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Undergraduate Programs


Students on an internship

The public health program offers numerous opportunities for real-world experience supervised by both community and faculty mentors.


April 2020

During this time of disruption, many students have questions about internships, job market after senior year, or graduate school processes in the current place we find ourselves.  To help student, faculty, staff, alum, friends and employers The Greene Center for Career Education & Connections is hosting a "Ask Me Anything" weekly webinar with the Greene Center director, Joe Testani.  These "AMA's with Joe" will be held over zoom and will be every Wednesday @ 12:15 from now until graduation.  This opportunity will allow all who want to check in once or trace the changes from week to week.

Please note that we are asking individuals to register ahead of time and there is the capability to register for more than one date at once. Space is limit! Registration link: 

Dates for the AMA's with Joe:

  • April 15, 12:15pm-1pm
  • April 22, 12:15pm-1pm - with special guest, Christine Cruzvergara, VP Higher Education & Student Success at Handshake
  • April 29, 12:15-1pm
  • May 6, 12:15-1pm
  • May 13, 12:15pm-1pm

Additionally, check out the website with updated virtual information, services, resources to guide students, faculty & staff, and supporting constituents during this time at


Community Engagement Internship for Public Health Students (PHLT 397W)

This course, offered in both the fall and the spring semesters, is an opportunity available to juniors and seniors who have declared their major in public health.  

PHLT 397W gives students a mentored community project under the auspices and supervision of a University faculty member and community agency in Rochester, NY, working with an under-served population on an identified area of health promotion.

Students spend eight hours per week working at their community site. A weekly seminar led by multiple faculty members gives academic support to the internship. Admission to the course is by application only. Applications are accepted the Wednesday after fall break and the Wednesday after spring break.
***For the Spring 2020 semester: the Fall 2020 PHLT 397W application deadline has been extended until April 17, 2020.***


Peer Health Advocate Internship (PHLT 394A)* - new beginning in fall 2018

This course is a 2.0 credit course that is offered in both the fall and the spring semesters. It is available to students who have successfully completed PHLT 216 'Peer Health Advocacy' (spring) and have applied to the program. Admission to the course is by application only

PHLT 394A provides a setting in which students bring together what they have learned in PHLT 216 to further develop their skills as Peer Health Advocates (PHA). Requirements include one 75-minute class per week plus 60 hours of field work per semester as a PHA in the UHS Health Promotion Office. Students will utilize their knowledge of behavior change theory (Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, Health Belief Model, etc.) and public health planning frameworks (LOGIC model, Socio- Ecological Model, MAP-IT, etc.) to work on a variety of health promotion programs on campus. Topics will focus on: alcohol and other drugs, relationships and sex, mental wellness, nutrition and physical activity. Upon completion of this internship, students will develop a comprehensive online portfolio to showcase their project work to future graduate schools and employers.

Washington Semester Internship (PHLT 394C)* - new beginning in 2018

This opportunity is offered in conjuction with The Washington Center. For more information about the program and the application process, please visit the Rochester Center for Community Leadership (RCCL) Admission to the course is by application only

Health Department Internship (PHLT 394D)* - new beginning in fall 2018

This course, offered in both the fall and the spring semesters, is an opportunity available to juniors and seniors who have declared their major in public health.  

PHLT 394D provides selected students with the opportunity to work with either the Monroe County Department of Public Health or the Genesee and Orleans Departments of Public Healthin a supervised and structured experience.

Admission to the course is by application only.

Summer Field Schools

The public health program offers mentored field experiences at two different mountain sites. At these sites, students can explore health challenges that affect mountain communities, such as:

  • High-altitude stress
  • Long distances to markets
  • Isolation in the winter
  • Short growing seasons
  • A fragile eco-system vulnerable to natural disasters (e.g., landslides and floods)

More recently, mountain communities have also faced a surge in tourism with its own set of benefits and risks, including increased drug and alcohol use and further stress on mountain ecologies. 

Mountain Health Field School—Ladakh, India

This mentored field experience takes place over three to four weeks during the summer in a Himalayan region of north India. Rochester students team up with a faculty mentor to work with the local Ladakh health department, hospital, and community-based organizations in support of tobacco control. 

Students gain skills and experience in:

  • Community engagement
  • Participant-observation
  • Interviewing
  • Survey research
  • Analytics and presentations back to stakeholder groups

Upon their return to the US, students often continue to work together on conference presentations of their summer work.

Mountain Health Field School—Borca di Cadore, Italy

This mentored field experience takes place over three to four weeks during the summer in a small village in the Italian Dolomites, 100 kilometers north of Venice. Working closely with local residents and leaders, we use traditional anthropological tools of participant-observation, in-depth interviewing, focus groups, mapping, and surveys to identify village assets and challenges in meeting the health and wellness needs of its residents. All findings are shared with the villagers before our departure.

Independent Study at a Rochester Community Agency

Students can develop individual work plans with input from a faculty mentor who has a relationship with local Rochester agencies. In recent years, students have worked with the department of social work at Strong Memorial Hospital and with Planned Parenthood of Rochester.