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Co-op and Professional Development in Public Health

Cooperative Education Programs

Drexel University’s Co-op program has been combining classroom learning with work experience for more than 100 years. A Drexel Co-op is an internship that provides public health undergraduate students with up to six months of valuable, résumé-enhancing experience in their discipline, while building a professional network.

Co-op is essential for career development. There is no better way to gain real-world experience than by working at some of the leading academic and industry labs, acquiring techniques, skills, and contacts for their public health careers after Drexel.

An article in Inside Higher Ed said that the co-op model has made institutions like Drexel "more desirable than ever before with graduates, who are more likely to have multiple job offers than none at all."

How Does Drexel Co-op Work?

To learn more about the unique internship opportunities that Drexel University offers through its Co-op program, watch Understanding Co-op.

Co-op at Drexel Dornsife: An Integral Part of a Drexel Education

Cooperative education gives public health majors an opportunity puts what they're studying in action.

Dornsife alum Mariah Menanno talked about the benefits of co-op in Drexel's "Preparing for a Changing World" video below.

"One I went on co-op, I was able to connect concepts that we would learn in class with real-life examples...Even though I don't yet have any letters behind my name I still feel comfortable in a work setting speaking up and giving my opinion," said Menanno.

Sample Four-Year Schedule for Undergraduate Co-op Students

four year curriculum sample schedule

Finding a Public Health Co-op Opportunity

We encourage our undergraduate students to find co-ops related to their public health interests but also to experiment with other fields; co-op is an opportunity to try new experiences and find a career path that fits. One student might choose a co-op with a non-profit development agency, while another chooses a co-op with a pharmaceutical company.

Drexel University is also invested in helping students find international public health co-ops; our students are quick to take advantage of these opportunities.

Thinking of medicine as your career? Co-op is essential for further graduate studies, benefiting students prior to participating in Applied Practical Experiences while in graduate school. Gaining an understanding of public health is invaluable for anyone contemplating medicine. The benefit of co-op is also more immediate. Medical schools are looking for applicants who have real-world public health experiences. Drexel co-op sets pre-med students apart by focusing on skill development, critical thinking, and communication.

Examples of Recent Public Health Co-op Employers Include:

  • Aveanna Healthcare 
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
  • CSL Behring
  • Drexel University (various roles)
  • ELAP Services
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Independence Blue Cross
  • Organon
  • PatientWing
  • Merck
  • RWJBarnabas Health
  • University of Pennsylvania (research assistants)
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Drexel’s co-op program remains a key part of an undergraduate student’s career development. Co-op provides valuable real-world experience and a competitive edge over those at other universities who may graduate without full-time job training in the field of public health.

Learn more about Drexel's Co-op program

Drexel's Public Health Co-ops By the Numbers


of Dornsife students were employed on co-op in 2021–22


of Dornsife graduates are working or enrolled in graduate or professional education


of Dornsife co-op participants were satisfied with their position's level of responsibility

View more Drexel Dornsife co-op and career fast facts compiled by the Steinbright Career Development Center.

Professional Development for Public Health Students

Professional development assistance is a key strategic priority of the public health program at Dornsife. College is about learning, growing as a person, and developing our critical thinking and reasoning skills. But it is also about preparing for the world after college, whether that involves a job, a graduate degree, or other adventure. The wonderful thing about a degree in public health is that it prepares students for a vast range of professions and graduate studies. But choosing from that range is not always easy, and in the modern world, it never hurts to do everything to prepare for the job market or to get the most information for graduate school.

Drexel Dornsife's Office of Education offers professional and career development programs and events that promote growth and preparation for career success throughout the year. These events connect students to employers, alumni, and community resources that help them build a network that supports their career aspirations.

Visit Career Services for an overview of programs and services for students.

Visit Events for a complete list of upcoming events at Dornsife.

Global Engagement in Public Health

See the world differently through Drexel’s study abroad programs.

Public health students have travelled to various countries, including Costa Rica, France, and England, just to name a few.

Program options include intensive courses (generally during break weeks) and full-term study abroad programs.

Learn more about study abroad opportunities for Drexel undergraduates

Public health majors have also participated in international co-op and the Dornsife Global Development Scholars program to engage in global health.

If you are interested in learning more about Drexel Dornsife’s undergraduate public health degree programs and co-op opportunities, request more information to speak with a member of our admissions team.

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Student Karaan Kothari performing Bharatanatyam, a classic Indian style dance.

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