Summer Internship Program

View of OHSU Campus

Held every summer, the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Summer Internship Program provides opportunities for high school or early college students to gain experience in the disability field, develop transferable skills, and learn about various career paths in health care. Interns will receive training on disability rights, sensitivity, and advocacy, and also participate in group tours and OHSU labs, clinics, and facilities.

Interns will participate approximately 24 hours per week in a project at one of the Institute on Development and Disability centers, gaining knowledge in research, clinical care, information dissemination, or community programs. Interns will also have an opportunity to network with other interns, as well as OHSU staff and faculty. At the end of the internship, participants will present about their summer experience to their cohort.

This internship is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in health care, with an emphasis on disability.

For potential applicants

The following students are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Students who experience a disability
  • Students with siblings or family members who experience a disability
  • Students from historically underrepresented groups in the health and science professions
  • Students from diverse social and economic backgrounds


To qualify, applicants must -

  • be 16 years of age or older on or before the first day of the internship
  • be able to participate on summer break from high school or undergraduate college or university. Ideally undergraduates will be in their first two years of college. More advanced undergraduates may apply, however, the internship is geared to students who are still exploring career options.
  • be available for the entire 8 weeks of the internship and participate 24 hours per week
  • complete and submit on-boarding paperwork at least 8 weeks prior to the start date of the internship
  • complete 3-5 hours of online training prior to the start of the internship

Applications for the 2019 Summer Internship Program are closed. Applications for Summer 2020 will open December 2019.

2019 program details

  • Internship dates: June 17th to August 9th
  • Application acceptance period: December 3, 2018 to February 1, 2019
  • Work experience disciplines: Our internship work experience placements change on an annual basis. Previous years' disciplines have included public health education, sexual health education, assistive technology, policy and advocacy, physical therapy, psychology, diversity and inclusion, and social work.

2019 internship application and selection timeline

  • Application acceptance period: December 3, 2019 - February 1, 2019
  • Interviews: Mid-March 2019
  • Final notification: Early April 2019
  • Internship on-boarding documents due: April 10, 2019
  • Online on-boarding training complete: May 15, 2019
  • Internship begins: June 17, 2019

University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities contact information: or 503-494-8364.