Field Placement Experience
The second year field placement, which consists of full-time employment in the health/public health policy arena, provides an opportunity for students to apply their theoretical academic training in a professional health/public health policy setting, and gain skills essential to functioning as public health policy professionals.
Students may choose to pursue field placements in a wide variety of settings, including federal agencies; consulting, advocacy, research and professional organizations; non-profits, and state and local government.
Students are expected to take responsibility for locating and securing their field placement with the assistance of the Program Leadership and other faculty as warranted.
Students may begin their field placements after satisfactorily completing the core program coursework and attaining the required 64 program credits at which point they become eligible for the second-year Master’s Tuition Scholarship. The minimum length of field placement work required for graduation is nine months of full-time employment. Many students begin their field placement immediately after completing their first year coursework in June; however, the deadline to begin the field placement is the first day of the first term for the following year.
Full-time summer internships begun after successful completion of the first year required coursework, may partially fulfill the nine-month field placement requirement. There are many summer internships that can add breadth and depth to the student’s professional work portfolio, such as summer internships with the World Health Organization (WHO) or on Capitol Hill, policy projects with public health agencies, or formal summer programs with federal agencies such as the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). Students who participate in a summer internship will need to complete another field placement of full-time, professional work in order to meet the minimum nine-month field placement requirement.
During the field placement, students are expected to chronicle their development as public health policy professionals through written assignments and two on-campus presentations, including a policy analysis paper and presentation integrating their academic public health training with their experience in a professional public health policy setting. In addition, program faculty may conduct a site visit designed to support students in the field placement setting.
At the end of the first year, the program will provide students with requirements and deadlines for submission of all second year assignments. For each term of the second year, students will register for 16 credits of field placement studies (course number 308.810.) Students are evaluated based on the specific assignment due for that term as well as continued satisfactory performance in the placement site as determined by the on-site preceptors through mid-term and final progress reports and an assessment from the student’s academic program advisor.
Examples of current field placement sites include:
- Offices within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Kaiser Family Foundation
- Baltimore City Mayor's Office
- DC Action for Children
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration