Customized Academic Learning (CAL) (formerly IAW) is a hallmark of a Johns Hopkins University education. Many Public Health Studies students engage in some kind of research, internship, or independent study during their time as undergraduates. The work that our students do for credit enhances their public health education by connecting their course knowledge to research and practice opportunities. Independent work for credit is offered to PHS majors in three ways:

  • Research: Students engage in either independent research with a faculty mentor or become part of an existing faculty-led research team
  • Internship: Students participate in internship opportunities on or off campus
  • Independent study: Students pursue a topic of special interest that is not covered in regular course offerings under the mentorship of a faculty member

For declared PHS majors, please contact Keri Frisch about finding and registering for Customized Academic Learning (CAL), or get more information on your PHS Canvas Community Page

My independent research was truly an enriching experience. Often, I find that it is hard to put my public health coursework into context, but research allowed me to bridge this gap, while learning so much more. I discovered my passion for public health, gained a deeper understanding of the field, and formed valuable relationships with my mentors. Through my work with the Bloomberg Opioid Initiative, I had the opportunity to make a difference and I am excited to continue my work as a research assistant this semester!

Hridika Shah, Class of 2023

My CAL internship at NIH has been the highlight of my public health career, and it’s fascinating to see the concepts I learn in the classroom be applied and expanded on in real-world contexts. Getting to work behind the scenes on groundbreaking public health research has opened my eyes to fascinating new areas of public health and has had a profound impact on my course trajectory at Hopkins as well as my career aspirations post-graduation.

Hannah Bruckheim, Class of 2022