Local Public Health Practice Opportunities
Baltimore Community Practicum (BCP)
The Baltimore Community Practicum is SOURCE's flagship course, which offers a real world public health practice experience. It is a non-paid, for-credit, field experience that allows you to apply your public health skills "at the elbow" of experienced public health practitioners. You must apply and be accepted prior to registering for the appropriate academic credits. Placements are part-time placements for 4 to 8 hours per week with local public health agencies, community-based organizations, and the Baltimore City health department.
Frequently Asked Questions for Baltimore Community Practicum Course (BCP)
Q: I am a doctoral / combined-degree / part-time JHSPH student. Can I still apply to these internships?
A: Absolutely! These internships are open to any and all JHSPH graduate students. We encourage you to review the internships and apply to any that are of interest to you!
Q: What are the main differences between the BCP, PHASE, and the Health Policy Institute?
A: The biggest differences are the length of the internship, the required course seminar, and the placement sites. PHASE internships are largely state and local health department placements and the Baltimore Community Practicum internship placements are largely local community-based organizations and local health departments. BCP has a required weekly seminar: 2nd term seminar meets on Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. EST, and 3rd term seminar meets on Tuesdays from 12:15 p.m. to 1:05 p.m. EST. Sessions are a mix of synchronous and asynchronous via Zoom.
Q: What is covered in the required seminars?
A: Best practices for community-academic partnerships, principles for service-learning and community-based participatory research, history of East Baltimore and the relationship with Johns Hopkins, reflections and lessons from fellow students, civic professionalism, and much more!
Q: What if I have a class conflict during the weekly Tuesday afternoon seminar?
A: These seminars are required components of the course, so if you have a class conflict and are unable to shift your schedule around to attend the seminars, you will not be able to participate in the course or field placements. Contact the professor(s) teaching the course that is in conflict and see if you can work out an alternate arrangement. Unfortunately, we are not able to be flexible with this component of the course, so do take a look at your schedule of classes before applying!
Q: What if I really can’t fit the course into my schedule but I still want to do an internship?
A: There are other non-BCP internship and federal work-study opportunities publicized regularly through SOURCE’s Weekly Service Scoop (sent out every Tuesday) and other listservs on campus. Make sure you are subscribed to the SOURCE Weekly Service Scoop so you are informed of internships that come up throughout the year! To subscribe, simply send a blank email to SOURCE@jhu.edu with “Subscribe” in the subject line. Be sure to indicate your status (student, faculty, staff), School and department/program.
Q: I’ve looked through all the internships but so many look interesting to me. Is there a limit to how many I can apply to? What if I’m only interested in 1 internship – does only selecting 1 internship lower my chances of getting accepted?
A: You can only apply to a maximum of four (4) BCP internships. However, be sure to only select the internships that you would be willing to accept, and be mindful that you will need to write a brief (not more than 500 words!) statement of interest for each internship you select.
An important factor to keep in mind is the number of hours the internship requires (some may require evening and/or weekend hours – these are mentioned in the search engine).
We review all applications and resumes/ CVs as fairly as possible, and will do our best to accommodate your top choice(s), which you can indicate in your statements. However, each year, there are always a few internships that seem to draw many more students than others. So, while selecting only 1 internship may end up working out in the end, we cannot make any guarantees, especially if that internship happens to be the most popular one! Some flexibility always gives more room for options.
Q: What sorts of questions are asked in the internship application?
A: We ask you to tell us a bit about yourself – your skills, previous coursework, why you are interested in the particular internship(s) you selected, and what you would like to learn from the experience. We also require you to upload a copy of your up-to-date resume/ CV. Don’t wait until the last minute – there are a variety of internships to choose from this year! To see the list of questions included in the online BCP application, click here.
Q: What are the internships like? Can I work from home?
A: The internships vary widely. Some will have you splitting your time and working on a variety of projects and tasks while others might only have you working on one project. All the internships offer a variety of opportunity to develop and/or build on a number of public health competencies that range from communications to evaluation to survey development to outreach (and the list continues). You can use the search engine to search by public health practice activity to get a feel for the internships that match your interests. Each internship in the database has been thoroughly put together, but there is definitely room for some flexibility once you have been matched with the internship. Based on your skills, knowledge, and interests, you can communicate with your preceptor about the specifics of the project and how both parties can maximize the experience. The internships require a minimum of 4 hours (or 1 half-day) per week dedicated to working on the project. Some internships will require more hours per week than others, and this can be viewed in the internship search engine as well. Do not apply to an internship if you might not be able to juggle the time commitment. In 2021-2022, community organizations have requested a range of fully in-person, hybrid (some on-site and some remote), and a limited number of fully remote projects. Most projects require students to live in or near Baltimore and all projects require students to be able to work with community organizations during Baltimore business hours.
