraged to participate in other work, research, or field experience opportunities such as internships when they are sophomores or first semester juniors, earning credit for the capstone requirement is limited to the student's last 3 semesters before completing their degree requirements. This allows the student to integrate more classroom learning during the Capstone.

Students must enroll in the appropriate course to prepare them for the Public Health Capstone Experience:

Honors students enroll in Public Health 3180E
All other students enroll in Public Health 3180

Students will learn critical elements of the public health practice and research and will have professional development opportunities to prepare them for the workplace and to apply to graduate school.

Honors Capstone Options

Honors students must complete an Honors Capstone Project, and are required to complete an Honors Capstone Project Application before beginning their Capstone work. The three choices of capstones are:

  • Public Health  4999.01H - Senior Honors Thesis                                         
  • Public Health 3189.XXE - Honors Field Experience (Study Abroad)
  • Public Health 3191E - Honors Undergraduate Internship

All other students may choose their capstone from the following:

  • Public Health 3191 - Internship
  • Public Health 3999 - Undergraduate Capstone Research in Public Health
  • Public Health 3189.01, 3189.02, 3189.03, 3189.04  - Field Experience in Public Health (Education Abroad)

Capstone program information

Each capstone program option is described in more detail below:

Public Health Internship
The 120 hour internship experience is meant to provide public health students the opportunity to build upon their public health coursework and to apply public health principles to experiences outside of the classroom Additionally, students will execute four of the 5 steps of Effective Career Planning through various career-related activities.  

Concluding the Internship
After completing a capstone internship, students should be able to:

  • Describe newly acquired knowledge in one or more specific public health areas
  • Integrate classroom knowledge into a work environment
  • Refine BSPH competencies through skills obtained during the internship
  • Describe the 5 steps of effective career planning and development and demonstrate examples of activities accomplished for each of the first four steps.

Capstone Internship FAQ's

When can I complete the Capstone Internship Experience?
Students that have completed the majority of the Core Public Health undergraduate courses and are entering their senior year are eligible to complete the Capstone Internship Experience.

How do I sign up for the capstone internship?
Students should first meet with an advisor to ensure they are eligible to sign up for a capstone internship. After selecting a capstone internship, students must complete the Internship Agreement form and submit it to OAPSS Career Services staff for approval. After the internship site and activities has been approved, the internship will be added to the student's schedule.

Faculty mentors will supervise students participating in internships for credit through enrollment in Public Health 3191. This faculty member is responsible for course instruction and coordinating internship experiences for the period of time covered by the internship. The site supervisor is the person assigned by the cooperating organization (e.g., schools, agencies, etc.) that will be on site during the internship and accepts responsibility for ensuring that internship objectives are met and that the intern's performance is evaluated accordingly.

  • How is the internship managed?
    The internship is managed through CARMEN. Students will attend some in-class sessions.

How do I find an Internship?

  • Handshake, a comprehensive, web-based career services management platform for sourcing, engaging, and hiring College of Public Health students for jobs, internships, and practicum opportunities
  • Student Newsletter
  • Public Health organization websites may list internships in their careers section
  • Meet with the BSPH career advisor who manages BSPH Internships by calling 614-292-8350

Internship Opportunities and Previous Internship sites (pdf)

Field Experience in Public Health (Education Abroad)

This course is a public health related study abroad field experience. See specific course syllabi for learning objectives. Various Public Health sponsored field experiences are offered each year and are coordinated with the Office of International Affairs Education Abroad program.