Practicum FAQs

The practicum can be commenced after the prerequisite courses are completed. Practicum placements may be arranged for January of the second year i.e. after completion of all 3 semesters of course work or during the summer after two semesters of course work. There are advantages to both. In the January of the second year the student will have completed all core and elective courses and have a greater breadth and depth of knowledge and have less competition from other Universities for practicum placements. A practicum offers a chance to explore the kinds of jobs the students may take up upon completion of the MPH program. Students who complete their practicum in the summer after 2 semesters of course work may be able to complete the program requirements and hence graduate earlier. The practicum may be completed full-time or part-time.

This will depend on past experience and career plans. Students are encouraged to explore placements in areas outside of their previous/current work experience to broaden their knowledge and skills. The practicum may occur in BC, elsewhere in Canada or abroad. It can be explored from the list of potential placement sites or you can develop a unique experience tailored to your interests and needs.

Normally students apply from a list of available practicum sites. The faculty advisor can help the student choose a practicum site. The student may also consult with the Practicum Director.

In consultation with the Practicum Director, this choice may be available but will depend on the student working in a different area to develop new skills related to public health. Students will not be able to get credit for the practicum simply by maintaining their current job.

A number of organizations can offer a stipend or hourly rate to students but not all have the ability to do so. Students who are not receiving funding (or are receiving little funding) from their placement site can apply to the MPH program office for a stipend of up to $2,500. Your stipend is taxable, and the income tax deducted is based on the information you provide to Payroll when completing the required tax forms. To apply for funding please complete the funding application form. There may be other potential sources of funding for practicum placements including the Dr. James Rossiter Master's of Public Health Practicum Award. Please contact the MPH program office for a list of funding sources and application closing dates.

The MPH program may pay up to $2,500 stipend to any student who is not funded for their practicum.

Once students have been approved for practicum funding, they are appointed as Graduate Research Assistants. If receiving $2500, this will be paid out over 3 months for a total of $833.33 each month. Pay days are the same as all UBC staff, on the 15th and last day of the each month.

Practicums involving work with children or vulnerable adults will require a criminal check. In addition, the practicum site may also require a criminal record check as part of the organization's policies. Students on practicum who require a criminal record check will need to pay $28 for the check. Please contact the Program Manager if you require a criminal record check for your practicum.

No, students are not covered for practicum placements outside of BC. We recommend that students purchase Student Accident Insurance (costs $7/year) from UBC. You can find more information here.You can read more about practicum placement safety, including what training is available and how to report an incident, by clicking here. If you would like to purchase insurance, please inform the Program Manager.