Undergraduate Research Internships

Undergraduate Research Internships

Thank you for your interest in educational opportunities at the Penn State Health. As an academic medical center, we strive to provide exceptional experiences for all visitors to our campus, including students applying to our Observation, Career Shadowing, Internship and Externship programs. Currently, only programs related to research observation and internships are available at Penn State College of Medicine.

Programs for clinical shadowing and clinical internships are undergoing revision to help us deliver quality programs for students and future employees of our organization. While we devote time to making these adjustments in our clinical shadowing programs/internships, we are unable to consider new requests for such patient-focused shadowing, internship or externship opportunities. Any future undergraduate clinical opportunities will be posted here as they are made available.

Research observation and internships

This procedure establishes required measures to be taken when a registered undergraduate student enrolled in a U.S. college or university is being considered for an internship (paid or unpaid) or shadowing experience in a Penn State College of Medicine laboratory, ensuring that they have received the appropriate instruction and, when appropriate, have parental consent.


  • The student must be living in the United States.
  • The student must be sponsored/supervised by a member of the College of Medicine faculty. This faculty laboratory supervisor is responsible for ensuring this procedure is completed and that the student's activities are closely supervised at all times.
  • Insurance documentation form must be completed and submitted with the application.
  • The laboratory supervisor must also ensure that the student's activities will not include direct work with any of the following, or that the student will have appropriate prior training:
    • Corrosive materials
    • Toxic chemicals, including carcinogens
    • Radioactive materials
    • Flammable liquids
    • Infectious agents or Committee-approved BL2+ agents
  • There is to be no one-on-one contact between the student and the laboratory supervisor including direct electronic contact. There must always be two adults present.
  • The Penn State laboratory supervisor and all associated lab personnel who will interact with minor students will, as required by law, have publicly-available background clearances on file within their respective HR unit. Instructions for completing these clearances can be found on Penn State's University Ethics site.
    Likewise, the laboratory supervisor and all laboratory personnel will have completed Building a Safe Penn State: Reporting Suspected Child Abuse training prior to interacting with minors. Clearances specifically required by student interns are included in the application.
  • The laboratory supervisor is responsible for making all arrangements for students to receive all appropriate training. Students may begin work only after all training has been completed, as outlined in the application.
  • Laboratory safety approval: The student and laboratory supervisor must complete the Application for Research Observation or Internship, available via the download button below. When the appropriate signatures have been obtained, the document can be uploaded as described on the final page of the application.
  • Approval must be resubmitted if there are any substantial changes in the activities or scope of work.
  • Copies of all forms are to be to be kept on record by the supervisor of the laboratory, Office of Biosafety and Office of Graduate Education. Contact information for each is provided at the end of this application.

To Apply

Interested applicants can download the application as a Word document below. Once that is completed and other required documents are gathered, use the "Upload" button to submit. Name the file/s with the applicant's last name and a useful description (e.g., Lastname-application.docx). Applicants will be required to provide an email address and must use the same email address for all files.

For assistance or with questions, call the Office of Graduate Education at 717-531-5538.