All DPH students at CUNY SPH are required to complete a supervised practicum experience which is approved by their faculty advisor. For their practicum experience, DPH students may explore an area of interest in consideration for their dissertation topic, identify a public health problem or issue of special interest and pursue an in-depth inquiry to find answers or explanations, or participate in a traditional student practicum project. Please note PhD students do not have a practicum requirement.
Students may select from one of the following three options to meet the practicum requirement:
Practicum Requirement Options
Students may use their practicum hours to explore an area of interest in consideration for their dissertation topic. This qualifies as a pre-2nd exam exploration. Beyond the requisite literature search, this may be achieved by devoting a dedicated amount of time (not necessarily all 180 hours) within an organization that addresses topics/problems of interest to probe and identify issues in need of further inquiry. This would include the identification of a research question. The remaining hours could be devoted to organizing the findings or observations to produce a report of a well-explored area for dissertation research, or an identified research question for the 2nd exam or dissertation.
Students identify a public health problem or issue of special interest and pursue an in-depth inquiry to find answers or explanations. This also qualifies as the pre 2nd exam exploration. This requires research in the form of:
- a literature review of the topic
- review and analysis of media and news outlets’ reporting
- interviews with members of the “public” to assess their understanding of the problem
- interviews with key experts, and others
The final product could be an article written for a journal, or a relevant magazine that reaches the public with accurate information. In the process, the student also could be pursuing topics of interest for a dissertation.
Students find a practicum site to conduct a project or study of interest to a host organization, and produce a defined deliverable at the end of the experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am ready to do my practicum project. What steps do I take?
Prior to the semester you plan to do the practicum project, speak with your faculty advisor, and determine which option is the right option for you. Contact the Office of Experiential Learning (OEL) to inform them of your plans. Develop a learning agreement that is appropriate for the option you select, and review with your faculty advisor and appropriate OEL staff. Once complete, send your learning agreement to email@example.com for final approval and processing.