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The Practicum

DL Practicum Handbook

All students who receive a MPH or MSPH degree are required to complete a practicum. Since distance learning students are mid-career professionals with work experience, the DL practicum is designed to build upon prior experiences and focus on advancing professionalism, leadership and ongoing quality improvement skills. Those seeking to change directions in their careers may select a traditional practicum/internship in a work setting in the new area. 

Practicum options available to distance learning students are outlined as follows:

  • Workplace Practicum: this practicum may be structured in a workplace that builds upon prior or current experiences. If the practicum is done in a place of employment, it must extend beyond the regular work duties and allow for the application of knowledge and skills obtained in the student’s degree program. 
  • Leadership Practicum: a leadership practicum may be done with distance learning faculty Dr. James Leemann or under the guidance of a leader in your organization. The aim of this practicum option is to move your career to the next level.   
  • Quality Improvement Practicum: a quality improvement practicum may be done in collaboration with the distance learning practicum coordinator, Charles Shorter, MPH. This practicum applies quality improvement principles to a problem or issue in your workplace. The aim of the QI practicum is to apply skills learned in your program of study to a practical issue and to develop solutions and experience in addressing workplace issues.

For each option detailed, the practicum is expected to be:

  • Carefully planned practical experience equivalent to 200 hours
  • Conducted toward the end of your studies
  • Has well-defined objectives that align with program competencies
  • Supervised by a preceptor with public health practice experience
  • Evaluated by the advisor and preceptor

The practicum is evaluated using the four rubrics in the Practicum Handbook.

The practicum requirement cannot be waived.