Practica and internships are experiences that enable students to develop skills and gain practical experience related to their academic or career interests outside the classroom. Depending on the field and department, this experiential learning component may be referred to as a practicum, internship, field placement, or MHA residency. Students are encouraged to pursue additional internships beyond the academic requirement. Many students pursue such internship experiences during the summer months.
The MPH and DrPH practicum requirement allows for in-depth experiential learning, allowing students to apply what they’ve learned in a real-world public health setting. Students complete their practica at a wide range of sites including non-profit organizations, hospitals, and local for-profit firms. The experiences are supervised by a faculty member and an on-site preceptor (or practicum supervisor) who provide guidance and oversight throughout the practicum. Students and the preceptors begin by outlining a set objectives for the practicum and evaluate whether or not those objectives were met at the end of the practicum.
Before arranging a practicum, students must meet with their advisor to verify that the opportunity will meet their department’s practicum requirements.
Students are also encouraged to meet with a Pitt Public Health career services counselor to review documents for their practicum applications, and to prepare for interviews.