Information for students on the MPH Practicum Experience

NOTE: If you perform your practicum in the summer, you are required to register through Continuing Education.

All M.P.H. students are required to complete a practicum as part of their degree requirement, and will receive three credits for the practicum. The minimum time for a practice experience is 200 hours. Many agencies and organizations require a longer commitment of 400 hours. Practicum experiences may be paid or unpaid. Placements are arranged in consultation with the student's faculty advisor or the SPHHS Practicum Coordinator. The advisor reviews the student's interests, preferences, financial factors, experience and skills, and is usually able to arrange for interviews with a suitable organization directly or through another faculty member.

Practicum experiences promote professional development and afford the student the opportunity to:

  1. Carry out a project useful to the organization which at the same time provides an opportunity to refine professional skills.
  2. Meet regularly with a field proctor trained in the discipline that the student is majoring in who can guide the experience and serve as a role model.
  3. Attend appropriate meetings, seminars, and classes, and to learn about the work of other relevant organizational personnel.
  4. Receive payment by the organization for work performed.
  5. Experience the nature of applied Public Health.
  6. Apply classroom knowledge to practical problems.
  7. Discover additional skills to be obtained or strengthened.
  8. Recognize the political context within which health activities are conducted.
  9. Acquire job references from health professionals who can speak to one's abilities in a practical context.
  10. Explore opportunities for thesis topics based upon the needs of the organization.
  11. Occasionally obtain a position within the organization when relevant openings are available upon graduation.

The practicum experience should represent a meaningful public health experience. This includes activities such as study design and/or data collection and analysis, involvement in the development of planning and policy documents, planning and executing public health prevention programs, and laboratory and field studies.

The site supervisor evaluates the student's performance and returns the Site Supervisor Evaluation of the Student’s Practicum Performance Form to the practicum coordinator who is also the instructor for the course. The student is required to submit the Student Evaluation of the Practicum Form to the Practicum Coordinator and to attach a copy of any work produced for the organization. It is the responsibility of the student to assure that all required forms are signed and filed promptly in his/her Practicum folder. The student is also required to provide a 15 minute presentation on his/her practicum and complete a 10 page paper which summarizes his/her goals, achievements and learnings from the practicum experience. Once the presentation, paper and all the forms are completed, the student has successfully completed his/her practicum requirement.

Click on the documents in the "Downloads" area at the side of this webpage to download the MPH Practicum Student Handbook or individual forms.

  • MPH Practicum Student Handbook (Campus-based students only)
  • Form I- Practicum Planning Form  
  • Form II - Practicum Scope of Work Form
  • Form III - Practicum Contact Hour Log
  • Form IV- Student One Month Evaluation of the Practicum Form
  • Form V - Site Supervisor Evaluation of the Student’s Practicum Performance Form
  • Form VI - Student Evaluation of the Practicum Form
  • APPENDIX: Concentration Specific Competencies
  • Student Travel Form
  • Gift Policy