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University of Texas at Austin Public Health Internship Programs


Summer Internship in Brownsville, TX on Texas-Mexico Border Health: Public health majors have the opportunity to conduct advanced "border health" research projects with graduate school faculty at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus. 

Public Health Internships with Texas State Health Agencies: In the fall or spring semesters, we offer an internship program in conjunction with the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS), the Austin Travis County Health and Human Services Department (ATCHHSD) and the UT School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus (UTSPH). This collaborative program gives undergraduate student public health students the opportunity to explore careers in epidemiology and public health laboratory science. Students conduct goal-oriented, one-semester research projects in epidemiology, laboratory science or field biology under the mentorship of state and local public health scientists. 


Program Impact

The Public Health Internship Programs have provided students with a capstone experience to their undergraduate education. These real-world experiences in public health have influenced their career choices and have been instrumental in their acceptance into graduate schools of public health and to employment in the public health workforce in Texas.

The research projects conducted by UT Austin public health interns have assisted public health scientists in their mission to protect the health of the citizens of Texas. Student interns have contributed to the development of new laboratory methodologies and to the collection and assessment of information related to the incidence and epidemiology of infectious diseases. Areas of research have included bioterrorism preparedness, the link between tuberculosis and diabetes along the Texas-Mexico border, prevention of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Texas high school athletes, the development of new laboratory tests to screen Texas newborns for metabolic disorders, and environmental studies of Texas coastal waters.


What students are saying about the Public Health Internship Programs:

“This internship has been the single most interesting and rewarding thing I have done in my four years at the University of Texas. Coming into the project, I knew almost nothing of molecular biology laboratory procedures or theory. However, that changed on the first day in the lab. Dr. Tanksley has since served as a fantastic teacher and mentor, helping me every step of the way and ensuring the success of this project. I feel like this project has made a positive difference not only in my life, but also in the lives of all those who are affected by the disease galactosemia as well as the families and doctors of those patients." 
"This opportunity has been crucial to my undergraduate experience for it has confirmed my interest in epidemiology. As an undergraduate there are few options to explore the field of public health. I feared my lack of real-world experience would be a hindrance, in regards to my acceptance into a graduate program and my confidence in choosing the right career. I have been accepted into several top schools of public health with scholarship offers from all but one. I will be attending Harvard School of Public health this coming fall, where I have been awarded a Goldsmith Fellowship. I am confident that my acceptances and fellowships are due to my involvement in the public health internship program."
"This was an extremely rewarding experience for me. I was able to experience life as close to a public health professional as I can get without formal training. I was able to conduct a research project which I felt I have direct control of the design and implementation. The professional mentor to whom I was assigned provided guidance throughout the project. This project has raised my level of professionalism."
"The people I met and the experiences I lived have become memorable and of great benefit both personally and professionally. The positive feedback received from the people at TDSHS left me with a desire to continue in the field."