SAMHSA Internship Program

SAMHSA Internship Program

Harness your passion for public health through a hands-on experience with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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. For fifteen weeks (40 hours per week), at the SAMHSA headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, each intern will be able to work under the guidance of a SAMHSA manager in a SAMHSA department whose function closely matches their course of study and field of interest.

The SAMHSA Internship Program is specifically designed to equip college students from populations typically underrepresented in the public health field. Students from these groups are encouraged to apply:

• Women
• Veterans
• Persons with disabilities
• Asian and Pacific Islanders
• Students of Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities

Due to COVID-19 considerations, the 2022 iteration of the program may be virtual. Interns will engage in work as directed by mentors and program guidelines.


To be eligible to participate you must meet the following criteria:

  • 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 (BA/BS, Masters, JD, MD, or Ph.D.) at an accredited higher education institution. 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
  • Recent graduates may apply if they participate within 12 months of their graduation.
  • Be able to work full-time (40 hours per week) for the duration of the internship.
  • Have a confirmed interest in working with SAMHSA.

Preferred majors include:

  • Public health
  • Public administration
  • Behavioral and social sciences
  • Public policy
  • Business communications
  • Business administration
  • Information technology

Program Components

During this 10-week Summer and 15-week Fall and Spring program, you will intern five days per week at SAMHSA in Rockville, MD. The SAMHSA Internship Program shows highly competent students how they can reduce the community impact of mental illness and substance abuse through a variety of fields:

  • Substance abuse and mental health prevention and treatment
  • Federal, state, and local government policies and regulations
  • Health IT
  • Program administration, operations, and management
  • Research and data analysis
  • Communications and social marketing
  • Grant management

Learn more about this internship program at

Program Benefits

This is a fully funded program sponsored by SAMHSA. Sponsorship covers the cost of the program, housing (if needed) and roundtrip travel to and from the internship site city. You will be responsible for living expenses and local transportation. However, a stipend will be provided to help alleviate these expenses.

Housing and Living

Fully furnished housing is provided by TWC for all participants who need it. Housing is arranged near the internship site. Housing accommodations can, and typically do, require shared-living arrangements with other interns. Every effort is made to arrange housing near essential amenities like grocery stores, public transit and medical facilities.

Academic Credit

You may be eligible to receive academic credit for your participation in this program. However, credits are determined and awarded by each university. You are responsible for arranging any academic credit through your college or university. You should discuss arrangements with your institution, prior to starting the program and let TWC know the specific requirements of your university.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Application Priority Consideration Deadline: October 20, 2021
  • Application Final Deadline: October 27, 2021
  • Program Dates: January 24, 2022 - May 6, 2022

How to Apply

Express your interest in the SAMHSA internship using this form:


Upon submission of a completed interest form, your resume will be considered for referral to a variety of intern positions within SAMHSA based on the availability in a given term (Fall, Spring and Summer). Before a referral is made, we'll contact you to confirm your availability, eligibility and interest in being referred for a position.

You can also email with questions