How to identify practicum opportunities?
Past students have secured their placements in a variety of ways. Below are the most common resources for finding a practicum.
- Serves as the main contact for external public health agencies and organizations interested in working with practicum students; vets and disseminates practicum opportunities in UWSPH.
- Maintains a current list of affiliated public health organizations, as well as records of past practicum placements and projects (searchable in the Practicum dropbox).
- Facilitate practice-based learning and partnership between students and faculty across the School of Public Health (SPH) and organizations regionally, nationally, and globally.
- Provide additional support to MPH students during the Practicum process, including individual meetings and Weekly Practicum Study Halls.
Individual meeting request:
Fill out the Practicum Meeting Request Form. These individual meetings are available in Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer Quarter.
Practicum Study Hall:
These optional weekly Practicum study halls provide MPH students with a designated time to ask questions, gain clarification, and have uninterrupted work time. Communication to students about these study halls will be sent throughout the academic year. Study halls are hosted in Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarter.
- Guide the process of clarifying learning objectives and outcomes of the practicum experience, as subject matter experts.
- Recommend sites and site supervisors given their own affiliations with public health research centers, programs, and initiatives, and their relationships with public health practice partners in the community.
- Identify practicum opportunities through personal and/or professional contacts, internet searches, and/or direct contact with organizations of interest.
When to begin practicum search?
Most of the students pursue their practicum in the summer after their first year in the MPH program, but they are allowed to begin their practicum any time after their first quarter. Students should begin preparing for their practicum soon after the SPH practicum orientation, which is held in late October of students’ first year. The timeline for setting up a practicum varies by practicum goal, the type and location of the opportunity the student desires, whether or not the student is an international student needing temporary authorization for field training, and the length of the site’s onboarding requirement. Students are encouraged to begin their practicum search six months prior to their desired start date for their practicum.
If the organization of interest is not currently affiliated, contact the Manager of Experiential Learning immediately with the agency contact's name and email to start the affiliating process.
Practicum at place of employment
Students are discouraged from completing a Practicum at their regular or past place of employment in order to gain exposure to a different type of public health work and environment. However, with the approval from the student’s MPH Program Director, the student may do a Practicum there if: 1) the opportunity meets MPH requirements, is unrelated to the student’s current/previous job, and is in a different department/section of the organization, and 2) the Site Supervisor is someone other than the student’s regular supervisor.
Practicum work may be compensated or uncompensated, which varies by the type of organization, project, or location. The Site can pay students at an hourly rate or by stipend. UWSPH is not involved in arranging or dispersing any form of payment.