M.P.H. Practicum — HLTH 698

Health Agencies

All students enrolled in the Master of Public Health program must complete a practicum field experience in an organization, agency, or community that provides planning or services relevant to public health and their specialization. The goal of the M.P.H. practicum is to provide students the opportunity to use knowledge and skills acquired in the academic program under the direction of a preceptor /supervisor. The practicum also affords an opportunity to develop and apply certain competencies that are better developed outside of the classroom. Examples include the development of leadership ability and group process skills, political awareness and communication skills, understanding of public and private financing mechanisms, and understanding organizational behavior.

Prerequisites

Access to the practicum course (HLTH 698) is an application process.  Detailed information on the process is available in the MPH Practicum Guidelines.  In order to sign up for the class, the following items must be satisfied:

  • Successfully complete the core M.P.H. courses and the declared area of specialization (i.e. Global Health, Health Promotion, or Nutrition courses). All core and specialization courses must be successful completed prior to applying for the practicum course, NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Complete a Background Check through American Databank.
  • Complete the Student Practicum Agreement and SharePoint form.  The agreement form must be attached to the SharePoint form in order to submit.  Rember to mail the original form to the Pracitcum Coordinator.

Here are a few suggestions for practicum sites.  If you are having any issues or need clarification, please contact the Practicum Coordinator (remember to include your name and ID number in all correspondence).

Course Requirements

  • 120 hours (minimum)
  • A pre-defined project that assists an organization in addressing an unmet need while supporting student growth in developing skills in public health practice
  • Preceptor site approval from director and practicum coordinator

Course Structure

  • Timeframe: A student signed up for the practicum must complete 120 hours minimum in a public health setting over a 15 week period/one semester.  The time commitment must be completed within the dates of the online course (i.e. students may not "bank" hours outside of the term for use during the practicum class).
  • Online Component: The online class component will serve to connect student learning and provide opportunity for cross discussion.
  • Minimum Hours: The M.P.H. curriculum requires students to complete a minimum of 120 hours of practical fieldwork in a public health practice setting. That means 120 hours of fieldwork at/for the site.

*The 120 hour requirement does not include technical aspects of the practicum requirements, such as completing paperwork with the site supervisor, obtaining the required signatures, and gaining approval. Time dedicated to completing course assignments is also not a part of the 120 hour commitment. 

It is each student’s responsibility to find, arrange, and complete a satisfactory field experience that fulfills program requirements. The practicum coordinator and faculty here to help but the student is ultimately responsible for finding a practicum that will meet his or her particular needs. Find a Practicum Site