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The Office of Public Health Practice & Training

Practicum Requirements

A practicum experience …

  1. Applies public health skills and competencies. Students identify the public health skills and competencies relevant to their area of interest that are most beneficial to their career advancement. Students apply these skills and competencies in concert with knowledge gained from their coursework.
  2. Is framed and carried out within a public health practice context with an established organization or agency. The practicum is a population-level focused project conducted in a practice context. Students may engage in activities at an individual level, but the primary purpose of the experience is to gain population-level practical experience at an established organization or agency. Students can not solely complete screenings, administer surveys, perform calculations, etc., but must be engaged in the larger public health practice context of the activities, as well as become familiar with the organization’s overall purpose and decision-making process. A literature review or data analysis project alone will not meet the practicum requirement. The student must obtain input from the partnering organization and/or from the stakeholders (e.g., population impacted by project, other professionals/researchers completing similar work). There must be a clear link to how the practicum project makes an impact on the targeted population. Students should also develop a deeper understanding of the organization’s mission, hierarchy and practices, as well as the challenges faced (funding, politics, efficiency, etc.) in achieving desired goals.
  3. Is supervised by a qualified preceptor. The practicum preceptor must be qualified to evaluate the student’s professional competence and supervise the student throughout the project. The preceptor is directly engaged in the population-level focused practicum activities. Preceptors can be from an organization outside of Johns Hopkins (e.g. community-based organization, health department, private corporation, etc.), or a JHSPH faculty member if the faculty member is directly engaged with or is the lead on a project that meets the practicum criteria. The preceptor provides background information, guidance, and feedback with regards to student progress on well-defined learning objectives related to the student’s career growth and development. The student’s faculty academic advisor will be kept informed of the student’s practicum activities and progress and may provide additional assistance if warranted.
  4. Is an evaluated experience. Students are evaluated on the achievement of defined learning objectives and deliverables (if applicable) by the preceptors. As part of the practicum experience, students reflect on and evaluate their overall practicum experiences, particularly as they relate to their career goals. A minimum grade of “C” must be earned in courses with a practicum component that are taken towards fulfilling the requirement. Students who register for practicum special studies credits with a faculty member are required to earn a "pass" in order for the experience to count towards the practicum requirement.
  5. Is a significant experience (minimum of 100 hours). The practicum requirement is administered and tracked by the School’s MPH Practicum Team. Students can meet practicum requirements in a variety of ways including a single experience or a combination of experiences. Students may work independently or in a team. Activities completed prior to matriculation to the MPH program do not count towards the MPH practicum requirement.