Practicum Prerequisites

The following practicum prerequisites need to be completed by all MPH students during the first quarter in their program:


In compliance with our affiliation agreements, 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 prior to the start of their program must complete a background check. The completed form must be turned in to their graduate program adviser. Some departments/programs have chosen to exempt medical interns, fellows, holders of international student visas, and other students who have already undergone an extensive recent background check prior to entry into the program. Please check with your department to see if you fall into this category. Background Check Form


MPH students must receive blood-borne pathogens training through their department/program. Contact your graduate program adviser for more information. If your department does not conduct scheduled training, blood-borne pathogens training is held quarterly through the UW Environmental Health and Safety department. Most students select the curriculum track designed for researchers.  Register online or call (206) 543-7201 to register by phone.


The American Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) functions as a set of rules for health plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. HIPAA took effect on April 14, 2003. 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 as a prerequisite for an MPH practicum. HIPAA training is offered via an online course, a 90-minute training module, through the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC). Most students select the curriculum track designed for medical students/residents/fellows.  

  • To complete the HIPAA training, please register to create a profile in the Compliance Learning Portal (CLP), and then log in. Select "UW School of Public Health" on the registration form and "Protecting Patient Information (HIPAA)" from the course catalog.

UWMC Compliance Training Website


All MPH students are required to participate in the Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP).  

Please review HSIP Requirements Checklist and the Health Care Resources page.


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.

A reminder if you are on an F-1 student visa: 

F-1 students participating in off-campus practicum must be enrolled at the UWSPH for the duration of the practicum and must be eligible to apply for curricular practical training (CPT), a temporary authorization for practical training directly related to the student’s major field of study—paid or unpaid.  

  1. Students should check here to see if they are CPT eligible.
  2. Students cannot apply for CPT authorization without having 1) been enrolled full-time at the UW for at least one academic year (i.e., three full-time quarters including final exams week); and 2) secured the practicum. Therefore, students should apply for CPT authorization as soon as they accept the practicum offer from the Site and after they have enrolled full-time for at least one academic year.
  3. After students complete the online application, it will trigger a notification to their Departmental Staff Adviser to e-sign/approve.
  4. It typically takes 10 days for ISS to approve CPT requests. Students cannot begin their practicum until they have received CPT authorization from ISS.