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Student Internship and Volunteer Opportunities

Welcome to the Tennessee Department of Health’s internship, volunteer and job shadow opportunities page.

Below you will find a link to apply for placement. Assisting the Department of Health (TDH) in understanding what you would like to learn helps us identify the best opportunity available to you. If we find that your interests and our needs align, we will contact you to discuss placement. Please note, all applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of placement. 

Please note: any requests for internship, job shadowing or mentoring opportunities are only accepted via our email address at internships.health@tn.gov.

Types of Placements

We offer diverse experiences for in-state and out-of-state students:

  • Internship for academic credit (unpaid; academic credits earned; not course related)
  • Volunteer internship (unpaid; no academic credits earned)

Placement Procedures & Orientation

Interns will be notified if an interview is needed. They will receive word of their acceptance and placement at least two weeks prior to the start of their experience. An orientation will be conducted once onsite.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.       How long are the internships? The fall internship is August-December; the spring internship is January-April; and the summer internship is June-August. Interns can work 10-15 weeks.

2.       How many hours can I complete with an internship? Most interns complete 200-500 hours by working part time or full time.

3.       How is the internship structured? Depending on the program’s requirements and our office’s needs, interns can complete their experience by working at a minimum two days per week, and up to full time. In submitting your application, please be specific about your time constraints.

4.       Does TDH offer paid internships? At this time, TDH only offers unpaid internships, with the option to earn course credit with their institution.

5.       What areas of TDH take interns? Interns have worked in various offices of TDH including Family Health and Wellness, Informatics and Analytics, Communications and Media Relations, Health Policy, and Communicable and Environmental Diseases and Emergency Preparedness, just to name a few.

6.        What if I need to complete a clinical practicum for my nursing program? Clinical practicums are handled a bit differently. We utilize current affiliation agreements with several Tennessee schools and Western Kentucky University to provide opportunities to these students. We are not currently establishing any affiliation agreements with additional colleges outside the state of Tennessee at this time. If interested in a clinical practicum, please email internships.health@tn.gov and we will connect you with the office that organizes clinical practicums.

7.       Can I do my internship on the weekends or work remotely? In order to gain the full internship experience, interns are required to complete their work onsite Monday – Friday between the hours of 8:00am – 4:30pm.

8.       What else will I get to do in as an intern with TDH? We provide our interns with a variety of experiences within the Department of Health, including field trips to the State Laboratory, a local county health department, the State Capital, etc.

9.       I don’t live in Nashville. Can I still intern with TDH? Yes! We offer internships at our seven regional offices, many of our local county health departments, and at our central office in Nashville.

10.       Does TDH offer housing for interns who move for an internship? At this time, TDH does not offer housing for interns, but some offices can give recommendations based on the area.

11.   If I intern with TDH, will I get hired by TDH for a job? While completing an internship with TDH does not entitle the intern to a job, many interns have gone on to work for TDH.

12.   I just graduated from a bachelor’s/master’s program but don’t know what I want to do in public health; does TDH offer something for me? Yes! Our Commissioner’s Fellowship is a one-year paid position for recent graduates to help them hone their interests in public health while working throughout the department. For more information, click here.

13.  Does my school and program qualify for an internship with the Tennessee Department of Health? Click here to view a list of current affiliation agreements between universities/colleges and the Tennessee Department of Health. If your school and program are not listed, please contact Internships.Health@tn.gov as soon as possible to begin the affiliation agreement application process.

14.  We are not currently accepting internship applications. Please check back in January 2021 for our summer 2021 application.

15. What are the internship application deadlines?

Summer: March 1 (not currently accepting applications)
Fall: June 1 (not currently accepting applications)
Spring: October 1 (not currently accepting applications)

16.   What if I have a question that’s not answered here? Please email internships.health@tn.gov.

An Internship with the State of Tennessee does not entitle the intern to a job at the end of the internship.