Practicum Experience in Population-Based Health
Meet our students
-Tracy Rudne Hawry
The goal of the MPH mentored practicum is to have a practical public health experience that provides mentoring, contact with public health professionals and the opportunity to participate in a meaningful way.
All CEPH- accredited MPH programs require that students obtain a significant practicum experience in population-based health prior to graduation. Some students will have had significant experiences prior to becoming an MPH student. However, other students without such prior experience are expected to do so during their course of study.
The MPH Program will notify students without such prior experience once they matriculate into the program.
Students may earn academic credit for the practicum. All students who complete an experience must complete the Practicum Completion Form.
For students who are required to complete a practicum experience, some of the possible options are listed below. For questions regarding the MPH practicum, please contact Janet Carn (full-time students) or David Earle (part-time students).
Types of Practicum Opportunities
There are numerous opportunities to obtain a practicum experience. If interested in any of these specific opportunities, please follow-up with the contacts and websites listed below. Enrollment in various programs may be limited by the number of available internships or practica.
Regardless of your geographic area, you may develop your own practicum opportunity. These customized opportunities are developed in collaboration with Bloomberg School faculty and a local onsite public health professional.
The practicum experience must be approved by the participating faculty member who oversees your work and awards special studies MPH practicum academic credit that counts towards your degree.
Steps for completing a customized experience are as follows:
- Identify a potential project and a faculty practicum mentor. If you are having difficulty finding a practicum opportunity in your area, please contact the MPH office.
- Submit a one-page proposal to your practicum mentor, including a description of the experience (name of organization, dates, work that you will do, dates of project, what PH skills you will use, what you hope to learn). Your faculty mentor will assess whether this experience is appropriate for meeting the MPH practicum requirement.
- Complete the experience. You may register for academic credit in your practicum mentor’s department (course # PH.xxx.895) during the term when you will complete the experience.
- Soon after the experience, submit a brief report to your practicum mentor about your experience. Please reflect upon what you learned from the experience and how it fits into your overall MPH program.
- Document project completion by submitting the Practicum Completion Form.
Mentored Practicum with the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and Local Health Departments
The Public Health Application for Student Experience or “PHASE,” is a structured internship running 2nd-3rd terms and 2nd-4th terms. PHASE provides Bloomberg School graduate students with real world public health practice experiences with state and local health departments in Maryland.
Mentored Practicum with Community-Based Organizations
The "Baltimore Community Practicum" course (BCP) is a structured internship which runs in both 2nd and 3rd terms and is organized by SOURCE (Student Outreach Resource Center). SOURCE provides opportunities for students to work with various Baltimore-based community organizations and local health departments in our region. The application process and selection of students occurs in the 1st term. Students must enroll in both 2nd and 3rd terms for 1-4 units each term and attend weekly seminars. Course number 550.864. Faculty contact: Mindi Levin.
Mentored Practicum in Health Care Epidemiology and Outbreak Investigation
A limited number of internships are available in infection control and outbreak investigation at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Students enroll for at least 2 units of academic credit. Faculty contact: Trish Perl.
International or Domestic Public Health Practice Trips
Students have organized public health practice trips to work with various government and non-government organizations. In the past, these trips have occurred in January. There may be competitive grants to help partially defray costs of these trips, including the MPH Field Experience Award fund. Practice trips must have JHSPH faculty mentors.
Courses with Significant Practicum Component
Completion of any of the courses below could satisfy the practicum. A letter grade of "C" or better must be earned in order to fulfill the practicum requirement.
- Health and Homelessness, 410.610: Lee Bone, 3rd term, 3 units
- Ethnographic Fieldwork, 410.690: Deborah Gioia, 3rd term, 4 unit
- Health Survey Research Methods, 340.717: Vivian Go, 2nd term, 4 units
- Health Literacy: Challenges & Strategies for Effective Communication, 410.651: Debra Roter, 3rd term, 3 units
- Qualitative Research Theory & Methods, 224.690-691: Peter Winch & Caitlin Kennedy, 3rd & 4th terms, 5 units each
- Program Planning for Health Behavior Change Practicum, 410.868: Vanya Jones, 1st term, 2 units (does not apply to online or institute offerings of this course)
Registering for Academic Credit for the MPH Practicum
Students may earn two or more units of practicum special studies academic credit, if desired, for practicum work (students enrolled on a part-time basis at the time that they do the practicum may opt to not register for the credits, but must still document completion of the experience).
The MPH practicum special studies course numbers are xxx.895. The 3-digit prefix number is determined by the primary department of your faculty practicum supervisor (check with the course catalog and your advisor).
You can determine the department affiliation of any faculty in the Bloomberg School by going to the faculty directory. If your practicum supervisor does not have a primary appointment at the Bloomberg School, but has a joint appointment in a Bloomberg School department, then use that department affiliation. If there is no joint appointment or the appointment is outside Johns Hopkins, use your advisor’s department. If you are still uncertain, check with the contact the MPH program office.
Practicum Supervisor’s Department
MPH Practicum Special Studies
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Environmental Health Sciences
Health, Behavior & Society
Health Policy & Management
Molecular Microbiology & Immunology
Population, Family & Reproductive Health