The internship experience is a requirement for graduation from the program, consisting of 300 hundred hours over a minimum of ten (10) weeks, with a maximum of six (6) months. Students earn three (3) credit hours for completion of the internship. Full-time students complete their internship over the summer between the first and second year of course work. While the primary purpose of the internship is to provide a learning experience for the student, it also serves as a valuable benefit to the organizations where students are placed. Internships are sponsored at almost every healthcare organization in Memphis, including hospitals and health systems, clinics, physician offices, pharmaceutical firms, and long-term care facilities. Most of the part-time students in the on-campus track and the executive track students who are already working in a healthcare setting are able to complete their internship within their organization; other placements are facilitated by the MHA program, and may be either paid or unpaid.
The internship provides students with the opportunity to apply, through practical experience, the knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired in academic courses. The internship also allows students to identify areas in which they might want to explore additional learning opportunities. An emphasis is also placed on enhancing professionalism, including oral and written communication skills, and business etiquette. The experience provides further value by helping students identify the types of positions they may wish to seek upon graduation.