Q: Do I have to work during the January Intersession break?
A: No, you are not required to work during the January Intersession break. If you are around during the break and wish to work on your internship between 2nd and 3rd terms, you are definitely welcome to discuss this with you preceptor, but it is not required.
Q: How do the academic credits work?
A: You register for 1 credit per term for the seminar portion of the course, and 1 credit per 4 hours of virtual work you complete per term, for a total of a minimum of 2 credits per term. So, for example, a BCP student who is accepted for an internship that requires 4hrs/wk of work (1 half-day) will register for 2 credits 2nd term, and 2 credits 3rd term. It is rare that a full-time student is able to work more than 8hrs/wk (1 full day) given their other course load.
Q: How competitive are the internships? I have limited public health practice / population-based health experience – will this affect my application?
A: Students apply for these internships for many reasons and come with a variety of prior experience and skills. Some are looking to transition into a new area, while others are looking to continue doing work that is familiar to them. We try to find the best fit between internship/ preceptor and student, so an eager student with a strong desire to learn will still be considered for an interview!
Q: I am an MPH student who is required to do a practicum to graduate. Do I have to take one of these courses?
A: BCP, PHASE, and the Health Policy Institute are only three of a plethora of ways an MPH student can fulfill the practicum requirement. We try our best to accommodate all students, but know that these are not the only ways to fulfill that requirement. Refer to the MPH Program Manual for more details and contact Paulani Mui (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have more questions specific to the MPH practicum requirement.
Q: I am interested in the CBPH (Community-Based Public Health) Certificate. Do I still need to take the Baltimore Community Practicum course if I already have some prior population-based health experience? Can I take PHASE instead of the Baltimore Community Practicum course to fulfill the certificate requirement?
A: Yes, you must take the BCP course in order to fulfill requirements for the CBPH certificate, even if you might have already had prior population-health experience.
Q: I would like to set up my own internship instead. What are my options?
A: Pre-identified internships require the least amount of up-front legwork on the part of both the student and the community, so we encourage students to plug in to internships that have already been developed. Another place to look for possible internships is through faculty at the school. Speak with your department faculty to find out which faculty members might be looking for additional students for their research projects. You may be able to register for “special studies” credits by doing an internship with a faculty member. You are encouraged to set up a one-on-one appointment with SOURCE so we might better assist you in finding an opportunity that meets your needs as well as those of the community (Simply email SOURCE at SOURCE@jhu.edu with your interest and a few dates/times that work for you).
Q: I am an MPH student and some people tell me it’s never too early to start thinking about capstone ideas. Can I use BCP as a starting point?
A: BCP and PHASE have served as springboards for many capstone and theses projects over the years. Many of the BCP internship projects can be extended through 4th term to coincide with capstone activities.
Q: What happens after I submit the online application?
A: After submitting the online application and a resume/ CV, we will review them and refer candidates to a maximum of 3 sites for interview. You will then be responsible for contacting the prospective preceptor(s) for a phone or video conferencing interview during the weeks of September 28 - October 13. During this process, both students and preceptors will send us feedback on their preferences. There will be a second round of application review, taking into account feedback from the interview process in order to make a final match. Pending student demand, there could be a second round of internship placements/ interviews, but all final placements will be made in time for you to register for the courses during add/ drop period for 2nd term.
Q: I still have questions about the Baltimore Community Practicum course, who do I contact?
A: Contact our SOURCE Public Health Practice Program Assistant, Naomi Tice, at email@example.com.
BCP Information Session
- Click here to watch Baltimore Community Practicum Information Session Recording
- Passcode: V?59$8TT (case-sensitive)
- Click here to view/download BCP Information Session Slides
PHASE and the Health Policy Institute
PHASE is a non-paid, for-credit internship program through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in partnership with the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the Mid-Atlantic Public Health Training Center (MAPHTC). PHASE provides students opportunities to apply coursework in professional practice settings at Maryland state and local public health agencies. The Health Policy Institute provides students with an opportunity to support legislators and policymakers in the Maryland General Assembly.
For more information: http://www.jhsph.edu/offices-and-services/practice-and-training/education/phase/. Questions? Contact Paulani Mui, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-502-8952.
View/Download Practice Information Session Slides (PDF format)
These programs are sponsored in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), SOURCE, and a variety of community-based organizations (CBOs) and local health departments (LHDs). We are grateful for their support!