Information For Current Students

Public Health Internships

The Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health at Western Washington University requires majors to complete a full quarter internship of 400 hours. The internship occurs during the Summer after required Public health coursework is completed. This is, generally, the Summer quarter after Senior year of coursework. Students will usually graduate at the completion of their internship. 

We are fortunate to have many local and regional agencies participating in the placement of Western's Public Health majors. The majority of opportunities are in the Puget Sound area, especially Seattle and nearby communities. It also is possible for majors to intern out of state or country. These placements require considerable effort on the student's part in identifying and establishing contact with such potential sites and then receiving approval. 

How many credits/hours is an Internship? 

Internship (HLED 470) is a 12 credit course. The internship extends for ten weeks with a 40 hour work week as the recommended work week. 

The Internship is completed during one quarter; it is not divided into several credits one quarter and then the remaining the next quarter. 

Setting up an internship experience

Public Health faculty will guide students in setting up a placement during the Winter quarter of their senior year in the Professional Preparation Seminar (HLED 430). If students have identified a particular internship of interest or are wanting to complete their internship internationally, they must communicate with faculty advisors before the Winter quarter of their Senior year. 

Example sites where students have recently interned: 

  • Lummi Nation Health Center, Bellingham 
  • Evergreen AIDS Foundation, Bellingham 
  • Slum Doctor Programme, Bellingham 
  • Peace Health/St. Joseph Hospital (throughout the state) 
  • Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood, Bellingham 
  • Community Schools Coalition, Tukwila 
  • United General Hospital, Sedro Woolley 
  • Skagit Valley Hospital, Mt. Vernon 
  • Skookum Kids, Bellingham  
  • Swedish Medical Center -- Patient/Family Education and Community Health, Seattle 
  • Swedish Cancer Institute, Seattle 
  • SeaMar Community Health Center 
  • Whatcom County Health Department 
  • Snohomish County Health Department 
  • Skagit County Health Department 
  • Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department 
  • Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department 
  • Washington State Department of Health 
  • World Vision 
  • ProWorld -- Mexico and Peru 
  • Kaloleni Integrated Anti-AIDS Community-Based Organization -- Kisumu, Kenya 
  • Organizacion de Rescate Infantil (ORI) -- Ecuador 

Please contact for a complete list of internship sites and descriptions. 


Certification Exam Information

Becoming a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)

Students who complete the B.S. in Public Health with the Behavioral and Community Health (BCH) concentration are eligible and encouraged to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam, a professional credential based on skills and competencies identified by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.

Becoming a Certified in Public Health (CPH) professional

Another credentialing option for Public Health Majors (either under the BCH or GPH concentration) is the CPH exam.