Practice Experience Procedures After Fall 2017

MPH students who started their MPH programs on or after the Fall semester of 2017 are expected to complete a one-year, 600 hour, Practice Experience in a community-based setting. 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:

  • Weekly meetings with a site supervisor approved by the UNTHSC School of Public Health. Site supervisors must hold a graduate degree or demonstrate a work history with a substantial amount of professional expertise.
  • Completion of a project that results in a project that makes 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 brief, an Ignite presentation, group meetings, and a final poster or data dashboard.

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. Small cohorts of 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.

Students-Site Supervisor Matching – for MPH online students:

  • Students will be assigned a Faculty Coordinator who will work with them to determine an appropriate practice experience Some students know exactly where they would like to conduct their practice experience, while others welcome suggestions from their Faculty Coordinator.
  • MPH Online students may begin their practice experience in the summer, spring or fall semesters (for their final year of study) beginning with the approval process for the agreed to site.
  • MPH Online students who are local to the DFW area and expect to start their placements in the summer or fall terms may participate in the matching process for cohort students described below.

Students-Site Supervisor Matching – for Cohort students:

  • Cohort students are strongly encouraged to participate in “matching” surveys that are administered each November for those who will start their practice experiences the following summer. Following completion of these surveys, students are matched with potential community sites in North Texas and scheduled for brief interviews the following January.
  • The “matching” survey link will be available on this site after November 1 each year and will close by December 1st.
  • In February and March, students will arrange formal interviews and work to finalize placements with their selected sites.

Exceptions to the 600-hour placement requirement include the following:

  1. Students who have substantial prior professional experience that aligns with MPH competencies may apply for a waiver of up to 300 of these hours. To respect the commitments made by site supervisors and avoid confusion of expectations, the waiver application should be submitted to Faculty Advisors at least one semester prior to beginning practice experience.
  2. Students who are co-enrolled in another graduate degree program may work with faculty advisors to determine how other practice rotations/internships may be integrated with the MPH requirements.


This page was last modified on June 13, 2018