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Information about SAMHSA internship application eligibility, application process, selection process, as well as information for the admitted interns.

What is the SAMHSA Internship Program?

The SAMHSA Internship Program is administered by the The Washington Center.

The SAMHSA Internship Program 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 support federal, state, and community-based programs, policies, and best practices in the prevention and treatment of substance misuse 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.

Internship Diversity

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

This program has the option to be virtual or in person. Interns will engage in work as directed by mentors and program guidelines.


To qualify for a SAMHSA internship, applicants must:

  • 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 18 months of their graduation.

For more eligibility information, please read The Washington Center's eligibility requirements.

Last Updated
Last Updated: 04/17/2024
Last Updated