CDC Fellowships, Internships, and Externships in Public Health Law

Various profile photos of students public health field

Law can be used as a tool to protect and promote the public’s health. It has been critical in achieving public health goals and serves as the foundation for governmental public health practice in the United States.

Interested in gaining firsthand experience in public health law? Consider a fellowship, internship, or externship with CDC’s Public Health Law Program. Learn more about each of these opportunities below.

Public Health Law Fellowship

CDC’s Public Health Law Program (PHLP) and ChangeLab Solutions announce the new Public Health Law Fellowship, launching in January 2023. The fellowship is designed for current graduate students (e.g., MPH, DrPH, MPA, PhD) or law students (JD), as well as recent graduates of these programs (within the past four years), interested in careers in public health law or policy.

Fellows will be matched with host sites at state, tribal, local, or territorial health departments, CDC, or other public health law organizations that support work in the public health law and policy fields.

The Public Health Law Fellowship offers fellows on-the-job training to prepare them for careers in public health law or policy. The program aims to strengthen the public health law workforce by increasing diversity within the field and preparing the next generation of public health law professionals to respond to critical issues.

Ideal candidates will have a strong commitment to

  • The role of law in public health and positive community impact
  • Improving health equity
  • Strengthening emergency response capacity

Successful fellows will bring

  • Experience with diverse perspectives
  • Creativity
  • Cultural awareness and inclusivity
  • An innovative approach to problem solving

Public Health Law Fellowships will be awarded a stipend.

For more information
If you are interested in applying for the fellowship, or if your organization is interested in serving as a host site for fellows, please email

Public Health Law Internships and Externships

PHLP is seeking motivated students who love a challenge and can bring a fresh perspective and innovative solutions to CDC. With rolling start and completion dates during the academic year, unpaid internships and externships with PHLP expose students to the public health field, allowing them to explore the role of law in advancing public health goals.

All of the following internships and externships consist of 9–14 weeks of professional work experience with PHLP. All internships and externships will be remote.

These internships and externships create formalized entry-level experience for rising and current third-year law students interested in exploring careers in public health law. This opportunity might be particularly appealing to law students who have conducted public health or other scientific research and/or worked with datasets and coding processes.

The internship and externship program features

  • Work experience on one or more core projects with mentorship from a PHLP staff attorney
  • Exposure to a complex, government work environment and a team of public health lawyers with diverse expertise
  • Involvement in work projects that impact the mission of PHLP and CDC
  • Opportunities to co-author published articles and other materials
  • Communication and mentorship with a dedicated preceptor throughout the externship experience
  • Active participation in weekly PHLP staff meetings
  • Opportunities to showcase experiences in an end-of-externship presentation
Administrative and Communication Internships and Externships

PHLP is offering the Administrative and Communication Internship/Externship for students enrolled in masters-level programs earning degrees in public health, public policy, public administration, communication, business, or similar disciplines.

This internship/externship is an unpaid academic learning experience that offers an in-depth understanding of government agency operations and the role of law and policy in advancing public health. Interns are exposed to high-level strategic planning and other program functions, including marketing, communication, project management, and partner outreach and relations.

Interns will help PHLP’s Workforce Development and Outreach Team leads with the day-to-day communication and training operations of a vigorous and dynamic government program and receive mentoring from PHLP’s director and other senior leaders.


  • Help write and compile research for PHLP publications and communications, including Public Health Law News
  • Help maintain listservs, communications archives, and PHLP’s website content
  • Help design and execute PHLP’s marketing and communication plans
  • Coordinate webinars and trainings with partners such as ChangeLab Solutions, American Bar Association, American Health Lawyers Association, and Network for Public Health Law
How to Apply for Public Health Law Internships and Externships

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to In the cover letter and email, indicate which internship or externship you are applying for. PHLP accepts applications by email only.

Only rising and current third-year law students will be considered for the internships and externships in public health law.

The PHLP administrative and communications internship/externship is for students enrolled in master’s-level programs earning a degree in public health, public policy, public administration, communications, business, or similar discipline.

Compensation for Public Health Law Internships and Externships

These internships/externships are unpaid. Internships are not tied to academic credit. Externship and practicum opportunities are available for students seeking academic credit as authorized by law schools or schools of public health.

Application Deadlines for Public Health Law Internships and Externships
  • Summer: December 31
  • Fall: May 31
  • Spring: October 1