Overview, Eligibility, and Stipend Info


This is a paid 9-week summer internship for undergraduate and graduate students who are passionate about the environment, interested in human health, and curious about how they are linked.

Environmental issues such as overpopulation, air pollution, food shortage, natural disasters, water contamination, and exposure to toxic substances provide challenges to human health. Human influence on the environment is the main focus of environmental studies; however there is a growing need to evaluate the effect that the environment has on human populations.

Harmful environments can increase the risk of many health conditions: asthma, heart disease, cancer, neurological disease, infections, endocrine dysfunction, injuries, and more. Healthy environments, on the other hand, can promote good health in many ways—protecting people from toxic exposures, providing safe water and clean air, and encouraging healthy behaviors such as outdoor recreation.

Environmental health as a discipline focuses on the interrelationships between people and their environment, promotes human health and well-being, and fosters safe and healthy living. This branch of public health is concerned with all aspects of the natural and built environment that may affect human health.

Environmental health professionals engage in a broad and exciting range of activities—basic and applied research, surveillance and tracking, direct health protection efforts such as disaster preparedness and response, health education, policy support, and more.

Interns will be placed in environmental health programs at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) in Atlanta, GA and all interns will be reporting to CDC’s Chamblee Campus located at 4770 Buford Highway in Chamblee, GA (not the main CDC headquarters location). Over the course of the summer, interns will be exposed to a broad overview of environmental public health issues at the federal level.

Interns will participate in a comprehensive program including environmental health project assignments, interaction with federal officials and scientists, and visits to important environmental health sites in and around Atlanta. Other activities include “brown-bag” lunches with CDC staff, as well as attending lectures from prominent environmental health leaders in the Atlanta area, to leading journal club discussions. In addition, interns will be able to attend the many free seminars and trainings offered by CDC during the summer (time and project requirements permitting).

SUPEH interns will complete projects and activities that build on already existing environmental health knowledge gained in the academic setting. SUPEH interns will be placed within the Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice – Environmental Health Services . They participate in the many activities and field trip opportunities, but with a greater focus on building and applying your environmental health skills.

Eligibility Requirements – Which Internship Is Right for You?

If you are interested in a laboratory-based summer opportunity at the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), please go to the Biochemical Markers Fellowship (BMF).

If you are interested in a non-laboratory based summer internship opportunity at NCEH or the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), there are three programs to choose from: CLEH, SUPEH, or GEH. Some of the eligibility requirements between these three are the same and some are not. Be sure to carefully review the specific requirement for each program, to see which one is best  for you.

Common Requirements for all three programs (CLEH, SUPEH, and GEH):

All applicants must meet all of the criteria in this section to be eligible to participate in the program (no exceptions). Applications that do not meet these requirements will not be reviewed.

In order to apply to the CLEH, SUPEH, or GEH program you must:

  • Be a US citizen or Permanent Resident (with a green card)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and
  • Proof of health insurance upon acceptance into the program
  • Be a full time student, NOT graduating before or during the internship summer. (Students must be returning to school to complete degree requirements at the end of their internship OR the internship must serve as needed academic credit to complete degree requirements.)

CLEH – For rising undergraduate juniors and seniors

In addition to the common requirements above, the CLEH program is only open to full-time undergraduate students who are rising juniors or seniors by Fall 2018. CLEH applicants must have an academic major or demonstrated coursework concentration in environmental studies, environmental, physical, biological, chemical, and/or social sciences. If applicants are not majoring in one of these areas they can make the case for why their major or interests are applicable to this internship in essay #2 in the application process.

SUPEH – For undergraduate or graduate EH majors

In addition to the common requirements above, SUPEH applicants must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate majoring in Environmental Health at a program accredited by the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC)External.

GEH – For graduate students

In addition to the common requirements listed above, GEH applicants must be full-time graduate students with interests and studies that are applicable to the field of environmental health.


Stipend is delivered on a monthly basis (at the end of each month) to assist with living expenses. Therefore, you will not receive your first stipend until the last day of June. Travel to Atlanta will be the student’s financial responsibility. Interns will be expected to make their own arrangements for housing and transportation. For potential housing options please visit the housing and transportation page.


Interns will be provided a monthly stipend of approximately $600 per week.


Interns will be provided a monthly stipend of approximately $600 per week.


Interns will be provided a monthly stipend of approximately $750 per week.

All interns are paid through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellowship programExternal and are not CDC Federal Employees.

Page last reviewed: July 14, 2017