About the HCC Summer Internship Program

1. How long are the summer health internships and when do they start?

Internships are ten (10) consecutive week full-time placements that run from late May through early-September. The start dates are contingent upon the availability of the intern and the host organization. However, interns must attend initial orientation and all HCC programming.

Internships in New England, New York/New Jersey, Washington D.C., Northern California, and the Central California Valley typically start at the end of May and early June.

Southern California and Coachella Valley internships typically start the second or third week of June.

The summer program and orientation dates will be communicated to you once you have received final placement.

2. What do interns do during the summer health internship?

The primary focus of HCC’s summer health internship program is to provide students with exposure and work experience in public health and healthcare related settings. Interns will work on meaningful projects throughout the summer under the guidance of a preceptor.

Projects vary by organization, but may include topical areas such as, but not limited to: health promotion/ education, community organizing, finance/accounting, policy analysis/ advocacy, research, quality improvement.

3. Which geographic regions does HCC provide summer internship in?

HCC offers internships in eight (9) major regions:

Intern Benefits

4. How much do interns get paid?

Interns are paid stipends that range from $3,000 – $4,000 for completing the ten (10) week, full-time consecutive summer internship. The stipend amount is dependant on what the host organizations are able to provide.

HCC intern stipends are meant to provide support for students to be able to complete an educational internship experience. They are meant to help cover costs of tuition and fees, books, housing and transportation expenses.

In addition, we encourage students to pursue work-study funds, if available, from their academic institution. Please see question #5 for details, as instructions for pursuing work-study are identical to those for academic credit.

5. Can I get academic credit for my summer health internship?

HCC can support students who would like to receive academic credit for their summer health internship. All HCC interns must obtain and present all necessary documents to HCC prior to the internship to accommodate any adjustments necessary to meet the requirements of the credit-granting institution.

6. Do interns get jobs at the end of the summer health internship?

Many HCC interns are hired on a full-time, part-time, or on a volunteer basis upon completion of their summer health internship. This is not guaranteed, and the decision is the sole discretion of the placement organization.


7. Who is eligible to apply?

HCC’s summer health internships are designed for undergraduate students and recent graduates wishing to gain work experience in public health and healthcare related settings. While majority of HCC interns are college juniors, seniors or recent graduates, we also consider sophomores and freshmen that demonstrate a commitment to community and diversity and interest in public health and/or health care, with demonstrable academic achievement, maturity and prior work experience. Students from all academic disciplines may apply!

HCC does not provide internships for students enrolled in graduate programs.

International students are also able to apply; however, HCC and its sponsoring organizations cannot provide any documentation or support for immigration-related purposes (such as sponsorship or for work-visas). It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain appropriate permissions and fulfill any governmental requirements.

8. I am an international student studying in the United States. Can I apply?

You must be able to legally work in the United States to be eligible for the internship. If your Visa allows you to receive a stipend, you would qualify. You should check with your school’s student services or financial aid office. Let them know that the internship is an educational and training experience (as opposed to a salary for work performed) and the stipend is for that purpose, which can make a difference.

9. I am studying abroad during the interview process. Does this mean I cannot apply?

While HCC tries to accommodate students studying abroad as much as possible, not being available for an in-person interview does impact the selection and placement process. HCC has a strong preference for a face-to-face interview as do most host organization sites.

If a student’s qualifications and interests are aligned with that of a host organization, HCC may make an exception and conduct a phone or Skype interview. HCC staff will coordinate the interview with candidate, who will incur any related charges.

Please note in your personal statement that you are studying abroad during the interview process.

Also, please see question 11 below.

10. Can I study for the MCAT during the internship? Can I take summer school classes during the internship?

Taking summer school classes, studying for standardized tests (such as MCAT or GRE), or assuming any other paid or voluntary positions during the internship period are not allowed. Doing so, inhibits interns from fulling engaging in their internship and HCC’s comprehensive programming. Please inform us if you have needs or plans to do this in your application and in the initial interview if you are selected.

Application, Selection, and Placement process

11. How do the application, selection and placement process work?

The application deadline for the 2016 summer internship program is December 7, 2016. HCC staff will then review the applications and select a number of candidates for in-person interviews. Candidates who are not selected to interview will not be contacted. After in-person interviews are conducted, finalists are then selected to move forward to interview with potential host site organizations. Final placements are made by HCC staff and are based on placement site availability and feedback. Efforts are made to finalize placements as soon as possible. Read details on our Selection Process page.

12. What are the criteria for intern selection?

HCC applies a comprehensive review and thoughtful consideration of an applicant’s qualifications and background.

Some key factors considered are:

  • Demonstrated interest and commitment to a healthcare and/or public health career including but not limited to health management, policy, public health, community health, health disparities and health education.
  • Strong interest in addressing the health needs of underserved communities.
  • Statement of Purpose content and quality, which follows the guidelines listed in the prompt
  • Articulated reason and rationale for interest in healthcare and/or public health and level of motivation
  • Health or public health-related course work
  • Overall grade point average (GPA) and GPA in health-related coursework
  • Ability to work full time during the internship for 10 consecutive weeks
  • Personal background (such as racial/ethnic identity, first to attend college, financial barriers etc.)
  • Language skills, cultural and community knowledge relevant to potential internship placements
  • Prior academic and/or professional experiences relevant to the applicant’s understanding and motivation to pursue a career in the health professions
  • Writing, quantitative, computer and other skills that can be applied to internship projects
  • Feasibility of prompt placement in selected geography and transportation-related factors
  • Potential fit with expectations of internship placement organizations and HCC
  • Professionalism and maturity sufficient to be successful in the internship


Visit our Selection Process page for more information.

