Internship FAQ's

The LSM internships are expected to be full-time work experiences lasting for at least 10 weeks, starting in late May/early June and going through early-to-mid August.

We are able to guarantee that the LSM-required summer internships, after sophomore and junior year, will be paid. If an internship is unpaid or paid less than the guaranteed minimum, then you are eligible to receive a stipend through an LSM fund. There is a limited amount of funding for students who wish to pursue an LSM-related research internship at the end of freshman year; the application process takes place in the spring.

Yes. All LSM students complete both a scientific research internship as well as a business internship, in the summers after the sophomore and junior years. The science internship is an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the challenges involved in advancing the bounds of science, either by going more deeply into a research area you already have explored previously or by launching into a new area of inquiry.  Moreover, whereas many students who enter LSM have some experience working in an academic research lab, LSM seeks to place some students into commercial settings, where they can gain a perspective on how scientific goals and business imperatives intersect.

No. While most LSM students enjoy pursuing bench research, this is not the only kind of science internship that students can do. The fundamental goal is to further your training in the collection and analysis of scientific data, and that can come in a variety of forms. Those seeking experience in biostatistics or bioinformatics could work in molecular profiling, protein modeling, or other kinds of computational research. Students interested in public health could do epidemiological research. Environmental field research is possible too. An internship in a business function in a biopharmaceutical company, though, for example, would not count as a science internship.

Many LSM students aspire to do their business internship in the field of finance or consulting, but prior work in these industries is not necessary in order to compete successfully for an internship. Many employers look for leadership experience and an aptitude for teamwork, which can be developed through extracurricular clubs and activities at Penn. Students also can gain experience by participating in case competitions and business plan competitions on campus, or by getting involved with Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs or Wharton’s Small Business Development Center. The intent of the business internship is that it be related to science and/or health care, and so knowledge of science itself is often actually an asset.

Absolutely. It's actually a business/policy internship; students can do research in health care policy, for example, or health economics, or other kinds of health services research. Students have also worked with non-profits and in foundations. Some have interned in health care administration roles. Every year students intern in business roles (such as strategy, finance, business development, or regulatory) in biopharmaceutical or other life sciences companies. And some students find internships in venture capital or in hedge funds or other financial institutions that have a life sciences/health care focus.

During the summers after their sophomore and junior years, students are expected to focus their attention on their internships. Still, if your work schedule permits, it may be possible to take a summer course, especially if the course is offered at night or online. This is most often feasible if you do an internship in an academic setting, where hours might be flexible. In most cases, however, students will find it very difficult to balance a summer course with the demands of a full-time internship.

Please see the “Past Internships” link to explore where previous classes of LSM students have interned.