An HSM internship is an exciting, hands-on opportunity that will prepare you to take the next step in your health care career. We've provided some information to help you find the right internship fit and what to expect during your experience.

Download or bookmark the HSM Internship Handbook, which contains everything you'll need for a successful and fulfilling internship.

Employers interested in hosting HSM students can find information on the HSM Internship Employer Information page.

Preparing for Your Internship

The ideal time to complete your internship is during the summer before your senior year. Based on your individual circumstances, you may choose to do your internship at another time. 

  • 1Fulfill internship prerequisites 
  • 2Prepare your materials (two semesters before internship) 
  • 3Search, apply, and secure (1−2 semesters before internship) 

Step 1: Fulfill Internship Prerequisites

Once you've been admitted to the Health Services Management major, start preparing for your internship. In addition to the Foundation courses, the following Core Courses must be completed before you begin your internship.

  • HSM 3051 Career and Internship Skills in Health Services Management (2 cr)
  • HSM 3521 Health Care Delivery Systems (3 cr)
  • HSM 4531 Human Resources in Health Care Settings (3 cr)
  • HSM 4541 Health Care Finance (3 cr) 
  • HSM 4561W Health Care Administration and Management (3 cr)
  • HSM 4591 Health Care Law and Ethics (3 cr)
  • Recommended − HSM 4301: Health Care Quality and Patient Safety Management (3 cr) 
  • Recommended − HSM 4043: Project and Program Management in HSM (3 cr)

 

Step 2: Prepare Your Materials

Your HSM 3051 course, Career and Internship Skills in Health Services Management, will help you refine your professional materials, which may consist of a resume, cover letter, LinkedIn page, Handshake at the University of Minnesota, etc. To be prepared for an internship search, students should take HSM 3051 at least two semesters before their planned internship. For example, a student planning for a summer internship should take HSM 3051 no later than the preceding fall.  

For additional guidance, reach out to Career and Internship Services. Their office provides broad internship preparation, including practice interviews, networking strategies, and resume and cover letter tips.

 

Step 3: Search, Apply, and Secure Internship

Search and Apply

After your materials are complete, you'll begin searching for internship opportunities and applying to a variety of positions.

  • Talk with your network of contacts (friends, family, coworkers, faculty, etc.).
  • Attend networking events and career fairs.
  • Use job and internship search resources: 
  • Apply for multiple internships.
  • Interview.
    • Schedule a practice interview with Career and Internship Services.
    • Use Interview Stream, a service for UMN students that allows you to complete a virtual mock interview using a webcam or the camera on your mobile device.
    • Research organizations and prepare questions for employers.
    • Follow up with a thank you email or letter after interviews.

Secure Your Internship

The final step is to secure your internship and register for HSM 4596. Your enrollment in HSM 4596 must be in the same semester you complete your internship.

Once you've accepted your position: 

  • Agree on start and end dates (January−May, May/June−August, September−December) and times. These dates must correspond with the start and end of the academic term.
  • Agree on payment terms. Internships can be paid or unpaid, part-time or full-time. The average pay for HSM interns in 2021-22 was $18.04 per hour.
  • Determine a mentor at the site. This is the individual that will be supervising you and providing feedback throughout your internship. Mentors are typically assigned by the organization, but you should clarify who will serve in this role.
  • Submit the Experience Agreement Form via Handshake at the University of Minnesota.
  • Upon approval, the Internship Coordinator will send you a permission number to register for the course.

What Will the Internship Be Like?

Your internship should include:

  • an orientation to the organization at the start of the internship.
  • access to meetings with a variety of internal and external constituents throughout the duration of the experience.
  • assigned projects designed to give you practical experience at various administrative levels.
  • a mentor as a point of contact in the general management of the organization.
  • a final project. As a requirement of the HSM internship course HSM 4596, you will give a formal presentation on a project to an audience of students, faculty, and professionals. Past project topics include: provider productivity and compensation metrics, clinical quality metrics and patient retention, patient check-in process improvement, clinical supply workflow implementation, updating databases, policies and procedures, diversity and inclusion initiatives, social media reach, clinic insurance guidebook.

Internship Objectives

Your internship must also meet the following objectives:

  • Demonstrate real-time problem-solving and business skills in a health care-related work environment.
  • Interpret and observe the role, function, and style of middle and senior management individuals in order to learn from them.
  • Apply and evaluate coursework skills, theories, and concepts learned from the health services management classes within a controlled internship environment.
  • Interact with an assigned onsite mentor to meet regularly to discuss progress, the challenge project, and learning. 
  • Apply skills and expertise learned in the health services management field by completing a project for the employer and, more generally, the industry as a whole.

Any internship that requires direct care hours will not be approved. Hours must be administrative related.

