School of Nutrition and Health Promotion

Health Sciences Internship Program

ASU defines an internship as a structured practical experience following a contract or plan, supervised by faculty and practitioners. The purpose of internship courses HSC 484 and HSC 400 is to provide Health Sciences (HSC) students with the opportunity to integrate knowledge, theories, and skills acquired through classroom instruction with the demands and challenges of professional health and wellness practices. Guided by ASU’s definition, internships completed through HSC 484 and HSC 400: are structured (governed by objectives, policies, and procedures) follow a contract or plan (Educational Agreement); and are supervised by faculty (Course Coordinator) and practitioners (Site Supervisors).

Course HSC 484 (or HSC 400) is a graduation requirement for HSC Pre-Professional students, but either course may be completed as an elective course for all other Health Sciences (HSC) students.

Program Objectives

Students will be required to address the following objectives of the course through the completion of assignments and in their individual work performance and professionalism, as demonstrated during the internship:

  1. Apply the knowledge and skills learned in the academic program with actual clients/patients
  2. Expand the knowledge and skills acquired in the academic program
  3. Refine the interpersonal skills and attitudes necessary for effective interaction and communication
  4. Promote the continued development of self-evaluation and problem-solving skills
  5. Facilitate clarification of career objectives
  6. Effectively and efficiently facilitate the transition from the role of students to the role of professional
  7. Network with industry professionals

Prerequisites

HSC 484 Internship (Clinical)

  • Junior status (completion of 56 credits)
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.0

NOTE: Placement in a clinical internship is competitive and not guaranteed. Placement preference is given to those for whom an internship is a degree requirement.

HSC 400 Practicum (Administrative/Programmatic/Non-Clinical)

  • Junior status (completion of 56 credits)
  • Student in good standing (minimum grade point average of 2.0

NOTE: Students who are not pursuing a clinical internship are responsible for finding their own internship experience. Resources can be found below. Students are encouraged to begin searching for an internship at least one semester in advance of when they plan to start it.

Program Requirements

HSC 484 Internship (Clinical)

  • Online application to Pre-Health Internship Program (PHIP)
  • Enrollment in HSC 484 for a minimum of 3 credits (can be 3 or 6 credits)
  • Completion of a minimum of 135 work hours in the internship (or 45 work hours per registered credit). 3 credits = 135 hours; 6 credits = 270 hours.
    • Grading Scale: Y/Z (Pass/Fail)
  • Submission of the following documents:  Educational Agreement (EA), Midterm and Final Evaluations, Student Internship Evaluation, Internship Timesheet, and all course assignments
  • Compliance with Pre-Health Internship Program (PHIP) Student Responsibilities

HSC 400 Practicum (Administrative/Programmatic/Non-Clinical)

  • Enrollment in HSC 400 for a minimum of 3 credits (can be 3 or 6 credits)
  • Completion of a minimum of 135 work hours in the internship (or 45 work hours per registered credit) 3 credits=135 hours; 6 credits=270 hours.
    • Grading Scale: Standard (A-E)
  • Submission of the following documents:  Educational Agreement (EA), Midterm and Final Evaluations, Student Internship Evaluation, Internship Timesheet, and all course assignments
  • Compliance with internship program/course policies and procedures (as outlined in the Student Handbook of Internship Programs)

NOTE: The Educational Agreement (EA) serves as the learning agreement between a student and Site Supervisor. It is an individualized learning agreement, unique to each student. The student and Site Supervisor should work collaboratively to develop the content for the EA, but it is the student’s responsibility to complete and submit the document to the Placement Specialist and/or faculty of record no later than two weeks prior to the internship start date.

Internship Practice Categories

There are three internship practice categories that define the overall scope of services in which students may intern for the course:

  • Administrative (HSC 400)
    An administrative practice experience for an intern would primarily include tasks and projects that focus on the operations or “behind-the-scenes” administrative functions of the organization.  Interns would likely work under the supervision of a department or program executive or manager and complete tasks with departments such as human resources, marketing, finance/budgeting, fundraising, special events planning and coordination, strategic planning, and information systems.
  • Clinical (HSC 484)
    A clinical practice experience occurs when the majority of the intern’s responsibilities involve engaging directly with the organization’s external clients, by assisting, observing, or taking some responsibility of the interaction.  Interns will typically work with or assist clinicians with one or more clients, in a direct care or treatment capacity within clinical practices at medical offices of dentists, physicians, and veterinarians; hospitals, health clinics, holistic and rehabilitation centers.
  • Programmatic (HSC 400)
    Programmatic practice experiences involve internship work with specific programs or projects that directly impact or respond to the organization’s mission, fields of service, or revenue-generating operations that are non-clinical.  Interns usually work directly with external clients who are the end-users or benefactors of the services provided by the organization.  Interns would typically work on projects or programs involving teaching, instructing, or educating individuals or groups; or work in program development, implementation and evaluation.  

