To fulfill the requirements of the HEST certificate program, a student must complete a registered and pre-approved health-related internship or research project AND submit a Post-Experience HEST Questionnaire to the HEST chair. It is due within 4 weeks of the completion of the Field Experience.

The internship/research experience should fulfill one or more of these HEST Program Goals:

  1. Learn about health from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  2. Explore the concept of health, the determinants of health, and/or the consequences of health.
  3. Identify health-related problems or issues and/or explore how they can be solved.
  4. Develop research skills to critically examine health from multiple perspectives.
  5. Apply skills and knowledge about health to a community research project or internship.

Four ways to fulfill the HEST Registered Field Experience

1. Internship Notation Program (INP)

  • The student participates in an internship during the summer or academic year; INP registration occurs at the beginning of the experience.  Retroactive notations cannot be processed.
  • A student will receive a non-credit notation (INTR 7xx) on her/his transcript for the semester/summer.
  • The Internship Notation Program (INP) is Dickinson’s official way of recognizing internships.
  • See HEST examples.

2. Research Experience Notation (REXP)

  • The student participates in a scholarly scientific research experience during the summer under the supervision of a professional researchers at Dickinson or another institution.
  • A student will receive a non-credit notation (REXP 7xx) on her/his transcript for the summer; REXP registration occurs at the beginning of the experience.  Retroactive notations cannot be processed.
  • The Research Experience Notation (REXP) is Dickinson's official way of recognizing scholarly academic research.
  • See HEST examples.

3. Study Abroad Program with Internship/Research Experience

  • Options in this category may vary depending on the study abroad program, so a student should ask about internships while exploring study abroad programs.  Some examples may include:
  • Interning while studying at The Washington Center and the Dickinson in New York program
  • Interning in any other study abroad location (e.g., Malaga, Cameroon, Copenhagen)

4. Independent Study/Independent Research

  • The student will sign up for an independent study/independent research on a health-related topic.
  • The project could be a lab-based independent research project on a health-related topic or a community-based independent research project on a health-related topic
  • Normally a Dickinson faculty member would supervise it.
  • See HEST examples.

Post-Experience HEST Questionnaire

You must talk with the HEST chair to get pre-approval before you begin the Field Experience to make sure it is likely to fulfill the HEST requirement.

In addition to the Field Experience falling into one of the above categories, you must also be able to answer at least three of the following questions about your Field Experience. These questions can be found on the Post-Experience HEST Questionnaire:

  1. Describe the ways in which your experience made you think about health from more than one perspective (e.g., individual, community, economic, psychological).
  2. Describe the ways in which this experience enabled you to explore the concept of health, the determinants of health, and/or the consequences of health.
  3. Describe the ways in which you identified health-related problems or issues and/or explored how they can be solved.
  4. Describe the ways in which the experience helped you to develop research skills to critically examine health.
  5. Describe the ways in which you applied your skills and knowledge about health to your research project or internship.

Upon your completion of your registered health-related field experience, complete and submit the Post-Experience HEST Questionnaire. Send the completed Questionnaire as a Word document (via email) to the HEST chair Sharon Kingston (kingstos@dickinson.edu). You should do this as soon as possible after completing the experience but no later than 4 weeks after completion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where do I start?

  • Go to the Career Center to talk to them about a health-related internship.
  • Talk to your major advisor about the possibility of doing health-related research on or off campus.
  • Look at the HEST webpage for examples of past HEST research or internship projects.
  • Examine if your study abroad program has health-related internship or research experiences.

Q: Can my internship/research experience in X, Y or Z topic count?

  • Maybe. Ask the HEST chair to preapprove the Field Experience before you begin. Your Field Experience must be substantially health-related.
  • You must be able to fully provide answers to three of the following five questions about your Field Experience:
    • Describe the ways in which your experience made you think about health from more than one perspective (e.g., individual, community, economic, psychological).
    • Describe the ways in which this experience enabled you to explore the concept of health, the determinants of health, and/or the consequences of health.
    • Describe the ways in which you identified health-related problems or issues and/or explored how they can be solved.
    • Describe the ways in which the experience helped you to develop research skills to critically examine health.
    • Describe the ways in which you applied your skills and knowledge about health to your research project or internship.

Q: Can I double dip so that the Field Experience counts towards my major and HEST?

  • Maybe. Ask the HEST chair to preapprove the Field Experience before you begin.

Q: What are the important deadlines?

  • Ask the HEST chair to preapprove the Field Experience before you begin.
  • If pursing the field experience through INP or REXP, you must register before starting the experience. Contact the director of internship programs if you have questions about the deadlines.
  • If pursing the field experience through study abroad or an independent study/research, you must register according to the semester's add/drop deadline.
  • Complete the HEST post-experience questionnaire within 4 weeks of completion.

Q: Do I have to complete the Field Experience at a specific time?

  • You can complete the Field Experience during the fall semester, spring semester, or summer. Most students complete it the summer between the junior and senior year.