The Practicum

What is the Practicum?

The public health practicum is a required element of the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH). As in all accredited schools of public health, MPH students are required to complete an approved, planned, and supervised practicum. The Office of Public Health Practice supplies the academic and administrative framework for the required practicum.

A practicum is a BUSPH course that provides the opportunity to integrate and apply classroom learning in a public health work environment, enabling students to observe and learn from professionals in the field. With appropriate supervision, students contribute to a community’s resources and to the solution of public health problems, while developing practical skills and personal confidence as public health professionals.

The practicum is to be scheduled when best suited to meet student and participating organization’s needs.  Financial compensation for a practicum, if available, is a matter to be negotiated between the student and the sponsoring organization. In most cases, because of the brief duration and nature of a practicum, the practicum is unpaid.

First Steps in Planning your Practicum

Decisions about your practicum should be made to fit your academic and professional goals and interests. Consult your academic advisor, any faculty whose interests intersect with your own, as well as the Practice office to begin exploring possible practicum opportunities. Departmental Faculty Practice Representatives (DFPR) and Practice Office staff can work with you on your search for a practicum that suits your interests and career objectives.

Practicum Advisers in the Practice Office
Scott Harris, Practicum Director, scotth@bu.edu
Katie Boss, Practicum Manager, keboss@bu.edu

Not sure what the practicum entails? The Course Overview provides a brief description of the practicum requirements. For all the details, read through the 2014-15 Practicum Handbook

Quick Links

  • Visit the Practicum Blackboard for detailed information about course requirements.
  • Practicum Graphic: Displays a step-by-step graphic overview of the practicum process. Click on each box for an expanded view.
  • Visit the Practicum Search Tools for tips and resources to help you find a practicum.
  • If you’re ready to register, enter the Practiceweb to complete the Practicum Approval Form.