Public Health & Social Policy Track

I had such a rewarding experience in this program! The classes were enjoyable and related to my field, and my internship was exactly what I was hoping to do. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my summer!


With the Boston Dispensary - established in 1796 as the first permanent medical facility in New England—began a tradition of medical excellence in Boston. Today, the city has a wealth of pioneering hospitals, institutes, and universities, and the health care industry is one of the largest and fastest growing segments of Boston's economy.

On the Public Health & Social Policy track, you'll gain valuable knowledge in health education and policy while pursuing an internship at a local non-profit, social service agency, counseling or mentoring organization, or health provider.

Summer 1: The Academic Phase

You'll spend your first six weeks of the Summer Study Internship Program taking two 4-credit courses chosen from offerings in public health and social policy.

Courses listed below were offered last summer and can be used as an example of the types of courses offered for this track. The 2018 Summer Study Internship Program course options will be posted on January 15, 2018.

  • CAS AN 210 Medical Anthropology
  • CAS AN 260 Sex and Gender in Anthropological Perspective
  • CAS EC 387 Introduction to Health Economics
  • CAS PS 234 Psychology of Learning
  • CAS PS 241 Developmental Psychology
  • CAS PS 333 Drugs and Behavior
  • CAS PS 371 Abnormal Psychology
  • CAS SO 100 Principles in Sociology
  • CAS SO 215 Sociology of Health Care
  • CAS SO 240 Sexuality and Social Life
  • CAS SO 244 Urban Sociology
  • SAR HS 325 Introduction to Global Health
  • SAR HS 342 Exercise Physiology
  • SAR HS 440 Qualitative Research Strategies in Global Health

Summer 2: The Internship Phase

For the second six weeks of the program, you'll be placed as an intern in a Boston-area organization or business that matches your interests and experience. You should expect to work five days a week for a minimum of 35 hours. Most internships are unpaid.

Public Health & Social Policy Internship Opportunities

Internship placement sites in past years have included health care organizations, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, counseling services, and social service providers and policy institutes.

Internship Placement

  • Internship placement for 35 hours a week
  • Internship matches are based on your interests, abilities, and experience, as well as employer and industry norms (Please note: Opportunities with direct client contact are limited and may be a relatively small portion of the internship experience.)
  • All internship sites are accessible by public transportation
  • Visit our Placement Process page for additional information

Summer Study Internship Course

The Summer Study Internship Program's 2-credit Internship Course meets on Friday mornings throughout Summer 1 and two evenings in Summer 2. The course explores links between your academic track and your on-site professional experience, and provides support and guidance as you prepare for your placement.

Meet a Public Health & Social Policy Student

Student: Kimberly Simmons

Courses: Sociology of Health Care; Counseling and Motivational Interviewing

Internship Site: Healthworks Community Fitness

On the Job: I interned at a non-profit organization which supports women and children in low-income neighborhoods with fitness and health education. For many members, reaching fitness goals translates to reaching other life goals. I was involved in various tasks at the site, from learning the software used to track members’ information to writing memos regarding a new partnership with Boston Children's Hospital. Every day at the organization was different, and I enjoyed being able to observe the management of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit firsthand.

Perspectives: This summer I gained an expanded understanding and better grasp on the versatile field of public health. While I will undoubtedly continue to refine my career goals and interests, this program has allowed me to gain knowledge, experience, and connections within the field that will definitely benefit my professional development.