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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Summer 2023 Internship

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Program Description 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. If you have an interest in the fields of public health and behavioral health, the SAMHSA Internship Program could be a great fit for you. 

This paid internship program gives you meaningful work experience and a unique opportunity to chart your career path. SAMHSA headquarters is located in Rockville, MD and employs a wide array of public health, behavioral and social science professionals.  
The SAMHSA Internship Program (SIP) introduces students to the important role SAMHSA plays in ensuring a productive life in the community for everyone. Interns gain practical experience through projects, special assignments, or research that supports federal, state, and community-based programs, policies, and best practices in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental illness. 
Students selected as SAMHSA interns will use their specific skills and knowledge while experiencing the value of their education. Interns will work full-time at the SAMHSA headquarters in Rockville, Maryland where each intern will work under the guidance of a SAMHSA manager in one of their Offices and Centers that matches closely with their course of study and interests. The SAMHSA Internship Program is specifically designed to equip college students and recent graduates from populations typically underrepresented in the public health field. Students from these groups are encouraged to apply: 
-First-generation students
-Persons with disabilities 
-Asian and Pacific Islanders 
-Students of Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities. 

-Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident (I-151 or I-551). Individuals on temporary visas are not eligible. Additionally, individuals must be authorized or eligible to work in the United States by law.

-Be enrolled in a degree-seeking program (AA/AS, BA/BS, Masters, JD, MD, or Ph.D.) at an accredited higher education institution OR be a recent graduate within 18 months of graduation. Students pursuing only a credential or certificate program will be considered ineligible.

-Have completed their freshman year of college before the internship begins.

-Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

-Be able to work full-time (40 hours per week) for the duration of the internship.

-Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Students participating in our Funded Federal Diversity programs are considered employees of The Washington Center and are required to be fully vaccinated to participate. Learn more about our COVID-19 policy here.

-Have a confirmed interest in working with SAMHSA.

-Reside within the United States throughout the entire duration of the internship (if virtual).
-Have completed the following steps of a background check before the start of the internship:  
  • Security onboarding forms
  • Cybersecurity Awareness Training
  • Fingerprinting
  • e-QIP (electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing)

* Preference given to upperclassmen and graduate students and/or those with relevant experience.
Preferred majors/focuses of study (current master’s degree students or recent graduates of master’s programs preferred) include: 
  • Public health  
  • Public administration  
  • Behavioral and social sciences 
  • Public policy 
  • Social work
  • Business communications 
  • Business administration 
  • Information technology 

Program Benefits 
This is a fully-funded program sponsored by SAMHSA. Sponsorship covers the cost of the program, fully-furnished housing near the internship site, and roundtrip travel to and from the internship site city. It also includes a stipend to help with other living expenses. In addition, various professional development sessions will be available to enhance students’ knowledge and marketability. 

Summer 2023 (Virtual)
  • Applications Accepted: November 28, 2022 – February 7, 2023
  • Decision Notification: Mid April 2023 (Applicants are notified when they are selected for interviews until all positions are filled or until mid April) 
  • Program Dates: June 5, 2023 – August 11, 2023 (subject to change)

Questions? Email 

Application Documents

You need to submit the following documents along with your application:
  • Resume: Submit a max 2-page resume in PDF format reflecting relevant work experience, volunteerism, awards, leadership, extra-curricular activities, research, and academic experiences. Your resume must include your GPA and your current contact information including email address, home address and telephone number.
  • Transcript: Submit your most recent transcript. Both unofficial and official transcripts are accepted. Please ensure that your Social Security Number is crossed out on the submitted document.
  • Statement of Interest: In a one page statement in PDF Format, please address your specific interest in interning with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services