Health Professions

Academics

Practicum

Site Supervisors & Employers — M.P.H. Practicum

Reasons for the Practicum

Affiliate (host) organizations are selected because we believe that they can offer Liberty Public Health students opportunities, activities, and expertise necessary for an effective “reality based” learning experience. We are fortunate to have, and are grateful for, your commitment.

The Master of Public Health is a professional or practitioner-oriented degree that emphasizes the improvement of policy and practice. The field practicum is an integral component of professional training in public health and is required of all M.P.H. students. A practicum provides the opportunity to integrate and apply classroom learning in a public health work environment, enabling students to observe and learn from professionals in the field. The student contributes to a community's resources and to the solution of public health problems, while developing practical skills and personal confidence as a public health professional.

For students new to the field of public health, the practicum serves as an important first step in a public health career, providing an introduction to the practical skills and experience necessary for a productive and fulfilling career. Students with prior work experience find the practicum provides the opportunity to hone their skills or to gain new experience in a different area of specialization.


Offer a Practicum Opening

Qualifying agencies/organizations: Local, state, federal, private, and international agencies and organizations that address significant public health problems and can provide the student with a designated, master’s level, site supervisor. 

Benefits

The practicum program offers the opportunity to receive assistance from graduate students with a variety of public health skills. Participating helps future leaders in public health contribute to the field, and allows members of MPH's faculty to engage in collaborative work in their fields of interest and expertise.

Find a practicum student

Post notice of your agency’s practicum opportunity with the M.P.H. Practicum Office: email Jonathan Giles.

Practicum openings information is distributed to students via email, posted on the practicum website, and bulletin board. Interested students will contact your organization directly about the position.

Compensation

Practica may be paid or unpaid.


Practicum Requirements

Practicum Projects

All projects should be public health-related and present a challenging environment. Practica vary greatly depending on the specific fields represented by participating organizations and agencies. Examples of specific activities include data analysis, program evaluation, and policy development.

Projects that are not appropriate:

  • Administrative/clerical work
    The requirement for practicum students is that these activities are not their ONLY projects. If combined with more substantive work, these activities are acceptable.
  • Mentoring/Job Shadowing
    Mentoring and job shadowing are beneficial activities, but they will not meet the practicum requirement. The goal of the practicum is for students to gain skills, which cannot be achieved through observation alone.

Student Requirements

Students are required to complete a minimum of 120 hours of practical fieldwork in a public health practice setting. It is 120 hours of fieldwork at/or for the site. 

  • The 120 hours does not include technical aspects of the practicum requirements such as completing the Practicum Agreement with the site supervisor and getting the required signatures.
  • The 120 hours does not include the work students must do to create their presentation and written assignment.

Commitment for the supervisor/preceptor

Site supervisors are expected to orient their practicum students to the organization and meet regularly with them  to ensure that the student’s project  is progressing appropriately and that the student is having a robust and fulfilling experience. Many sites choose to establish weekly or bi-weekly check-in meetings with their students, but this is up to the site and the student. 

At a minimum:

  • Meet with the students at the start of the practicum to set their learning goals and sign the Student Practicum Agreement
  • Meet again at the midpoint to complete the Midpoint Evaluation.
  • Complete the Student Evaluation at the end of the Practicum.

The goal of the Practicum Learning Contract is to put an agreement in writing about what the expectations of both parties are at the beginning of the practicum. At the end of the practicum, site supervisors must complete the Final Evaluation.


Forms & Documents