Skip to main content
School of Public Health
School of Public Health

University of Washington School of Public Health

MPH Practicum - Prerequisites

This page provides detailed information regarding each of the prerequisites required before students are allowed to begin their practicum experience. Students who are participating in the Peace Corp Masters International  (PCMI) Program are also required to complete prerequisites before leaving for their fieldwork. Details specific to PCMI can also be found below.

Background Check- Washington State Patrol

In order to comply with our affiliation agreements with our practicum sites, all MPH students who have not had a Washington State Patrol  “Child and Adult Abuse Law” (CAAL)  or FBI background check dated less than two years before their program begins must complete a background check during their first quarter. The completed form must be turned in to the department/program coordinator during the student's first quarter in the program.
Some departments/programs have chosen to exempt medical interns, fellows, holders of international student visas, and other students who have already undergone extensive recent background checking before entry into the program. Please check with your department to see if you fall into this category. Background Check Form

Blood-borne Pathogens Training

Students will receive blood-borne pathogen training through their departments during their first quarter in the program. Contact your department program coordinator. If your department does not conduct scheduled training, blood-borne pathogens training is held quarterly through the UW Environmental Health and Safety department. Register online or call (206) 543-7201 to register by phone. Training must be completed before the practicum fieldwork can be started.

HIPAA Training

The American Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a set of rules for health plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. HIPAA took effect on April 14, 2003. In the health care and medical professions, the great challenge that HIPAA has created is the assurance that all patient account handling, billing, and medical records are HIPAA compliant.

Some provisions of the HIPAA involve patient/hospital interaction. For example, patients must be able to access their records and correct errors and must be informed of how their personal information will be used. Other provisions involve confidentiality of patient information and documentation of privacy procedures. These provisions have led to regulation-specific software updates, specialist consulting, and in some cases complete overhauls of medical billing and records systems.

Because of the current trends and concerns of confidentiality HIPAA training is required and must be completed during the first quarter of entry into the MPH program. All students who need HIPAA training can take the online course, a 90-minute training module, through the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC). Contact your department program coordinator to complete the form to get a user id and password to access the training module. UWMC Compliance Training Website


All MPH students are required to report to Hall Health, unless the student’s department has arranged to have a special clinic in Health Sciences, for an immunization review during the first quarter of enrollment. Hall Health will forward a report of immunization status directly to your department/program student coordinator.
Health Sciences Immunization Program information | Immunization program fees

Please note: In affiliation agreements between the school and some agencies, students are required to be immunized for measles, mumps, rubella (or have a positive history or titer), hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, varicella, plus TB testing. Please check with the Director of Student Affairs before you start your practicum to see if you will need the additional immunizations.

International Students

International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa must contact the International Student Services (ISS) office to inquire about any necessary training authorization prior to initiating their practicum or any other internship. Please contact the ISS office directly with questions or 206-221-7857.

Entry Codes

An entry code is required to register for a practicum courses. The entry code is obtained from the department/program student coordinator. Students must register for the practicum during the registration period for the quarter in which they intend to complete the practicum, and associated written assignment and PowerPoint poster.

Additional (one to three) practicum credits may be added if the field experience exceeds the minimum requirements and the student’s faculty adviser approves. A maximum of six (6) credits may be applied toward the MPH degree. All students are required to have completed the steps below before they will be allowed to register for practicum credit.

Prerequisite Trainings and Forms Checklist

Turn in signed prerequisite forms to the MPH Practicum Drop Box.