DrPH Practicum Overview

Overview

The practicum is a requirement for all DrPH-seeking students. It enhances an individual's public health skills to an advanced level allowing graduates to pursue careers as practicing public health professionals in leadership positions.

The DrPH is the highest professional degree in public health. It is designed to advance an individual’s skills and competencies. Graduates may pursue careers as public health practitioners, leadership positions in domestic and international organizations, and in academia. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), our accrediting agency, requires that each DrPH student be able to demonstrate the DrPH competencies through a practicum experience in addition to course work, qualifying examinations, a written and oral proposal of an original research protocol, a final research project and a public defense of the research. The practicum experience must be discipline-specific, appropriately planned, supervised, and evaluated. Students must have completed the core classes in their area of specialization before registering for the six-hour practicum (or approximately 360 contact hours). Practicums are graded on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Objectives

Upon completion of the practicum, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of evidence-based public health decision-making and capacity to translate general and discipline-specific empirical knowledge into effective public health practice;
  • Demonstrate leadership, independence, and originality in a project with a significant public health impact;
  • Develop a written and oral report summarizing results of the project and recommendations for action.

Grading

A final grade will be awarded by the faculty practicum advisor and based upon the practicum mentor/supervisor's evaluation and the student's final product. The practicum is graded on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Practicum Requirements 

  • Practicum Description and Agreement (completed by the student; approved by the faculty advisor & site supervisor)
  • Student Monthly Reflections (completed at the start of every month)
  • Final Student Evaluation of the Practicum Experience
  • Student Final Written Product
  • Student Final Presentation
  • Preceptor Midpoint and Final Evaluations of the Student
  • Other Deliverables and Products as Determined by the Site and Preceptor

DrPH Timeline