Process of Internship in the Biology Department

An "internship" is work experience directly related to a college major.  Eastern's Biology Department strongly recommends an internship for all its majors (and requires it for the BA Biological Studies major).  For many students, biology-related internships confirm their choice of career and provide useful contacts and training.  Occasionally an internship helps a student decide to change career directions, and that, too, is valuable.  For some, an internship has led directly to a job offer.

The final responsibility for arranging an internship is yours, but as a department, we try to help in the search process.  We have a department pizza supper every year related to resume development and job and internship search strategies.  Individually, we'll be glad to talk through career goals with you one-on-one, and help with specific contacts whenever we can.

The Office of Talent and Career is another resource to learn more about internship opportunities at Eastern.

Biology Internship and Graduate Study Opportunities

Greater Philadelphia has a large pharmaceutical industry, including GlaxoSmithKline, DuPont, Cephalon, AstraZeneca, Wyeth/Pfizer, Centocor, and many smaller firms.  Eastern University is within 30 minutes of major research and teaching hospitals such as Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Temple University Hospital.  We are within an hour of Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cooper University Hospital and Christiana Hospital, as well as numerous smaller hospitals and schools.  The “seven county” Philadelphia area has more than 90 colleges and universities which offer strong science and/or medical graduate programs close at hand for our graduates, while also providing research libraries which Eastern students can access.  The regional also has numerous research institutions such as the Wistar Institute, the Stroud Water Research Center, and the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.  These varied institutions provide diverse internship opportunities for our students.

Some examples of recent student internships include:

  • Pathology lab, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia (researching aspects of molecular pathology of tumor progression and general tissue analysis for a cancer hospital)
  • Community Supported Agriculture, Philadelphia area.  Helped manage a low-input vegetable farm focused on local markets.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.  Assessment of underground storage tank leakage and groundwater quality
  • Public health promotion and assessment with the government of Belize, Central America or in Philadelphia area through Jefferson Health Systems
  • Sustainable tropical agriculture techniques, private organic farmer, Belize, Central America
  • Policy analysis related to wetland and clean water regulations, the Sierra Club, Washington, D.C.
  • Africa Evangelical Fellowship in Angola.  Assisted physicians and other health workers in surgery and other public health issues in remote areas affected by the civil war.
  • Policy analysis and lobbying, focusing on consumption and justice issues, Mennonite Central Committee, Washington, D.C.

For credit:

Biology 495:  Two to 12 credit hours/semester; up to five credit hours total can count toward elective requirements. 

Eastern University requires these conditions for an internship:

  • Departmental approval of the internship and the preparation of the intern.
  • The supervising faculty member must be able to contact an internship supervisor.
  • A minimum of 40 hours on-the-job is required per credit hour.  For example, if a student worked eight hours/week (one full day/week or two full afternoons/week) for each of the 15 weeks of a semester, 120 hours of internship experience would thus be eligible for three credit hours.

In addition, our department requires a journal to be kept by the intern and a term paper summarizing the experience and discussing one issue in depth, with relevant references.