The MPH practicum experience is intended to support student growth, both personally and professionally while connecting and contributing to community needs. The experience provides students an opportunity to develop professional skills by leading a project in a public health setting that contributes to an unmet need of the host site.
The goals of the practicum are to:
- Apply classroom theory, knowledge, skills and techniques to a professional work setting;
- Enhance and develop new skills needed to function as a professional in a public health setting;
- Work on a specifically defined public health problem or issue project that is salient to the preceptor site;
- Participate in a setting that allows the student to explore future career decisions;
- Engage in professional self-assessment and personal reflection;
- Build a personal network of professional leaders in public health;
- Connect with local and state public health agencies, other community-based organizations, and community-based participatory research projects which serve the publics health to create support for the public health community and future recruitment opportunities.
In order to sign up for a practicum experience students must do the following:
- Successfully complete the Foundations of Public Health Course
- Successfully complete one-year of academic requirements (18 credits)
- Gain approval of their concentration director
The culminating academic experience for the MPH program is a Masters Project (or publishable paper) that benefits the community or particular target population. Projects must contribute meaningfully to the current body of knowledge in the field and may include creating a program plan, program evaluation, or policy initiative. The project will often be connected to the practicum experience by addressing a need identified by the host site. The project or paper should relate to a students academic goals and professional interests, as well as demonstrate the students ability to work independently at the masters level.
The final products will be a professional oral and poster presentation at the CSPH Public Health Forum, and a 8-10 page reflective paper addressing the students experience. Students who complete a Masters Project will receive 2 credits for the Capstone Experience that includes the project; students who choose to produce a publishable paper will receive 1 credit for the Capstone Experience and 3 credits (2 denoted as general elective credits) for the paper. Assigned faculty members and site preceptors provide ongoing support and guidance to students during the project.
Students present their work at the end of the semester during the Public Health Forum.
National Public Health Fellowships and Internships
Various national organizations provide public health fellowship and internship opportunities for MPH students. The document link below contains information about a large number of organizations and their URL address. If interested in a particular organization, students should contact the appropriate organization directly.