Practice Experience Procedures

Resources, Orientation, and Application for Current or New Internship Sites

Prospective Internship Host Sites: If you plan to host an MPH student intern at your organization, you will find the application, resources, and orientation modules on our HSC Learning Plus canvas course here:

General Information for students

MPH students are expected to complete a one-year, 600-hour, Practice Experience in a community-based and/or public health practice setting. Some students may be eligible for a waiver of 300 hours based on prior professional experience, dual degree enrollment, and/or completion of approved other graduate degree programs. The one-year placement has been carefully designed to promote understanding, synthesis, retention and competency reinforcement of the MPH coursework. Expectations for the practice experience include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Bi-monthly meetings with a site supervisor approved by the UNTHSC School of Public Health. Site supervisors. Site supervisors must have a graduate degree (in any field) and two years of professional experience, OR have an undergraduate degree and at least 6-10 years of leadership experience.
  • Completion of a project that results in two final products that make a meaningful contribution to the community organization.
  • Engagement in tasks and activities that strengthen at least 3 foundational MPH competencies and 2 concentration-specific competencies.
  • Completion of synthesizing assignments including reflection papers, a policy analysis and brief, presentations, and co-learning meetings. The Policy Analysis and Brief serves as the Integrative Learning Experience for our accredited MPH program.

    The final year of the MPH program involves a rigorous integration of knowledge and experiences that prepare students for demanding professional careers in public health. Students are supervised closely by faculty advisors and community-based site supervisors. The extended period of time in practice allows students sufficient time to plan and implement a project that leaves a lasting impact. In this way, students benefit from both independence and mentorship.

MPH students are responsible for securing a suitable site and site supervisor for their Practice Experience. SPH offers some supportive services, referrals, and guidance for this process, including annual matching surveys and brief interviewing events. Prior to starting Practice Experience, students must enroll in the Pre-PHED 5297 course in canvas during their first semester of the MPH program. This course includes information about:

    • 300-hour waiver eligibility criteria for students with:
      1) a year or more of post-undergraduate professional public health practice experience, or
      2) completion of some prior graduate degree programs (see list in the waiver application), or
      3) enrollment in dual degree DO, Anthropology, PharmD, or PA programs.
    • Matching internship survey and interview process
    • Sample products and presentations from prior students
    • Documents required to start practice experience
    • Guidelines for logging internship hours
    • Deadlines
    • Onboarding procedures