Work Hours and Payment

The HSM internship requires a minimum of 200 hours. While 200 hours is the minimum program benchmark, you are encouraged to complete as many hours as possible at the internship site. It is not uncommon for students to complete more than one internship experience during their undergraduate education.

Internships can be paid or unpaid. Wages vary according to experience and skills, type of position and employer, and location. The average pay for past interns is $18.04 per hour (range of $13.50−$25 per hour).

Frequently Asked Questions

The internship is a required component of the Health Services Management academic program that provides you with the opportunity to relate and apply what you've learned in the classroom to a health services management setting. The purpose of the internship is to provide an introduction to the daily activities of a health care organization from the perspective of management. Whenever possible, the internship is tailored to your interests and professional needs.

You must complete all of the foundation courses (statistics, accounting, etc.) in addition to HSM 3051, HSM 3521, HSM 4531, HSM 4541, HSM 4561W, and HSM 4591. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Note that HSM 3051 Career and Internship Skills should be taken at least two semesters before the start of an internship (by fall if looking for a summer internship, for example).

The internship can be completed during the fall term (September−December), spring term (January−May), or summer term (May/June−August) after the course prerequisites have been completed. Internship start and end dates should align with the start and end dates of the academic term.

No. You are responsible for finding your own internship in line with your professional goals. The HSM program will provide necessary resources and support during the search process.

Start your search process at least 1−2 terms prior to your desired start date. The hiring timeline of companies can vary significantly so you are encouraged to research options early. It is not uncommon for a student to complete more than one internship experience during their undergraduate education. 

Use both networking and online search tools in your search process. The University of Minnesota uses Handshake as their primary database for internship postings. You should also look at organization job listings and other online databases. The HSM Internship Coordinator will send out biweekly emails with postings, events, and updates for you in the search process. If you need additional assistance, you are encouraged to meet with your career counselor through Career & Internship Services. 

Internships can be paid or unpaid. Wages vary according to experience and skills, type of position, type of employer, and location. The average pay for summer 2022 interns was $18.04 per hour (range of $13.50−$25 per hour).

The HSM internship requires a minimum of 200 hours. While 200 hours is the minimum program benchmark, you are encouraged to complete as many hours as possible at the internship site. It is not uncommon for students to complete more than one internship experience during their undergraduate education. 

Yes. You are encouraged to apply for CCAPS collegiate scholarships if you have financial need.

You must complete your internship hours in the term in which you are registered for HSM 4596: Health Services Management Internship. Prior experience will not count toward the 200-hour requirement, but it will help build your resume for the internship search.

We strongly recommend that you intern somewhere other than your current organization. Students are able to complete a unique internship experience at their current employer, but individual situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please email hsminternships@umn.edu for more information.

International students are required to complete an internship as part of their HSM degree. You can complete an internship in your home country or in the United States. ISSS Career Support is designed to assist you in preparing for your internship search in order to reach your career goals. ISSS offers workshops and individual appointments to guide international students who are planning to search for internships in the United States and to obtain the necessary work authorizations. You can find additional resources at career.umn.edu/international-students.

If you are interested in pursuing a nursing home administrator and assisted living director license, you will need to complete the long-term care minor courses and a 1,000 hour practicum (HSM 4582). This practicum will substitute for the HSM internship requirement to complete your degree. The search process does look a bit different for the practicum so you are encouraged to connect with the Long Term Care Faculty Director, Dr. Rajean Moone, at moon0060@umn.edu.

You must have secured an internship to register for HSM 4596. The first step is to fill out an experience agreement on Handshake at the University of Minnesota. Once this is approved by the internship supervisor and the HSM program, the Internship Coordinator will send you a permission number to register.

You need to have a minimum of 200 hours at one internship site to complete HSM 4596. You are able to register for HSM 4596 up to three times. Each separate enrollment will require you to complete a new course as well as a different presentation in order to receive the additional credit.

Once an internship offer is accepted, you should fulfill your commitment to the organization. No changes will be allowed for HSM 4596 unless approval is received from both the Internship Coordinator and course instructor. 

Students have previously worked on a variety of projects including, but not limited to: provider productivity and compensation metrics, clinical quality metrics and patient retention, patient check-in process improvement, clinical supply workflow implementation, updating databases, policies and procedures, diversity and inclusion initiatives, social media reach, clinic insurance guidebook.

Many employers use internships to assess the abilities of potential job candidates. A significant number of employers hire their interns, and most employers prefer job candidates who’ve had internship experience.

Please contact the Internship Coordinator at hsminternships@umn.edu or the course instructor as soon as possible. 

Contact Information

If you have any questions related to the internship process, please contact the Internship Coordinator:

Alissa Bigelow
hsminternships@umn.edu
612-625-5276

If you need a resume or cover letter reviewed, contact Liz Hruska in Career & Internship Services or use their drop-in services.