The Practicum is an MPH and DrPH requirement during which the student works a minimum of 200 (MPH) or 240 (DrPH) hours in the field under the supervision of an approved site preceptor. It is intended to provide students with an opportunity to synthesize, integrate, and apply practical skills, knowledge, and training learned in courses, to gain professional experience in a public health work environment, and to work on public health practice projects that are of particular interest.

It is structured as a three-way partnership between the student, PSMHS, and a sponsoring agency/organization and each Practicum must be pre-approved, planned, supervised and evaluated in order for a student to receive credit. Student plans are guided by a set of course competencies outlined below. For those who are 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. For students who have had prior work experience, the Practicum provides the opportunity to hone skills or to gain new experience in a different area of specialization.

The Practicum may be done in conjunction with the Culminating Experience in which the knowledge gained through both experiences are integrated to produce a final product. Students planning to combine their Practicum and Culminating Experience must have their proposals pre-approved by both the Practicum Director and their Faculty Advisor.

During the Practicum, students will be required to use the PSMHS Practicum Website https://sites.google.com/site/psmpublichealthmphpracticum/ on a regular basis. All of the required practicum forms (e.g. Practicum Plan) will be available on this site. In addition, specific departmental materials will be available on this site.