Practice Areas

HSC students may choose an internship in an area aligned with career goals and post-graduate aspirations.  Following are practice areas and career fields in which many HSC students elect to complete internships:

HSC 484 (Clinical)

  • Chiropractic Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Homeopathic Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Mental Health
  • Naturopathic Medicine
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Physician Assistants
  • Veterinary Medicine

For a complete list of affiliated internship sites, visit the PHIP Internship Sites Directory

HSC 400 (Administrative/Programmatic/Non-Clinical)

  • Community Health
  • Health Administration
  • Health Coaching
  • Health Education
  • Public Health

For an overview of career fields related to health sciences, visit recruiter.com.

Internship Preparation Checklist

HSC 484 (Clinical)

Recommended time frame/steps for enrollingActivity
Step 1Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your upcoming semester schedule and intentions to pursue a clinical internship. Your advisor will verify that you meet the prerequisites to apply to the Pre-Health Internship Program (minimum 3.0 GPA, Junior or Senior standing).
Step 2Submit an online application to Pre-Health Internship Program (PHIP) 4-5 months prior to the start of the semester you intend to start your internship https://clinicalpartnerships.asu.edu/phip. Make sure that you are specific as to the type of experience you seek, your graduation timeline, and goals.
Step 3Once you apply, you will be contacted by a PHIP Placement Specialist. They will work with you on matching sites and positions available that suit your needs, goals, and potential limitations (in terms of hours, location, etc.). NOTE: Students will be asked to provide a resume and cover letter in a PDF format to Placement Specialist Christina Islas (Christina.Islas@asu.edu).
Step 4Once the PHIP Placement Specialist has verified all requirements have been completed they will contact sites to discuss availability and arrange an interview for you with site staff. NOTE: If you know a site that has already agreed to host you as an intern, please indicate this on your application. The Placement Specialist will work with you to determine site affiliation eligibility.
Step 5If you accept an offer you will work with the Placement Specialist to establish a start date and ensure Health & Safety requirements and onboarding steps are done prior to your start date at the site (e.g. immunizations, CPR training, background checks, etc. vary by site). NOTE: Once you accept an internship you must complete an Educational Agreement (EA) and send to both the Placement Specialist AND the faculty of record for the course to indicate acceptance of the internship.
Step 6Once the onboarding steps are completed you will email your Health Sciences advisor for permission to enroll in the HSC 484: Internship course and CC the Placement Specialist on the e-mail for reference.  
Step 7You will complete your internship hours and any assignments throughout the semester in which you are enrolled.  You will work with the faculty of record for the course for all academic components until your experience is completed and a final grade is recorded.

HSC 400 (Administrative/Programmatic/Non-Clinical)

Recommended time frame/steps for enrollingActivity
6 – 18 monthsResearch career fields and employment opportunities in areas of interest; conduct job shadowing and informational interviews at prospective internship sites to learn about career paths and job functions.
6 – 12 monthsResearch various organizations and apply to their respective internship opportunities using tools such as
3 monthsIf applicable submit a Petition to Affiliate a New Internship Site; this petition is required for any student seeking to intern with an organization that is not currently affiliated with ASU.
2 – 6 monthsAccept internship offer and decline offers as applicable and/or withdraw applications.
2 – 3 monthsRegister for HSC 400: Practicum on your assigned course registration date.
1 – 2 monthsComplete and submit an Educational Agreement (EA) via Blackboard for the course no later than two weeks prior to the internship start date.
2 weeksBegin working in the internship no earlier than two weeks prior to the start of the semester. You have until week five of the semester to begin your internship. Students may not begin working in an internship until they have submitted and had approved an EA.

Contact Information

For more information or questions about clinical site placement please contact the PHIP Internship Placement Specialists Christina Islas (Christina.Islas@asu.edu) or Julie Vo (Julie.Vo@asu.edu).

For more information about the HSC internship course requirements and non-clinical site opportunities, please contact Christina Barth (Christina.Barth@asu.edu).