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. Through this practicum experience, DrPH students take on the responsibility for the completion of at least one project that is meaningful for an organization and to advanced public health practice. 


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.

The objective for the DrPH Practicum is to ensure the below DrPH Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Foundational Competencies and two Departmental Competencies are reinforced:

CEPH Foundational Competencies to be reinforced:

1. Explain qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods and policy analysis research and evaluation methods to address health issues at multiple (individual, group, organization, community and population) levels
5. Communicate public health science to diverse stakeholders, including individuals at all levels of health literacy, for purposes of influencing behavior and policies
11. Assess one’s own strengths and weaknesses in leadership capacities, including cultural proficiency (to be completed through journaling and written report requirement in APEx)

Departmental Competencies should be selected with the faculty advisor. 


The work product may be a single project or a set of related projects that demonstrate a depth of competence. 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). 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 

Prior to registering for the practicum, all DrPH students must complete a background check (see instructions).

All documentation is completed in the APEx Portal.

  • Practicum Proposal Form (completed by the student; approved by the faculty advisor & preceptor)
  • Student Monthly Reflections (completed every 30 days after the start of your internship)
  • Final Student Reflection of the Practicum Experience
  • Student Final Written Report
  • Student Final Presentation
  • Student Final Product(s)
  • Student Hour Log
  • Preceptor Midpoint and Final Evaluation of the Student Performance