The practicum provides students with a minimum 12 weeks supervised field experience in a public health setting so as to integrate the course work with practical experience and further the development of practical skills in public health. The practicum experience provides a learning exchange, where students actively contribute to an agency’s work to address public health issues, while meeting their own learning objectives and developing personal confidence and skills as a public health professional. A practicum offers students a chance to explore the kinds of jobs they may take up on completion of the MPH program.
Supervisors should have training and experience, and afford practicum opportunities, aligned with the core competencies for MPH programs. Ideally, supervisors have degrees in a public health-related discipline, an academic affiliation, and previous experience working with students. In some instances, a practicum student may also have a complementary co-supervisor (e.g., who provides more day-to-day support for a project, or an academic mentor for a practicum in a community organization).