What is a practicum?
A practicum (“formerly fieldwork”) is an applied or experiential learning experience (minimum 180 hours of service) that is planned, supervised, evaluated, and graded. Practicum experiences allow students to develop, manage, evaluate, or lead evidence-based public health projects. Each experience varies according to the student’s interests and professional development goals, and the needs of the practicum site.

What is the purpose of practicum?
The purpose is for students to develop practical skills, make useful professional contacts, gain valuable work experience, and further their public health competencies outside of the academic setting. Masters students produce deliverables or final products as part of their practicums that act as stepping stones to their Capstone papers. Doctoral students select from options that support exploration of dissertation topics and/or further career goals.

Who supports students through the practicum process?
CUNY SPH has established the Office of Experiential Learning (OEL) to support the practicum process and respond to the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) requirements for applied and experiential learning. OEL works with students and community members to establish practicum opportunities and ensures that practicum projects fulfill CEPH criteria. A student’s faculty advisor and site preceptor are essential to the process too.

Who is required to do a practicum?
All MPH, MS-EOHS and DPH students have a practicum requirement as part of their education.  This requirement cannot be waived. Please see the student-specific pages (MPH/MS and DPH) for further details.


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