Field Experience Guidelines

Organization/Agency:  Students must complete their field experience with a non-academic organization focused on public health, either broadly or with a particular focus related to one of our four areas of emphasis--food safety and biosecurity, infectious diseases and zoonoses, public health nutrition, or public health physical activity.  Examples include local and state health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.  

Mentor/Preceptor:  There must be a mentor at the field experience site who can guide the student appropriately toward applying knowledge in a public health practice setting.  The mentor must have public health training (e.g., MPH degree) and/or public health-related experience.  The mentor must be someone other than the student's major professor or supervisory committee members.

Location: There are no constraints on the location of the field experience, other than it must be off-campus.

Hour Requirements:  There are specific minimum requirements for contact hours at the field experience site, based on the student's choice from the three possible culminating experiences.

  1. Capstone Project and Presentation completed as part of the field experience:  240 clock hours at the field experience site, with additional hours used for outside research, literature review, coordination and write-up (6 semester credit hours).  Travel and research time do not count toward the 240 contact hours.
  2. Research Thesis and Presentation:  The field experience requirement is a minimum of 180 contact hours at the field experience site (3 semester credit hours).
  3. Master's Report and Presentation:  The field experience requirement is a minimum of 240 contact hours at the field experience site (4 semester credit hours).  

Reference:  MPH Graduate Student Handbook (12.10)