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Opportunities Guide | Ongoing and Long-Term Projects

MPH Practicum


Since 2013, all MPH (Master of Public Health) students at our Bloomberg School of Public Health are required to have a population-focused public health practice experience. Students are required to complete 100 hours over the course of the year on their public health practice experiences.



We encourage SOURCE partners to recruit MPH students to work on projects that would meet their practicum experience. When designing the experience, the following 5 basic criteria should be considered:

  • Applies public health skills and competencies. Students will identify the public health skills and competencies relevant to their area of specialization that are most beneficial to their career advancement. Students will apply these skills and competencies in concert with knowledge gained from their coursework.
  • Is framed and carried out within a public health context. The practicum will include population-level activities at an organization or agency. Students may engage in activities at an individual level, but the primary purpose of the experience is to gain practical experience in a public health setting. Students will not merely crunch numbers, perform screenings, administer surveys, etc., but will be engaged in the larger public health context of the activities, as well as become familiar with the organization’s overall purpose and decision-making process. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the organization’s mission, hierarchy and practices, as well as the challenges faced (funding, politics, efficiency, etc.) in achieving desired goals.
  • Is supervised. The practicum preceptor will be qualified to evaluate the student’s professional competence and will supervise the student throughout the project. The preceptor will typically be from an outside organization (i.e. community- based organization, health department, private corporation, etc.), but can be a BSPH faculty member if appropriate. The preceptor will provide background information, directions, feedback, and guidance with regards to student progress on well-defined learning objectives related to the student’s career growth and development. The faculty advisor will be kept informed of the student’s practicum activities and progress and may provide additional assistance if warranted.
  • Is a significant experience (approximately 100 hours). The practicum requirement will be administered and tracked by the School’s practicum team. Students can meet practicum requirements in a variety of ways including a single experience or a combination of experiences. Students may work independently or in a team if warranted.
  • An evaluated experience. Students will be evaluated on achievement of defined learning objectives and deliverables by the preceptor. Faculty advisors will be informed and have an opportunity to provide feedback on the student’s progress if they choose to do so. As part of the practicum experience students will reflect on and evaluate their overall practicum experiences, particularly as they relate to their career goals.



The MPH program is an 11-month program (July -May), thus students will be seeking out their practicum experiences likely from August-October to be completed throughout the academic year and finalized by late April.