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MPH Practicum Site Supervisor & Employer Information

Reasons for the Practicum

Affiliate (host) organizations are selected based on the ability to offer Liberty Public Health students opportunities, activities, and expertise necessary for an effective “reality-based” learning experience that meets foundational and concentration competencies. We are fortunate to have and are grateful for your commitment. Our expectation is that our students are providing a meaningful impact on the populations and practices that our agencies/organizations serve.

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 MPH students. A practicum provides the hands-on 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. The practicum experience must be outcome focused and include deliverables that lead to a future impact for populations or the field of public health.

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 are able to qualify. Practicum experiences must include a minimum of 3 areas of foundational competency in public health and 2 areas of concentration competency for each student experience. The concentration competencies must be aligned with each student’s degree.


The practicum program offers the opportunity to receive assistance from graduate students with a variety of public health skills. Participating as a site supervisor helps offer your organization the opportunity to shape future leaders in public health by mentoring new public health professionals for the field, and allows members collaborative work across the Department of Public and Community Health with agencies 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 by emailing the Director of Practicum at MPHpracticum@liberty.edu

Discuss the possibility of becoming an Affiliate Partner through our InPlace Placement system and offer opportunities to students directly, or with guidance and selection assistance from the MPH team by emailing the Gate Coordinators for a review appointment at MPHgates@liberty.edu 

Information about Practicum opportunities can be distributed through multiple channels including email, posted on the practicum website, posted on the residential bulletin board, announced through the MPH Portal, and posted through InPlace. Interested students will contact your organization directly about the position so please ensure whatever contact information you provide is accurate.


While students may often seek paid practicum positions, 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. The most critical part of the practicum is the alignment with the competencies and the concentration. 

Tasks that are Not Appropriate for any concentrations:

  • Administrative/clerical work – The requirement for practicum students is that these activities are not included in any substantive way as part of their projects. While they can certainly do minor administrative and clerical tasks as part of a larger project, this may not be the bulk of any deliverable or work assignment. ONLY if these tasks are combined with much more substantive work are these activities are acceptable.
  • Mentoring/Job Shadowing – Mentoring and job shadowing are beneficial activities, but they will not meet the practicum requirement. 100% of all practicum students receive mentoring as a part of the Practicum oversight therefore the project may not include shadowing as a part of field hours. 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 do 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 do not include the work students must do to create their presentation and written assignment. This means researching or writing any part of the paper for their course that they complete does not count towards the 120 hours.

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.

Minimum Required Commitment:

  • Meet with the students at the start of the practicum to set their learning goals and sign the Student Practicum Agreement.
  • Complete the Student Evaluation at the end of the Practicum.  Evaluation forms are available from the student.

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

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