CDC Internships and Externships in Public Health Law

The word Internship written in chalk on a board

Interested in learning how law can be used as a tool to protect and promote the public’s health?

Law has been critical in achieving public health goals and serves as the foundation for governmental public health practice in the United States. Many of public health’s greatest successes, including high childhood immunization rates, improved motor vehicle safety, safer workplaces, and reduced tooth decay, are the result of legal interventions. Today, law plays an increasingly important role in addressing emerging public health threats such as childhood obesity, healthcare-associated infections, motor vehicle injuries, and prescription drug overdoses.

CDC’s Public Health Law Program (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 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Public Health Law Internships and Externships

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

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 or in tribal 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.


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.


  • Summer: January 31
  • Fall: May 31
  • Spring: October 1
Page last reviewed: March 21, 2022