13. How does being bi or multilingual help an applicant? Is speaking another language a requirement to be offered an internship?

Generally, language proficiency, other than English, is not required. However, many of our host organizations work in communities and have projects where knowing a specific language is important in being able to work with their target populations and other stakeholders. In these cases, they request or may give preference to students who can communicate in a language aligned with their needs. Common languages requested by host organizations include: Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Tagalog, Russian, Cambodian, Hmong and Vietnamese. If you can speak and/or write in these or other languages and dialects you should mention this in your application.

14. In what types of public health and/or healthcare organizations are interns placed?

HCC places interns in leading and highly reputable:

Hospitals and Health Systems

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Community Health Clinics
  • Public Health Departments
  • Community-based Organizations
  • Medical Groups
  • Policy & Advocacy organizations
  • Health Pipeline Programs

15. What organizations have HCC interns been placed at in Northern California?

The following is a sample list of organizations and their locations:

  • Alta Bates Summit Medical Center – Berkeley and Oakland
  • Alameda County Public Health Department – Oakland
  • Asian Health Services – Oakland
  • California Medical Association Foundation – Sacramento
  • California Primary Care Association – Sacramento
  • Ethnic Health Institute – Oakland
  • Glide Health Clinic – San Francisco
  • Kaiser Permanente – San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Clara, San Jose, Fremont
  • La Clinica de la Raza – Oakland
  • Life Long Medical Clinic – Berkeley
  • Ravenswood Family Health Center – East Palo Alto
  • San Francisco General Hospital – San Francisco
  • Sam Mateo Medical Center – San Mateo
  • Sutter Health – San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Rosa
  • UCSF Medical Center – San Francisco

16. What organizations have HCC interns been placed at in Southern California?

The following is a sample list of organizations and their locations:

  • Alta Med Health Services – Los Angeles
  • Brotherhood Crusade – Los Angeles
  • Harbor UCLA Medical Center
  • Inland Empire Health Plan – Inland Empire
  • Kaiser Permanente – Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire
  • La Maestro Family Clinic – San Diego
  • Latino Health Access – Santa Ana
  • Latino Health Collaborative – Inland Empire/San Bernardino
  • Molina Healthcare of California – Long Beach
  • Northeast Valley Health Corporation – San Fernando
  • Providence Holy Cross Medical Center – Pasadena
  • Reach Out West End – Upland
  • Riverside Community Hospital – Inland Empire/Riverside
  • South Central Family Health Center – East Los Angeles
  • White Memorial Medical Center

17. What organizations have HCC interns been placed at in Central California Valley?

  • California Health Professions Consortium Doctor’s Academy – Fresno
  • Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program – Fresno
  • Central Valley Health Policy Institute
  • Clinica Sierra Vista – Fresno
  • Community Regional Medical Center – Fresno
  • Fresno County Department of Health
  • Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries/Hmong Health Collaborative
  • Golden Valley
  • HCAP – Healthy Communities Access Project
  • Madera County Health Department
  • Saint Agnes Medical Center
  • San Joaquin County Public Health Services Stockton Chronic Disease Obesity

18. What organizations have HCC interns been placed at in Coachella Valley California?

Organizations that have hosted HCC Coachella Valley Interns include:

  • Angel View
  • Borrego Community Health Center
  • City of Coachella Planning Department
  • Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, Pathways Program, Health Council
  • Eisenhower Medical Center
  • Riverside County Health Department, Palm Springs
  • UC Riverside School of Medicine

HCC will work with its partners to expand Coachella Valley sites and opportunities.

19. What organizations have HCC interns been placed at in New England?

The following is a sample list of organizations and their locations:

  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Boston
  • Brookside Community Health Center – Jamaica Plain
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute – Boston
  • Faulkner Hospital – Jamaica Plain
  • Greater Boston Interfaith Organization – Boston
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Clinica Esperanza- Providence
  • John Snow, Inc.- Boston
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement- Boston

20. What organizations have HCC interns been placed at in New York & New Jersey?

The following is a sample list of organizations and their locations:

  • Bellevue Hospital – Manhattan
  • Montefiore Medical Center – Bronx
  • Montefiore- Care Management Company – Yonkers
  • Saint Barnabas Hospital – Livingston, New Jersey


21. Does HCC provide housing or transportation?

HCC does not provide housing or transportation in the city of your placement.

22. How do we go about finding housing?

HCC does not provide housing or transportation. We suggest you look into affordable housing through summer sublets, college campus housing, or rooming with other HCC interns. HCC encourages utilizing online resources such as Craigslist to make arrangements. Alternatively, HCC interns often choose to stay with friends or family who live in the area of the final placement site.